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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 October 2018

Sheikh Mohammed: Society will judge new UAE Cabinet's success

The Cabinet has held its first meeting since the reshuffle a fortnight ago, with new ministers being given a range of additional jobs.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, leads the cabinet meeting yesterday. The meeting was the first since the positions were reassigned almost two weeks ago. Courtesy Wam
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, leads the cabinet meeting yesterday. The meeting was the first since the positions were reassigned almost two weeks ago. Courtesy Wam

ABU DHABI // The Cabinet has held its first meeting since the reshuffle a fortnight ago, with new ministers being given a range of additional jobs.

The reshuffle was announced on March 12 and the new cabinet sworn in by Sheikh Khalifa, President of the UAE, last Sunday.

“We assured the new ministers that we work in a team spirit, and we serve one president,” tweeted Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President and ruler of Dubai, who led the Cabinet meeting.

“Our first priority is to develop the services we offer to citizens.

“Society will be the judge of the cabinet’s success. Ensuring people’s satisfaction and happiness is within reach and a country only goes forward when it overcomes great challenges.”

The meeting approved a bill to regulate nurseries, ensuring the country’s 375 day care centres follow common health and safety standards as part of a project to fight communicable diseases.

Before the Cabinet meeting, Sheikh Mohammed met the previous Minister of Energy, Mohammed Al Hamili, the only minister to leave the cabinet in the reshuffle. The Vice President thanked him for his years of work at the ministry.

Suhail Al Mazroui enters the Cabinet as Minister of Energy, and Dr Abdullah Al Nuaimi as Minister of Public Works. There are two new Ministers of State: Dr Sultan Al Jaber and Abdullah Al Ghobash.

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak was moved to head the Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Community Development, while his former role at the Higher Education and Scientific Research was taken by his brother, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak.

Although no longer Minister of Higher Education, Sheikh Nahyan has said he will remain as chancellor of UAE University and the Higher Colleges of Technology, and as president of Zayed University until further notice.

With Sheikh Hamdan leaving the Ministry of Public Works, his roles as head of the Zayed Housing Programme and the transport authority have been passed on to Dr Al Nuaimi.

And as Dr Abdulrahman Al Owais, the Minister of Health, no longer also heads the Ministry of Youth, Culture, and Community Development, Sheikh Nahyan, who took the youth role, has been given his former jobs as head of the Youth and Sports Authority and the National Tourism Council.

In his role as Energy Minister, Mr Al Mazroui has also been made the head of the Federal Electricity and Water Authority.

And Mr Ghobash takes over from Humaid Al Qatami, the Minister of Education, as head of the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources and Development.

The cabinet has approved a Dh413m increase in the federal budget, up from this year’s Dh44.565bn. No further breakdown of how the money would be allocated was given.

The Federal National Council had previously asked the Minister of State for Financial Affairs, Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, for more money for the Ministry of Health, as well as the Higher Colleges of Technology and United Arab Emirates University.

This month the Health Minister, Dr Al Owais, urged the council to ask the cabinet to increase his budget.

osalem@thenational.ae