Inside The FNC: Five members with big day jobs

For five FNC Council members, serving their country while holding down a day job is a fine balancing act to manage.

During their careers, many Federal National Council members have had demanding jobs, either at the federal or local level or in the private sector. While some left their jobs after joining the council, others did not have a choice: the law does not allow members to hold federal positions while on council because of a possible conflict of interest.

Several members, however, have retained their positions in local government. Here are five council members heading some of the biggest entities in the various emirates.

Marwan bin Ghalita, Dubai

Since 2007, Mr bin Ghalita has been the chief executive of Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera).

His dreams of joining the FNC began in 2005 when constitutional changes were made, allowing half the council to be elected. After an unsuccessful bid in 2006, he came back strongly in the 2011 elections and won.

Mr bin Ghalita said that his popularity from that position played a role in his election success. Like other members, however, he has faced some difficulties in juggling his roles and had to adjust to a change from being the person in charge at Rera to having just one vote in the FNC.

Noura Al Kaabi, Abu Dhabi

Before joining the council, Ms Al Kaabi was the chief executive of media hub twofour54. She said time management was the key in balancing her two roles.

Her appointment was welcomed by many, particularly young people who have named her as a role model because of her successful career, transparency and down-to-earth attitude.

Dr Amal Al Qubaisi, Abu Dhabi

After joining the FNC in 2006, Dr Al Qubaisi has been in the press regularly – and with good reason.

After a productive four years, she was appointed for another term in 2011. Today she is not only the first deputy speaker in the FNC, but also the first woman appointed to the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and the general director of the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec).

After seven years on the council, bringing up challenges in the education system on occasion, a noticeable change has followed her appointment to Adec, including a focus on child safety in schools, the recognition of child abuse, and encouraging creativity among pupils.

Afra Al Basti, Dubai

Outside the FNC, Ms Al Basti heads the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children. Her position has aided her on the council where she has strongly supported victims of human trafficking and abuse, both of which she deals with on a regular basis at the foundation.

She has delivered real-life cases to the council to illustrate points and has influenced legislative changes.

Dr Rashid Al Shariqi, RAK

Despite representing the Northern Emirates, Dr Al Shariqi’s day job is in the capital. He takes pride in his role as the director general of the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, an internationally recognised food and agriculture organisation.

Published: December 20, 2014 04:00 AM


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