Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, on Monday announced an end-of-service benefits systems for employees in the private sector and free zones.
Sheikh Mohammed, who led a meeting of the UAE Cabinet, said the voluntary initiative would include the establishment of savings and investment funds from the private sector, which will be overseen by the Securities and Commodities Authority in partnership with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
He said the aim of the scheme was to protect workers' savings and ensure they were invested safely.
“During today's Cabinet session, we approved an alternative end-of-service benefits system for private sector employees and free zone workers in the country,” Sheikh Mohammed wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
“This system will be optional for employers to join and will involve the establishment of savings and investment funds from the private sector, overseen by the Securities and Commodities Authority in co-ordination with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
“Through this system, employees can save and invest their end-of-service benefits in various investment options.
“The goal is to safeguard the savings of employees, which represent their end-of-service benefits in the companies they work for, ensuring their rights and providing stability for their families.”
Sheikh Mohammed said public sector workers will also able to participate in the end-of-service system, for the purposes of savings and investments.
No timeline was publicly set out on Monday.
The scheme is made up of three investment options, the UAE Government Media Office later said.
These are: Risk-free investment that maintains capital; risk-based investment where the risk varies between low, medium and high; and the sharia-compliant investment.
Companies taking part are asked to pay a monthly contribution under the scheme.
On the end of service, employees will receive the savings they have accrued and the returns made their participation in investment funds.
Al Neyadi a role model for millions
Sheikh Mohammed also set out the UAE's vision for the space sector during the Cabinet session, held at Al Watan Palace in Abu Dhabi.
He said the Emirates intended to send more astronauts to the International Space Station, following the conclusion of Sultan Al Neyadi's historic six-month mission.
Sheikh Mohammed hailed Dr Al Neyadi – who along with crewmates splashed down off the coast of Florida on Monday morning – as a role model for millions of young people across the region.
“We affirmed the UAE's continued commitment to its ambitious strategy in the field of space technology,” he said on social media.
“We also reiterated our commitment to training and sending more astronauts to the International Space Station and we welcomed the return of Sultan Al Neyadi after a long mission at the International Space Station.
“This mission was supported and organised by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, which oversees a comprehensive programme for Emirati astronauts and future space missions.
“Sultan Al Neyadi serves as a role model and inspiration to millions of young people in the UAE and our Arab region, encouraging them to aim for the highest global achievements in the field of space.
“With the grace of God, our scientific advancements in space will continue to grow and improve.”
Road safety drive
The Cabinet also approved a federal law putting a cap on the weight of heavy vehicles allowed on the country's roads. The law will be brought into force early next year.
Sheikh Mohammed said the plan would bar vehicles exceeding 65 tonnes from the roads, “in order to preserve our advanced infrastructure and enhance safety on our roads”.
The Cabinet agreed to establish a national utilities regulatory body.
Sheikh Mohammed said the Federal Regulator for Water and Electricity Sector would monitor the trade of electricity and water across the Emirates and its borders.
“This entity will also oversee the production, transmission, and distribution of electricity and water within the country,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
“The new regulator will operate under the umbrella of the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure.”
Rewarding government staff
Ministers gave approval to a new rewards scheme for federal government employees.
Under the plan, employees will be recognised for outstanding annual performances, exceptional accomplishments at the organisational level, and for achievements that make a positive contribution to the country.
The Cabinet also issued 11 new federal laws during the meeting, covering key areas including space regulation, human genome use, fertility assistance and media regulation.