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UAE has its own development formula: Hamdan

posted on 01/12/2008: 1717 views

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, made the following statement to Dir Al Watan magazine on the occasion of the UAE's 37th national day.

'We proudly celebrate the 37th Anniversary of the UAE National Day, an occasion which gives us more determination and strength to achieve our goals inspired by the ideals, values and principles of the founding fathers: the Late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the Late Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum (may their souls rest in peace) and the Rulers of the Emirates who took the historic decision to establish the UAE Federation on solid foundations which has given great momentum to the process of sustainable development of the country and its human resources.

'This was followed up by excellent leaders whose farsightedness recognized the requirements of globalization and directed the real national economy towards building stronger foundations for the process of sustainable development.

'They laid out ambitious development plans within a time frame and worked adamantly to develop the human resources who are armed with knowledge and science.

'In fact, that is the formula which yielded strong sustainable growth rates in the UAE.

President H.H Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has laid out a roadmap by saying that the real success of UAE's development plans is measured by their ability to bolster human capabilities and to enable people to lead lives characterized with more safety, respect and more sharing and giving in a risk and threat-free environment.

'Sheikh Khalifa's keen interest in providing a dignified life for citizens is clearly reflected in his directions to increase public servants' salaries at the beginning of the current year. That truly reflects the close affinity between the leadership and the people and indicates the wise leadership's prioritization and promotion of the interests and standard of living of citizens who are the real foundation of development.

Economically, the UAE has boosted community development and approved balanced plans yielding record growth rates. Despite the fact that the UAE has only 1.5% of the total population of Arab countries, it has the second biggest GDP among Arab countries. The UAE's GDP accounted for 14% of the total Arab GDP in 2007, up from 9% in 2005. This percentage is projected to rise to 20% by 2015.

'The process of development in the UAE has seen record growth rates. The country's GDP grew by 15% over the period 1972-2005 surging from AED 642 billion in 2006 to AED 751 billion in 2007 (more than 17% growth). Between 2000 and 2007, the economic annual growth rate went up to over 16%. The per capita income in the UAE more than doubled rising from AED 167000 in 2007 compared with 81,000 dirhams in 2000 (11% annual growth rate).The GDP per capita in UAE was 8 times bigger than in other Arab countries in 2007 and before the salary hike early 2008.

'The amount of money the UAE spent on development projects is true demonstration of its unwavering commitment to comprehensive development. Between 1972 and 2007, spending on development surged over 86 times (more than 15% annual growth) while development plans increased by 23% annually in 2007.

'Recently the cabinet announced the budget for the fiscal year 2009. The Dh 42.2 billion budget, the largest in the history of UAE, is up from the Dh34.9 billion budget for 2008, recording a substantial increase of 21%. In 2009, 74% (or Dh31.3 billion of the budget) will be spent on social services, security and justice 35.8 per cent on justice and security.

'The development and promotion of education receives unprecedented boost from the UAE government which spent 2% of the country's GDP. The number of students increased by 7.3% in the academic year 2006-2007, one of the highest growth rate in the world. The government's efforts to promote education has decreased illiteracy from 57% in 1975 to 8% in 2008, one of the fastest rates in the world.

The government allocated more than Dh10 billion for education in the year 2009 (24% of the budget), recoding an increase by Dh637 (or 7% growth rate).

Health services will receive more than Dh2.6 billion in 2009 (6.3% of the 2009 federal budget). The Health Ministry is working on putting the health insurance law nationwide to improve the quality services. Development of health services, which receive 3.7% of the GDP annually, has increased the life expectancy to 78.5 years. The number of doctors goes up by 10% annually while the number of hospital beds increases by 7% annually.

'The UAE leadership has been keenly interested in and very supportive of empowering women. UAE women's political, economic and social participation has now become stronger. UAE now has women ministers, judges, ambassadors and investors. Moreover, 23% of members of the Federal National Council are women. Women now account for 66% of jobs with the governmental departments and 30% of jobs at the decision making level. Females now account for 77% of higher education students.

'The UAE government set up training departments and institutes to further develop women's capabilities and boost their participation in the workforce, the process of development as well as in solutions to the problem of demographic imbalance. Almost all mathematics post-graduate students at universities are females.

The UAE has become closely connected with the global system after joining the World Trade Organization in 1996. Upon that, the UAE government freed markets and capitals and constructed a state-of-the-art telecommunications and transport infrastructure. This contributed to making the UAE a destination for prominent thinkers and experts from around the world who are brought together by conferences and meetings which turned the country into a regional and global centre for generating knowledge and new ideas.

'Taking advantage of these developments, the UAE has launched the e-government and enacted legislations and laws and created incentives that made the country a favourite destination for investors and capitals from around the world.

'Transparency International's report has stressed on the integrity of the UAE's economic trends and ranked it first among Arab countries and 31st globally in combating corruption.

'In a recent survey by Nielsen Media Research, the UAE ranked the third most optimistic nation in the latest Nielsen Consumer Confidence Index, moving up from its previous fourth position ranking six months ago. The UAE has maintained this confidence while most of the world struggles in the wake of a global economic slowdown.

'Out of its ethical and humanitarian commitment to helping sisterly, friendly and developing countries, the UAE has spared no efforts to provide a total of Dh 257 grants, aid and loans to 119 countries. The aid is being channelled to beneficiaries via the UAE's humanitarian foundations, namely the Zayed Foundation, Red Crescent Authority (RCA), the Khalifa bin Zayed Charitable Foundation, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charity and Humanitarian Foundation (MBRCF) and Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.

'The UAE maintains its leading place in the field of humanitarian relief to victims of natural disasters and conflicts around the world.

'Based on our reliance on Allah and our confidence in the wise leadership and out of our determination that is founded on our values and faith, we vow to double efforts to make more excellent achievements, further push the march of development and prosperity and protect the achievements of the Federation.

'I would like to take this occasion to congratulate President H.H Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and their brethren Members of the Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates, H.H General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and the people of the UAE.

'May Allah protect our country and bless it with stability and security, protect or leadership and help them boost the march of comprehensive development to make more achievements and realize the ambitions of our people.


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