The flag of the United Arab Emirates Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Abu Dhabi: President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued a series of historic resolutions on the occasion of the UAE's 40th National Day, aiming to provide stability and a better life for Emiratis.

Nationals across the UAE welcomed the announcements and said they would go a long way to providing them with a good quality of life, encourage their contribution to the country and raise the status of women.

Salary Hike

According to the resolutions, federal government employees will receive a salary raise in 2012, and judicial authorities will receive a 100 per cent increase in their basic salary.

Employees of the Ministry of Health will also receive a 100 per cent raise on their work nature compensation. There is also a 100 per cent raise for teachers under the Ministry of Education in the resolutions.

A special allowance will be given to undersecretaries and assistant undersecretaries in addition to an increase of 35 per cent of the basic salary for employees from grades 1 to 6 and an increase of 45 per cent in the basic salary to be added to the transportation allowance from grades 7 to 14.

Khalifa Nasser Al Suw-aidi, Head of the Complaint Committee at the Federal National Council, said: "The decrees issued by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa have brought much joy to the hearts of all Emirati citizens and they highlight our president's vision for the UAE's future.

"The support they provide will enhance the lives of all our citizens and, in turn, that will inspire everyone to enhance the potential of the UAE across all its sectors."

Citizenship for Emirati women's children

Shaikh Khalifa also issued a resolution that allows the children of Emirati women married to non-nationals to apply for citizenship when they reach the age of 18.

The resolution also orders all ministries, government departments and other bodies concerned to treat the children of Emirati women married to non-nationals as Emiratis.

Zahra Mohammad, a UAE national mother of three who is married to a Yemeni, said: "Our wise leaders' generosity has always been in the best interests of their people, and you will never find another country which provides this level of comfort and respect to both its citizens and residents.

"My children will now receive a better education and health coverage in addition to many other benefits given to citizens. Our joy has doubled with the celebrations for our 40th National Day."

Jalal Luqman, digital artist and co-owner, Ghaf Art Gallery, said: "The generosity shown by His Highness Shaikh Khalifa is wonderful because it shows just how much he cares for us and it's also amazing that the children of Emirati women married to foreigners will now be treated equally — a right that they had been denied in the past."

2,500 plots of land

Shaikh Khalifa also issued a resolution, in his capacity as Ruler of Abu Dhabi, to allocate 2,500 plots of land in Abu Dhabi to Emiratis, which is in line with his keenness to ensure that Emiratis receive adequate housing, and his desire to ensure stability and security for their families and futures. Shaikh Khalifa issued another resolution setting up a fund with a capital of Dh10 billion to settle the loans of Emiraits with limited income.

The fund will settle personal loans by coordinating with the UAE Central Bank and other banks in the country.

Social aid allocation increased by 20 per cent

Shaikh Khalifa also issued a resolution increasing allocations for social aid by 20 per cent for specific cases that are eligible for subsidies from the Ministry of Social Affairs.

Merit Award

The President also issued a Federal Decree setting up the Head of State Merit Award, which will honour innovators and hard workers who have accomplished achievements that enhance the UAE's position on the local, regional and international stages.

The winners will be awarded with a medal and a financial reward.

The decree stipulates that the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs will set up the board of trustees, which will be chaired by the Deputy Minister of Presidential Affairs and include as members six other officials who possess the necessary capabilities and expertise.

The board's duties include specifying the terms and conditions for nominating people and setting up the award's specialised committees.

The board of trustees will also determine the specifications of the medal and the financial reward.

— With additional inputs from WAM