Chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the UAE Government Annual Meetings kicked off today in Abu Dhabi in the presence of more than 500 dignitaries, ministers, and senior officials at the federal and local levels.
In his statement during the inaugural day of the UAE Government Annual Meetings, Sheikh Mohammed said: “The current regional situation requires double efforts to maintain our development and economic momentum.”
He further noted: “Our priorities during the next stage are based on 3 main pillars: maintain the UAE’s economic and development momentum; focus on youth; and promote sustainable projects.”
Sheikh Mohammed affirmed that the UAE Government Annual Meetings epitomise the vision of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to boost the national work ecosystem and lay the foundations of the UAE’s development vision to serve the interests of the country and its people.
In detail, Sheikh Mohammed outlined the three priorities:
1. Sustaining and bolstering the country’s economic and developmental momentum by developing policies and legislation, streamlining procedures, improving services, and launching a new set of incentives
2. Placing greater focus on youth by reinforcing their values and sense of identity, supporting their projects, and creating economic and job opportunities to ensure they thrive; 3. Rethinking developmental projects to ensure greater levels of sustainability and preserve resources and the environment for future generations, by integrating sustainability into the UAE’s policies, laws and future developmental projects.
Executive Councils’ meeting
Also, Sheikh Mansour affirmed that the UAE, under the wise leadership of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, and in line with the directives of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, places citizens as a top priority, and provides all kinds of supports to the vital topics and sectors as core pillars of the society’s growth and advancement.
His statement came during his meeting with the secretaries of the emirates’ Executive Councils, attended by Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs; Maryam Al Hammadi, Minister of State, Secretary-General of the UAE Cabinet; and Rashid Saeed Al Ameri, Under-Secretary for the Government Coordination Sector at the Presidential Court, as part of the UAE Government Annual Meetings
Sheikh Mansour added: “We are keen to strengthen the joint work and cooperation among the Executive Councils of all emirates, in order to accelerate the growth in various sectors, and to coordinate the efforts of the federal and local governments towards reaching the national objectives”.
The attendees also discussed a variety of important topics such as the Emiratisation, investment, legislation system, statistic data and government coordination, being topics of high priority to the country’s leaders, in addition to strengthening federal and local coordination to enhance the UAE’s position as a global economic hub.
Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, attended the UAE Government Annual Meetings. Sheikh Khaled highlighted the importance of these discussion sessions in bringing together all federal and local government entities to identify government priorities and review key updates on government plans and initiatives.
He also attended a discussion session which took place as part of the meetings and highlighted national objectives to export AI applications and systems. The panel discussion featured Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications; and Faisal Al Bannai, Secretary-General of the Advanced Technology Research Council.
Stock of achievements
The first day of the UAE Government Annual Meetings 2023 started with an opening speech for Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, where he addressed the achievements of the UAE in the past period.
He said that 94 percent of the 2023 projects and initiatives within the ‘We the UAE 2031’ were achieved. Also, during this year, the UAE ranked among the top 10 countries in the Soft Power Index, and topped MENA region in Global Food Security Index.
Al Gergawi noted during his session that this year, the UAE became a member of the BRICS group; ranked fourth globally in terms of international tourist spending, with visitors spending Dh224 billion in the country last year; in addition to recording a new remarkable economic achievement, with non-oil foreign trade recording exceptional growth rates by exceeding Dh1.239 trillion with a growth of 14.4 percent.
Maryam Al Hammadi, Minister of State and Secretary-General of the UAE Cabinet, reviewed the most significant changes in the UAE’s legislative system during 2023, noting the completion of 200 specialised decrees and laws over the past three years.
During a main session, Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, and Faisal Al Bannai, Secretary-General of the Advanced Technology Research Council, reviewed the potential of the UAE to become a major player in the global AI market.
Government Excellence Model
Also, the first day’s activities witnessed the launch of the new Government Excellence Model (GEM), which seeks to reduce the time and effort of the authorities and facilitate the steps and requirements of the evaluation process. This came during a session for Marwan Al Zaabi, Director of the Sheikh Khalifa Government Excellence Programme.
Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad bin Nasser Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, discussed during his session a number of transformative projects in the health sector, including a sustainable national early detection system, and a number of primary health services and relevant funding mechanisms.
Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, and Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, noted that the UAE continues its efforts to expand international cooperation in various development and economic sectors, in order to enhance readiness for the future. This came during a session discussing the development of the UAE’s food economic bloc and its contribution to promoting economic growth.
Sheikh Shakhboot bin Nahyan Al Nahyan, Minister of State, discussed during a main session, the most important economic priorities and opportunities through cooperation with the African continent, noting that the UAE under the vision and guidance of its leadership, is building the strongest and fastest growing economic model.
The first day’s agenda also witnessed a session on building an integrated housing complex in partnership with the private sector in record time. During the session, Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, emphasised that cooperation with the private sector aims to develop integrated housing complexes, ensuring lower costs and expedited completion. He noted that the partnership with the private sector will contribute to providing financing solutions that support the issuance of 13,000 housing decisions, worth Dh11.5 billion, until 2026.
Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, reviewed the impact of foreign trade agreements on the national economy and the expansion of the UAE’s trade partners network through the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement programme, which aims to increase the country’s foreign non-oil trade to AED4 trillion by 2031.
During a session entitled ‘How to double GDP by 2031’, Bin Touq said that the Ministry is working continuously with its partners to double the national economy’s GDP, particularly in the sectors of circular economy, agrotechnology, fintech, biotechnology, artificial intelligence and space.