With the rapid development and incredible technological advancements, the UAE government is taking drastic measures in transforming its respective cabinets and introducing a more robust and agile government that will work towards the progress of the country into the post-information age of the future.

Under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and in collaboration with the His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the new government structure has been approved.

The new government structure is more inclined towards the digital aspects of running the state.

In one of the statements, Sheikh Mohammad has expressed how this new digital structure is going to enable the UAE government to respond quickly to new-age challenges and employ technology to remain agile for faster decision making. He said:

“The goal of structural changes today is a government that is faster in decision-making, and is more up to date with changes, in dealing with the new stage in our history”. The new structure reflects “a flexible and fast government whose goal is to consolidate the achievements and gains of the country,”

He further added,

“The new government has one year ahead of it to achieve the new priorities, and constant changes will remain the motto of the next stage, reaching the best government model that accompanies the new era … and achieves the aspirations of the people of the Emirates during the next stage,”

What Major Changes Does the Government Observe?

The first thing that Sheikh Mohammed has planned to do is overhaul the new Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology. The new ministry will be tasked with polishing up the industrial sector of the country. To make this become a reality, he has also announced merging the Emirates Authority for Standardization & Metrology (ESMA) with the new ministry so they can collaborate.

He also announced a new ministry, the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure. The new ministry will be a merger of two separate ministries. Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure will supervise the Zayed Housing Program and the Federal Authority for Land & Maritime Transport. The former Oil Minister Suhail Al Mazroui is appointed as the leader of this newly formed Ministry of Energy & Infrastructure. Under his supervision, the following projects will more likely go forward and become the hallmarks of success in the coming days.

The Ministry of Economy will be headed by three ministers namely;

  • Abdullah bin Touq Al-Marri
  • Ahmed Belhoul
  • Thani Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi

Abdullah bin Touq Al-Marri is going to be responsible for handling the economy of the state. Whereas, Ahmed Belhoul will be tasked with governing the entrepreneurship aspect of all kinds of small and medium-sized businesses in the UAE. And as far as the role of Thani Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi is concerned, he will be observing the foreign trade. He will take up the title of the Foreign Trade Minister of UAE.

The Ministry of Culture is going to merge itself with the two separate departments, the National Media Council and the Federal Youth Authority, to transform itself into the Ministry of Culture & Youth. It will be supervised under two ministers, namely Shamma Al Mazrouei and Noura Al Kaabi. Both will perform their respective duties under the same flag as ministers. It is also confirmed that the state news agency WAM is also going to come under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Presidential Affairs.

Just like other ministries are merging to form new ones to provide added authority & control, so is the Federal Authority for Electricity and Water. The Federal Authority of Electricity and Water, the Institution of Transportation and Emirates Real Estate Institution will merge to form the Emirates Investment Authority.

Moreover, pensions and social security will now be handled under the governance of the Ministry of Community Development. Obaid Al Tayer will oversee the Social Security Fund.

Also, the National Qualification Authority will now become a part of the Ministry of Education.

Whereas, the Insurance Authority will become a part of the Securities & Commodities Authority.

The Federal Authority of the Government Human Resource will now become a part of the Prime Minister’s Cabinet. Also, the Minister of State’s Happiness and Wellbeing has now been transferred to the Ministry of Government Development and Future. Hammad Al Mansouri has been appointed as the head of the digital government in the UAE sector. Hammad comes forth with the plan of creating a single digital window which will enable the UAE to quickly undergo a complete digital transformation.

Omar Sultan Al Olama has been appointed as the new Minister of State for Digital Economy and Artificial Intelligence.

His ministry will be responsible for governing new technological implementations surrounding the application of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies as well as remote working applications in the UAE.

To govern the government strategy & innovation, Sheikh Mohammed has appointed Huda Al Hashemi.

Huda is one of the Sheikh Mohammed’s trusted individuals and has invested a decade alongside him. Also, Mohammad Bin Taleya has been appointed as the head of government services.

With the cybersecurity debacles on the rise around the world, the Sheikh has appointed Mohammed Hamad Al-Kuwaiti to govern the cybersecurity infrastructure of Dubai, which will ensure maximum protection for the information digitally regulated within the government sectors. As the Sheikh says:

“The security of our digital government is an essential part of our comprehensive national security, and protecting our digital national borders is an integral part of protecting our entire national soil.”

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan will continue being the Minister of Tolerance.

Other Ministerial Roles

Other minister roles which have been appointed to different individuals include,

  • Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Sciences, will head the UAE Space Agency.
  • Mohammed bin Taleeah is now the Head of Governmental Services.
  • Ahmed Majid Al Bedwaawi will be the Deputy General Secretary for Legal Affairs.
  • Maryam Al Hammadi will be the General Secretary of the UAE Cabinet.
  • Mohammed Sultan Al Abaidli will be the President of Legal Affairs for the UAE Government.
  • The Media Office of the UAE Government will be under the Cabinet. Saeed Mohammad Al Eter Al Dhanhani will head it.
  • Huda Al Hashemi will be Head of Strategy and Innovation for the UAE government.

As Sheikh Mohammed finalizes a 33 member cabinet of ministers, he explains how he plans to digitally transform the UAE government in the next couple of years. He has merged almost 50 percent of his federal authorities with other ministries to build a lean and highly responsive government structure that will be able to tackle any challenges proactively.

By realizing the eGovernment dream, UAE shall be able to build upon the great achievements it has secured and continue to work towards the development of the nation. By appointing young ministers to take the lead, he is now aiming to transform UAE into a massive digitized business hub for the world to marvel at.

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July 9, 2020
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