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UAE keeps abreast with developed world

posted on 23/11/2009: 1556 views

"Our efforts and strategic plans are synchronised to turn the UAE into the regional hub of the world economy through taking pioneer steps in the investment, industrial, technology and scientific fields", said UAE President HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

He added that the position occupied by the UAE on the international economic map was not temporary or surprising, nor born out of a certain economic circumstance, but "a fruit of perseverance at the local and federal levels".

Sheikh Khalifa said in a statement while attending the Abu Dhabi World Prix Formula One 2009, that the huge projects in the UAE boost the status of the country and spur tourism and trade in the country in particular and the region in general.

He added that "the huge tourist and cultural projects we see today in the UAE at Yas Marina Circuit are part of the investments achieved by the UAE, adding that Yas Island projects include tourism, sports, property and entertainment premises."They reflect the UAE's policy of diversification in the economic activities".

Sheikh Khalifa underscored that the UAE was keen to further boost opportunities of partnership and joint investment cooperation with world major companies at all levels.

He noted that the event heightens ambition of the UAE to become a regional centre for wooing diversified investments, adding that the UAE possess huge potentials to boost this strategy in the areas of trade, industry, renewable energy, tourism and other sectors. The trade, investment and economic data show the UAE economy has recovered from the repercussions of the World Financial Crisis.

The wise balanced policies of the UAE leadership, the country's strategic location and strong economy have made it hub of the world economic, investment and cultural institutions. The country has also become a destination for millions of tourists worldwide, as well as an international venue for hosting huge exhibitions in the region.

As the UAE scored distinguished huge developmental successes over the last decades, it is currently overcoming the current World Financial Crisis through adoption of the economic diversification strategy.

On his part, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, stressed the success of the UAE on overcoming the global financial crunch, indicating that "Dubai will follow its developmental projects and observe its financial commitments in the next periods, and will remain as financial and trade capital of the Middle East".

Addressing the businesspersons' forum held recently in Dubai, he underlined that the worst repercussions of the World Financial Crisis have gone despite their transient effects, which would not deter Dubai developmental endeavours, nor move it away from its effective role in the global economy.

Sheikh Mohammed highlighted the significance of infrastructure, location of Dubai emirate, which owns of the sixth largest airport in the world and the sixth largest port in the world and the largest port in the Middle East. He noted that those successes made Dubai an exemplary of the world investment community, capable of storming the markets in a large region inhabited by over two billion people.

About the property market, which experienced boom over six years, he continued that the property market was not sole player for the emirate's economy, adding that "it is injustice to reduce the Dubai experience to the real estate projects as the Dubai development success story is large, deep and diversified in regard to the strategy". He added that the success of Dubai is an extension to Abu Dhabi and other emirates as well.

Sheikh Mohammed underscored that the relations between Abu Dhabi and Dubai should not be negotiable as the two emirates are one family. "There is no Dubai and Abu Dhabi, we are one. He who does not understand should investigate before talking. We back each other whenever necessary.

The Federal National Council (FNC) initiated democracy for the first time, following the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to empower the UAE national women by allowing them to contest in the free parliamentary elections.

In his first inaugural speech to the FNC in 2007, following the elections, Sheikh Khalifa called on the FNC to introduce new ideas to upgrade the institutional work, enhance efficiency of the executive and judicial authorities and boost exercise of the transparency and accountability, as well as rights and freedoms.

The FNC includes 40 members of parliament, of whom 9 are women, representing about 25 per cent of the MPs. The election of women to the FNC was a qualitative shift as they become part of the decision making on equal footing with their male partners.

The UAE government has adopted the field visit course as Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, made himself as a role model through paying the field visits to oversee work in the field and ensure service were being rendered to the public.

In regard to the UAE foreign policy, UAE Foreign Minister HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has recently outlined the features of the UAE foreign policy in his speech before United Nations. He underscored that the huge challenges facing the international community necessitate effective review of the UN Charter, provisions of the international law and regulating the relations among the nations based on justice and joint interest to realise peace, security and prosperity.

"The expected change should not be confined to normal tactics, but it has to touch essential policies and essence of the international relations, where wisdom, force and law are balanced to create an environment in which humanity will live in dignity, security and peace without conflicts, segregation and no civilisation clash", he added.

The UAE minister stressed that his country was proud about the international community decision to select Masdar City in Abu Dhabi as headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena), pledging that the UAE would avail all technical facilities to make the work of Irena a success.

Sheikh Abdullah underlined that the peaceful nuclear energy programme would meet growing future needs, indicating that the project is based on transparency, safety and non proliferation in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency and responsible countries with expertise in this respect.

The UAE minister said the Human Rights Commission endorsed in Geneva in December the UAE report on human rights. He noted that the UAE protects the expatriate workforce in accordance with its constitution and as per measures of the International Labour Organisation, adding that a number of regulations have been so far ratified to further strengthen the protection.

The UAE activated the regional cooperation with group of Asian countries, which export labour, or countries considering to export labour to the UAE, to ensure provision of labour protection conditions in all phases of contracting.

The UAE has diplomatic ties with over 150 countries and cooperate with them in the political, trade and cultural relations. The UAE has been building strong Gulf, Arab and international ties through supporting the Arab issues, notably, the Palestinian problem, being the axis of joint Arab work.

The UAE has adopted the dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the regional and international problems. That was highlighted in the rounds of visits paid by UAE Foreign minister to a number of world countries, where he held talks and struck bilateral cooperation agreements.

On Iran issue, the UAE has set a clear course to resolve its problem with Iran over occupation of the three islands: Tunb Greater, Tunb Lesser and Abu Mouse Islands; that is, to settle the issue through the international arbitration. The UAE has been calling on Iran in many occasions for dialogue or refer the issue to the international arbitration to settle the islands issue.

The UAE President announced in many occasions that he was hoping that the Iranian leadership would respond to the UAE demands over the Islands through relinquishing the Islands to the right owners, pledging that the UAE would respect a verdict of the International Court of Justice.

On the Arab level, the UAE has good relations with the Arab countries as it always offers material and moral support to the sisterly and friendly countries. The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and charity organisations, have provided the developmental assistance and relief aid to the needy countries and areas hit by the natural calamities.

About the GCC relations, the UAE enjoys strong relations with the GCC countries as meetings are frequently held whether at the GCC or bilateral level.

On the Palestinian issue, the UAE strongly supports the Palestinian issue and fully backs setting up of an independent Palestinian State in Palestine with return of the refugees. The UAE has been providing support to the Palestinians, which touched over the last two years over $1billion. It supports the Palestinians through the Red Crescent Authority and other UAE charity organisations. The UAE built schools, hospitals and residential units for the needy families.

On the unification of the UAE Armed Forces, it was taken to assert the federation and show the determination of the leadership to protect the country and its gains and interests. After the unification, the UAE Armed Forces was updated and armed well to boost its efficiency in all the military fields.

The UAE President said that the unification decision was not directed against anyone, but a step to complement building of the federation institutions and to safeguard the country from wars and catastrophes.

The UAE Armed Forces has built different military institutions and schools to train and rehabilitate the youth in different military sciences.

With unlimited support from HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, the UAE Armed Forces recruited women to serve the country.

The UAE national woman proved as testified by HH General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces that they proved their capability to belong to the Army in regard to their high sense of duty and self denial.

The UAE Armed Forces has been playing pivotal role in organisation and supervision of exhibitions in favour of national economy.

The role of the UAE Armed Forces also extends to humanitarian missions. It participated in Iraq, Lebanon, Kosovo, Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The UAE economy recorded a growth of 7.4 per cent in 2008. Preliminary data issued by the Central Statistics Department of the Economy Ministry indicates that the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at fixed price amounted to 535.6 billion dirham in 2008, representing a growth rate of 7.4 per cent, against Dh498.7 billion, and a growth rate of 5.2 per cent in 2007, whereas the GDP at current price totalled to about Dh929.4 billion in 2008 over Dh729.7 billion in 2007.

H.E. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, said preliminary indicators of UAE economic performance during 2008, showed that the effect of the international financial crisis on aggregate constituents of the national economy was relative and minimal.

He asserted that the national economy's blanket and the fast effective actions taken by the government have assisted, to greater extent, certain economic sectors to regain balance, following the direct difficulties they encountered as a result of the international financial crisis. Those sectors include construction, real estate, financial services and oil sectors.

He noted that the effective actions being adopted have helped as well to guide some of these sectors into curative and disciplinary processes which may be beneficial in the long run.

He added that the performance of the national economy for 2008 had passed through two stages prior and after the financial crisis.

"The national economy, prior to the crisis has completed its accelerated growth, supported by high growth rates of oil prices, as the price of oil barrel has reached about 147 dollar in July 2008, and hence went through recess and reached its lowest level of 38.6 dollar in December 2008," he said.

"Preliminary data issued by the Central Statistics Department of the ministry, indicated that total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at fixed price amounted to Dh535.6 billion in 2008, at a growth rate of 7.4 per cent against Dh498.7 billion, and a growth rate of 5.2 per cent in 2007, whereas the GDP at current price totalled to about Dh929.4 billion in 2008 over 729.7 billion dirham in 2007," he added.

He pointed out that a number of factors had contributed to realization of the GDP growth, top on the list is oil price hike, as average price of oil per barrel was estimated at about 94.5 dollar in 2008, compared to an average price of about 69.1 dollar per barrel in 2007, which represents an increase of 36.8 per cent. This had positively reflected on the growth of total GDP for 2008.

Industrial sector posts Dh100 billion in revenues The industrial sector in the UAE has witnessed a significant growth with the increase in the number of industrial facilities and the industrial investments made by the country, in partnership with leading international players.

The industrial sector contributed Dh94.5 billion, or 22 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Investments in the sector rose from Dh44 billion in 2003 to Dh83 billion in 2008, while the number of manufacturing facilities went up from 2,795 to 4,000 within the same period.

Foreign trade soars:

The volume of the UAE's non-oil foreign trade increased by 174.9 per cent in 2008 to $215 billion (Dh789.8 million in 2008 from $78 billion in 2004. 'The value of non-oil exports (exports and re-exports) rose by 35.6 per cent in 2008 compared to 2007, while UAE imports surged by 45.7 per cent, driven by several factors including the population increase, growing consumer consumption and rise in the flow of tourists,' the study said. The non-oil foreign trade rose from $151 billion in 2007 to $215 billion in 2008 with an increase of 35 per cent.

According to a study by the Ministry of Foreign Trade, mining, electronics, mechanical and artistic products dominated 71.3 per cent of the total foreign trade over the period under review.

Central Bank:

The Central Bank's net profits edged up by around 1.4 per cent in 2008.

The surge in profit was a result of sharp rise in the Central Bank's assets mainly because of a massive increase in certificates of deposits issued by the Central Bank to the country's 24 national banks and 28 foreign units in 2007 and the first half of 2008 to mop up excess liquidity.

UAE banks boosted their 2008 net earnings by more than 10 per.

Despite the global financial crisis, the combined net profits of the country's 52 banks exceeded their record earnings of around Dh24.4 billion in 2007.

The combined net profits of the eight, including three of the largest UAE banks, increased to around Dh14.22 billion last year from Dh13.18bn in 2007.

Their combined assets jumped by nearly 22 per cent to around Dh847bn from Dh692bn in the same period.

Construction boom:

The unprecedented construction boom in the UAE is considered the fastest growing in the whole Middle East. More than 50 property development companies are currently engaged in major construction projects, totalling $630 billion in value.

With expectations running high as Abu Dhabi looks towards the construction of the Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone, according to Oxford Business Group's 'The Report: Abu Dhabi 2009' analyses the roadmap of what may well prove to be the world's largest and most integrated industrial zones.

As Abu Dhabi looks to broaden its appeal to visitors, The Report: Abu Dhabi 2009 explores the steps that the Emirate is taking to tap into high-end tourism to complement its already healthy business niche market.

"The abilities of the government to continue to fund major infrastructure projects and keep to their development strategy will ensure Abu Dhabi is in a very strong position when the global market picks up. The Emirate had instilled great confidence in the international business community by mapping out and standing by its five-year Abu Dhabi Strategic Plan 2008-2012, said the report.

Ambitious projects on the cards include Al Reem Island and Sowa Square, the new business centre of Abu Dhabi city, in the heart of Sowa Island.

Oil and Gas:

Abu Dhabi produces most of the UAE's oil and controls 90 per cent of the country's crude reserves.

The country's production capacity stands at 2.8 million barrels per day (bpd); however, it produces around 2.5 million bpd in compliance with OPEC's quota system.

The UAE is a key OPEC member that contributes significantly in maintaining a balance between supply and demand in the international markets.

The UAE is the third largest country in the world in terms of crude reserves, estimated at 98 billion barrels. It also has the world's 5th largest reserves of the natural gas, accounting for 6 trillion cubic feet.

Exploration and field development projects worth Dh17.1 billion were set up in 2007.

Infrastructure / Transportation:

United Arab Emirates continued its efforts to implement more advanced infrastructure projects, in the transportation sector, which included the construction of an extensive network of international airports and seaports and international airlines. The projects also covered railway lines and metro, as well as extensive road networks, bridges, tunnels and all other integrated infrastructure projects which were placed in the ranks of modern and advanced in the world.

The railway systems entered for the first time in the transport infrastructure of the UAE, where work is progressing for the implementation of the first underground train system in the Emirate of Dubai at a cost of Dh15 billion. Studies to build railway lines in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi are underway with a vision of lining all emirates in a single railway network.

Aviation Industry:

There are seven international airports in the United Arab Emirates, including the ones in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah and Al Ain. Airports Council International expects the passenger handling capacity of UAE airports, including Al Maktoum Airport of Dubai and Ajman airport, to reach more than 250 million passengers by 2020, ranking first in the Middle East and North Africa in terms of absorption capacity.

The country will also inject more than US$ 22 billion to expansion projects and building airports across various emirates.

The number of passengers handled by the airports in the UAE had crossed 40million in 2008, while the number of aircrafts registered with the competent authorities in the country stood at about 250 aircrafts from various countries in the world. The number of airline companies which operate across the country's airports rose to 300 airlines during this period.

The three national airlines, namely Etihad Airways, Emirates Airlines and Air Arabia achieved a qualitative leap in acquiring a steady fleet of modern large aircrafts, and increased global travel destinations. The number of passengers who use them also increased substantially and new airlines companies were established during this period including flydubai and RAK Airways.

There are more than 26 seaports across the UAE and15 of them are major sea ports. The free zones established in many of them offer several facilities and tax exemptions to attract investment and encourage investors to establish commercial and industrial projects and services that support the national economy. UAE's largest free zone is in Jebel Ali, with more than 6 thousand companies specializing in the fields of industry, investment and trade.

The railway systems made its entry for the first time to the transport infrastructure in the UAE after Dubai government announced the construction of a 75km long network of subways at the value of Dh15 billion. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai commissioned in September 2009, the pilot phase of the technical operation of Dubai Metro. The Dubai Metro project includes 47 stations, including 10 underground stations.

Women in the UAE in the roles of minister, judge and a Member of Parliament:

Women in the United Arab Emirates have made outstanding achievements within the programme and plans for political empowerment, led by President HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The women fill the highest positions in various areas and contribute effectively to the process of development and modernisation through their participation in the three sovereign powers-executive, legislative and judicial- and various leadership positions in decision-making.

The women's representation in the cabinet rose from two to four, in the latest reshuffle earlier in February 2008, marking one of the highest representations of women in the government at the Arab level. Women also occupy nine seats in the Federal National Council (FNC) among a total of 40 seats thus representing 25 per cent, again one of the highest level of representation of women in legislative institutions.

The first female judge in the UAE and the first two female public prosecutors were appointed at the Judicial Department in Abu Dhabi. Two female ambassadors were also appointed during the same period. The women also proved their efficiency in the field of civil and military aviation and were appointed as engineers and pilots in the Emirates Airlines, Etihad Airways and the country's Air Force.

Women have become important partner in the development process taking place in the country, where women occupy 66 per cent of jobs in the government sector, including 30 per cent of senior decision-making leadership positions, 15 per cent of the faculty at the UAE University, about 60 per cent of faculty members UAE University.

They also fill about 60 professional posts, which include medicine, teaching, pharmacy and nursing. They are also well-represented in the ranks of the uniformed armed forces, police and customs.

The women moved further ahead into the efficiency and professionalism in the field of business after the founding of Women's Business Council, which have a membership of 12,000 women who manage over 11,000 projects worth Dh12.5bn.

UAE enters the era of nuclear power:

UAE launched this year its nuclear programme for peaceful purposes, after the Cabinet approved it and created the country's nuclear authority under the name 'Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation' with a capital of Dh375 million.

Emirates has signed memoranda of understanding with the United States, Britain and France for cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Earlier on August 7, the UAE also pledged $10mn in support of the initiative to establish the nuclear fuel reserve bank launched by the organization 'Nuclear Threat Initiative' (NTI) in 2006.

UAE plans to invest billions in future energy:

To meet its growing energy demands and to keep up with the ambitious future plans of sustainable development, UAE turned towards exploring and developing sources of new technology for energy, including solar power, hydrogen and civilian nuclear energy.

Thus it founded the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company 'Masdar', a public shareholding company wholly owned by Mubadala Company. The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology was eventually established.

The company, which was launched by the Abu Dhabi government, also made investments to the tune of US$ 15bn earlier in 2008 to implement the first phase of its plans to make Abu Dhabi a global hub for future energy as well as a regional hub for the export of technology.

Masdar Clean Tech Fund was established in 2007 with capital of $250 million, an investment fund dedicated to renewable energy and developed sustainable technologies. The initiative could invest the funds in a number of international companies working in the fields of renewable energy.

Masdar is working to develop a broad portfolio of projects compliant with the 'clean development mechanism' and the development of sustainable infrastructure projects.

The Masdar Company achieved major developments on the front of the solar energy technologies in its strategy for the construction, ownership and operation of a power plant with concentrated solar capacity of 100 MW in Zayed City. The project is expected to operational by the end of 2010.

An administrative body was set up for Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, which began conducting researches in 12 different areas.

Masdar City:

Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces HH General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan laid the of the foundation stone for the Masdar city in February 9, 2008, to create the world's first zero-waste, zero-carbon sustainable city.

The total investment is estimated at U.S. $ 22 billion and is located near Abu Dhabi International Airport with an area of 6 square kilometres. The city is expected to be completed in 2016 as part of Abu Dhabi 2030 development plan.

Emirates Centre for Culture:

In addition to these projects that transform the UAE into a centre of technology, the country has also experienced a number of initiatives and cultural projects that qualify it to be a global cultural destination, especially after the launch of the Cultural District on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi.

Announcements about building strategic partnerships and celebration of cultural and scientific festivals followed to attract regional and international universities in the UAE within the framework of its commitment to openness to the world's civilizations and cultures and its endeavour to promote its cultural heritage as well as its position as the bridge between world's civilizations and cultures.

The government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the Government of the French Republic signed a cultural agreement for 30 years for the construction of Louvre Abu Dhabi museum in the Cultural District on Saadiyat Island, which lies about 500 meters from the Abu Dhabi's coastline. The island has an area of 27 square kilometres and is currently being converted into an international tourist destination in the region.

Cultural District will also include Biennale Gardens consisting of 19 pavilions devoted to arts and culture, where a group of prominent international architects are working on the designs of these museums.

The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development also organised a number of cultural events, the most prominent of which was the distribution of 400 thousand books as part of its plan for the dissemination of culture in society.

The ministry has published more than 60 titles on diverse fields of intellectual and literary importance.

The ministry is working on a plan for the distribution of half a million copies of more books.

UAE occupies prominent place in the field of humanitarian work:

UAE occupied an advanced position among donor countries who extend support to developing countries and peoples affected by natural as well as manmade disasters including earthquakes, volcanoes, wars and strife.

The UAE, under the directives of President HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the initiatives of Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is making major efforts to curb the effects and consequences of disasters and humanitarian crises in many parts of the world, where the lives of thousands of people have been claimed.

In this context, the country on one hand, and the charity institutions on the other are active in providing assistance to those most in need, both within or outside the country, in an effort to alleviate the destitution and disasters that come their way from time to time.


UAE has strengthened its presence in the regional and international communications technology sector by providing advanced services at the local level and establishing successful cooperation and partnership relations with many of the major international institutions in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

The three national institutions "Etisalat", "du" and "Eliah SAT" work on providing the latest technologies in the sector of communications and information.

etislalat has provided UAE with communication services to more than 600 destinations around the world; also it has direct contacts with 118 countries. In addition, the number of subscribers in mobile phones in the State exceeded 7.05 million subscribers, in the fixed-line 1.36 million and in the internet services 1.08.

Etisalat total value of foreign investments and strategic partnerships around the world exceeded Dh40 billion.

Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company "du" which launched its service in February 2007 has achieved strong growth in subscriber base and its market share reached 28 percent. Du also expanded its services to include 12 countries and signed agreements with more than 330 mobile services operators around the world.

Moreover, the total number of subscribers in mobile services reached 2.671 million subscribers while the total fixed-line services customers reached 248,000 clients at the end of the month September 2008.

Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat) was established in January 2007 to be the first national company of multi-purpose satellite, a private joint stock company fully owned by Mubadala, an investment arm of the Government of Abu Dhabi. Since being incorporated in 2007, Al Yah Sat has designed the region's first multi-purpose satellite system, based on extensive interaction with customers and research into their communication needs.

Al Yah Sat has developed customised satellite solutions for the government as well as the commercial sector in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and South West Asia.

Thuraya Satellite Communications has launched the Thuraya- 3 satellite in the mid 2008 at a cost of $330 million. Thuraya offers satellite-based mobile telephone services to more than 170 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. And expanded subscriber base to about 250 thousand clients.


The UAE has given a special care to provide an advanced level of public services in health, education, housing, water, electricity, social welfare and human resources development. It has carried out multiple strategies to establish a developed educational system to keep pace with the latest educational techniques.

Since education considered being one of the major component of human development, UAE's general and higher education has witnessed a successive progress where the number of government and private schools in 2008/2009 has exceeded to 1350 with more than 700 thousand students comparing to only 74 governmental schools in 1971 with thirty two thousand eight hundred students.

Moreover, universities and higher education institutions have spread all over the country comparing to one university till 1977 in Al Ain. In addition to other 44 recognized universities and private higher educational institutions in which the number of students has reached to 47 thousand including international universities such as the University Paris-Sorbonne Abu Dhabi.

Over Dh9 billion were spent on education sector in the year 2009 to improving the quality of education in line with global standards.

UAE has worked hard to provide high-level health facilities, and apply best practices in the curative, preventive and services. In addition, UAE is keen to strengthen relations with international health organizations and specialized scientific bodies in various parts of the world in addition to the development of mechanisms for the exchange of medical and research expertise leading to developing health services in accordance with best international standards.

Nowadays, specialised medical centres spread in UAE along with diagnostic and therapeutic units, such as open-heart surgery, organ transplant units, blood drops unit for renal failure patients, the nuclear medicine, surgical endoscopy units and diabetes units besides other specialised sections.

The number of hospitals in UAE have reached 40 and more than 115 centres for primary health care, including 14 hospitals affiliated to the Ministry of Health and 67 centres in addition to 11 major centres for students' health and 10 centres for maternal and child care besides 110 units for maternal and child care within the primary health care centres and other hospitals in addition to thousands of private medical clinics compared with 7 hospitals and 12 health care centres at the establishment of the federation in 1971.

In 2009, the total funds allocated for health services reached to more than two billion 644 million dirhams in addition to the large budgets allocated by the local governments, other bodies and the private sector.


Tens of thousands of housing units built for the UAE nationals In the framework of the state's strategy and plans in respect of housing policy, UAE has given special care to meet the citizens' requirements and to assign them modern housing units suited their population characteristics and local environment in terms of urban design with the aim of providing them a decent life, social stability and a secure future.

In 2007, Ministry of Public Works and Housing will develop a national housing plan for the next twenty years, meeting the requirements of all UAE nationals. While Abu Dhabi government launched a new modern vision for UAE nationals housing based on the concept of residential communities as an alternative to the concept of public housing through the construction of 18 thousands modern housing units in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi at a cost of Dh33 billion.

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Housing Establishment - which was founded in October 2006 - contributed with a capital of 15 billion dirhams in the provision of modern housing to meet the requirements of UAE nationals. Moreover, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai distributed land and housing unit with a total value of 9 billion dirham.

Sheikh Zayed Housing programme - which was founded in 2002 - has won the support of the federal government in its endeavour to provide suitable housing for UAE nationals with the aim of tackling the problem of housing over the next twenty years.

Moreover, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, has ordered the construction of 40, 000 villas for the needy citizens in various areas of the emirate within three to four years.

He also ordered to double the budget of Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme from Dh640 million dirham to Dh1. 280 billion.

Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme announced that this support will fulfil the needs of 8 thousand people a year instead of 1500 to 2000 in previous years.

Energy / Water and Electricity:

Investment in water and electricity in UAE exceeding Dh100 billion UAE has moved to privatize the electricity and water sector to attract large domestic and foreign investment along with implementing strategic projects in this sector fulfilling the growing needs of the population in cities, new housing units and industrial expansion.

The Ministry of Energy, the Federal Electricity and Water Authority and other local bodies in the emirate i.e., Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority carried on their plans in the implementation of large-scale projects in the electricity and water sector costing billions of dirham.

In 2008, the total investments value for Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority had reached more than Dh47 billion.

On the 14th of May, 2008, Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority had launched its Five-year strategy plan which aims to develop the operational and financial performance to comply with the highest international standards.

The plan includes about 45 new projects, including 15 projects in 2009 projects in 2010, 10 projects in 2011, 5 projects in 2012 and 6 Projects in 2013.

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority has allocated Dh137 billion for the implementation of its decade strategic plan from 2006 to 2015 to keep pace with the growing electricity and water consumption as a result of urban and economic boom in Dubai.

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority anticipated that the expected expenditure during the first five years from 2006 and until 2010 will exceed Dh50 billion to be distributed among electricity producing and desalinated water projects and to achieve horizontal and vertical expansion in transmission and distribution networks and other required facilities.

International Aid:

The UAE holds an advanced position among donor countries and those supporting the developing countries and people affected by natural and other disasters, e.g. earthquakes, volcanoes and wars.

The UAE has contributed significantly to mitigate miseries of the people affected from disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide.

Human Rights:

The UAE has made qualitative achievements in the field of combating human trafficking in 2008 through doubling the inspections of trafficking cases compared to the year 2007.

The annual report issued by UAE National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking (NCCHT) has highlighted the state's efforts and commitment in combating this serious crime, the progress made and its future plans to combat human trafficking.

The report indicates that 20 human trafficking cases were inspected and handled in 2008 compared to 10 cases in 2007, noting that there is a 100 per cent increase in the reported cases compared to the previous report.

The report shows that anti-trafficking is gradual and that the country is keen to continue intensifying efforts to combat this dangerous phenomenon.

The report indicated that the number of and severe penalties were slapped by the courts in the UAE increased significantly. Five cases have been taken court and two of them were life imprisonment.

Dr. Mohammed Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, the head of NCCHT, said that the UAE is always keen to make strict and firm decisions towards any attempts to exploit humanity, indicating that the issue of human trafficking combat, is being dealt with in a very strict way in cooperation with the international partners- a basic axis in regard to the country's strategy on human trafficking combat.

Gargash added, "The UAE is combating human trafficking phenomenon and will maintain its position among countries of the region and the world in this field. We are completely aware of the danger of this crime and its effects on the community as well as other countries combating this kind of crimes." The report documents the steps taken by the UAE to combat human trafficking, including establishing a department specialised in human rights in the Ministry of Interior, which aims to enhance workers' status in the country, organise introductory workshops on how to implement rules related to human rights in cooperation with global foundations, besides spreading of information related to this issue through an interactive web site and ratification of UN protocol against human trafficking.

The report pointed out that a media campaign will be launched soon to spread awareness about the dangers of human trafficking, specifically in the country's airports and embassies affiliated to it.

UAE Foreign Aid Coordination Office:

The UAE Foreign Aid Coordination Office (FACO) was set up by the UAE government to support and coordinate UAE-based donor organisations that provide assistance for humanitarian activities and emergency relief worldwide. To this end, FACO documents foreign aid raises the UAE profile and helps shape international humanitarian agenda, conducts analysis and research on the sector, develop and recommend policies, builds individual and organisational capacities to minimize redundancy, improve quality and maximise the impact of the UAE's international development and humanitarian aid programmes.

Red Crescent Authority:

Red Crescent Authority provided Dh3 billion for humanitarian issues Thanks to the good efforts of Emirates, the Red Crescent Authority (RCA) was the first to meet the call for help and reach to the scene when a disaster happens anywhere in the world in addition to providing assistance to all needy inside and outside the country.

The value of assistance provided during the past years reached about Dh3 billion, while the value of its assistance to the victims and the needy in from early 2009 until October, reached nearly Dh450 million.

The RCA's humanitarian programmes for those affected in different regions are characterised in terms of diversity and quality, as well as early access to the targets. It has followed a unique approach in this regard based on the delivery of aid and relief to the beneficiaries without distinction of gender, race or religion and made the need the sole criterion for assistance.

The RCA's programmes in the country include a number of critical areas, such as, humanitarian and medical assistance, social guarantees, students' sponsorship, prisoners welfare, rehabilitation of the disabled, besides support programmes for foundations, local projects, charity campaigns that target supporting vulnerable and needy families living in remote districts, whereas the authority tries to reach them in their respective regions to provide them basic necessities, in addition to seasonal projects that include breakfasting, Zakat , Eid Al Adha sacrifices and clothes and the conduct of pilgrims to the Holy Mosque.

Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Charitable Foundation:

The Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Charity Foundation has expanded its charitable and humanitarian activities to include most of the sectors inside the country and reached the poorest people affected from disasters in more than 35 countries.

Projects implemented by the foundation have also expanded to include health, educational and aid programs in and out the country. The foundation's activities extend to different areas of the country and more than 35 Arab and Islamic countries.

The Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation seeks to remain unique in the field of humanitarian and charitable works to enhance peoples' living conditions and implement quality management system.

The charitable and humanitarian foundation approved a new 10-year plan to develop its projects and programmes and upgrading them to the highest international standards. The plan is divided into two phases: the first starts from 2008 and lasts until 2012, and the second is from 2013 until 2017.

The foundation has strengthen its existence on the map of humanitarian work in the world and signed 35 agreements and memorandums of understanding with governments and international organisations, e.g. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).

Abroad the year 2009 witnessed the inauguration of a number of projects in Asia, Africa and Europe, some were health, educational and agricultural projects and others were specified in motherhood and childcare, which cost more than $ 50 million.

The year 2009 also witnessed the completion of a number of water wells digging projects in Africa and Asia, which comes in the framework of the foundation's strategy to achieve sustainable development in Africa by digging a number of wells in nine African countries with the expenses value of $ 17 million.

Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research:

ECSSR, which was established in 1994, is considered a landmark in the development process of scientific research in the country and now assumes a privileged position between cultural institutions not only in the country, but also regionally and internationally. The centre is chaired by HH Gen. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The centre, since its establishment, was keen on achieving a number of goals, most importantly, supporting decision making, doing researches and scientific studies about strategic issues, politics, economy and social issues related to the UAE, the Arabian Gulf region in specific, and the Arab world in general, besides conducting polls, field surveys and follow up scientific developments and study its reflections on the country and the region, adopting programmes that support developing nationals in addition to putting a forward-looking vision for the future relying on a systematic basis in the framework of solid scientific research.

The centre was also keen on becoming an intellectual creative tribune that contributes, through researches and scientific studies, in supporting comprehensive development in the UAE. The centre focuses mainly on researches and studies about political, economical and social issues related to the UAE and the Gulf region in specific and the Arab world in general. The centre analyses reality and presents future scenarios based on solid academic and strategic references.

The centre issues a number of publications in various fields, whereas, since its establishment in 1994 until late 2009, it issued around 680 different publications included five genuine and translated books.

As for journals and press analytical publications, the centre issued many of them, whereas it issued around 4250 publications of "Akhbar As'saa" editorial which follows up developments in and out the country around the clock. The centre also issued around 4000 private publications named "Al Alam Alyum" besides issuing 40 reports about UAE press monthly.

Since its establishment, the centre accomplished around 2700 studies that discussed, explained and analyzed various issues in the fields of politics, economy, strategies and informatics.

Zayed Higher Foundation for Humanitarian Care, Special Needs people, and Minors Affairs:

The Zayed Higher Foundation for Humanitarian Care, Special Needs people, and Minors Affairs, made a lot of achievements since its establishment in 2004 in the field of humanitarian care. It has made some steady steps as it delivered care services and rehabilitation of special needs all over the emirate, and inaugurated new centres for care and rehabilitation. The foundation provides treatment services for cases that need treatment in accordance with a programme specified for each individual's case. It also provides psychological and social counselling. - Emirates News Agency, WAM


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