The UAE is to invest hundreds of billions of dirhams in the renewable energy sector, it was announced on Monday.
Making the announcement on social media, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said that the latest Cabinet meeting resulted in the approval of an updated national energy strategy.
“Our goal will be to triple the contribution of renewable energy in the coming seven years and inject national investments ranging from Dh150 to Dh200 billion during the same period to meet the increasing demand for energy in the country due to the accelerated economic growth,” Sheikh Mohammed wrote.
“We also approved our national strategy for hydrogen, which has recently emerged as one of the most important clean energy sources.
“The plan aims to establish the country as a producer and source of low-emission hydrogen over the next eight years by developing supply chains and creating hydrogen hubs to develop this promising industry, in addition to establishing a specialised national research and development centre for the hydrogen sector.”
Ministry of Investment
The Cabinet meeting also resulted in the creation of a new government ministry, with a mandate to focus on investment in the UAE.
The Ministry of Investment was established, with Mohamed Hassan Al Suwaidi announced as its minister.
“Our aim is to develop the investment vision of the UAE, and promote the investment environment and the competitiveness of this sector in the country,” said Sheikh Mohammed.
Also discussed at the meeting was updating the UAE's law on fighting the unlawful transportation of people and forced labour.
Currently, the law stipulates a minimum fine of Dh100,000 and a minimum of five years in jail for offenders.
“Today, we approved several amendments to the law on combating human trafficking, which include tightening penalties and establishing services for victims, such as educational assistance and measures for their safe return to their home country,” wrote Sheikh Mohammed.
“We also criminalised incitement to commit the crime and increased the penalties imposed on the perpetrators. The United Arab Emirates does not tolerate this type of crime at all.”
Sheikh Mohammed emphasised that this humanitarian stance has been constant since the nation was created.
Ensuring financial stability
The establishment of a Financial Stability Council was also approved on Monday.
“The council's goal will be to enhance and protect financial stability in the country, monitor associated risks and deal with financial crises if they occur, in order to preserve the trajectory of the national economic development,” Sheikh Mohammed wrote.
“In addition, proactive measures will be developed to prevent exposing the country's economic, financial and monetary systems to high levels of risk.”
The UAE is a global financial hub trusted by millions of investors worldwide, the Prime Minister added. The goal is to preserve this trust in the best interest of the national economy.
Autonomous and electric vehicles
The first preliminary national licence for self-driving cars was approved at the Cabinet meeting and granted to a company, WeRide.
WeRide will begin testing all types of autonomous vehicles on UAE roads.
National policy for electric cars was also discussed, “which includes the establishment of a national network for electric vehicle charging stations, the regulation of the electric vehicle market, and the promotion of associated industries to ensure emission reduction, energy consumption reduction and the maintenance of the quality of roads in the United Arab Emirates”.
Sheikha Mariam bint Mohamed was appointed President of the National Centre for Education Quality.
The centre will monitor education in the country to ensure improvement in the sector and prepare the next generation.
“We are optimistic about Sheikha Mariam's joining the educational system team in the country under the supervision of Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed and optimistic about distinctive national educational outcomes,” Sheikh Mohammed wrote.
The Prime Minister shared his thoughts on the future of the Emirates, saying that even though progress will happen faster than before, the well-being of residents and visitors is always key.
“The world is changing rapidly, and leadership patterns are changing,” he said.
“Life in the country will accelerate in the coming years.
“The well-being and quality of life of individuals will remain a permanent priority on our government agenda.”