FNC ready to talk business as first session convenes

During a public meeting on Tuesday, members will discuss trade, investments and education.

Dr Sheikha Al Ari (UAQ) wants more women’s clubs to be built in Ras Al Khaimah. Christopher Pike / The National
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ABU DHABI // Federal National Council members will begin the year with an exceptionally business-oriented session.

During Tuesday’s public meeting, members will discuss amendments to a law that would allow GCC nationals to get involved in trade in the UAE.

The council will also discuss with the Minister of Economy, Sultan Al Mansouri, policies of the Securities and Commodities Authority and see how investment awareness can be raised.

Part of the council’s report will examine how the authority ensures financial and economic stability and its role in controlling the offices of the independent brokerage and financial bodies.

A number of members will also put ministers on the stand to ask about free trade, real estate, aviation and sports.

Ali Al Nuaimi (Ajman) will question Mr Al Mansouri, who is also head of the General Civil Aviation Authority, on the progress made by his agency in implementing proposals of the FNC, which were approved by the Cabinet more than three years ago.

Other questions have made a return to the council’s agenda after getting inadequate responses or no response at all. In both cases the minister in question is summoned to the council.

Dr Sheikha Al Ari (UAQ) will question Mariam Al Roumi, Minister of Social Affairs, on the possibility of building new women’s clubs in Ras Al Khaimah. Dr Al Ari said several communities needed clubs that offered a platform for social, cultural and sporting activities.

Dr Mona Al Bahar (Dubai) will quiz Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, on the absence of physical education studies at state universities.

Dr Al Bahar is expected to ask why, despite the growth of sport in the country, foreigners were still relied on to occupy jobs in the sector and why there are no colleges teaching PE so that Emiratis can take these jobs.

A written response from the minister two weeks ago said that physical education would be reintroduced at UAE University this year, but Dr Al Bahar wished to summon the minister for further questioning.

Abdulaziz Al Zaabi (RAK) will question Mr Al Mansouri on free trade and Marwan bin Ghalita (Dubai) will ask the Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Mohammed Al Gergawi, for a database of real estate owners in the country.

Members will end the session by going through an annual letter to the President, Sheikh Khalifa, in response to his opening remarks at the start of the FNC term last October.

The session will be open to the public.