Dubai: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has assured citizens and residents that the community will come out stronger after the coronavirus pandemic.
On Wednesday, Sheikh Mohammed carried out meetings with ambassadors and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) to review the country’s diplomatic missions overseas amid the ongoing global efforts to combat the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.
In a series of tweets, Sheikh Mohammed’s message to the world explained how the UAE has risen to the challenge to ensure the health and safety of all.
“Our message to the international community: We are now stronger as a community, unified and cooperative. After this pandemic, the world needs new health, economic and political cooperation systems. We must keep pace with events that can paralyze the world in weeks.”
During the meeting, Sheikh Mohammed reviewed the precautionary measures taken by the country’s embassies and consulates worldwide to ensure safety of citizens in host countries and facilitate communication channels to meet their needs during their stay out of the country.
“Most of our students and citizens abroad have smoothly returned to the UAE. Those who remain for exceptional circumstances receive continuous care. Our domestic and foreign teams are strong. Caring for our citizens at home/abroad will remain a subject of great attention.”
He also followed up on the role of UAE’s diplomatic missions in providing the necessary support to global communities, reflecting the UAE’s humanitarian approach of aiding people across the world irrespective of race, colour, religion or political stance.
“I held a meeting with [Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation], some of our ambassadors and the MoFAIC UAE Operations Room. Our diplomats have risen to the challenge, demonstrating high efficiency, in terms of preempting and preparing for all scenarios. Our nation fully appreciates their efforts.”
Sheikh Mohammed also said: “We appreciate the efforts of our Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and our diplomats overseas. Our message to the world, through our ambassadors, is that we support any common global efforts to alleviate the pandemic’s health and economic impact on humanity.”
Praising the efforts of UAE envoys, Sheikh Mohammed said, “We are proud of our diplomats who showed exceptional efficiency, and we urge them to take care of themselves, their families and work teams across the world.”
“The proactive and quick measures taken by Sheikh Abdullah and our ambassadors demonstrated our readiness for any circumstances,” noting that, “the UAE works as one team locally and abroad, and our citizens remain our top priority wherever they are. The crisis showed the competence and potential of our citizens.”
He reaffirmed that “a majority of our students and citizens have returned to the UAE with ease and efficiency. Those who remained abroad for exceptional reasons are receiving the necessary support.”
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation’s operations centre has played a vital role in reducing the pandemic’s impact by providing logistical support to evacuate citizens overseas and ensure their safe return to the UAE.
Besides overseeing and planning evacuations, the operations centre coordinates with embassies to evacuate their citizens from the UAE back to their countries at their request.
From the start of the outbreak to the end of March, 1,743 citizens have been returned to the UAE through 39 evacuation plans.
The ministry’s operations centre is run by 12-15 people around the clock to primarily support citizens abroad in any crisis or emergency.