ABU DHABI // President Sheikh Khalifa yesterday ordered pay rises of up to 45 per cent for all Emirati federal Government employees to mark the 40th National Day.
The increases will take effect in January, according to the state news agency, Wam. The minimum increase is 35 per cent, but some pay grades will be eligible for a further 10 per cent.
Ministry undersecretaries and assistant undersecretaries will also be eligible for a bonus.
Judicial authority employees and health and education ministry employees will receive an amount equal to 100 per cent of their basic salaries.
Some people who receive welfare from the Social Affairs Ministry will receive 20 per cent extra in their allowances.
The decision was met with excitement by Government employees.
"This is not the first time the President has surprised us with his generosity. It is not about the financial benefit, but about how the people of the country are taken care of," said Ali Mihad Al Suwaidi, the director general of the Ministry of Education. "It will definitely affect the allowances to our teachers, who work so hard to educate the country's future as well. Now we will work more diligently to surpass the expectations the President has of us."
Ibrahim Al Marzougi, 32, who is the head of judicial services at the Federal Supreme Court, said the raise was "expected, knowing the generosity of the leaders".
His first reaction was to buy a new car. He said he also would indulge his wife and children and upgrade rooms around the house.
It was not the first time Mr Al Marzougi had been the beneficiary of such governmental largesse.
"There was a 70 per cent raise when Sheikh Khalifa became President," said Mr Al Marzougi, who has worked at the court since 2000.
The director of quarantine section at the Ministry of Environment and Water, Abdulla Salem, was surprised at the news.
"I don't know how much percentage I'm getting," he said. "I was in meetings all day and only found out by phone.
"We thank his highness for this generosity, we appreciate it a lot and are very proud of it.
"It was a big surprise that makes everyone happy, it is like a prize for all," he added.
The President also ordered 2,500 plots of land to be allocated to Abu Dhabi citizens. The decision marked Sheikh Khalifa's commitment to providing suitable housing for Emiratis and guaranteeing social stability, according to Wam.
* With additional reporting by Afshan Ahmed