Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 30 September 2020

Coronavirus: Sheikh Mohammed chairs first UAE Cabinet meeting in person since February

The Vice President and Ruler of Dubai said government operations were resuming a month early due to 'exceptional circumstances'

The UAE Cabinet gathered in person on Monday for the first time since February due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ministers have held virtual meetings since March as part of efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid used the landmark meeting at the Presidential Palace to announce that the UAE Cabinet would be returning to work a month early amid "exceptional circumstances" facing the nation.

The Vice President and Ruler of Dubai said such were sacrifices needed to ensure the success of the Emirates.

As with countries all over the globe, the UAE has been working tirelessly in recent months to combat the spread of coronavirus, managing both the public health and economic implications of the pandemic.

"Today, I chaired the first Cabinet meeting at the Presidential Palace after a series of remote meetings. It is also the first meeting after the latest UAE Government formation," Sheikh Mohammed said.

"Our Cabinet work continues this summer due to the unprecedented circumstances. Our projects will continue. The government’s new season begins from August, not September. Our excellence and achievements are dependent on our enduring and relentless work efforts.

"We restructured several councils and issued several new appointments. We also discussed the government’s formation during the coming period and the most important new changes to keep pace with the priorities of the upcoming phase."

Sheikh Mohammed stressed the importance of bolstering the economy.

He said 33 initiatives aimed at reinvigorating the economic sector had been approved during the meeting.

Sheikh Mohammed appointed three ministers to lead the Ministry of Economy, in recognition of its importance, following a Cabinet reshuffle last month.

UAE will come out of 2020 looking to the future, Gargash says

Meanwhile, a senior cabinet minister said the UAE will look back on 2020 as a year of achievement and overcoming difficulty.

Dr Anwar Gargash said he would reflect on it as the year of 'space and the atom' - after the launch of the Hope probe to Mars and the switch-on of the first reactor at Barakah nuclear power plant.

"When the dust of 2020 settles, we will think of it with our optimistic Emirati spirit and remember that it is the year of space and the atom," he said.

"We are optimistic about our nation, its leadership and its people and about its ability to lead and innovate."

Updated: August 4, 2020 01:48 PM

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