Coronavirus: UAE needs 'agile, speedy government' after COVID-19 says Sheikh Mohammed

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The United Arab Emirates will need to have a more “agile, flexible, and speedy government” to deal with the affects of the coronavirus, said UAE Vice President and Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on Wednesday.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced governments across the world to rapidly adapt not just their healthcare provision, but their entire economic management strategies. The IMF has warned that the world faces its worst global recession in almost 100 years, as whole sectors such as tourism and aviation face major challenges to survive.

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In the short term, governments have had to abandon fiscal caution and adopted handouts to counter the affect of mass unemployment due to the economic shutdown caused by lockdown measures aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.

The UAE has announced a raft of economic stimulus measures, including a package of economic incentives worth $408 million (Dh 1.5 billion) for the next three months with the aim of supporting companies and the business sector in the emirate.

Sheikh Mohammed's statement on Wednesday suggests that alongside these economic changes, the country may also be restructuring its approach to governance.

“We may merge ministries and alter bodies. We will make changes. We need a more agile, flexible, and speedy government,” said Sheikh Mohammed on Twitter.

Sheikh Mohammed made the statement when reporting the outcome of virtual government meetings held Wednesday.

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