Last month’s visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) not only strengthened bilateral relations between the two nations, but also provided a huge boost to the learning of Mandarin in the UAE.
Abu Dhabi’s Ministry of Education announced that Chinese will be taught in 100 schools from next year, stressing that the initiative is a first step that will be followed by further action, There are about 580 schools in the Emirates, of which about 60% are private. The government allocated 21.2% of its 2016 federal budget for the education sector and has launched substantial initiatives to hire accredited teachers, improve professional development, develop smart learning programs, and revamp education curricula in anticipation of a steep increase in the school population from the current figure just under 600,000.
During the same week, the Abu Dhabi Company announced the launch of Zayed Digital Channel which will broadcast in Chinese language, and the Abu Dhabi Police issued their first driving license in Chinese. Brigadier Ibrahim Naser Al Shamsi, director of Vehicle Licensing Department at Abu Dhabi Police, said that the move reflected “the depth of the historical relations between the two friendly countries and their excellence in all fields.”