The informed and cohesive family forms the nucleus of an effective society capable of keeping pace with changes and challenges, and creating a sustainable future.
As Sheikh Khalid bin Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, said, ‘The wise leadership has given the family all attention, as it is the basis for building society, the foundation of its stability, and the pillar of its development.’
Since the time of the founding fathers, the UAE has been keen to provide a decent life for all members of society, taking into account the special groups that need intensive support and care, such as children, people of determination, and senior citizens.
The UAE National Family Policy seeks to enable Emirati families to cope with challenges in marriage, promote stable family life, raise their capabilities to fulfil their responsibilities towards society and the country, and achieve happiness through family cohesion.
In March 2018, the UAE government approved the National Family Policy launched by the Ministry of Community Development. The policy aims to achieve five main goals:
• Building Emirati families’ capability to cope with challenges in marriage
• Promoting the stability of family life for generations to come
• Providing a healthy environment to support Emirati families in coping with the stresses of life
• Raising the capabilities of Emirati families and their responsibilities towards society, the country, and the national identity with UAE’s values and morals
• Achieving happiness for Emirati families through family cohesion.
The UAE now ranks fourth globally and first in the Arab world and regionally among the best countries in the world in terms of quality of life.
The international community appreciates the UAE’s efforts to achieve happiness and enhance national and societal cohesion. The country has launched many laws, legislation, policies, programs, and national initiatives in partnership with relevant authorities at the local and federal levels.
Building promising generations
These efforts aim to form stable families, prepared to face challenges, provide integrated health care in accordance with international best practices, develop sustainable and integrated communities with adequate housing for the well-being of Emirati citizens, raise awareness about the importance of early education, improve learning opportunities, establish mother and childhood authorities to support families in facing life’s pressures, and upgrade their capabilities to build promising generations that assume their responsibilities towards society and the nation.
Last week, the Department of Community Development (DCD) introduced the Abu Dhabi Family Wellbeing Strategy, a comprehensive plan aimed at bolstering families as the cornerstone of a connected, cohesive, and productive society that contributes to the emirate’s prosperity. Endorsed by the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, the strategy encompasses 30 innovative initiatives that prioritise the well-being of every family member, from children and youth to parents, caregivers, and seniors.
It remains the role of community members to view and respond to these initiatives, and support the concerned authorities by maintaining family cohesion, achieving a balance between work and family, spending valuable time with parents and children, taking into account the elderly, and sympathising with the young.
Pledging to provide a positive and healthy environment inside the home and benefiting from family-friendly public facilities and awareness programs that contribute to developing skills and expanding perceptions, particularly those related to preparation for retirement, financial planning, mental health, family rehabilitation and preparation, and family guidance and support.
The media also plays an important role in the success of the efforts made by our wise leadership by highlighting and showcasing them in programs and news, and preparing interactive media materials that simulate the Emirati family in all its categories.
Together, with interconnected and happy Emirati families, the UAE will become the most prosperous society in the world
Alya Hassan Al Yassi is an Emirati researcher and strategic media expert