UAE National DAY: Khalifa unveils 10,000 house plan/Mohammed pledges to take the UAE to the ranks of developed countries

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The United Arab Emirates were formed on December 2, 1971, when the UK’s treaty expired and the separate sheikdoms decided to form an independent union. At first the UAE was a federation of six emirates - Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Umm Al Quwain, Sharjah, Fujairah and Ajman. The emirate of Ras Al Khaimah was added a year later.

To celebrate the UAE’s 41st National Day, the Government of Dubai has planned a wide range of family activities and festive performances, including shows, children’s attractions, a downtown parade and much more, at shopping malls, parks and other venues around town.

In a gift to his people on the UAE glorious national day, President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan announce on Saturday, the launch of a new housing programme that aims to build 10,000 housing units throughout all regions of the emirates.

“It is our belief that housing forms the basis of psychological, social and economic stability for local families and so it is within our constant remit to provide a suitable lifestyle for all our citizens.

The Follow-up Committee, formed by our direct order, will immediately co-ordinate with the federal and local authorities concerned in order to speed up this project’s implementation. It will achieve its goals by creating conditions that will help members of our community to flourish in a healthy family environment,” the President said in his address to the nation on the occasion of the UAE’s 41st national day.

Shaikh Khalifa also gave instructions for developing the abilities of the young workforce.

“We directed that a committee be established, under the direct supervision of the Cabinet. One of its main responsibilities is that of Emiratisation in both the public and private sectors, through enactment of the laws that guarantee jobs for citizens. The Committee will also be responsible for encouraging co-operation with the private sector to train Emiratis and provide them with the knowledge and experience they need, thereby increasing employment opportunities for the national cadre.”

“December 2, which we celebrate today as the 41st National Day, marks a great occasion on which to enhance the culture of citizenry, deepen our love for our nation, confirm our enduring loyalty and strengthen cohesion and communication between the people and its leadership.

Politically, Shaikh Khalifa affirmed:” We shall proceed with the gradual approach that we have chosen to broaden the basis for popular participation in decision-making. We shall continue our efforts to reach a viable political model that reflects our realities and play in harmony with the nature of our own society. Yet, such a model should be compatible with the level of advancement that we have made so far in terms of economic progress, and urban, civil and human development. We feel deeply satisfied with the country’s level of achievements, and shall thus remain confident about the promising prospects of a bright future for our citizens.

He noted the UAE political model will be truly nationalistic, preserving national identity and protecting established principles. “It is a model to which all of our fellow citizens and national institutions shall contribute, especially our national elite. Our intellectuals, creative men and women, scientists, teachers, artists, engineers and doctors are the true treasure of our nation, and their role in mobilising the capabilities of our people is indispensable.

Mohammed pledges to take the UAE to the ranks of developed countries

On the UAE’s 41st National Day, His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, pledged to move forward, taking the UAE to the ranks of the developed countries and further beyond.

 “Together we celebrate today the auspices occasion of our national day as we did commemorate it over the last forty-one years, because we want this dear occasion to perpetuate in the history of our people and take roots in the minds and hearts of our citizens and in the national culture so that it can be inherited by generations after generations,” Shaikh Mohammed said in a statement to the Dira’a Al Watan magazine on the UAE’s 41st National Day.

“We will safeguard the symbols of communication between this deep-rooted past and the vibrant present as well as the promising future, which we, as leaders, are working to draw and build for the benefit of the present and coming generations. We do this through the construction of the scientific, educational and health facilities, as well as everything that will ensure opportunities of education, safe work and welfare for our citizens, especially the younger generation. It is on them we rely in the process of development and modernisation through their active participation.

The challenges faced by the process of building a modern state, he recalled, were many and complex. “But our founding leaders, who were led by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the late Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum, were able to meet those challenges and overcome them with determination, persistence and good intentions until we got this welfare, civilization, economic and political stability and social security.

“Today, under the leadership of my brother His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of UAE and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, we shoulder this great inheritance, which we cherish and glorify its national and humanitarian achievements. We preserve it, because it is our national identity that we have to protect and uphold. It is with this identity that we build bridges of communication between ours and other cultures in order to build a humane partnership between our people and the peoples of the world based on mutual understanding, dialogue and coexistence and empathy,” he added.


UAE - A unique model in national cohesion and unprecedented achievements

(Wam) / 30 November 2012

ABU DHABI -- On 2nd December 2012, the United Arab Emirates, celebrates its 41st National Day with great zeal and fervor, while advancing steadfastly and confidently on its path for more prosperity, unprecedented development and achievements in all spheres of life.


The construction phase in the development story of the UAE, began with the wisdom, patience, loyalty and generosity of the founding father, the late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

The President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, last year on the occasion of country’s 40th National Day paid rich tributes to the founding fathers and stressed that the achievements the UAE has made had catapulted the country into the ranks of advanced nations, thanks to the sincere and tireless efforts spearheaded by the late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his fellow founding fathers, who toiled in silence to initiate a march whose aims fit with our genuine national values and principles.

Shaikh Khalifa said “This Union that is with us today in terms of political achievement and socio-economic reality was neither a gift or a grant nor an easy achievement. Rather, it was the fruit of a good tree planted by our fathers who dreamed of the idea with hope, took care of it with their dedication to raise the flag of the Union as high as they could and strengthened its pillars. They are really the spirit of the Union; from their life and history, generations will draw lessons and will continue to carry the responsibility under the eyes of a glorious nation that takes pride in its past, its giving present and promising future”.

The federal march then continued with the leadership of His Highness Shaikh Khalifa, who launched, with his wise vision and inimitable leadership experience, the empowerment stage in all political, economic, social, scientific and cultural fields.

On another occasion Shaikh Khalifa, at the opening of the Second Ordinary Session of the 15th Legislative Chapter of the Federal National Council on November 6, this year, stressed: “The convening of the new session of the Council coincides with the dedicated efforts of our citizens in the march of achieving the UAE Vision 2021 fortified with determination and design, and inspired by the legacy of our fathers and grandfathers, and relying on a comprehensive program for national action and integrated strategic plan of the Federal Government.”

Noting that the role of the FNC had already developed since the launching of a gradualist programme of political empowerment in 2005, particularly since the holding of a second round of elections for the Council’s members in 2011, the President told the FNC: “Your membership in this Council is a great trust and responsibility. Governance here belongs to those who have bestowed their trust on you”. “So be solicitous to maintain your eligibility to have received this trust and be committed to the interests of the country and the citizens.”

Members must work, he said, to protect the bonds that link all segments of UAE society, “In our quest to entrench the culture of consultation and participation in decision-making, as well as to emphasize the importance of individual opinions in formulating the opinion of the society.”

Unique model for national cohesion

The 40th National Day celebrations last year, embodied the slogan (Spirit of the Union) and established values of loyalty and mutual love between the leadership and the people. Meanwhile, the 41st National day adds deeper dimension and proves that the outstanding Federal march is no longer a pioneering experiment only in unity, but has become a unique model in the national cohesion and positive interaction binding UAE’s leadership and its citizens and unite them in order to build a bright future.

While attending the meeting of the Federal Supreme Council of the Rulers of Emirates on December 2nd, 2011, President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa, and Their Highnesses, Members of Supreme Council, Rulers of Emirates, reiterated that the achievements scored by the UAE over the last 40 years were fruits of the strenuous and sincere work by Emiratis. “The contribution of UAE people to building their country will always be highly appreciated”.

Their Highnesses, Members of Supreme Council also welcomed the decree issued by the UAE President on establishment of the “Head of State Merit Award,” adding that this initiative will have a very positive impact regarding honouring of all who work and contribute to the nation-building.

They paid tributes to the founding fathers who had shouldered the historic responsibilities to build the Union, stressing that the role of those founders and others who had worked with them “represents a national role model to current and coming generations”.

Shaikh Khalifa highlighted “Our State, is classified today as one of the best states, in terms of the efficiency of services and public policies and in terms of the government credibility towards the community, and counted among the most stable and secured countries”.

Embodying the spirit of the union

On the occasion of the 40th national day celebrations, Shaikh Khalifa, on November 30, 2011, issued a number of decrees within the framework of his keenness to achieve welfare of the citizens and help them get their ambitions in a stable and comfortable life.

He issued a decree to increase salaries of all federal government employees with effect from January 2012.

In the framework of his concern and interest to provide a better life to his citizens, Shaikh Khalifa ordered the establishment of a fund with a capital of AED 10 billion to examine and address the loans of citizens with limited income and settling their personal loans in coordination with the Central Bank and creditor banks in the state.

He also ordered an increase of 20 percent of the allocation of social benefits to some cases that receive subsidies from the Ministry of Social Affairs.

The President also issued an order to the ministries, government departments and competent authorities to treat children of Emirati women married to foreigners equally like citizens. It also granted the sons of Emirati women, the right to apply for the UAE nationality at the age of 18.

Another decree was issued to allocate 2,500 residential plots to citizens in the emirate of Abu Dhabi

in the framework of his keenness to provide adequate housing for citizens and to achieve social stability and a secure future for themselves and their families.

Shaikh Khalifa issued another federal decree establishing an annual award, entitled “Head of State’s Merit Award” in the form of a medal and financial reward and is aimed at supporting the spirit of the Union, values of giving and national cohesion by honoring loyal people with outstanding and creative contributions that will enhance the country’s stature at all local, regional and international levels.

Executive business strategies.

The United Arab Emirates adopted a new approach in the executive performance based on specific business strategies with clear goals and objectives in the framework of its commitment to keep up with the challenges and requirements of the new millennium.

In this context, President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan launched new strategies to enhance political empowerment plans and programs, particularly the future strategy with setting its goals in the mobilization of resources and energies, its approach of cooperation and coordination between all that is federal and local, as well as updating the decision-making mechanisms and raising the efficiency of government entities and their effectiveness.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched on February 28, 2010, the second round of federal government strategy (2011-2013).

The strategy consists of seven general principles and seven priorities focusing on the core areas of government work and performance.

The strategy top priority is to provide the highest levels of prosperity and a decent life for citizens, by upgrading the education and health care systems and focus on social development and the improvement of governmental services so as to enhance UAE stature worldwide.

Moreover, Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid launched in 2007, the first strategy of the UAE government documenting for the first time, the institutional government action and is working on developing and improving the executive performance on scientific grounds.

The strategy’s objectives focused mainly on achieving sustainable and balanced development and ensuring prosperity for citizens along with establishing a new phase of government action keeping pace with economic changes and focusing on best practices in order to achieve prosperity, on one hand, and enhance UAE stature, regionally and globally, on the other hand.

Shaikh Mohammed also announced on February 6, 2010, the launch of the UAE National Historic Charter for year 2021, coinciding with the country’s golden jubilee anniversary under the theme: “We want to be one of the best countries in the world”.

He specified four main components of the national charter: firstly, ambitious confident people, who stick to their heritage, secondly, strong union with common destiny, thirdly, competitive economy led by UAE nationals characterized with innovation and knowledge, and fourthly high quality life endowed with sustainable environment.

UAE’s Vice President also stressed, during the Cabinet meeting held on September 11, 2011, that education and Emiratisation are two key priorities in the work of the government. They also represent a national responsibility that calls for synergizing and integrating all national initiatives for achieving the aspirations of the people of the UAE and ensuring their welfare and decent living.

During the same meeting, the cabinet approved UAE’s education agenda until 2020 and the three-year strategy of the National Human Resources Development and Employment Authority (Tanmia) for 2011-2013.

The education agenda adopted by the cabinet is based on five fundamental themes that focus upon the betterment of student achievement, development of the school environment, guaranteeing of equal educational opportunities for all students, programmes for promoting patriotism among students and enhancement of administrative efficiency and effectiveness in the Ministry of Education.

The strategy sets specific goals for reducing unemployment among the citizens and rolls out plans for continuous training and empowerment of the local workforce to enable them for job relocation and actual participation in the job market by filling jobs in the private sector.

The Cabinet also approved, on February 27, 2012, the Federal E-government plan until the year 2014, aiming at raising the level of electronic transformation in government services and establishing advanced electronic infrastructure along with providing appropriate legislative, organizational and legal infrastructure to provide advanced electronic services.

In this regard, Shaikh Mohammed confirmed that goal in the coming period, is focused on completing the conversion of all government services to electronic services within two years.

UAE as a safe haven for expatriates

The UAE hosts millions of expatriates from around two hundred nationalities from six continents. They and their families enjoy good living standards, security and stability as well as full rights governed by strict laws which regulate labour relations.

They also enjoy freedom to worship and to perform their religious rituals freely and safely. The effective laws guarantee their right to transfer savings to their families in their home countries. Foreigners working in the UAE are estimated to have remitted AED 41.2 billion to their home countries in 2011, compared with AED 38.8 in 2010.

In comments made on 29 October 2012, Minister of Labour Saqr Ghobash said: “ In the UAE, human rights in general, and workers’ rights in particular, are closely monitored by the leadership to preserve human rights and dignity in conformity with the UAE values and national legislation applied to citizens and residents without discrimination. Hence, the UAE has become a magnet for different nationalities.”

Ghobash noted that the situation in the labour market is governed by legislation and policies that provide protection for workers and ensure at the same time the legitimate interests of employers.

He noted that several reports had been issued by organisations concerned with labour affairs, notably, the International Labour Organisation, which had praised several initiatives being implemented by the labour market in the UAE. Amongst initiatives taken, t he minister cited the Wages Protection System (WPS), which has become an innovative model for Arab, region and international levels to ensure workers receive their wages on time.

He also noted the introduction of the right of workers to change their jobs, based on the provisions of their contracts and on regulations governing labour market. Workers, he said, have the right to litigate while the Ministry of Labour allows workers to lodge complaints against employers at the competent labour courts in case parties fail to settle a case amicably. Many cases, he added, are settled in favour of the workers.

He said the UAE had introduced a package of measures and policies to assist labour-exporting countries in protecting their workers, prior to coming to the UAE to work, from any exploitation and illegal practices such as having to paying to recruitment agencies for job listings and opportunities. These measures were taken in consistence with the Ministerial Consultation on Overseas Employment and Contractual Labour for Countries of Origin and Destination in Asia, better known as the “Abu Dhabi Dialogue.”

In 2008, the UAE took the ground-breaking step of hosting the inaugural Ministerial Consultation between Asian destination countries and Colombo Process countries in Abu Dhabi to discuss a comprehensive approach to managing the entire cycle of temporary contractual work that fosters the common interests of countries of origin and destination.

Etihad Rail and Dubai Metro

Etihad Rail, the master developer and operator for the UAE’s national railway network established in 2009, recently issued invitations to tender for the first three contracts for phase two of the network. Construction is scheduled to begin early in 2013.

The invitations are for contracts covering the design and build of new lines between Ruwais and Ghweifat (137 kilometres), Liwa Junction and Al Ain (190km), as well as for the railway integration and systems contract, covering signalling, communications and commissioning, for phase two of the network.

Etihad Rail will eventually connect industrial and urban areas throughout the country and will be linked to other GCC countries through Al Ain, for Oman, and Ghweifat, for Saudi Arabia and other GCC states.

The Dubai Metro is a driverless, fully automated metro rail network in the city of Dubai. The Red Line and Green Line are operational, with three further lines planned. These first two lines run underground in the city centre and on elevated viaducts elsewhere. All trains and stations are air-conditioned with platform-edge doors. The Dubai Metro is the first urban train network in the Arabian Peninsula .

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