His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, chairing the Cabinet meeting in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Also present are Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan (left), Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court, and Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs Image Credit: X/@HHShkMohd

Abu Dhabi: The UAE on Wednesday announced a 10-year Blue residency visa for individuals who have made exceptional efforts and contributions to protecting the environment.

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This was approved by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as he chaired the Cabinet meeting at Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi. He said the move comes in line with implementing the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who had announced 2024 as the Year of Sustainability.

The Blue visa will be granted to individuals championing sustainability and the use of modern technologies in promoting the circular economy, and other relevant fields.

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Sheikh Mohammed said the sustainability of our economy has become linked to the sustainability of our environment, and our national directions in this area are clear and consistent.

Youth agenda

He also approved the National Youth Agenda, among several initiatives, instructing the Minister of Youth to prioritise five key areas: empowering youth economically, developing their scientific skills, reinforcing their national identity, enhancing their community contributions, and activating their role in representing their country on the international stage.

CEO of Artificial Intelligence

The Cabinet has approved the introduction of the post of CEO of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in all major federal entities, in line with the UAE's strategy to strengthen its position in AI.

“Today, we approved the introduction of the CEO of Artificial Intelligence role in all major federal entities, as part of the UAE’s strategy to solidify its position in the field of artificial intelligence,” the Vice President said.

The initiative aims to facilitate the integration of AI tools within these institutions, further advancing the transition toward a new era driven by cutting-edge technologies across federal entities.

University rankings

The Cabinet also endorsed a new framework for categorising higher education institutions across the nation. The forthcoming national rankings will assess over 70 higher education establishments based on the quality of their education, the employability of their graduates, the strength of their scientific research, and their collaborations with international scientific institutions.

The unveiling of these university rankings marks a significant stride in elevating the calibre of our higher education system and fostering transparency. It empowers families to make informed decisions, selecting the most suitable and exemplary educational pathways for their children,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

“During the meeting, we were updated on recent advancements in our national space sector, with our national cadres now comprising 38 per cent of personnel engaged in global space projects. Additionally, expenditure on space research has seen a 14 per cent increase."

"Our commitment remains steadfast in guiding our youth towards promising and pioneering sectors while safeguarding our environment and adopting leading international technologies within our government. Concurrently, we are dedicated to enhancing our higher education systems, ensuring a brighter future for our youth,” Sheikh Mohammed added.