His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, chaired the UAE Cabinet meeting at Qasr Al Watan, Abu Dhabi, today.
The meeting was held in the presence of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of Presidential Court; Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Finance; and Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said: “Today, I chaired the Cabinet meeting in Qasr Al Watan, Abu Dhabi, where we approved the UAE Government Annual Meetings’ Agenda. The meetings will be held on November 7, 2023, in Abu Dhabi, witnessing the participation of ministries, federal authorities and executive councils, in addition to 500 senior officials.”
He added that the Meetings are the largest national forum for decision-makers in the UAE, representing an annual opportunity to evaluate and review our achievements, and set our priorities and objectives to fulfil the aspirations of our people.
Sheikh Mohammed noted: “During the meeting, we approved new housing policies, allowing UAE citizens to replace or resell their houses and transfer mortgage, in addition to approving flexible loans policies for citizens.”
He said that the UAE Cabinet approved a decision organising the export of aquaculture, and a new policy on the integrated management of recyclable materials.
Sheikh Mohammed said: “The UAE Government appointed Thani Al Zeyoudi the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Drug Establisment and Dr Maha Barakat the vice chairman. The new establishment is responsible for regulating and licensing medical, pharmaceutical, agricultural, cosmetics, veterinary products, and bioproducts. In addition, the corporation will establish and manage a national system for tracking and monitoring medical products from factory to consumer.”
He concluded: “We approved an agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding air services. Also, we approved an agreement with the Secretariat General of the Gulf Cooperation Council on the UAE hosting the headquarters of the Gulf Academy for Strategic and Security Studies.”
UAE Government Annual Meetings
Chaired by the President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the UAE Government Annual Meetings will be held between November 7 and 8, 2023, in Abu Dhabi. The meetings will witness the participation of more than 500 dignitaries including heads of UAE executive boards, ministers, and senior officials in the federal and local governments.
The Emirates Drug Establishments
The UAE Government issued a Federal Decree Law establishing the Emirates Drug Establishment. The establishment aims at strengthening the country’s position as a global hub for pharmaceutical and medical industries, promoting research and development in this sector and providing an attractive environment for pharmaceutical investments.
The Board of Directors of the UAE Drug Corporation is chaired by Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi. The Vice-Chairperson of the Board of Directors is Dr Maha Barakat. The independent federal establishment has a legal personality and administrative and financial independence.
The establishment will contribute to enhancing the UAE’s position as a regional and global leading medical and pharmaceutical production destination. Also, it will contribute in enhancing the production and export of high-quality medical and pharmaceutical products, as well as ensuring the availability, quality, effectiveness and safety of these products.
The establishment will be responsible for managing and regulating medical products including: pharmaceutical products, healthcare products, biologics, medical devices, food supplements, cosmetics, veterinary products, fertilizers, pesticides, agricultural additives, plant growth regulators, and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and their products, within the UAE, including the free zones.
Also, the establishment will be responsible for preparing an integrated national framework for pharmaceutical research, clinical and non-clinical studies and trials in accordance with the best international standards and practices. In addition to accrediting the entities and bodies authorized to conduct these researches and experiments, as well as monitoring them and supervising their compliance.
The establishment has the authority to issue licenses and monitor medical product factories and companies, pharmacies and contractual companies supporting the development and manufacturing of medical products, warehouses, marketing offices, blood banks, umbilical cord blood and stem cell storage centers.
The establishment also issues licenses related to medical product’s import, export, re-export, manufacturing, sale, distribution, offering, possession, circulation, storage and disposal. In addition, the establishment will be responsible for monitoring and supervising compliance with the licenses issued, in accordance with the relevant applicable laws, as well as issuing marketing authorizations for medical products and licensing their marketing advertisements.
Also, the establishment will be responsible for developing and supervising the implementation of the national framework for medical products’ testing in all their stages, as well as accrediting, and supervising medical products’ testing laboratories.
The establishment will be responsible for approving and registering medical products, as well as establishing a national pricing system for medical products in the country, and a national system for tracking and monitoring medical products from the manufacturer to the consumer, in addition to developing a pharmacogenomics national database that contributes to producing effective and personalized treatments and medicines.
Also, the Emirates Drug Establishment will be responsible for determining the level of the strategic stockpile of medicine, developing the pharmacovigilance system and supervising its implementation to ensure the quality, efficacy and safety of medical products, as well as proposing financial and non-financial incentives and benefits to attract investments to the pharmaceutical and medical sector in the country.
The Emirates Drug Establishment will develop policies, strategies and legislation related to medical products in the country, in coordination with the Ministry of Health and Prevention and the relevant health authorities, and implement them after the Cabinet's approval. In addition, the establishment will regulate and manage the data pertaining to medical products, in accordance with the highest standards of data protection and security, as to protect the rights of the data owners inside and outside the country.
Housing assistance and Flexible Loan programmes
The UAE Cabinet approved the controls and requirements for housing assistance and mortgage transfer offered by the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme, as part of the UAE’s efforts to provide suitable housing to UAE citizens and their families. The approved controls and requirements allow the beneficiaries of housing assistance to apply for a mortgage transfer from a property to another, through sending their applications to the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure.
The goal is to enable the beneficiary to redeploy the amount of housing assistance and replacing their house with another suitable one. This will also allow beneficiaries to apply for the sale and reconstruction or purchase for new houses.
Also, the Cabinet approved a decision that provides the flexibility to reduce the value of house financing “flexible loan” and in accordance with the financial ability of the beneficiary, within the time period specified in the current system. The decision allows the beneficiary to re-benefit from the reduced house financing difference within a period not exceeding 4 years.
Organising the export of aquaculture
The Cabinet approved a decision on the regulations of the export of aquaculture, the decision includes the categories permitted for export; export controls; and exporting companies. The Cabinet also approved regulations on violations and sanctions of living aquatic resources legislations.
UAE policy for integrated management of recyclable materials
The Cabinet also approved the UAE policy for integrated management of recyclable materials. The policy includes rules on licensing of the facilities operating in the management of recyclable materials, collecting, recycling and exporting recyclable materials. As per the policy, the new list of the recyclable materials includes used tires, electronic waste, plastic waste, used cooking oils, and aluminum dross, to the recycling factories in the country.
Amendments on Public Health, Agricultural and Veterinary Laws
The UAE Cabinet approved amendments on a number of Federal legislations, including the federal decree on Public health, whereby the Ministry of Health and Prevention, in coordination with related health authorities, will be responsible for setting the controls and conditions that ensure full access to health care services in the country.
Also, the ministry will be responsible for regulating the advertising and promotion of products and services, in addition to introducing the Unified Health Concept, a collaborative and multi-sectoral approach that works at the local, regional and global levels. Among the amendments, approving the definition of common disease transmitted from animals to humans, and mechanisms to prevent infectious diseases, including common diseases.
The Cabinet also approved amendments on the Agricultural Quarantine law, which organizes the import, export or transit of agricultural shipments. The amendments aim at strengthening the UAE’s biosecurity, reducing biological risks, protecting agricultural wealth, preventing and reducing plant diseases and pests, as well as reducing pesticides impact on the environment.
Also, the Cabinet approved amendments on Veterinary Quarantine law, defining the conditions for the import of animals and the animal carrier’s obligations. The law defines the evaluation mechanisms for veterinary services, the procedures applicable in the country of export or the country of origin. The approved amendments consist of regulating and controlling the international trade of endangered species of wild fauna and flora, including controls on the import and export, the organization of international trade.
The meeting also approved amendments on the precursor chemicals lists of the federal law on Medical Products, Pharmacy Profession and Pharmaceutical Facilities. The Cabinet approved a specific system for Steel rods in the country, to ensure the quality of products in the local market in accordance with UAE and international standards. In addition to approving a number of regulatory decisions on the services provided by the Ministry of Health and Prevention and the Federal Tax Authority.
Educational policies and initiatives
The UAE Cabinet approved the Education Professional licence Policy at the Emirates Schools Establishment, to promote the level of education across the UAE. The policy aims at developing a framework for implementing the Education Professional licence in the public education institutions, and providing recruitment guidance, training, and promotion procedures associated with the license.
Also, the UAE Cabinet approved the governance, management and operating model of the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Awal School (KBZA) in Abu Dhabi, and the Al Nukhba School in Abu Dhabi, with the aim of developing high-quality mechanisms of management, in accordance with the best international educational practices, in addition to promoting new curricula highlighting the national identity through several educational materials and programs.
The Cabinet reviewed the results of using the UAE Pass in all government transactions, as well as the results of the UAE’s participation in the G20 Summit in India in August 2023, the results of the UAE-South Korea Joint Economic Committee (JEC), and the results of the UAE participation in the Budapest Demographic Summit held in Hungary.
Also, during the meeting the Cabinet approved the recommendations of the Federal National Council regarding the Government's policy on the organization of private higher education; and the economic impact of the legislations on labour market activities.
The Cabinet approved an agreement with the Secretariat General of the Gulf Cooperation Council on the UAE hosting the headquarters of the Gulf Academy for Strategic and Security Studies, in addition to approving hosting the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) 2026 Annual Meeting and Business Forum. During the meeting, the Cabinet has approved an agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding air services.