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UAE scores more prosperity and achievements

posted on 02/12/2011: 2730 views



On 2nd December, the United Arab Emirates, celebrates its 40th National Day while continuing confidently on its way to achieve more prosperity and achievements which began with the wisdom, loyalty and generosity of the Founding Father Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

The march then continued under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who launched with his wise vision and leadership experience, the empowerment stage to achieve more gains and achievements and develop performance mechanisms in accordance with the modern scientific principles and strategies reaching to the excellence, leadership and creativity in achieving more gains in various areas and achieve more prosperity for the homeland and its citizens.

Sheikh Khalifa confirmed that the United Arab Emirates is today in prosperity, stability and security. His Highness said in his speech at the 39th National Day of December 2010 "The perfection of work is a necessity of life. It is an essential element to continue the achievements of our forefathers, through which we can build a capable national workforce, restructure our economy, address the imbalance in the labour market and prepare a well balanced and thriving community." 'As our nation is bracing for its 40th year of achievements, we assure you that we are moving from strength to more strength, and that we are reaping the fruits sowed by our forefathers in terms of best practices, building the nation's institutional and legislative frameworks, enjoying a strong, diversified and free economy, a modern infrastructure, a sustainable social development, enhanced cultural and societal identity and most importantly, preparing capable and skilful human resources. Human resources are the true wealth of nations 'Our policy is based on the commitment to the principles of the UAE constitution. We have always advocated unity and solidarity to achieve the ultimate goal of modern and prosperous UAE.".

The Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum emphasized that "The celebrations marking the 40th National Day of UAE will reflect on the history of the birth of our country and its evolvement as a modern and progressive nation over the last four decades".

He also said ratifying the strategy and programme for the celebrations of the 40th National Day on 27th September 2011 under the theme Spirit of the Union that "It will be a celebration of the achievements of this great Nation, and also an opportunity for the whole community to truly unite and reflect on what it means to be Emirati, or call the UAE our home".

He also confirmed that the UAE, led by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has entered a new chapter in the history of the nation. This is embodied through the ongoing growth and prosperity of the state, the empowerment of residents and most importantly the wisdom of Sheikh Khalifa and his proximity to the people's pulse. It is this grass-roots knowledge and mentality which has ensured internal stability, stable economic development and secured a prominent position on the global landscape for the UAE.

On 6th February 2010, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, announced the UAE National Historic Charter for year 2021, which coincides with the country's golden jubilee anniversary under the theme: "We want to be one of the best countries in the world".

He also added that "The union proceeds in the footsteps of founding fathers in the light of their strong determination and extrapolation", Sheikh Mohammed said, adding that the UAE nationals are now reaping fruits of our speedy economic growth".

On 13th September 2011, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, received the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of various emirates. He also received Their Highnesses the crown princes and deputy rulers of various emirates in the UAE to review the progress of the national march of action for the development and welfare of the country and the citizens.

Also, on 11th September 2011 in Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum received His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces in addition to a number of senior officials to discuss the development process and how best to ensure better living conditions and stability to citizens nationwide. Within the framework of its commitment to meet the challenges and requirements of the new millennium, the United Arab Emirates adopted a new approach in the executive performance based on the specific work strategies with clear goals and objectives.

In this regard, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, launched the new strategies to enhance the programmes and plans of political empowerment, particularly the future strategy, outlining its goals in the mobilisation of resources and energy.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai unveiled the second round of federal government strategy from 2011 - 2013. The strategy consists of seven general principles and seven priorities, and same strategic potentials focusing on key areas of government.

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

Sheikh Mohammed announced that the UAE National Historic Charter for year 2021, which coincides 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.

On 11 September 2011, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid addressed the Cabinet stating that the 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.

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 agenda also sets ten major goals and contains a large number of initiatives for achieving them, with practical plans regulated with time-frames and the amount of accountability.

The approval of the 2011-2013 Tanmia strategy was given after it was offered for public discussion by way of posting it on the PM's website. Tanmia had developed the new strategic plan based on the mandate issued earlier by the cabinet with guidelines that the plan should go hand in hand with the new approach of the government with regard to Emiratisation and empowerment of the local human resources.

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 of jobs in the private sector.

It also defines mechanisms for developing comprehensive database containing accurate information on Emiratisation across the country.

FEDERAL NATIONAL COUNCIL: The Federal National Council has witnessed a qualitative development in terms of consolidating its experience in the practice of democracy with holding second election in September 24, 2011 where 20 members were selected representing half of the members of the Council, including a woman, after expanding the base of electoral bodies at the state level to more than 129 thousand and 274 members. The total number of candidates reached 468 candidates reflecting the huge public response to the program of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to promote public participation and activating the role of the National Council.

On September 20, 2011, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has called upon members of electoral colleges for broad and active participation in the elections to the Federal National Council so that the real participation can be achieved.

Addressing the nation ahead of the second Federal National Elections on 24 September 2011, the President said: 'Citizen is the key element in the development and progress of the country, and should be a partner in shaping the future of the nation and shaping its policy so that our citizens will enjoy a radiant future".

'We have to walk with a clear vision to empower the Federal National Council. And the upcoming elections on September 24 is the perfect opportunity to make a major step towards this goal, which will be achieved, God willing, with your virtuous efforts." The Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said that "We consider the FNC a free national platform which has immunity as a legislative authority that supports national decision-making, offers sound advice and opinion to the government in tackling internal and external issues. Furthermore, the house acts as one of key channels for shaping the future of the country and its promising generations".

His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces said that the 2011 National Council's elections considered as an important step and a milestone on the way to promote effective public participation for the people of the country to support the process of construction and development.



FOREIGN POLICY: The foreign policy of the United Arab Emirates based on a set of balanced and moderate principles, based on the rules of a constant strategy to ensure its commitment to the Charter of the United Nations, respect for conventions and international laws and the establishment of relations with all countries of the world on the basis of mutual respect, non interference in the internal affairs of other countries and resolving international disputes through dialogue and peaceful means.

The UAE's diplomacy has achieved receptivity in the outside world resulted in the establishment of strategic, political, economic, commercial, cultural, scientific, educational and healthy partnerships with many countries in different continents of the world.

Moreover, On 8th of August 2011 President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan said as he received UAE ambassadors abroad that the active foreign policy stands today as one of significant achievements of the UAE.

His Highness added that 'This sound policy, which is based on a set of balanced and moderate principles, the UAE has been pursuing since its birth towards the Arab and international issues, has earned our country respect and appreciation in various international forums".

Sheikh Khalifa said ambassadors have a crucial role to assume in bolstering UAE's ties with sisterly and friendly countries and highlighting its stature at international gatherings. He called on them to act as honourable role model and as a bright mirror for achievements the UAE has made in all walks of life.

Ambassadors are demanded to maintain positive interaction and seek qualitative development in 'our relations with other countries of the world and this he continued would put additional burdens on them and increase their responsibilities to deepen already existing bonds and open up new channels of communications for creating new opportunities of joint cooperation, Sheikh Khalifa added.

Sheikh Khalifa also urged the envoys to learn from the experiments of their host countries and interact positively with them so to draw lessons and act as bridges of communications with other human cultures and introduce, at the same time, the culture and heritage of the UAE to peoples of their host countries. Moreover, the President called them to innovate creative methods and initiatives to interact with other peoples of the world, foster human and cultural cooperation and promote the culture of tolerance and moderation.

Sheikh Khalifa stressed the vital importance role the diplomatic missions play in assisting and serving UAE citizens abroad, reminding them that the UAE citizen is the real asset and target of any development and is given the top priority in development plans and programmes. Peace in the Middle East and the Palestinian cause On September 26th, 2011 at UN headquarters in New York, H. H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister discussed with the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon the Middle East Peace process, especially the latest developments on the Palestinian issue in the wake of Palestinian demand for the statehood in the international organization with Jerusalem as a capital.

They also tackled the latest events in Syria, Yemen and Somalia.

The UN Secretary General expressed his appreciation to the UAE efforts in support of the UN activities, expressing his hopes that the UAE would continue supporting the humanitarian aid in the disaster zones, including the Horn of Africa.

He also said that the UAE will work within the framework of the GCC to continue its support for the good efforts undertaken by His Majesty Hamad Bin Issa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain, to promote national dialogue among all segments of the Bahraini society with a view to maintaining peace and stability in the Kingdom, preserving domestic peace, strengthening national unity and pursuing reforms and progress, in order to realize the hopes and aspirations of all the people of Bahrain.

He added that UAE emphasize that the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Bahrain are an integral part of the security and stability of the Arabian Gulf region, and also part of the responsibilities of the Arab Gulf Cooperation Council in the region, where all members of the Council are keen to consolidate good-neighbourly relations with all states based on the principles of international law and other international covenants.

In respect of developments in Libya, H.H Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed stated that the UAE's participation in the international conference on Libya held in London is part of its commitment to the recent UN Security Council's resolution No. 1973 on Libya and to the protection of civilian Libyans.

The conference called for strengthening the commitment to implementing UN resolutions 1970 and 1973, reaffirming the importance of urgent humanitarian aid to Libya as well as calling for a political process that helps to create conditions for the Libyan people to choose their own future. It also discussed the forging of a wide group to act as a focal point for international thinking on Libya and a forum to coordinate long-term support to the people of Libya.

In respect of developments in Yemen, he added that the UAE is concerned about the developments in Yemen, and calls upon all relevant Yemeni parties to maintain patience, wisdom, and reconsider their stance regarding the peaceful solution initiative suggested by five GCC states, and consider this initiative as an appropriate basis to overcome the current situation, and ensure a peaceful transition of power that responds to the will and choices of the Yemeni people, and preserves the peace and stability of the country.

With regard to the unstable situation in Syria, Sheikh Abdullah said that the UAE hopes that President Al Assad fulfils his recent commitments to stop military operations against Syrian civilians, and carry out meaningful political reforms.

He also said that "the UAE has watched with satisfaction the latest positive political developments in Sudan represented in the local and international recognition of the newly emerged Republic of South Sudan, and the signing of the Doha Document for comprehensive peace in Darfur between the Sudanese Government and the Liberation and Justice Movement in the region. We hope that these steps would enable all Sudanese parties to put the interests of the country above all other interests, and move forward to the phase of domestic peace and genuine reconciliation, which are capable of addressing and containing all disputes that still hamper the realization of stability, progress and prosperity of the people of Sudan".

He added "With the support extended by the UAE to the current political process in Somalia, we are looking forward to increasing the multifaceted support provided by the international community to the interim government of Somalia, in order to enable it to build its institutions and handle security in the country. The UAE is committed to continuing its support to the people of Somalia in an effort to alleviate the humanitarian suffering. The UAE will work towards fulfilling its international commitments with regard to the famine that has affected Somalia and in line with the calls by the Secretary-General in this regard".

"The sum of the aid provided by the UAE to Somalia in the recent relief campaign have amounted to US$50 Million, in addition to other aid given by a number of institutions and charitable agencies under the leadership of the UAE Red Crescent, in order to meet the basic needs of the Somali people. The UAE Red Crescent provided the daily needs of people in the areas where it operates, established a field hospital and distributed medicines to Somali hospitals. The UAE also built two hospitals with the cost of US$4 million, dug wells and water basins costing US$3.1 million, and distributed food items costing US$700,000".

Sheikh Abdullah added that "Events in Afghanistan have proved that regional efforts play a vital and prominent role in promoting peace, security, reintegration and stability in Afghanistan. We, therefore, welcome the positive outcome of Istanbul Conference, held on the second of this month, including the agreement reached on a comprehensive package of confidence-building measures and multilateral cooperation in areas such as: security, reconstruction, health, countering terrorism, extremism and production '&' trafficking of drugs in Afghanistan. We also look forward to a successful outcome for the international conference on Afghanistan scheduled to be held in Bonn next December”. Since 2011, the UAE has been joining efforts with the international community to help improve conditions and regain peace, stability and development in Afghanistan.

The country offered a total of US$ 1.5 billion, in addition to the humanitarian assistance, including US$ 50 million committed in August by the Khalifa bin Zayed Foundation for Afghanistan children immunisation programme, in partnership with the Bill '&' Melinda Gates Foundation and a financial grant of US$ 250 million, managed by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, to support development projects in Afghanistan, particularly in the fields of housing for widows, orphans, and disabled persons, and the rehabilitation of the capital Kabul and other provinces of the country.

In November 2010, the UAE took part in the Lisbon meet on Afghanistan and received praise for the support given to the transition of increasing responsibility to the Afghan authorities and the Afghan security institutions.

The UAE maintains long-standing historical ties and outstanding relations with Pakistan . This is clearly reflected through the strong ties between the two countries at various levels, where Pakistanis worked and contributed positively to the UAE for many years.

According to Sheikh Abdullah, the UAE is strongly committed to stability and long-term development of Pakistan, which is reflected in the support the UAE has committed itself to provide since the year 2000, amounting to U.S. $800 million to date. The aim of the UAE's efforts is to build an attractive environment for international trade and investment in Pakistan, as well as to help the Pakistani government in the promotion of moderation and political stability in the country. If achieved, this will help Pakistan curtail violence, extremism, and international terrorism.

Since international participation is central in ensuring the stability of Pakistan, in 2008 the UAE has undertaken the initiative to participate in the establishment of the group of "Friends of Democratic Pakistan". In this context, the UAE is working closely with Pakistan on many issues concerning stability and long-term sustainable development.

Sheikh Abdullah also spelled out UAE's stance on maritime piracy, describing it as one of the major growing challenges of the 21st century, which affects global trade and commerce, and has adverse impact on prosperity in the rest of the world.

"The UAE plays a vital leading role in international efforts to counter piracy, and has hosted a high level conference on the issue in Dubai from 18 to 19 April 2011 under the theme: ‘Global Challenge, Regional Responses: Forging a Common Approach to Maritime Piracy".

The UAE is also participating in the military efforts to counter piracy, and the UAE armed forces were active in rescuing ships from the attacks of pirates. It succeeded in April 2011 in freeing an Emirati ship from the pirates, released the hostages, arrested the pirates, and prosecuted them. The UAE sees that the promotion of the developmental efforts on land is an essential component of international response, which is equally important together with the military and political efforts." During the public-private international counter-piracy conference held in Dubai in April 2011, the United Arab Emirates, announced a significant contribution of US$ 1.4 million to the international Counter-Piracy Trust Fund, the international community's main financial instrument to implement projects linked to the struggle against maritime piracy. A total of US$ 5.6 million, including UAE's contribution, was raised during the conference.

In manifestation of its policy to support all international, regional and multilateral efforts aimed at creating a safe and nuclear weapons free world, the UAE has recently joined the Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Weapons Disarmament Initiative (NPDI).

Sheikh Abdullah expressed concern over the continuation of the Israeli nuclear program outside the control and surveillance of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); therefore, the UAE looks forward to the convening the International Conference in 2012 on establishing a Middle East nuclear weapons free zone in accordance with agreements reached during the last NPT Review Conference. We reiterate our call upon Israel to ratify the NPT treaty and place without conditions all its nuclear facilities under the safeguards regime of the IAEA. In this context, we also reaffirm our support for all efforts aimed at achieving a peaceful settlement to the Iranian nuclear issue within the framework of the provisions of related international resolutions, and the control of the IAEA.

The UAE seeks to obtain civilian nuclear program that is committed to the highest levels of safety, security, non-proliferation and operational transparency. The UAE government, in the context of its development of its nuclear program, explained the peaceful objectives of its program without ambiguity. It also developed its position in regards to non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the policy document issued by the government in 2008, in which it explained its intention not to attempt the full enrichment nuclear fuel in order to implement its peaceful program.

The UAE is working closely with the IAEA and its international partners to improve the global participation of non-proliferation, and is an active member in many international initiatives such as: the Global Initiative to Counter Nuclear Terrorism, and the Security Initiative to Counter Proliferation. The UAE is firmly implementing the resolutions of the UNSC calling for halting materials and sensitive technology shipments to Iran.

Simultaneously, the UAE pursues a responsible role as a producer of conventional energy resources on both national and international levels, by supporting oil and gas prices' stability in the markets, boosting the development of additional reserves of oil and gas, ensuring the availability of safe supply routes, and meeting the requirements of long-term sustainability through the development and consumption of low-carbon energy. On countering terrorism, Sheikh Abdullah said the UAE was keen to make the necessary national legislation which aims at activating its international and regional cooperation in order to counter all acts of terrorism, transnational crimes including drug and small arms trafficking, money laundering and other crimes.

Countering terrorism is a key element in the efforts of the UAE to ensuring its national security and enhancing regional and global security. Therefore, the fight against terrorism emerges as one of the top priorities on the foreign policy agenda of the UAE. The UAE has taken significant steps to counter terrorism including: countering money laundering, securing ports and container security, securing maritime corridors, and setting procedures for nuclear non-proliferation. Additionally, the UAE is actively working through military cooperation with its allies to combat terrorism.

Since countering terrorism requires more than mere military efforts, the UAE is working on applying different mechanisms to support its objectives in the field of countering terrorism. These mechanisms and initiatives include education and poverty alleviation, cultural dialogues, and other areas of concern. While violent ideologies feeding terrorism are mainly based on the absence of hope, and political and economic slowdown, the UAE believes that the best means to eliminate terrorism in the world are: encouraging prosperity and economic growth and the existence of just and accountable governments. The settlement of international disputes is the best guarantee to combat terrorism. These core principles reflect the role played by the UAE in global affairs.

In a column he wrote for the Gulf News on the anniversary of 11 September, Sheikh Abdullah said : "A decade into the 21st century, it is imperative that we continue our comprehensive global mission to eradicate terrorism and violent extremism in the world. These effective counter-terrorism strategies must begin with robust security measures, effective information sharing to break up terrorist groups and prevent their operations, and the full use of relevant international legal conventions and instruments. But as members of the international community, a global response to counter the conditions conducive to terrorism will require even more.

First, the alleviation of global poverty must remain a priority. Individuals deprived of livelihoods and hope cannot become stakeholders in their societies. For its part, the UAE has delivered a vast programme of international aid assistance to improve economic conditions for populations in need contributing more than Dh34 billion in development projects to a range of countries worldwide in the decade since 2001. This year alone the UAE has made significant contributions to emergency relief programmes targeting affected populations in vulnerable areas such as Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and in sub-Saharan Africa.

But economic development alone will not secure the world from the threat of terrorism. The second core area must be our international political effort to further the principles of justice and international law, and enshrine respect for human rights. In doing so, we will remove grievances that are skilfully exploited by terrorists, further demonstrating the emptiness of their violent ideologies.

The UAE has therefore been consistent in its call for an equitable and comprehensive peace for the Palestinian people, in the belief that a lasting solution would be game-changing in undermining the rhetoric of global terrorism, particularly in our region where the issue is used as a rallying cry for terrorist recruitment.

Similarly, the UAE has consistently opposed efforts to divide people on the basis of religion or sect. We have actively supported national unity and sovereignty from Iraq to Yemen. During the events of the Arab Spring' the UAE has been consistent in its support of peaceful engagement and constructive dialogue as the means towards progressive change. And in Libya, the UAE supported international efforts against the Gaddafi regime on the humanitarian premise that governments must protect and serve their citizens in order to legitimately govern.

At the centre of the international community's counter-terrorism strategy we must present an alternative vision for the future: one that supports a culture of peace and tolerance. The UAE works in support of these values at home. We abide by a framework that is Islamic and open to and respectful of other religions. We believe that it is right that we as Muslims are the first and most vociferous in condemning the violent acts and extremist ideology of terrorists who try to misuse our faith for their horrific and irreligious ends.

Opening doors Education is at the heart of this vision, and the active advance of inter-cultural understanding will be required by all sides. In the UAE, for example, by 2014, we will have opened the doors to local branches of the Louvre, the Guggenheim, New York University and the Sorbonne. Such increases in exchanges between cultures could be the UAE's most enduring response to the vision propagated by extremists and their followers.

Sheikh Abdullah renewed UAE's commitment to the global efforts in countering human trafficking, and said the country was working on taking the lead regionally in this regard. The UAE was the first country in the region to take the initiative of enacting a comprehensive law against human trafficking. It has issued a federal decree in 2006, aimed at countering human trafficking through protecting the communities affected with this horrible crime.

In recent years it also issued a number of legislations aimed at regulating the recruitment and outsourcing of employment, maintaining the full rights of labourers, fighting all acts of human trafficking, prosecuting individuals involved in it, and ensuring the protection and support for all people affected based on commitments approved in related bilateral and international agreements, which have been signed in order to curb this scourge.

In 2009, the UAE joined the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children. It also announced in 2010 its full support to the United Nations global plan to combat human trafficking through offering annual donations to the Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children.

He also reiterated UAE's support to international efforts to promote human rights that guarantee all peoples in the world the right to enjoy the freedom to live in peace with security and prosperity.

"The UAE also believes in the importance of economic development and prosperity for the people of the world enabling them to enjoy their human rights, which the international community has worked vigorously to establish. Therefore, the role played by the UAE in the field of international development, along with its long-standing commitment to eradicate poverty in the world, is at the heart of its foreign policy. The UAE has been continuously calling for a strong international commitment aimed at achieving the Millennium Development Goals; therefore, it focused its efforts on reducing gender discrimination, promoting access to health care, and eliminating child labour and human trafficking." The UAE has always been keen to integrate the principles of fundamental human rights stipulated in the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in its own Constitution and Laws. The UAE has also ratified the UN conventions related to human rights and child rights, including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

The UAE is an active member of the United Nations Council for Human Rights, and has first appeared before the Council in the Universal Periodic Review performed in December 2008. The UAE is also seeking to attain the membership of the Council for the period 2012-2015.

UAE ISLANDS: The UAE has always placed great emphasis and priority to the issues of stabilization of international peace and security. This is demonstrated in the UAE's respect for the UN Charter and provisions of International Law, especially which call for respect of the sovereignty of states, refraining from intervention in their internal affairs, denouncing violence, and resorting to peaceful means to resolve conflicts. This has been practiced within the joint framework of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and in other bilateral and regional arrangements.

The solid strategic political approach adopted by the United Arab Emirates is not limited to bilateral and regional cooperation; it is also evident in the way of its handling all of its issues. My country seeks to establish peace and security, eliminate tensions from the region and enhance confidence building measures. We apply the same approach in dealing with the occupation by the Islamic Republic of Iran of the three UAE islands: Abu Musa, and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs.

In a speech made on 1 December 2010 to mark 39th national day anniversary, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan renewed calls to Iran to work on a fair settlement to the issue of the three occupied islands.

"We believe that honest intentions and strong determination to solve issues are the first step in ensuring regional security and stability," he said.

Sheikh Abdullah told the 60th session of the UN General Assembly in September that since the illegitimate occupation of these islands in 1971, the UAE has adopted a flexible diplomatic approach to resolve this matter through peaceful means, through direct bilateral negotiations, or by referring the matter to the International Court of Justice.

However, the UAE expresses its deep concern over not achieving any progress in direct, regional, and international contacts made with the Islamic Republic of Iran in relation to reaching a peaceful, just and permanent solution. The actions taken by the Islamic Republic of Iran with the aim of changing the legal, physical and demographic situation of the islands are null and void and have no legal effect whatsoever.

Those Iranian actions also constitute a violation of International Law, and the UN Charter. Therefore, the UAE demands of the Islamic Republic of Iran to enter into serious and direct negotiations between the two countries, or to refer the issue to the International Court of Justice in the light of its continuous illegal occupation of the three islands which are an integral part of the territorial sovereignty of the United Arab Emirates.



FOREIGN AID: The UAE has bolstered its position as a key humanitarian and development aid donor both regionally and internationally.

According to the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the UAE topped the list of countries outside the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) membership in terms of the size of assistance provided in comparison with the Gross National Income (GNI).

In its 2009 report, OECD identified UAE as the 14th most generous donor country in the world, with regard to the foreign aid provided as a proportion of gross national income (GNI), ranking above some of the world's most prominent donor countries, including the United States, Australia, Canada and Japan.

On 26 September 2011, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon underlined during a meeting with UAE Foreign Minister H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan his appreciation to the UAE efforts in support of the UN activities, expressing his hopes that the UAE would continue supporting the humanitarian aid in the disaster zones, including the Horn of Africa.

On 30 June 2011, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, launched the first report on the UAE Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid (OCFA).

According to Sheikh Mohammed, the UAE's foreign aid since 1971 is currently estimated at over Dh163 billion (US$ 38 billion).

"This demonstrates the generous giving traditions that are well established in our country and deeply rooted in Islam and the Arab culture," he said.

He also added that the UAE has enthusiastically endorsed global efforts to combat poverty and illiteracy, and to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, set by the United Nations, and has shown its commitment to helping other countries to achieve them. Almost 95% of the UAE's aid given in 2009 was in the form of grants with no debts incurred by the recipient countries, and it has assisted them to tackle poverty, improve health care and widen access to education.

The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) was the largest UAE donor, contributing or administering Dh4.95 billion in grants and loans, or more than half of total aid, followed by the government which gave Dh3.06 billion.

The report gave a breakdown of the UAE's aid flows in 2009 by country, region of operation and sector of activity.

It indicates that aid from the UAE Government's aid forms 90% of the total foreign aid, estimated at Dh8.93 billion (US$ 2.43), and with a provisional figure for 2009 Gross National Income (GNI) of Dh926 billion, total UAE foreign aid amounts to almost one percent of GNI.

Marking the 28th anniversary of the establishment of the UAE Red Crescent Authority (RCA), H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region, and President of the RCA said on 1 February 2011 the UAE will continue to deliver its noble humanitarian message of preserving dignity and alleviating suffering of affected people around the world.

The RCA implemented humanitarian, charitable and development programmes worth over Dh 3.5 billion inside and outside the UAE.

In 2010 and 2011, the UAE carried out large scale relief and aid operations in Pakistan, Haiti, Philippines, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and Eritrea. An operation was also launched to provide food and medical aid to the people affected by the events in Libya.

Since its establishment in 1971 and up to October 2010, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development has provided over Dh26 billion in the form of concessionary loans, developments grants and equity participation to around 60 developing countries in the Arab world, Africa and Asia.

In August 2010, a global campaign to cure one million children around the world was launched by Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan under the auspices of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the Women's General Union and Supreme President of the Family Development Council.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: UAE's GDP, rose from Dh6.5 billion in 1971 to Dh914 billion in 2009, a 114-fold increase.

According to the national account data published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the country's nominal GDP rose to Dh1,093 billion in 2010, from Dh993 billion in 2009. The Ministry of Economy forecast a 3 to 3.5 percent increase in the GDP during 2011.



FOREIGN INVESTMENTS: On 20 June 2011, the Ministry of Economy launched UAE Investment Map to promote the sustainable and balanced development of the country.

The UAE Investment Map identified 14 areas for attracting investment, including aluminium industry, automotive, aviation, information technology, telecommunications, financial services, electronics, engineering and industrial technology, healthcare, petrochemical industry, education and knowledge industry, and the pharmaceutical industry.

During the past five years, the UAE attracted a total of Dh 220 billion in Foreign Direct Investments. The country was ranked second in the Arab world and 27th worldwide in the Global Competitiveness Index.

Budget UAE federal government's budget for 2011 reached Dh 41 billion, compared with the first budget in 1972 of Dh201 million.

In November 2010, the cabinet approved a draft plan for the three-year, Zero-Based budget for the budget cycle 2011-2013.

The draft plan put the three year spending for the budget cycle 2011-2013 at Dh122 billion, while the spending for year 2011 is estimated at Dh41 billion.

The 2011 budget focused on social development with 46pc of the total allocations covering public and higher education sectors, university development, health, salaries, pensions and social benefits, as well as the grants through the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme and the Marriage Fund.

In October 2011, the Cabinet passed the draft budget for fiscal year 2012 with estimated revenues of Dh41.4 billion and estimated expenditures of Dh41.8 billion.

The budget laid special emphasis on social services, allocating Dh19.7 billion for the sector, with education taking the lion share of Dh8.2 billion or 20 per cent of the total budget. The higher education was also given a shot in the arm, with an increase of 28 per cent to the budget of national universities and colleges to Dh3 billion to enable them accommodate the growing number of new admissions.



FOREIGN TRADE: Non-oil foreign trade of the United Arab Emirates in 2010 witnessed significant growth by 14 percent - or Dh94 billion - year-on-year jumping from Dh660.4 billion in 2009 to Dh754.4 billion in 2010.

Exports grew by 27 per cent in 2010 to account for 11 per cent, or Dh83.1 billion, of the UAE's foreign trade in 2010, compared with 8.1 per cent in 2009.

Fiscal - banking Financial and fiscal developments in the UAE were yet another proof of the country's economy resilience.

The UAE Central Bank boosted its total assets in the first quarter of 2011 by to Dh260.06 billion from Dh203.9 billion during the similar period of 2009.

The UAE Central Bank announced that money supply (currency in circulation + currency at banks) increased by 1.4 per cent from Dh49.6 billion at the end of April of the same year.

Money supply increased by 3.8 per cent from Dh251.6 billion to Dh261.2 billion. Quasi-monetary deposits it increased by 1.9 per cent from Dh834.7 billion as at the end of March 2011 to Dh850.5 billion at the end of April of the same year.

UAE ranks first in Human Development among Arab countries The UAE ranked first regionally and 32nd globally in the Human Development Report 2010. It was also rated as one of only two countries from the region in the most advanced category or the category of "very high human development with a multi-dimensional rate of poverty below one percent.

The UAE ranked first regionally and 45th globally among 138 countries covered by the Gender Inequality Index, which measure gender gaps in reproductive health, empowerment and participation in the labour force. This performance is attributable to gender equality in education, with 77% of adult women in the UAE attaining secondary or higher level of education, the same as for men.



INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT: As part of the drive to minimize dependence on oil as the main source of income, the UAE is seeking to increase industrial sector's contribution to the GDP to 25%.

By the end of 2010, the number of industrial establishments in the UAE reached 4,960 with total investments of Dh110.1 billion.

The sector also saw emergence of new strategic and advanced industries such as energy, aerospace, aluminium, chemicals and basic metals.

In April, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai and His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces inaugurated today the Emirates Aluminium Company Limited (EMAL) smelter development project in the Al Taweelah area of Abu Dhabi.

EMAL is developed jointly by Dubai Aluminium Company (DUBAL) and Mubadala Development Company (MUBADALA).

RENEWABLE ENERGY: UAE's global leadership in renewable energy initiatives and projects was evident in the selection of the country's capital to host headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), hosting of the World Future Energy Summit and the launch of the US$ 2.2 million Zayed Future Energy Prize.

According to a report by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (DED), investments in clean energy in the UAE reached US$ 7 billion in 2008 and are forecast to reach US$ 50 billion by 2015. The UAE Investment Map estimates around US$ 100 billion in investment opportunities in the country's alternative energy sector.

In April 2011, Abu Dhabi was officially named as permanent home to IRENA during the historic first session of the international organization.

Some 148 countries, and the European Union have signed the Statute of the Agency. Moreover, 64 countries and the European Union which ratified the statute of IRENA participated in the Assembly.

IRENA's Council endorsed progress on a US$ 350 million partnership fund with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development aimed at providing easy tern loans to finance renewable energy projects in developing member countries.

In January, The fourth World Future Energy Summit (WFES) 2011 concluded in Abu Dhabi following four days of high level summit debate from international leaders and experts, and two exhibitions showcasing the latest technologies and innovations in renewable energy and environment.

Held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the Summit formed a unique business platform aiding the global development and commercialisation of renewable energy solutions.

"The UAE is making considerable efforts to find solutions to the world's energy challenges, in particular through the Masdar initiative and the World Future Energy Summit, which provides a platform for global cooperation in renewable energy and sustainability," said Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General, United Nations.

"I want my country to know how advanced you are in pursuing clean renewable energy. I want the world to know that the US is partnering with you because we are betting on Abu Dhabi and the UAE," said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Earlier in April, Ministers, business leaders and representatives from non-governmental organisations have held open discussions at the 2011 Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) in Abu Dhabi to examine and promote policies and programmers that advance clean energy technology.

In October, His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and King Juan Carlos of Spain launched in the Spanish city of Asheville the Gemasolar, world's first power plant capable of 24 -hour , uninterrupted electricity generation from the sun.

Sheikh Mohammed said the UAE under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan continues efforts to achieve the sustainable development and contribute effectively to enhancing global energy security through dissemination of the feasibility of investing in renewable energy technology and resources to achieve balance and sustainability of the resources needed to face all future challenges.

The Abu Dhabi Crown Prince underlined that the inauguration of this great project "is a fruit of cooperation with Spain", indicating that genuine success requires Masdar to encourage and inspire others to find sources of future energy.

He cited the UAE's important role to boost the international relations in the area of energy through Masdar initiative.

Masdar had in June 2010 launched its pioneer project (Shams1), operated, maintained and developed solar plant in Zayed City at cost Dh2.2 billion in cooperation with French Total and Spanish Abengoa Companies. This plant will be operational in the third quarter of 2012. Masdar owns 60 per cent of the plant in Zayed City in Western Region, while Total and Abengoa own each 20 per cent.

Shams1 plant is the biggest concentrated solar plant in the world, and the first kind of its kind in the Middle East. The project aims to achieve ambitious objective of government of Abu Dhabi to provide 7 per cent of the UAE need for the renewable energy in 2020.

In Dubai, the Supreme Council of Energy, which has been set up recently, announced that the work is underway to implement three stages to set up the first power generation projects from the solar energy in 2012, in addition to 10 projects, which will be completed by the mid of next year to reduce carbon dioxide with capacity of 1.7 million annually. This will provide a new source of local income through selling national carbon reserve to other countries.

UAE IN NUCLEAR ENERGY AGE: The UAE has practically entered into the nuclear production age. The UAE Nuclear Energy Foundation said it will achieve by the mid of 2012 the initial construction works of the four nuclear plants in Baraka in Western Region in Abu Dhabi emirate. It will commence the production and supply the Emirates Network with electricity by 2017 with capacity of 1400MW for each nuclear-actor. This will provide future energy needs in the country, and ensure implementation of ambitious sustainable development plans.

The Foundation will invite a bid by the first quarter of 2012 to purchase nuclear fuel needed to run the four plants. It signed at the end of 2009 in Abu Dhabi contracts worth Dh75 billion with South Korean and American Consortium under chair of the Korea Electric Company (KECO), to build and operate four nuclear-actors till 2020. The first nuclear-actor will be completed by 2017 with production capacity of 1400MW.

The UAE has signed four cooperation agreements with Japan, France and Britain to implement its peaceful nuclear programme, and with the U.S. for the bilateral cooperation in the area of peaceful nuclear energy that aims to boost cooperation for non proliferation of nuclear energy and the levels of safety and security.

Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had completed an eight day mission on Jan. 23, 2011, through which it evaluated the development of infrastructure of the nuclear energy in the UAE.

The IAEA team composed of 12 members concluded that the UAE understands fully its long term obligations and responsibilities for the development of the peaceful nuclear energy programme. The team added that the implementation of programme is compatible with the instructions of IAEA.

They indicated that the method being followed by the UAE could be a model for good practices to emulate by other countries that seek to develop civil nuclear energy programme.

Jong Kyun Park, the director of the nuclear power division at the IAEA, said he didn't see any gaps in the United Arab Emirates' nuclear programme.

"The team concluded that the development of the United Arab Emirates' nuclear infrastructure is progressing well and in line with the IAEA's guidelines.

Hamad Ali al-Kaabi, the United Arab Emirates' special envoy to the IAEA, said the assessment by the regulatory agency reflects his country's commitments to its international obligations.

"We are open, we are transparent, we are developing a peaceful nuclear programme with the highest international standards," he said in a statement. "And we are eager to continue in our cooperation with the IAEA and follow its guidance." The IAEA Managing Director Yokia Amano stressed on Dec. 04, 2010, that the IAEA works closely with the UAE to establish secure and safe nuclear energy programme, adding that there were a number of technical projects of IAEA that help the UAE to develop the national infrastructure of the nuclear energy to generate power.

He reiterated that the UAE and IAEA cooperate to set up an electronic education portal at Khalifa University for Sciences, Technology and Research. The Applied Technology Institutes in the UAE introduced in October 2010 the first Higher Diploma in Nuclear Technology to qualify students to work in the nuclear plants when they become operational by 2017.

The UAE was selected by the end of September 2010 as a member in IAEA Board of Governors, which includes 35 countries, representing the Middle and South Asia Group.



OIL AND GAS: The Oil and gas industry in the UAE represents the core of economy, whose policies were drawn in the field to exploit oil and gas in a way that preserves a share of this depleting resources to next generations.

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company has allocated about Dh220 billion for investment in the oil, gas and petrochemicals in the next 10 years. It also plans to implement a number of the developmental projects to increase oil production to 3.5 million barrel a day by 2017 from to the current 2.5 billion barrel for a day. Its gas production is expected to soar to 7.5 billion cubic feet from the current 6 billion cubic feet.

The UAE ranks the third in world oil reserve, about 98 billion barrel, while it ranks the fifth in production of the natural gas with reserve of 6 trillion cubic feet.

The country observes the production ceiling specified by the Oil Production and Exporting Countries (OPEC) to maintain sufficient supplies of oil to the market and stability of the prices.

H. H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Foreign Minister said in his statement before the General Assembly of the United Nations on Sept. 26, 2011, that the UAE seeks to become responsible producer in the area of traditional energy, whether at the national or international level, through supporting the prices stability in the oil and gas markets, and pushing forward development of new oil and gas reserves, and ensure safe import tracks, meet long term sustainable requirements through development and consumption of energy with reduced carbon.

He added that the UAE will continue working as a confident and firm source for resources to the rest of world, and it will work through OPEC and International Energy Forum, and as a supporter to the prices stability and continuous dialogue between the producers and consumers.

The International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) has made its presence felt at the world markets. Its investment portfolio stood at about Dh177 billion at the end of 2010.

SATELLITES: The UAE is one of the advanced countries in the region and the Middle East in using the satellite technologies, a position that puts the country in the map of technical excellence and innovation in the world.

Five satellites cover the UAE at cost of billions of dollars, while the country plans to launch two new satellites during 2012.

Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) granted on June 20, 2011, a new licence for the satellite service to (Twofour54) in the media free zone, to boost TV telecast and reception services.

Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat), a wholly owned subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company, Abu Dhabi government's strategic investment and development vehicle, launched on April 23, 2011, it first satellite (Y1A) in the framework of its programme to establish world class infrastructure for Information and Telecommunications Technology. The Company plans to launch the second satellite by the end of this year to boost the capacity of satellite telecommunications in the region and meet the increasing demand for the advanced satellite telecommunications by its government clients, companies and individuals.

Yahsat possess a satellite control centre at al-Falah district in Abu Dhabi. It is managed by elite of Emirati engineers.

Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) was established in Dubai in 2006 with the aim to encourage scientific innovation and technological progress in the country. The (EIAST) successfully launched the satellite (Dubaisat-1), the first remote sensing satellite owns by the UAE to get access to the advanced space technologies to meet the scientific and technological research requirements, and provide required data to serve the comprehensive development process. The (EIAST) is also planning to launch the second satellite in 2012 in cooperation with South Korean scientists.

Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Company, which was set up in 1997 in Abu Dhabi by a consortium including a number of national telecommunications companies and investment corporations in the region, owns three satellites roaming different continents.

Thuraya's services cover over 140 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Australia. The three satellites serve two thirds of the world's population.

The UAE has scientific and technological cooperation ties with United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs. It hosted on May 9, 2011, Global Space and Satellite Forum 2011, held for third year in a row in Abu Dhabi. The country also hosted the sessions of International Workshop on Global Navigation Satellite Systems, organised by (EIAST).



INFRASTRUCTURE: The Global Competitiveness Report issued in 2009-2010, by the fourth World Economic Forum in July 2010, classified the UAE in the sixth position in the world out of 132 countries regarding good infrastructure index. It was also ranked the 23rd in total competitiveness.

The report also puts the UAE among the top countries in the areas of general premises, roads, air transport and electricity. The UAE continues efforts to implement more advanced infrastructure projects, especially in the area of transport to include extensive network of international airports, seaports, international aviation companies, in addition to railways projects (Metro), advanced highways and internal roads, bridges, tunnels and others.

The current volume of road and bridge projects, or the projects to be set up by the Gulf Cooperation Council for Arab States (GCC) are estimated at US$142 billion (Dh5215 billion). The UAE tops the list in terms of spending.

According to the study released by Ventures Middle East ,Business Market Research - Management, says the volume of existing roads and bridges' projects and planned similar projects in the UAE are estimated at US$58billion (Dh213billion), representing 40 per cent of the regional volume of projects- this after addition of Abu Dhabi Grand Plan for Land Transport estimated at about US$25 billion.

International Road Federation (IRF) Middle East said the volume of investments in the emirate of Abu Dhabi alone in the sector of transport and infrastructure regarding the current project, is estimated at Dh18 billion- this does not include union train project, or future projects.

The UAE has more than 26 seaports, of which 15 of them constitute UAE main sea borders. It has invested in the recent years billions of dirhams to develop the infrastructure of ports and setting up of new ports.

The Union Train Company, established in 2009, has announced it will invite tender at the end of 2011 for main construction contracts for Union Train Project at cost of about Dh40 billion. The Union railway extends to 1200km with capacity of 50 million tons of goods at the beginning of its operation. The Union Train Network will cover seven emirates and will link Al Ghweifat town at the UAE-Saudi borders in the West with Al Ain City and Sultanate Oman in the East.



Meanwhile, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai launched on Sept. 09, 2011, the official operation phase of the green line of Dubai Metro, whose length is 23km and 19 stations.

Dubai is the first GCC city to introduce metro at total cost of Dh29 billion. The total length of green and red lines are 70km with 10 underground stations. The red line of Dubai Metro with 52km, is the longest metro line in the world that operates without driver. Those who used the metro so far since its inception are 30 million passengers.

The UAE has seven international airports in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras al- Khaimah, Fujairah and Al Ain. There are huge expansions at Abu Dhabi and Dubai airports. ` Sheikh Mohammed launched on July 01, 2010 the first phase of Al Maktoum International Airport at Jebel Ali in the framework of Dubai World Centre Project, spreading at land area of 140km square at total cost of US$30 billion.

The national carriers, Etihad, Emirates, Arabia, flydubai, Ras al-Khaimah Aviation Company have registered significant growth in terms of fleets as they acquired huge modern aircraft. They have also increased the international destinations and number of passengers.

The UAE airports are investing Dh183 billion in new projects for 15 years to raise the capacity of airports to 200 million passengers annually.

The Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) has earmarked Dh25 billion for expansion of the Abu Dhabi Airport and construction of new complex, whose construction will finish by 2016.

Meanwhile, the Dubai Aviation Corporation, has also earmarked about Dh22 billion to implement the new project and the expansion of Al Maktoum and Dubai airports. The UAE has signed over 123 air transport agreements with many countries worldwide.

The Ministry of Public Works since August 2010 implemented a number of the development projects in Northern emirates at cost Dh5 billion. It was part of the Dh16 billion charity ordered by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan's. The special committee for follow up of the initiative of the UAE President oversees the implementation of five- point plan, which includes extensive highways, local road network, construction of advanced residential complexes, sewerage projects, health, education, infrastructure projects in the remote areas.

INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY (ICT): The ICT sector has witnessed since the inception of Union rapid qualitative developments that put the UAE on the top of regional and international levels in this respect.

The UAE is ranked as the top Arab country and the 24th in the world in the field of ICT in 2011, according to the report issued by the World Economic Forum regarding extent of readiness of network after the declaration of Abu Dhabi that it had successfully installed the fibre optic network by the end of April, to become the first capital in the world fully connected with the fibre optic network.

According to the report prepared by the Studies Section of the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi, the volume of spending for the sector of ICT in the UAE stood at Dh16.1 billion in 2010. It is expected to reach Dh18.4 billion in 2011.

It added the cell phone lines soared to 199.3 for every 100 users (people) in February, while the users of Internet were 65.5 for every100 people. The land lines were 30.6 for 100 people. In 2010, the users of cell phones were 100 subscribers, while the users of the land phones were 1. 714 million (One million, seven hundreds and fourteen), while the Internet subscribers were 3.8 million in June 2010.



TOURISM AND EXHIBITIONS: The tourism and travel sector has witnessed huge progress, boosting the UAE standing in the world tourism map. The UAE has been ranked the 30th worldwide out of 139 countries covered by the Competitiveness Report for Travel and Tourism, issued by the World Economic Forum. It was ranked the first country in the Middle East as the most developed in the tourism and travel sector.

The report added that the tourism and travel sector had contributed 16.6 per cent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2010. This sector is expected to grow by 8.1 per cent annually from 2010- 2020. Dubai and Sharjah contributed about 93 per cent of the tourism and travel sector to the GDP.

The UAE is ranked the fourth in the world in the infrastructure of tourism, especially in the sector of air transport. It attracted in 2010 over eight million tourists.

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) expected that the UAE will attract this year 10.5 million tourists who will spend Dh98 billion. It added that the share of the travel and tourism sector in the GDP in the UAE in 2011 soared by 10.4 per cent to Dh115.4 billion, indicating that it will continue rising by 12.1 per cent to Dh216 billion by year 2021.

The volume of investment in the tourism sector this year stands at Dh41.5 billion. The WTTC expects that the sector will grow at rate of 7.1 per cent to Dh82.3 billion by year 2021.

The UAE enjoys factors of success regarding the tourism, among others, the security, stability, strategic geographic location and infrastructure.

The UAE organises world event races such as Formula1 at Yas Island, exhibitions at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) and the Dubai World Trade Centre and Sharjah Expo, Ras al-Khaimah Exhibition Centre, Fujairah Exhibition Centre, a number of commercial, industrial, cultural, heritage, environment, scientific, tourism sessions, as well as the military exhibitions that attract millions of visitors worldwide.

The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, whose membership includes about 550 members from 84 countries, managing over 4, 500 exhibitions at 181 exhibition centres worldwide, has selected ADNEC to host its next conference, which will be held in 2012 for the first time in the GCC.



GENERAL SERVICES: The UAE since its inception has prioritized boosting the social development sectors, including the education, health, housing and basic infrastructure in line with the framework of ambitious strategies to achieve welfare for citizens.

The Federal General Budget for 2011 focused on the social development by endorsing about Dh19 billion, 46 per cent of the total budget to this sector, which includes general and higher education, health, housing, pensions, social aid and direct services that touch the lives of citizens regarding their living conditions, stability and welfare.

The number of public and private schools in the academic year 2011-2012 reached 1186 schools, with about 790, 836 students in all the school levels compared to 74 schools, which absorbed 12, 800 students during the inception of Union in the academic year 1971- 72).

Regarding the higher education, the UAE University, which was established in 1977, was followed by tens of universities, higher education institutions, government and private colleges, which spread across the country. They graduated over 95, 000 graduates at the end of 2009 apart from Emirati graduates abroad.

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, said the UAE has become world hub for the higher education as it attracts different world universities. The country attracted a number of major American, European and Austrian universities.



HEALTH SERVICES: The UAE has implemented the strategic programmes to combat the chronic, communicable diseases, as well as addressing the child and mother care. Specialised hospitals and health centres spread across the UAE, including the open heart surgeries, transplantation of organs, dialysis centres, nuclear medicine units, endoscope surgeries, and the centres for the treatment of diabetes and cancer.

A study estimated spending for the healthcare in the UAE during 2010 at over AEF33.7 billion. At the end of 2009 the Federal Health Authority was set up to upgrade efficiency of the health institutions' services and competitiveness nationwide.

The number of hospitals in the UAE is 40 and over 115 first aid care centres. There are 14 public hospitals of the Ministry of Health, 67 health centres, in addition to 11 main school health centres, 10 centres for motherhood and childhood care, 110 specialised units for the motherhood and childhood units at the hospitals and healthcare centres. There are tens of huge private hospitals and thousands of private clinics, compared to seven hospitals and 12 health centres during the inception of union in 1971.

The Ministry of Health is planning new health projects, among others, Central hospitals in the emirates of Ras al -Khaimah and Umm al-Qaiwain, and a number of health centres in the Northern emirates. The budget of the Ministry in 2011 is Dh2.3 billion.

HOUSING: The UAE has prioritized provision of the modern houses to citizens. The architectural designs of these houses observe the local environment of citizens to ensure good living conditions, stability, and social welfare and secure future.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai said, "The provision of appropriate accommodation to Emiratis comes on the top of agenda of national work, and it is the basic responsibility of the government".

There are several concerted federal and local government efforts to provide housing needs for citizens, among others, the Ministry of Public Works, The Committee to Follow the Initiative of President for Development of Infrastructure in the Remote Areas, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Housing Establishment in Dubai, the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council and other housing departments at the municipalities nationwide.

The Ministry of Public Works has been implementing since 2007 a national housing plan for the next 20 years, covering all the housing needs for citizens nationwide. Besides the housing plans implemented since the inception of Union, the ministry also oversees the implementation of the UAE President Five-Point Plan to Develop the Infrastructure in the Northern emirate.

The housing project includes construction of thousands of housing units, among which 338 are under construction now and a same number of houses are undergoing renovation. Plans have been drawn for 1500 housing units each in the emirates of Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah , Umm al Qaiwain and Ajman. The Public Works Ministry supervises the execution of the Sheikh Zayed housing Programme which has strong support from the federal government since its inception early in 1999. A total of 48000 citizens have benefitted from this Programme until September 2011 according to the official figures. In its 2010 budget the Federal government doubled the amount earmarked for this programme to a Dh 1.8billion in an effort to ensure welfare for increased number of citizens.

On5th June 20111 Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai issued the new executive bylaw for the Zayed Housing Programme enabling it to take into account various humanitarian conditions and family situations. Among these new rules are the eligibility of Emirati women to obtain housing in a number of situations as detailed in the bylaw.

Abu Dhabi's Urban Planning Council was launched in 2011 within the framework of Vision Abu Dhabi 2030. It gave a modern vision for the housing of the citizens.

Since the formation of the United Arab Emirates by the late Sheikh Zayed and under the directives of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE's President and the guidance of HH General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the Government of Abu Dhabi has placed a strong focus on planning and building housing for its National families.

The delivery of these housing communities forms a key part of the Government's commitment and overall Vision 2030 for Abu Dhabi, which ensures that Nationals have access to high-quality housing constructed by reputable, local developers to the highest standards of quality and sustainability, building on the success of the Estidama sustainability programme launched and managed by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC).

HH General Sheikh Mohammed, who witnessed signing of seven agreements for building new houses for citizens, said that the diligence to provide decent houses for the citizens always is a top priority in the policies, planning and guidelines for national development so as to ensure prosperity for the nationals and enable them to contribute to the welfare of the nation.

The Executive Council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi earmarked on 13th June 2011 more than Dh 7billion in the current budget for new housing loans to citizens. In the following month nearly Dh3billion was approved in new housing loans from which a total of 1496 citizens benefited. In July 2011 Sheikh Khalifa gave orders allocating 1235 new housing plots to citizens in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region as part of his keenness to guarantee decent living for the citizens.

Mohammed bin Rashid Housing Establishment was founded in October 2006 with a vision of Appropriate housing for each national. Set up with a capital of Dh12 billion MBRHE is a public governmental establishments of corporate personality, aiming at providing the appropriate housing to the nationals of the emirate of Dubai, by providing all the services related to housing the nationals under one umbrella through the various alternatives, such as granting residential plots, governmental houses, ready houses, maintaining and extending the current houses, giving housing loans as per the policies and standards adopt by the Establishment. The Establishments contributes in stimulating the national economy by executing investment projects and activating the strategic partnerships with the private and public sectors.

Since 2007 MBRHE implemented 1646 new housing units in various areas of the emirate of Dubai. Hundreds of new projects are currently underway.

In January 2011 HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid ordered to allocate 761 housing units to citizens in the emirate.

MEDIA: Over the last four decades the media in the UAE witnessed continuous development on various levels. The infrastructural development was so intensive to keep the media scene in the country abreast with the global achievements in the fields of communication technology. Sincere work was carried out to ensure transparency and freedom of speech, to modernize legislation regulating media activities and to set up new freezones for media. The National Media Council which was established in 2006 supervises the media policy in the country and works to support development of Emirati cadre well-versed in the media field.

On 12th October 2011 the UAE cabinet appointed Minister of Public Works Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan as the new chairman of the National Media Council.

Sheikh Hamdan chaired the first meeting of the media coordination council, which is comprised of senior media officials in the country. He gave a review of the NMC's vision regarding the founding of an consultative and coordination council for various media organisations across the UAE with the goal of finding means for enhancing the media role in serving the nation. He stressed that the NMC will do whatever it can do to strengthen the media through legislations and regulations ensuring freedom of speech so as the media will become a vital factor in the sustainable development by shining light on every positive and negative aspect of the national work.

"We wish that the media in the UAE, both print and electronic media, will continue its important role of reflecting the public opinion and the aspirations of the people" Sheikh Hamdan said.

Speaking about the 40th anniversary of the UAE National Day, Sheikh Hamdan said that the media can do a lot to make this occasion lively and vibrant.

Sheikh Hamdan also stressed the importance of Emiratisation in the field of media through implementation of well defined action plans and offered that the NMC is prepared to give every assistance in this regard and will itself implement programmes to meet this end.

During the last two years, NMC, in association with national organizations and international experts, has shown profound interest in organizing several seminars, training programmes and workshops with the goal of empowering national cadre in the media.

Today there are 15 satellite television channels, 24 radio stations and tens of newspapers and magazines based in the UAE. UAE has a state news agency under the name Emirates News Agency, WAM. Across the country There are four free media zones, which are homes to hundreds of media organizations . The media zones include TwoFour 54, Abu Dhabi Media Zone where 135 national and world media organizations are clustered operating in the fields of media production. The Dubai Media City is home to over 1400 media companies operating in the areas of print and electronic media and advertisement.

Another free media zone is situated in Fujairah and a fourth one in Ras Al Khaimah where tens of media organizations have set up their bases.

The Dubai Press Club and Journalists Association have hundreds of journalists and media persons as their members.

In 2008 the Mohammed Bin Rashid Media College was launched with the aim of developing a new generation of professionals capable of assuming leadership roles in the media for promoting responsible communications in the rapidly changing global information landscape. It also aims at taking forward the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Established in cooperation with the prestigious Annenberg School of Communication of the University of South California (USC), the Mohammed Bin Rashid Media College is located within the American University of Dubai campus, and will start receiving students for the September 2008 intake.



CULTURAL OPENNESS: The UAE seeks to become a centre of culture and heritage for the entire region, not just in terms of its own traditions but as a place where there can be an effective interchange between cultures.

In pursuit of this, leading museums from around the world are being involved in the construction of the Sa'adiyat Cultural District in Abu Dhabi. These include the Louvre Museum Abdu Dhabi, the Sheikh Zayed National Museum and a number of other ambitious projects which will transform the 27km cultural district in the Island into a top cultural destination on the global level.

In Dubai, the Khor Dubai cultural project, covering 20 sq. km to be implemented at a total coast of Dh50billion, will provide a home for a Universal Museums plan which will eventually display artistic treasures from around the world.

Another important cultural centre is Sharjah, which has over a dozen museums, covering topics as varied as archaeology, Islamic Art, Aviation and Maritime history.



ENVIRONMENT: UAE achieved a prominent place both regionally and globally for its achievements in the area of environmental protection and wildlife. UAE also made major contributions to the global research to protect endangered species. It also was a major player in the efforts to breed in captivity a number of endangered birds such as houbara bastard and falcons and reintroduce them into the wild. UAE set up sanctuaries for natural breeding of several types of migratory birds and worked earnestly to strike a balance between sustainable development and protection of environment in order to give the future generations their right to live in a healthy and safe environment.

On April 2005, the late UAE President, Sheikh Zayed, was awarded the prize (posthumously) among seven leaders in the field of the environment as Champions of the Earth for "setting an example for the world to follow.

One of Sheikh Zayed's most enduring achievements is the greening of the region's deserts. Under his leadership, 100 million trees were planted, hunting was outlawed more than a quarter of a century ago, and a sanctuary was established on the island of Sir Bani Yas to safeguard such endangered species as the Arabian Oryx and the sand gazelle. The selection of Sheikh Zayed comes ahead of the United Nations International Year of Deserts and Desertification in 2006.

In 2006 UAE established a new ministry for environment and water and continues to enhance international cooperation in the field of environment, especially in the light of the global initiatives for developing clean and renewable energy.

HUMAN RESOURCES: Since the founding of the UAE before 40 years the leaders gave paramount importance for the making of man with the strong faith that human being is the real wealth and the foundation of renaissance.

The founding president of UAE did spare no efforts to develop the human wealth and bring up a generation who have strong confidence in their own selves and are capable of protecting their national identity President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has directed that the empowerment of the country's citizens must be of paramount importance in the UAE's development programme.



The period of Empowerment which was launched by Sheikh Khalifa in 2006 put the citizens at the heart of development .

He said: "The homeland without its citizens has no value and is of no use, regardless of the wealth and resources it may have." Various federal and local agencies joined together to develop strategies and action plans to empower citizens to take up jobs in the public and private sectors In 2009 the cabinet approved to set up UAE Tawteen Council to coordinate the Emiratisation efforts on the local and federal levels.

The Government strategy for the years 2011-2013 has reaffirmed the need to invest in the training of the country's citizens and, in particular, to pay attention to the development of a new generation of leaders, prepared to play their part in the building of the state.

In November 2009 Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid issued the cabinet ordinance setting up the Federal a Federal Demographics Council, under the chairmanship of Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior. The ordinance also merged the Emiratisation Council with the new body . The council aims to strike a balance in the demographic structure in the country.

At the same time UAE government is diligent on protecting the rights and safety of the foreign workers, who contribute positively to the development of the country. The country has created a work environment that conforms to the international regulations and the best practices in protecting labour rights.

In September this year, Labour Minister Saqr Ghobash participated in the G20 Labour and Employment Ministerial Meeting in Paris and gave a presentation of the strategy of the country for creating job opportunities for the nationals. He said : "Our priorities have less to do with dealing with the fallouts of the 2008-'10 global economic downturn, and more to do with longstanding, structural labour and employment challenges that have emerged and accumulated over the past three decades".

UAE's policies for the protection of the labour rights have earned it global reputation and acceptance. In June this year the International Labour Organisation (ILO) voted the UAE to be a member of the organisation's board of directors for West Asian countries during the 100th ILO Conference in Geneva.

The move came in recognition of the UAE's efforts and role in regulating the labour markets and protecting labour rights.

Khalifa Khamis Mattar Al Ka'abi, a member of the UAE delegation to the ILO conference was also re-elected for the fourth time as a member of the board to represent employers in west Asian countries.

PROGRESS OF WOMEN: The UAE is an example of a rapid and successful development story in the region, in terms of both the infrastructure and economy of the country and also the progress of its people. The UAE's achievement is perhaps best typified in the evolution and growing prominence of Emirati women as partners and contributors in this remarkable nation-building process.

They are today at the forefront of the workforce in the UAE in both the government sector as well as a growing number in the private sector. Aided by the government's commitment to empower women and provide them with equal opportunities, the status of women within the UAE has flourished in parallel with the country's growth since the federation was established in 1971. It is evident across the UAE that women today constitute a vital part of the nation's workforce and actively contribute to the country's government and economy.

The women have made remarkable achievements within the framework of the political empowerment programme launched by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The women in the UAE today make strong participation in legislature, executive roles and judiciary as equal partners in the process of country's development. Women in UAE fill four seats in the cabinet and had filled nine seats in a total of 40 seats in the Federal National Council, the country's parliament. This was the highest percentage of the women's parliamentary representation anywhere in the world. The women also participated actively in the recent elections to the FNC winning a seat.

Moreover, a woman was unanimously elected to be the deputy speaker of FNC, thus becoming the first female deputy speaker in a GCC country. Over 65 Emirati women work in the diplomatic career including two ambassadors.

Women fill nearly 66 percent of the jobs in the public sector and over 30 percent of them are in senior executive and decision making roles. Nearly 15 percent of the total female employees fill technical and skilled jobs in medicine, education, para-medical services. This is in addition to her role in police force and military.

Women's presence in business and investment is impressive. The UAE Businesswomen's Council boasts a membership of 12000 women who altogether control 11000 investment projects the total value of which cross Dh12.3 billion.

While addressing the General Debate of the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly On 26th September 2011 UAE Foreign Minister HH Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan shone light on the progress of women in the UAE.

The UAE realizes that the success of women's empowerment is an essential component to building a modern and tolerant society. Therefore, the UAE has achieved a number of remarkable successes in the field of empowerment of women, which represents clear evidence of the absence of any conflict between the Arab, the Muslim, and the Modern, Sheikh Abdullah said.

The UAE has a significant track record in the field of women's rights, 40 years ago females were not sent to schools; however, in today's society women represent 70% of all university graduates in the UAE. Women now also occupy around two thirds of government jobs, and 22.5% of seats in the Federal National Council, in addition to the fact that the federal government has four female ministers. We also have now the first UAE federal judge, and recently, three female pilots were accredited as women pilots in the UAE Air Forces, noted Sheikh Abdullah.

He continued: The UAE constitution guarantees equal rights for both men and women, where women enjoy the same legal status, preserving their own family names and titles, the right to education, and the right of employment, as their male counterparts. The UAE Constitution prohibits any discrimination between women and men in salaries. The UAE further joined a number of international conventions on human rights, including the Convention on Eliminating All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which was signed in 2004.

"Based on the above reasoning, the UAE sees the importance of supporting international efforts in the field of women's empowerment. In this context we would like to commend proudly the establishment of the United Nations for Women (UN-WOMEN), and we declare extending a contribution of USD5 million to this newly established organ", Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed pledged.



The UAE General Women's Union was established early in the year 1975 as a pioneering initiative by HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak. The GWU adopts a comprehensive strategy for the empowerment of Emirati women in eight major fields that include education, health, economy, media, politics, social work, environment and legislation.

In April 2009 , the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) launched in Abu Dhabi its biennial global report.

The Progress of the World's Women 2008 / 2009 report, titled "Who Answers to Women", focused on five key areas where the need to strengthen accountability to women is urgent: politics and governance, access to public services, economic opportunities, justice, and finally the distribution of international assistance for development and security.

HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairperson of the General Women's Union (GWU) and Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation, expressed great happiness on the UNIFEM initiative to launch the report from Abu Dhabi.

She also expressed profound gratitude to the UNIFEM for that initiative, saying that " it reflects the good standing of the GWU on the international scene and represents another recognition of the achievements of women in the UAE, which put women at a centre stage of the country's sustainable development programme, under the wise leadership of President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan".

The GWU achieved a reputable position through its participations in the regional and international forums and through joining various international organizations working in the field of the progress of women.

In 2008 Abu Dhabi hosted the Second Arab Women's Summit under the patronage of HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak. Main topics on the conference agenda included the road ahead for Arab women, the role of women in public life, politics, business, education and the media, besides other topics and issues. â€" Emirates News Agency, WAM

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