In October 2015, The UAE Cabinet held its meeting at the Presidential Palace and was presided by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai). In that meeting, Sheikh Mohammad emphasized heavily to boost the areas of “Social Development”, “Public Services”, “Health” and “Education”. They have been listed as top priorities of the government.
The government of UAE has recognized the importance of investment in the skills and technical expertise of its individuals, specifically in areas of education, entrepreneurship and innovation. It is a fact that they form the key components of growth and success of an economy and are also essential for sustainable growth. One of the initial steps taken by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum was approving a general federal budget for 2016 that is equal to an estimated AED 48.8 billion. The interesting point to note in this regard is that almost 56% of the budget will be allocated for education, health, social development and public services. For the government of UAE, their biggest assets are their citizens. For this reason, they have also approved an Emiratisation strategy that is designed specifically for the financial sector (the second biggest employer of citizens of UAE). The main idea of the government is not to merely create jobs, but developing and equipping their citizens in taking a crucial strategic role in different sectors of the economy. Another crucial step taken by the government with regards to social development was approving the climate action plan. The main idea of the plan was to produce 28% of the country’s electricity from clean and renewable energy sources by 2021.
It is a fact that true measurement of economic and financial success of a country is done only through the people and the improvements made in their living standards. The government of UAE has recognized this fact and has also recognized the consistent importance of UAE’s economic and social development programs that can help in suggesting certain improvements in critical areas. A key concern for the government of UAE is that the level of literacy among most of its workers is lower than compared to other developed countries, specifically with regards to domestic and blue collar workers. The government of UAE recognizes the importance of the various sectors that play a critical role for the consistent growth and development of the economy. For this reason, they have made considerable structural changes, one of which is in the employment sector in the UAE. Various experts on international economy have stated that this change has been pivotal to the social and economic development of UAE and this has also helped them in launching social policies that have been beneficial on a wide scale. Sectors like trade, finance, hotels, transport, communications, banking, insurance, real estate etc., have helped to create an economic boom and have also helped in the development of the society. Another critical attribute that has been pondered upon by the government of UAE is industrialization. This is also one of the main reasons for the expansion and stability of the UAE’s economy. For long term stability in the social and economic sector, industrialization is said to play a critical role for the government of UAE to diversify its overall portfolio to a considerable extent. Though there are a few constraints for achievement of industrialization at a full scale, the government has been trying to improve this sector and wants to engage its members to participate in a collective effort.
With regards to social welfare and social security, there is no specific law within UAE. However, there are many benefits that are available for citizens. Some of these benefits include medical care, subsidies for education, free treatment of diseases and other medical care. Moreover, relief is also provided for any domestic catastrophe or disaster. If the breadwinner of a family can’t work due to permanent illness or disability or other unavoidable reasons, he and his family are entitled to receive help under National Assistance Law. The government has also stressed the importance of female employment within the country. During the last few years, female employment has been growing considerably within the UAE specifically in sectors such as government service, education and health. Women have a significant representation in the education sector as more than 68% of school teachers within the UAE are female. Apart from that, there is also a significant representation of women in the health care sector with 54% of health care workers being female.
The implementation of social development in areas of health, education and public services will help the country to prosper from different perspectives. It is without doubt an important index that can help in the progress and prosperity of the country. However, for the plans to be practical, it is important that the government establishes a work methodology that can help in keeping pace with all future requirements that will also enable other economic and societal categories to become more effective. There is an optimistic outlook for human resources that can help in achieving aspirations and for boosting social services that are aligned with the national work strategy. The government of UAE has recognized the fact that improvement in living conditions of their citizens will lead to societal stability and harmony. For this reason, the government has called for provision in all forms of support that can help in sustaining their role for consistent development.
It is evident from the facts stated above that UAE has been able to achieve considerable and impressive growth in several social and economic sectors and has emphasized on aligning several critical indicators of economic development through different strategies. It is indeed true that UAE is rich with natural resources. The announcement of the budget plan for health, education and other public services will allow UAE to accumulate a healthy current account balance and will enable equal distribution to public and private establishments of the region. It is hoped that this progress will be favorable in social and economic development.
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