One million young Arabs will be receiving free computer coding training from the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives foundation (MBRGI) starting January 2018.

The initiative, which will be available to young Arabs across the world, was launched on Tuesday by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. “Coding is the language of the modern era. Our goal is to teach it to one million young Arabs, in order to prepare them now for the requirements needed to excel in the future,” he said in press release.

The training aims to help young Arabs become fluent in coding and programing and widen their employment opportunities, as well as grow a digital economy.

The initiative will also reward high achieving students and tutors with incentives worth over $1 million. The first step is to register online at arabcoders.ae.

A study by the Youth Policy Organisation revealed that 50% of the Arab population is under 25 years old, with 39% aspiring to have their own businesses within five years. Meanwhile, unemployment rates among young Arabs has reached 30% according to the latest Arab Youth Survey 2017, making it one of the highest in the world.

With governments in the Arab region rolling out smart and e-commerce frameworks and supporting the emergence of young Arab innovators, the IT sector has reached $3 billion in the Arab world alone, and is growing 12% annually.

Sheikh Mohammed concluded, “We will not stop launching projects and initiatives to support our Arab communities because the stability of our region relies on it. MBRGI has launched over 1,400 projects and 33 institutions dedicated solely to spreading hope and building the future of the Arab world.