Sheikh Mohammed says 160,000 websites and accounts shut down to protect young people

Prime Minister also sets out plan to restructure labour ministry

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The UAE has shut down 160,000 websites and social media accounts for selling drugs, illicit substances and promoting bad behaviour among young people.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said the Digital Quality of Life Council worked with social media companies in the move.

He called on families, schools and the media to play a role in protecting the next generation after leading a Cabinet meeting at Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi on Monday. Children are the most important assets for the country's future development, Sheikh Mohammed said.

It was not disclosed over what period of time the rogue websites and accounts were shut down.

"This council, in collaboration with various social media platforms, has successfully eliminated over 160,000 websites and accounts that targeted our youth, through promoting substance use and unfavorable habits that are foreign to our culture,” Sheikh Mohammed said, in comments shared by the UAE Media Office.

During the meeting, Sheikh Mohammed also launched a council with the task of supporting the growth of the labour market as he hailed the UAE as a global leader for attracting top talent.

He announced plans to restructure the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation under the drive to boost the sector's competitiveness.

The workforce in the UAE is the “real engine of the economy”, he said in a social media post. He emphasised the importance of protecting the rights of employees to aid the nation's development.

He added that more than seven million workers are covered by the UAE's flagship unemployment insurance scheme.

Sheikh Mohammed said a national policy for the distribution and production of biofuels was adopted during the Cabinet meeting.

The initiative will support the UAE's efforts to provide clean, sustainable and low-carbon energy sources of power, he added.

The Cabinet also approved an amendment to federal regulations governing citizenship and passports, which included extending the validity period of the Emirati passport from five to 10 years for those aged 21 and above.

Updated: March 28, 2024, 9:33 AM