Wednesday 15 July 2020


Young people in the United Arab Emirates now have help to develop vital life skills through a new free app - Taqaddam Life Skills - which launched today (Wednesday, July 15) to coincide with World Youth Skills Day.

The free app has been developed by the British Council and HSBC Middle East through their joint programme Taqaddam, and is designed to help young people develop essential skills for life, work and society.

Taqaddam is an innovative programme that supports young people, giving them the confidence and support to upskill themselves for the future. It is currently on the ground in eight countries including Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, UAE and the UK. The new app brings a digital enhancement to the experience for current participants and will attract new young people from across the globe.

Speaking about the new app Gavin Anderson, Director, British Council UAE said: “We wanted to create an essential personal development app that makes life skills education accessible, engaging and fun, because we believe that skills such as confidence, resilience, decision-making, and the ability to manage change are essential skills to flourish in life, work and society.

“We are especially pleased to be launching on World Youth Skills Day as this year’s theme is Skills for a Resilient Youth. The current Covid-19 pandemic means uncertainty for a lot of young people and there is a need to enhance their skills for a post-Covid world. We hope the app gives them the tools and support they need to face life’s challenges head on - It’s a great interactive and educational resource and young people across the world will benefit from it.”

Sabrin Rahman, Head of Sustainability for HSBC in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, said: “We are very proud of the launch of the Taqaddam app in such extraordinary times. The strategic direction of Taqaddam is one of continuous innovation and sustainable growth, and I am confident that the app will add greater value to the lives of the young people already in the programme, and those who join in the coming weeks and months.” 

The app is packed with 30 interactive ‘missions’, which are divided across four themes. These are: My Life where young people will gain greater self-awareness, develop values, confidence and purpose; My Life Skills explores skills such as creativity, critical thinking and collaboration; Make it Happen encourages young people to put their life skills into action; and Moving Forward ends the journey so that users have the confidence and tools to continue to learn and grow. 

Over the past five years the Taqaddam programme has reached more than 11,000 students and over 400 teachers. Working with around 500 schools and colleges across the Middle East and North Africa, the programme has provided classes, workshops and social action projects all centred around life skills education. The programme aims to align with UAE’s National Innovation Strategy and help build a dynamic and competitive knowledge-based society.

Along with the app, the Taqaddam programme is using innovative digital solutions to help teachers and students during the COVID-19 crisis, including webinars for teachers to help them deliver online skills education. 

The new Taqaddam Life Skills app is now available for free and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play:

To find out more about the Taqaddam programme visit: 

Notes to Editor

For further information please contact: 

Claire McAuley, Senior Communications Manager, Gulf Cluster: T +44 (0) 28 9019 2224 | M +44 (0) 7856524504  

For more information on British Council UAE, please visit:

About HSBC in the MENAT region 

HSBC is the largest and most widely represented international banking organisation in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT), with a presence in nine countries across the region: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. In Saudi Arabia, HSBC is a 29.2% shareholder of Saudi British Bank (SABB), and a 51% shareholder of HSBC Saudi Arabia for investment banking in the Kingdom. 

This presence, the widest reach of any international bank in the region, comprises some 350 offices and around 9,500 employees. In the year ending 31st December 2019, HSBC in the MENAT region made adjusted profit before tax of US$ 1,611m.


About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.