Ali Al Mazroui of Ras Al Khaimah with Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid on Sunday. Image Credit: Twitter

Dubai: The UAE Cabinet has approved an Dh11-billion social assitance programme during a Sunday meeting attended by the Emirati man who was mocked on air during a radio talk show for complaining about price increases.

The UAE citizen, Ali Al Mazroui from Ras Al Khaimah, was hosted by the Cabinet members, during which he was also appointed as a social researcher at the Ministry of Community Development.

He was also given a house.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had invited Al Mazroui to attend the Sunday  meeting to review Minister of Social Development's presentation on the assistance programme for low-income citizens.

The Dh11-billion social assistance spending plan will be rolled out over a three-year period, it was announced on Sunday.

In an interview, Al Mazroui appreciated Shaikh Mohammad's gesture and thanked him for the house and the job he was given. He added that his new role would also enable him to help the community.

"I express my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Shaikh Mohammad for providing me a house and a job," he said, adding that he also prays for the good health and wellbeing of Shaikh Mohammad.

Mocked

Al Mazroui earlier contacted Ajman Radio's live programme "Al Rabia Wal Nas" to speak live on air about inflation and price hikes and its impact on the living standards of Emiratis. 

But Al Mazroui was mocked by the radio host, Yaqoub Al Awadhi, who was then suspended by Shaikh Ammar Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman and Chairman of the Ajman Executive Council.

After the call, Shaikh Mohammad ordered the provision of all immediate needs of Al Mazrouie and his family, and instruction officials to conduct a detailed study of low-income Emiratis.

Shaikh Mohammad also instructed Hessa Bint Eisa Bu Humaid, Minister of Community Development to present a detailed and urgent report to the UAE Cabinet on all the needs of low-income citizens.

Cabinet approves Dh11b in social assistance

The UAE Cabinet on Sunday approved Dh11 billion in social assistance for all limited income segments for the next three years.

As per the Federal Government’s social assistance plan, a total of Dh3.88 billion was approved as social assistance for the elderly, Dh1.55 billion for Emiratis with financial or health liabilities, Dh1.7 billion for people of determination (people with special needs), Dh2.5 billion for widows and divorcees, while Dh183.9 million was earmarked for assisting the families of prisoners.

The approval came during a Cabinet meeting at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi, chaired by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, were present.

Shaikh Mohammad also ordered appointing Ali Al Mazroui as a social researcher at the Ministry of Community Development, so he can be the voice for different segments and inform the ministry about their needs.

Al Mazroui, an Emirati man, was mocked at during a live radio talk show for complaining about price increases. He was in attendance during the Cabinet meeting, following an invitation that was extended to him by Shaikh Mohammad on Saturday.

Shaikh Mohammad emphasised that meeting the needs of the community, primarily offering social welfare and services, is very important, because it is directly linked to the stability of society and its people, as well as achieving development that paves the way for realising UAE Vision 2021 and UAE Centennial 2071.

Shaikh Mohammad stressed that since the UAE was founded and until today, taking care of Emiratis and serving them has been a key principle in all UAE development programmes and plans. He added that the coming phase will witness an extensive governmental focus on segments with limited income.

“Citizens have always been the UAE Government’s top priority. We have requested the Ministry of Community Development to carry out a field survey, develop long-term plans and come up with urgent solutions for a number of issues,” said Shaikh Mohammad.

In an interview, Al Mazroui appreciated Shaikh Mohammad’s gesture and thanked him for the house and the job he was given. He added that his new role would also enable him to help the community.

“I express my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Shaikh Mohammad for providing me a house and a job,” he said, adding that he also prays for the good health and wellbeing of Shaikh Mohammad.

On Twitter, Dr Anwar Mohammad Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, tweeted: “I was very happy and proud to see Ali Al Mazroui attend the Cabinet meeting, in what is an unprecedented and compassionate gesture. Shaikh Mohammad was briefed on the suffering and addressed it, and these are small details that make the big plans important. Thank you, Shaikh Mohammad, for reaffirming that Emiratis remain the key focus of governmental work.”

The Cabinet also reviewed a report by the Ministry of Community Development on the needs of Emiratis with limited income, which identified six key aspects and needs: Housing and basic needs, transportation, financial support, healthcare, education and a job.

The meeting also touched on methods for surveying and addressing the need for social security to cover all limited income segments. The Cabinet ordered the development of a social security system by reviewing criteria for eligibility, beneficiary segments, the value of social assistance and completing field surveys to come up with long-term plans and serious solutions for a number of issues.

The Cabinet reaffirmed that the government’s ultimate goal is to transition from the provision of social assistance to the empowerment of all segments of society.

The Cabinet also approved the issuance of a Federal Law that regulates the medical profession in the UAE. The law will regulate three medical vocations that include visiting doctors, doctors who reside in the UAE and exceptional doctors.

The law takes into consideration changes concerning the profession, contributes to enhancing the quality of medical care, boosting the positive image of the UAE’s health sector and bolstering its position its position as a destination for medical treatment and services.

The Cabinet also approved a resolution on regulating the marketing of food formulas for infants and young children. The resolution aims to ensure healthy and encourage breastfeeding in the first six months.

The resolution also ensures providing information on the use of natural milk substitutes and children food products in a safe and correct way.