Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said the gathering was an important first step to achieving the goals for the UAE Centennial 2071
Long term plan for the UAE paves the way for prosperous generations
A series of wide ranging initiatives to ensure the prosperity of the UAE for future generations were announced yesterday at the first review of the Government’s plans for national development.
The first of two days of meetings in Abu Dhabi was presided over by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and saw 120 initiatives launched in 30 sectors at both federal and local level.
With over 450 senior officials and members of the Executive Council taking part over two days, the scope of the initiatives ranged across laws and legislation, developing services, and collecting national information for database to reports and studies, strategic plans, and overall national guidelines. There was also a comprehensive review of progress towards UAE 2021.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said the gathering was an important first step to achieving the goals for the UAE Centennial 2071, announced earlier this year.
“Natural resources are not everlasting, however, the intellectual person who pioneers the future and adapts to global changes will persevere,” he said.
“We seek to empower many more generations with education, a strong economy and a plan for the future that is the most advanced in the world.”
He added: “Those who create the future do not surrender to luck or circumstance; planning the future is the first step in defining it.”
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed said that the goals of the meeting reflected Sheikh Zayed’s vision for the future of his people.
“The UAE’s future prosperity is a responsibility shouldered by everyone in our nation. We can only achieve our ambitious goals for the future with strategic foresight and by acting together as a team."
He added: “Today, we seek a prosperous UAE for our future generations, building our nation as one of the best countries in the world. This was always Zayed’s desire.”
Among the highlights of the meeting was the announcement of a new research city that will simulate how mankind might live on Mars.
Mars Scientific City will be a Dh500 million research centre, covering 1,9 million square feet, with a series of huge bio domes in a desert setting. The city will be fully self-sufficient with its own food, water and energy supplies.
The future of education in the UAE was also discussed, with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Hussain Ibrahim Al Hammadi, the Minister of Education, and Dr Ahmad Belhoul, Minister of State for Higher Education Affairs.
The focus of the session was on using technology and innovative education models to empower future generations with the skills needed for the future and post-oil economy,
Other areas to be covered in the two-day meeting include economics, infrastructure and housing, health and prevention services, youth, the environment, energy, higher education and scientific research, media, smart services, science, technology and innovation and gender balance.
It will be accompanied by a series of workshops and specialised lectures to discuss and prepare for the challenges and opportunities predicted to arise over the next five decades.
Reem Al Hashimy, the Minister of State for International Cooperation and a member of the UAE Cabinet, said the meeting “was a massive testament of the unity of all the different government departments in advancing our strategic goals".
On the objectives for 2021, she said: “We aren’t there yet but we are progressing forward. There is no area which we are behind in or a target that we aren’t going to make and this is why these annual checks are important.”
The minister added: “We had sessions in education, health, social development and many more. There is whole range of subject matter which is why it was important to bring in all these entities together across the board from all the different emirates both local and federal government.”
Those taking part included the heads of executives boards through the UAE, ministers, heads of federal government bodies, heads of local government agencies, local directors and executives.
A progress report will be presented at the next annual review in 2018 and then every year until the goals for UAE Vision 2021 are achieved.
The year 2021 - the 50th anniversary of the UAE - will also see the arrival of the space probe Hope in orbit around Mars, where it will carry out scientific research. The Emirates Mission to Mars will be the first probe sent to the planet by a Muslim country and signals the growing interest in space exploration by the UAE.
The most ambitious of these projects is the objective of human colonisation of Mars by 2117, with a city built by the UAE. Creating a specialist research city dedicated to discovering ways humans could survive on the hostile environment of the Red Planet would be a crucial first step towards this.