The United Arab Emirates launched its new government structure, in line with its response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, on Sunday.
The plan merges several significant ministries and agencies to increase flexibility, announced Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister.
“The aim ... is a government that can more quickly make decisions and deal with changes and more adeptly seize opportunities in dealing with this new stage in our history; a swift and agile government,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
The new changes for the UAE government:
Fifty percent of all government service centers will be converted into digital platforms within two years.
Fifty percent of federal authorities will be merged or added to government ministries within two years.
Abdullah al-Marri has been appointed as the new economy minister.
Within the Ministry of Economy, there are now three other senior ministerial roles. Abdullah bin Touq is the Minister of Economy, Ahmed Belhoul is the Minister of State for Business and SMEs, and Dr Thani al Zeyoudi is the Minister of State for Foreign Trade,
A new Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology has been created, with the head of Abu Dhabi’s national oil company ADNOC, Sultan al-Jaber, as minister.
The Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Infrastructure have been merged to form the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure. This new portfolio will be headed by current energy minister Suhail Al Mazrouei.
The National Media Council and the Federal Youth Foundation have been merged with the Ministry of Culture to form the Ministry of Culture and Youth.
Noura Al Kaabi will be the new Minister of Culture and Youth, with Shamma Al Mazrouei as Minister of State for Youth.
The UAE's state news agency WAM has been brought under the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, while a new UAE Government Media Office has been created. The office will report to the Cabinet and oversee both domestic and international media communications for the UAE.
UAE responds to coronavirus
The new structure had previously been announced by Sheikh Mohammed during a remote UAE government meeting.
This announcement came after Sheikh Mohammed discussed the country's plans to review the structure and size of its government in May.
The UAE has recorded over 50,000 cases of coronavirus as of Saturday, a relatively low number in comparison to some of its regional neighbors.
The country ranks highly in terms of its testing and tracing program.