Despite political apathy remaining a dominant feature among young Emiratis, a growing number of youth are showing keenness to participate in the election processes and are familiarising themselves with the rules of political participation in the UAE. Although not listed in the electoral college of the 2011 Election of the Federal National Council (FNC), a number of Emirati youth have stepped in to attend and follow the election process to learn and understand the FNC and UAE political system and prepare themselves to take part in elections in the future.
Amani Al Beloushi, 17-year-old, is one of the young Emiratis who dreams of becoming a minister in future. Although neither Amani nor her family members are part of the electoral college, she is keen to follow the election process to enable her develop her political ambitions. "I have attended a number of public functions concerning the FNC and every time I became aware of public gatherings regarding the FNC, I rushed to attend and learn more," she said.
"To play a direct role in the decision making process of the country, we should educate ourselves about elections," Amani said. "The election is a good experience to me and other Emiratis should watch closely to establish solid political careers or to be real players in the local area." Amani, who is highly active and motivated, is a member of the Advisory Council of Sharjah Youth. She believes that the government has always been encouraging women to take up a wide range of careers and positions with private and public sector. "This experience could be very important to develop and shape my political career which I dream to take up in the future," she said.
Pointing to the political apathy among Emirati youth, she remarked that there is a widespread belief among the political elite that young people do not have sufficient political knowledge to be included in national planning and decision making processes. For other young Emiratis it would appear that opting out of the democratic process is an indication of the cynicism that young people feel about politics and people involved in politics.
– Gulf News