Dubai ruler seeks student for cabinet post

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sheikh Mohammed rules Dubai and is also vice president of the UAE

Dubai's ruler is looking for a young person to sit on the United Arab Emirates federal cabinet as the voice of youth - and has used Twitter to announce the job opportunity.

In a series of posts on his official account, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum asked the country's universities to nominate three men and three women who have graduated in the last two years, or are in their final year of study, for the government post. He explained that young people represent half of Arab societies, so it is "only logical to give them a voice and role in governing the nation".

An announcement on the UAE cabinet website says that the post holder - who must be under the age of 25 - will represent youth issues and aspirations. "Youth have hopes and dreams, issues and challenges... They are our hope for the future," the sheikh was quoted as saying.

The unusual step has been greeted with surprise in the UAE. "Many people see us as too young but what people don't know is that these ideas can actually benefit the country," one student tells The National newspaper. "Things aren't what they once were... we need new ideas to accommodate these changes."

Away from the pro-government press, it has proved difficult to find any local cynicism toward the scheme on social media, with one Twitter user writing: "UAE keeps moving forward."

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