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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 15 November 2018

More women than the White House, and the youngest minister in the world - meet the new UAE Cabinet

With nine women and an age span of more than half a century, the new body is remarkable for its range and diversity

The new faces include Hessa Buhumaid (l) and Sara Al Amiri (r)
The new faces include Hessa Buhumaid (l) and Sara Al Amiri (r)

It has more women in positions of authority than the United States, the youngest minister in the world and an age difference of nearly half a century. Not to mention the world’s first Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence.

These are some of the many ways in which the new UAE Cabinet, announced on Thursday, is remarkable.

With nine ministerial positions out of 31 now held by women, the UAE is more gender-equal than Donald Trump’s cabinet, which has four.

Nearly 30 per cent of the UAE Cabinet is female, almost the same as the UK government and higher than many countries, including India, where 22 per cent of cabinet ministers are women.

Other women ministers include Maryam Al Muhairi, Minister of State with responsibility for research and planning for the UAE's food security, Sara Al Amiri, 30, who is appointed Minister of State with responsibility for advanced sciences, and Hessa Buhumaid as the Minister of Community Development.

Read more:Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid announces UAE Cabinet reshuffle

Read more:New UAE Cabinet Members, as announced by Sheikh Mohammed

A striking number are in their 30s or younger. Perhaps inevitably, Shamma Al Mazrui, the Minister of Youth, is the youngest. Appointed last year when she was only 22, she remains the youngest minister in the world.

At the other end of the spectrum is Zaki Nusseibeh, a veteran of the UAE political scene and now a Minister of State. Born in Jerusalem in 1946, he arrived in Abu Dhabi in 1967, becoming the official presidential translator as well as being deeply involved in many of the UAE’s cultural organisations.

His daughter, Lana Nusseibeh, is the UAE Ambassador to the United Nations; the UAE Mission to the UN quickly posted images of all the female members of the UAE Cabinet on its Twitter account.

Social media in general is excited by the make-up of the new Cabinet, and especially the appointment of the first Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence.

Omar Al Olama was appointed just days after the UAE announced its Strategy for Artificial Intelligence.

A deputy director of the Government’s Future Department, Mr Olama has been a member of the Executive Committee of the World Government Summit since 2014.

He is also only 27, meaning the Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence is the same age as the World Wide Web, with Tim Berners-Lee creating the first web browser in 1989.