His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai (4th L), with GDRFA Dubai winners during the awards ceremony on Monday Image Credit: X/@GDRFADubai

Dubai: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Monday honoured the winners of the Dubai Government Excellence Programme 2024.

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He honoured them in the presense of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and Abdulla Al Basti, secretary-general of The Executive Council of Dubai.

The winners included various government entities and individual employees including the 'Unsung Soldiers' category. The awards ceremony, held at the Dubai World Trade Centre, was followed by an iftar for the winners, officials and guests.

The winners were selected after a comprehensive performance assessment process that evaluated 30 government entities in Dubai across 12 institutional categories and eight functional categories based on which they were conferred Dubai Medals of Excellence. The awards underscore Dubai’s firm belief in fostering excellence and innovation within the government sector, thereby amplifying its global stature as an exemplar of progressive governance.

Winners speak

Khalifa Al Shaiba, a 25-year-old electromechanical engineer with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, who won the Youth Employee Award, said the country’s youth play an important role. “The UAE gives us a lot of opportunities and we must seize those opportunities to work for our country. This is a great honour and it is just the beginning for me.”

He added it was a proud moment for his mother and two sisters, especially his twin sister to be present. “Shaikha is my twin and she works at DWTC.”

Majed Saeed Al Kaabi, a First Lieutenant working with the Customer Happiness Centre of Dubai Police, said the award reflected the UAE’s efforts in empowering people. “This is one of the most prestigious government awards and I am very happy and proud to be a winner,” said Al Kaabi, who was accompanied by his mother and other family members.

‘Unsung Soldiers’

Indian expat Fakir Hassan, an office boy with the Department of Finance, was among the ‘Unsung Soldiers’ who were honoured. “I have been living in Dubai for 16 years, doing the same job. My happiness knows no bounds today. There are more than 200 people from my village who live here. I don’t think any of them has even been lucky to see Sheikh Mohammed in person. I am elated to have received the honour from him. Whatever benefit I get from this, I will first use for going for Umrah and will also support the needy.”

Another winner, Samira Ibrahim Ali Mohammad, a receptionist with Dubai Culture, said: “While working at Al Shindagha Museum, I went beyond my duties and created a Happiness Team and organised many activities for the colleagues. I have been blessed with five sons, including one with Down Syndrome. I am proud of today’s recognition and I want my children to be proud of me and get inspired.”