UAE Cabinet adopts policies on affordable medicines, housing loans and cultural strategy

Efforts to boost local manufacture of medicines and to make them accessible

The UAE has adopted a national policy that will aim to ensure medicine is available at all times to those in need, after a meeting of the Cabinet on Monday.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said in a series of tweets on Monday that the UAE will also raise investment in the Emirates' pharmaceutical industrial sector by 20 per cent and expand its exports to regional markets.

He said the Cabinet approved financial exemptions from housing loans for those unable to obtain them, those who have died and people of determination. The issuance of government housing to low-income families to provide them with decent housing was also approved.

Sheikh Mohammed said the Cabinet ratified a national strategy for cultural and creative industries, which includes 40 projects and initiatives aimed at raising the contribution of the creative industrial sector to 5 per cent of GDP, in partnership with the private sector.

Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth. Culture is critically important, she said. Chris Whiteoak / The National    

The meeting, held at Expo 2020 Dubai, covered a wide range of ground. The National Medicines Policy, for example, aims at increasing local production of medicine, while ensuring their affordability.

Cabinet ministers also lauded the launch of the UAE’s cultural and creative industries strategy.

It aims to strengthen the country's position on the global cultural and make the UAE the top global destination for creative professionals.

The 40 initiatives include 16 aimed at creatives; 10 initiatives for professionals and the business environment; and 14 for enabling the business environment.

"Given the critical importance of the cultural and creative industries on the global economy, the United Nations declared 2021 as the ’International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development’, which underlines the strong link between these industries to achieve global sustainable development despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic," said Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth.

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced technology, said the launch of the creative strategy would support the cultural and creative sector and lead to more growth opportunities that enhance the UAE's competitiveness globally.

"The partnership between the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology and the Ministry of Culture and Youth comes as part of the efforts to drive growth in the economic sectors for the next fifty years, and we are committed to supporting the cultural and creative industries as part of the government's strategy," said Dr Al Jaber.

"We offer our support through the standards and technical regulations sector within the ministry, to ensure sustainability of cultural and creative industries through policies, regulations and legislation, as well as a combination of culture, creativity and advanced technology, to facilitate the availability of these products in global markets."

Hussain Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, said it was working on several plans to achieve the strategy's objectives. "These include designing cultural and creative education programmes for early childhood, to identify creators from an early age, discover their talents and nurture them as future creators."

Updated: November 29, 2021, 6:17 PM