ABU DHABI // Eight new ministers, five of them women, have joined the federal Government in the biggest shake-up in its history.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, announced the appointments to the 12th Cabinet on Wednesday.
The announcements came after consultation with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and with the approval of the President, Sheikh Khalifa.
There are now 29 ministers and fewer ministries, which have been consolidated in areas such as foreign affairs and education.
The average age of the new ministers is 38. The youngest is Shamma Al Mazrui, 22, the new Minister of State for Youth Affairs who will also preside over the Youth National Council.
“The new Cabinet focuses on the future, youth, happiness, developing education and combating climate change,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said yesterday.
Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, former Minister of International Cooperation and Development, is now Minister of State for Tolerance after her ministry was merged with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“We hope she will play both a local and regional role,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
Najla Al Awar, the former secretary general of the Cabinet and a mother of three, will be Minister of Community Development, a new position that was announced during Sheikh Mohammed’s “Dialogue of the Future” on Twitter on Monday.
Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, 32, has been appointed Minister for Climate Change and Environment. He is currently the UAE’s representative of the UN renewable energy agency Irena, based in Abu Dhabi, and has a PhD in renewable energy.
Mohammed Al Bowardi, the new Minister of State for Defence Affairs, “has a history rich with achievements in the service of our countries”, Sheikh Mohammed said. Mr Al Bowardi was undersecretary of the Ministry of Defence.
With 20 years of experience in education, Jameela Al Muhairi, Minister of State for Public Education Affairs, has a “great task ahead of her”, Sheikh Mohammed said.
Ms Al Muhairi and Dr Ahmad Belhoul, chief executive of Masdar and the new Minister of State for Higher Education Affairs, will now serve in roles supporting the Minister of Education.
Ohood Al Roumi is Minister of State for Happiness, but will also keep her role as director general of the Prime Minister’s Office.
“Happiness in the UAE is not just a hope,” Sheikh Mohammed said. “There will plans, projects, programmes and indicators. It will be a part of the work of all our ministries and part of our lifestyle.”
Noura Al Kaabi has been named Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs. Ms Al Kaabi was a member of the FNC and will be the best link between it and the Cabinet, said Sheikh Mohammed.
Shamma Al Mazrui, the new Minister of Youth Affairs, has a master’s degree from the University of Oxford and a bachelor’s from New York University Abu Dhabi.
The Youth National Council will “represent the aspirations and affairs of the youth before the Government”, Sheikh Mohammed said.
“We will give the council prerogatives and we expect true achievements from her and her council.”
He expressed his personal thanks and appreciation to Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak, former Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and Maryam Al Roumi, the former Minister of Social Affairs.
“Their work has been precious and their history well known,” Sheikh Mohammed said. “We will always need them to serve their country.
“I would also like to thank my brother Abdullah Ghobash [former Minister of State] for his efforts within the Cabinet over the past two years and I wish him much success.”
The news comes after Sheikh Mohammed announced sweeping changes to the structure of the Federal Government on Monday evening.
The restructuring includes the consolidation of a number of ministries and the appointment of new ministers.
There are also plans to outsource “most government services” to the private sector.
The UAE’s cabinet and ministers, as announced by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid:
1. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid: Vice President and Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Defence
2. Sheikh Saif bin Zayed: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior
3. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs
4. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid: Cabinet Member and Minister of Finance
5. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed: Cabinet Member, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
6. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak: Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development
7. Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi: Minister of State for Tolerance
8. Mohammed Al Gergawi: Cabinet Member, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future
9. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri: Cabinet Member, Minister of Economy
10. Abdulrahman Al Owais: Cabinet Member, Minister of Health and Disease Prevention
11. Saqr Ghobash: Cabinet Member, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation
12. Dr Anwar Gargash: Cabinet Member, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs
13. Obaid Al Tayer: Cabinet Member, Minister of State for Financial Affairs
14. Reem Al Hashimy: Cabinet Member, Minister of State for International Cooperation
15. Suhail Al Mazrouei: Cabinet Member, Minister of Energy
16. Hussain Al Hammadi: Cabinet Member, Minister of Education
17. Dr Abdullah bin Mohammed Belheif Al Nuaimi: Cabinet Member, Minister of Infrastructural Development
18. Sultan bin Saeed Al Baadi: Cabinet Member, Minister of Justice
19. Najla bint Mohammed Al Awar: Cabinet Member, Minister of Social Development
20. Mohammed Al Bowardi: Cabinet Member, Minister of State for Defence Affairs
21. Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi: Cabinet Member, Minister of Climate Change and Environment
22. Jameela Musabah Al Muhairi: Cabinet Member, Minister of State for Public Education Affairs
23. Dr Ahmed Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi: Cabinet Member, Minister of State for Higher Education Affairs
24. Dr Sultan Sultan Al Jaber: Cabinet Member, Minister of State
25. Dr Maitha Al Shamsi: Minister of State
26. Dr Rashid bin Fahd: Minister of State
27. Ohood Al Roumi: Minister of State for Happiness
28. Noura Al Kaabi: Cabinet Member, Minister of State for FNC Affairs
29. Shamma Al Mazroui: Minister of State for Youth Affairs