x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

FNC voters outline hopes for candidates

The National speaks to a cross-section of those selected to vote – and potentially stand for election – and ask what outcome they are hoping for in the forthcoming FNC ballot.

Voters are calling on prospective FNC members to focus on health care, education and emiratisation as primary issues at the centre of their campaigns.
Voters are calling on prospective FNC members to focus on health care, education and emiratisation as primary issues at the centre of their campaigns.

ABU DHABI // Voters are calling on prospective Federal National Council members to focus on health care, education and emiratisation as primary issues at the centre of their campaigns.

Nearly 130,000 Emiratis will be eligible to vote in September, the National Election Committee announced this week, a number that eclipses the 6,595 who qualified five years ago. The entire list of voters can be seen at www.uaenec.ae .

Voters were also keen to see individuals who would deliver on the needs of the community at large. The National asks 15 people on the voting rolls what they want to see in their FNC representatives.

Abdulla Ali Saeed Ali bin Ghalita

Age 23

Sex Male

Home emirate Dubai

Profession Tourist guide

Education High school graduate - Al Sharawi Secondary School for Boys

Are you going to vote? "I have yet to decide."

Will you run as a candidate? "No, I will not."

What are you looking for in a candidate? "I will look for the goals they will present in the elections. I don't think the goals in the campaign will be implemented in the majilis."

What are the most important issues in your emirate? "One of the major issues that faces Dubai is the population, and it needs a solution."

Was your name in the electoral college in 2006? "No, it was not."

 

Tareq Hamad Abdulla Ahmed Salem Fares

Age 38

Sex Male

Home emirate Ras al Khaimah

Profession Director

Education Majored in e-marketing and internet market and programming in the US.

Are you going to vote? "Yes, [but] that depends on the quality of the candidates. I will study them and then decide if I want to vote. I will vote for who deserves it."

Will you run as a candidate? "No. It's not for me."

What are you looking for in a candidate? "A person would be eligible if he really cares and understands what the council is and what it does. Last time, in 2006, when we sought some of them, they did not know what they will be doing there. The person should be a responsible person who will use his privileges to represent RAK people and what he will do for his country."

What are the most important issues in your emirate? "Health and education are two important areas that need a change, but the major issue that faces the UAE is the imbalance of the population and it should be taken seriously. Other emirates take a more important stand in education and health care as opposed to others, such as in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. We cannot divide health care and education, as this is an area that matters to the whole country. It should have been the same from the beginning, and not divided to certain areas only."

Was your name in the electoral college in 2006? "No."

 

Khalifa Salim Al Bedaiwei

Age 24

Sex Male

Home emirate Dubai

Profession Bailiff, Dubai Courts

Education Studied law at Sharjah University and Al Jazeera University.

Are you going to vote? "Yes. I will focus on Emiratisation as I know many high school graduates who can't find jobs."

Will you run as a candidate? "I am thinking about it."

What are you looking for in a candidate? "I will look for candidates to keep their word and not just talk without action. It's something you can tell if you see the person and it's not a matter of their social status, education, background or job title. There are some people who have no education but are leaders in life and lead others."

What are the most important issues in your emirate? "The country facilitates a lot of procedures for foreigners and gives them a lot of promotions. You have a local and you have a foreigner, but ultimately [the local] will be working to benefit his country and give back."

Was your name in the electoral college in 2006? "No."

 

Amira Abdulaal Ali Al Najjar

Age 27

Sex Female

Home emirate Sharjah

Profession Marketing

Education Mass communication at Zayed University

Are you going to vote? "Yes."

Will you run as a candidate? "No."

What are you looking for in a candidate? "I will look for someone who will listen to the people and knows what are the issues in the Government and country, someone who has a background on how to solve these issues as well, and not someone like me who is a marketer. I will vote for someone who is qualified and understands government rules and regulations, and knows how to make things work."

What are the most important issues in your emirate? "Salaries and Tawteen [nationalisation]. The issue is that everyone in Dubai is looking for a job in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah people in Dubai and people in RAK and Umm al Qaiwain want to work in Sharjah. People from Sharjah should be able to find opportunities in their own emirate and salaries on par with Abu Dhabi. Why do they have to go to another emirate to find a job?"

Was your name in the electoral college in 2006? "No."

 

Mohammed Humidan Al Zaabi

Age 46

Sex Male

Home emirate Abu Dhabi

Profession Businessman

Education MBA from Zayed University.

Are you going to vote? "Yes."

Will you run as a candidate? "I am considering nominating myself."

What are you looking for in a candidate? "We have to save our nation, and our regime has opened for UAE nationals to participate. We live in a democratic environment and this is a way to encourage UAE nationals to take part in the FNC where they can give ideas and directions, and I want to serve my nation. Anyone can be proud of his nation and trying to present his part in the elections and transmit their message to the FNC and make recommendations for the government."

What are the most important issues in your emirate? "The emirate is very powerful. The AD government is serving its nationals well, but they should also hear from citizens about what they think of the services in Abu Dhabi. A few things need to be discussed, and improve its services for UAE nationals in Abu Dhabi."

Was your name in the electoral college in 2006? "No."

 

Maryam Mubarak Al Serkal

Age 35

Sex Female

Home emirate Dubai

Profession Senior manager in the public sector

Education PhD

Are you going to vote? "Yes. I am pleased my name is on the list, but this is a big responsibility that requires dedication and commitment."

Will you run as a candidate? "Maybe."

What are you looking for in a candidate? "His interests mostly should be serving social topics such as youth, women and child issues.

What are the most important issues in your emirate? "Economic growth of Dubai."

Was your name in the electoral college in 2006? "No."

 

Rasha Abdulla al Hajeri

Age 27

Sex female

Home emirate Dubai

Profession Assistant project management in semi-government company

Education Degree in business science from Zayed University

Are you going to vote? "Yes"

Will you run as a candidate? "Of course. Although I didn't want to at the beginning, I was only planning to vote, but actually I have a message and I have to send it through the FNC. Right now I am so excited, really proud to be chosen as one of the almost 130,000. This is a responsibility to be taken seriously. I am glad to be one those people."

What are the most important issues in your emirate? "I think it is not the right time to mention anything. I am just proud to be one of the members, of course there will be a message behind choosing me."

Was your name in the electoral college in 2006? "No."

 

Latifa Ahmed

Age 22

Sex Female

Home emirate Dubai

Profession Student at Zayed University in Dubai

Education Undergraduate. Double degree in marketing and finance

Are you going to vote? "Yes."

Will you run as a candidate? "Too young to run as a candidate. Will do in the future."

What are you looking for in a candidate? "Someone interested in the country's economy, and tourism because it is very important for the country."

What are the most important issues in your emirate? "We need more hospitals and more doctors and more professionals, and closer to people's houses."

 

Mahra Falaknaz

Age 24

Sex Female

Home emirate Dubai

Profession Account manager at dubai egovernment

Education Master's in international business.

Are you going to vote? "Yes."

Will you run as a candidate? "Too young to do so this year. In the future I will."

What are you looking for in a candidate? "I will vote for the candidate who really deserves it. I do not have a preference for female or male, just whoever deserves the seat. Whoever has better skills and education."

What are the most important issues in your emirate? "Not really any issues, we just need more Emiratisation in some places.

Was your name in the electoral college in 2006? "No."

 

Abdullah Ahmed Hassan Ali

Age 25

Sex Male

Home emirate Dubai

Profession Passport controller at Dubai International Airport

Education A degree from Higher Colleges of Technology in Dubai

Are you going to vote? "Yes."

Will you run as a candidate? "No."

What are you looking for in a candidate? "Whoever wants the best for the country. Someone also accessible and someone we can reach and tell them what we want."

What are the most important issues in your emirate? "Unemployment, low salaries, no job promotions. Salaries are not enough for the high price of living."

Was your name in the electoral college in 2006? "No."

 

Munthir Ali Rashid Al Mizaki

Age 30

Sex Male

Home emirate Ras al Khaimah

Profession Official at the Ministry of Interiors by day and TV presenter by night for Dubai Sports channel.

Education High school degree, electrical engineering institute.

Are you going to vote? "Yes."

Will you run as a candidate? "A lot of people are encouraging me to be a candidate, I am thinking of it seriously."

What are the most important issues in your emirate? "Improving the quality of life and houses and helping people find employment. Improving the quality of life is the main request of locals."

Was your name in the electoral college in 2006? "No."

 

Maryam Hamad Ahmad bin Fahad

Age 30

Sex Female

Home emirate Dubai

Profession Executive director of Dubai Press Club

Education Degree in film and moving image technology from Leeds University in the UK

Are you going to vote? "Yes."

Will you run as a candidate? "I still have to think about it."

What are you looking for in a candidate? "The most important thing is for the candidate to project the needs of the community. It is not just about the presence of a candidate within the Federal National Council, it has to be an individual who has a strong ability to bring forth issues, as well as new ideas."

What are the most important issues in your emirate? "I always look at the positive side and not the negative side. We are very advanced in the region, but certain things can be improved. The focus should be on how we can develop more and close the present gaps."

Was your name in the electoral college in 2006? "No."

 

Nahla Hamad Ahmad Bin Fahad

Age 33

Sex Female

Home emirate Dubai

Profession Government sector and private business

Education Degree in media marketing and advertising

Are you going to vote? "Yes."

Will you run as a candidate? "Yes, I plan to run as a candidate because I want to serve my country. This is an opportunity and we are still young, so why not."

What are you looking for in a candidate? "I would be looking for someone who has a great personality, a candidate who can deliver the community's message and someone who is proactive. It should be a person who is well-liked and is close to his people."

What are the most important issues in your emirate? "We need to give the younger generation practical skills so they are able to take up positions and serve their community."

Was your name in the electoral college in 2006? "No."

 

Abdulrazzaq Ali Al Madani

Age 58

Sex Male

Home emirate Dubai

Profession Doctor

Education PhD

Are you going to vote? "I have not yet decided."

Will you run as a candidate? "Maybe."

What are you looking for in a candidate? "It is very important it be an active person and someone who can express the needs of the people whom he is representing. It must be an individual who has a strong presence and is effective in their presentation of issues. The candidate must communicate the needs of the people and stand up for them. They must also know that they are representing the community as a whole and that is their priority."

What are the most important issues in your emirate? "As a doctor, what is important to me is the health of the people and that everyone receives the best health care. The UAE is an exemplary country and it can ensure the highest standards in that area. Another area that I would be interested in is education as everyone needs to receive an education and to the highest of standards."

Was your name in the electoral college in 2006? "Yes. I was a voter."

 

Khalid Mohammed Al Zahed

Age 33

Sex Male

Home emirate Dubai

Profession Director of Marine Transport Department, RTA

Education PhD

Are you going to vote? "Yes."

Will you run as a candidate? "No."

What are you looking for in a candidate? "Believe in and perform voluntary work, walk the walk [deeds rather than words] public and community service."

What are the most important issues in your emirate? "Demographics, job Emiratisation, recovery from financial crisis."

Was your name in the electoral college in 2006? "Yes, a voter"

 

Ghaith Mattar

Age 27

Sex Male

Home emirate Dubai

Profession Government employee in communications.

Education Bachelor of Arts from University of Buckingham, UK

Are you going to vote? "Yes."

Will you run as a candidate? "I want to be a candidate for sure. I am very honoured and proud to be in the 129,000. I am really excited to be one of the candidates."

What are the most important issues in your emirate? "I want to help things to become better, especially social life, the young generation and young leadership.

Was your name in the electoral college in 2006? "No."