First FNC session this year to debate UAE fishing season

Members will also raise concerns over school provision in the country

ABU DHABI , UNITED ARAB EMIRATES , Nov 14 – 2019 :-  FNC members during the first meeting of the Federal National Council session held at FNC office in Abu Dhabi. ( Pawan Singh / The National )  For News. Story by Haneen

The first session of the Federal National Council in 2020 will hear a number of concerns over fishing laws and school provision in the UAE.

The meeting on Tuesday next week is expected to focus in part on a series of recent changes to the start of the country’s commercial fishing season.

Fishing used to be permitted from mid-September but was pushed back until the beginning of October three years ago.

It was then delayed for a second and third time, with fishermen currently only allowed to begin working from November 1 each year.

FNC member Hamad Al Rahoomi, who represents Dubai, is expected to ask ministers why the season had been delayed for the third year in a row.

"The season was supposed to start in mid-October, but it was delayed until November 1st," he told The National.

“This delay affects fishermen and it has created tension for them. I am sure the ministry has a reason and we want to know their point of view.”

Mr Al Rahoomi will also ask Hussein Al Hammadi, the Minister of Education, about complaints over a perceived lack of schools in some parts of the country.

“We have received some complaints from residents that schools are not keeping up with population growth,” he said.

He argued, without providing examples, that there were some densely populated areas of the UAE which lacked sufficient schools.

“We appreciate the ministry’s efforts in introducing many schools around the country,” he said. “We want to deliver the people’s comments.”

The FNC is a consultative body made up of 20 representatives elected by the public and 20 appointed by UAE rulers.

Sheikh Khalifa ordered that the council be evenly represented by men and women to ensure gender equality in the country's democratic process.

The body advises the Government on matters of national importance. It can debate, amend and reject federal laws and discuss international treaties.