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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 December 2018

Government employees praise UAE Rulers for Ramadan salary bonus

Dh1.6 billion to be handed out before Eid Al Fitr in honour of the Founding Father's 100th birthday

A tribute to Sheikh Zayed at the unveiling of the Founder's Memorial in Abu Dhabi last month. Ryan Carter for the Crown Prince Court - Abu Dhabi
A tribute to Sheikh Zayed at the unveiling of the Founder's Memorial in Abu Dhabi last month. Ryan Carter for the Crown Prince Court - Abu Dhabi

Government employees spoke of their joy on Sunday at the news that they would receive a bonus of one month's salary.

Some described the move as a another Ramadan blessing.

On Saturday, President Sheikh Khalifa ordered a month's salary to be paid as a bonus for serving and retired government employees to mark 100 years since the birth of the country’s Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed on May 6.

Some Dh1.6 billion has been allocated for the bonuses. Rulers of the individual emirates followed by announcing similar bonuses for their local government employees.

“The announcement made my day - especially as it came before Ramadan,” said Mona Hajaj, an executive secretary at the UAE Space Agency.

The 42-year-old was watching a film with her children when her phone started beeping non-stop.

"All the groups were sending WhatsApp messages like crazy," she said.

“At first, I thought they had announced that we would be receiving our salaries early ahead of Eid, but then I read the comments and my son was sitting beside me. I literally jumped [for joy] from the couch.”

“Every month I send cash to my mother in Jordan, and I was hoping I could send her more money in Ramadan. And now I can give an extra amount.”

Her colleagues were equally pleased.

“This morning, everybody arrived to work happy and were all hailing the Rulers for this beautiful initiative,” she said.

Salem Al Shehhi, a member of the Federal National Council representing Ras Al Khaimah, said the initiative marks the birth of the entire nation.

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“Sheikh Khalifa has always made his citizens happy, and for it to coincide with Sheikh Zayed’s 100th birthday is very significant because Sheikh Zayed’s legacy has instilled happiness and compassion within the entire nation.

“Even [some of] the private sector has followed,” he said.

Majid Hamad Al Shamsi, chairman of the retailer Union Co-op, has announced an additional basic month’s salary to all employees to celebrate the occasion.

“The importance of a nation is always in the heart of the leadership. I used to work for the Armed Forces and our leaders were constantly seeking initiatives to honour their people,” he said.

Dubai FNC member Azza bin Suleiman said the move shows that “Zayed’s fruitful tree of giving continues.”