x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

FNC members settle into their new home

The new members of the FNC met for an orientation session.

ABU DHABI // Newly elected members of the FNC have taken their first steps inside the building that will be their workplace for the next four years.

Sultan Al Sammahi said he had a clear picture of the FNC offices planted in his head by his sister, a former member.

But when the member from Fujairah entered the premises yesterday he was overcome by awe.

"I regret not visiting the building before," Mr Al Sammahi said.

He was among the 20 FNC members entering the place that will be home to their debates and decisions over the coming years.

After a tour, the members listened to the various staff committees that would assist them in their duties.

Hamad Al Rahomi, from Dubai, said he was surprised to see most of the work he thought he would spend his time on had been done for him. It was an observation echoed by other new members.

"I was planning to focus on research and studies but I saw that they are already there, so now I can do new things," Mr Al Rahomi said.

"Now I'm thinking I need to develop strong points since we have the time. If we were going to adopt 20 cases, now there is time to adopt more."

He said he and his fellow members were surprised and grateful to find their Emirati support staff was so highly qualified.

Ahmed Al Jarwan, from Sharjah, said the council's duties were now much clearer to him than they were during the election campaign. Now, he said, they understood the job was not to solve "one-to-one" problems, or issues that were being handled by large institutions. Rather, the FNC had consultative duties and worked alongside the Government to deliver the voice of the people in matters such as legislation.

As part of the orientation, members were taught how to present issues to officials and ministers.

"We don't point our finger with accusations at them," Mr Al Jarwan said. "The FNC and Cabinet are the same team.

"The goal is not to look for their mistakes but to look for ways to facilitate, so instead of spending 50 years in a project, only 10 years are spent."