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Guest Profile

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Dr Tariq Al Gurg

CEO & Member of the Board

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About Dr Tariq Al Gurg

HE Dr. Tariq Al Gurg was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares in 2009 and as a member of its Board of Directors in 2018.


Al Gurg has been a primary driver behind the organisation’s success. He has enabled Dubai Cares to contribute to the evidence-base in education, leverage funding and invest in strategic relationships and programs that support the global education agenda. 


His focus has been to develop Dubai Cares as a recognised best-case practitioner and a global leader in education program design and innovation that is grounded in a philosophy of continuous monitoring and evaluation and rigorous research.


More recently, Al Gurg has been a key champion of Education in Emergencies, highlighting the critical need to provide education to children and young people living in fragile and conflict-affected situations. He is also behind Dubai Cares’ selection to become a member of the High-Level Steering Group for the global ‘Education Cannot Wait’ fund and the board of UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited.


In 2017, Al Gurg was recognised by Irina Bokova, former director of UNESCO for his role in transitioning Dubai Cares from a young philanthropic organisation into a global leader in the international education arena. He also received the 2016 Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) Award in recognition of his strong and visible commitment, outstanding achievement and active advocacy for quality education in Mediterranean countries.


Al Gurg’s past experience includes 12 years at various senior management positions within the consumer and corporate banking at Emirates NBD (formerly known as National Bank of Dubai). He is a Founding Board Member and Deputy Chairman of the UAE Genetic Diseases Association (UAE GDA). He was also a member of the UAE’s National Anti-Money Laundering Committee, chaired by the Governor of the UAE Central Bank.


In 2019, Al Gurg was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) Degree from Mangalayatan University in Aligarh, India for his contribution to global education and his outstanding leadership and tireless efforts in addressing and raising awareness about issues of philanthropy.

Episode Overview

CEO of Dubai Cares, Dr Tariq Al Gurg, joins Alberto Lidji to discuss the global education agenda, the RewirED global summit on education in Dubai 2021 and much more.


Dubai Cares is playing a key role in helping achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 , which aims to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning by 2030, by supporting programs in early childhood development, access to quality primary and secondary education, technical and vocational education and training for youth as well as a particular focus on education in emergencies and protracted crises.


Dubai Cares is a global force driving forward the education agenda.  It was founded in 2007 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. 


Since its inception, Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has been working towards providing children and young people in developing countries with access to quality education through the design and funding of programs that aim to be integrated, impactful, sustainable and scalable. 


As a result, the UAE-based global philanthropic organisation has successfully launched education programs reaching over 20 million beneficiaries in 59 developing countries.


We hear how Dubai Cares tackles education in a holistic manner, going beyond schools and looking at health, nutrition, gender equality and education in conflict settings.


Dubai Cares is open to exploring collaboration with everyone. They are aware that risk-taking is part of the conversation and that organisations both old and new deserve a chance.


Shortly after Dubai Cares launched, Bill Gates came to Dubai and signed a 4-year partnership with Dubai Cares, focused on school, health and nutrition. 


At the time Dubai Cares was new and didn’t have the global reach or recognition that it has today. But, because of Bill Gates’ signing, Dubai Cares’ standing increased and many doors were opened.


Today, Dubai Cares believes that they, in turn, now need to provide their weight to bring other NGOs to the fore and to help nurture nascent organisations into great partners.


The podcast conversation is wide-ranging. From advice to new philanthropists to insight on preventing frontline programmes from vanishing during periods of political transition.


We hear how on 17-19 March 2021, Dubai Cares will convene stakeholders from across the globe in Dubai for the RewirED Conference – the world’s largest summit on education.  The three focus areas: (1) youths and skills, (2) financing in education and (3) innovation in education. 


The key takeaway: more investment is required in education. Many stats are listed but arguably the most poignant one is that only 2.5% of global humanitarian funding goes to education. Without education, nothing is possible – no internet, no healthcare, nothing.

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Additional Resources

Dubai Cares - Website

Dubai Cares - Twitter


RewirED 2021 - Global Summit in Education


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