ABU DHABI // The Ministers of the UAE’s 12th Cabinet took the oath of office on Sunday before Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, was also at Mushrif Palace in Abu Dhabi to see the ministers sworn in.
President Sheikh Khalifa called on the Cabinet to work diligently and faithfully to honour the aspirations of citizens, promote sustainable development and take the UAE beyond the great international stature it already enjoys.
Sheikh Khalifa expressed confidence in Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and the Government in realising the UAE’s strategy for growth and prosperity, the state news agency Wam reported.
“We, our people and our nation are awaiting more of your contribution to continue the march of development, an area in which our country has taken significant steps, moving towards broader horizons and reinforcing the special position it holds at the regional and global level,” he said.
“We see your trustworthiness and we hope that you commit yourselves towards serving your country and its citizens.”
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid told the ministers: “Our ambitions are limitless and the UAE has high expectations of you. We see you as trustworthy and hope that the UAE and its citizens will always remain your top priority.”
He said the future Government reflected the vision of the leadership to achieve further development and prosperity in all fields.
“The formation of the new ministry is the first step in a new thinking in government and its tools are youth, happiness and knowledge development,” the Prime Minister said.
“The next stage requires your new ideas to be applied.
“We seek to achieve major developmental leaps in all vital sectors of our country in line with its leading position on the global level.”
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed said that the sense of belonging held by UAE citizens redefined nation-building and development.
“The new Cabinet comes at an important stage of the UAE, which moves steadily with an unlimited ambition towards a better future, taking advantage of its solid development base of human resources and the nation, founded by the late Sheikh Zayed.”
Sheikh Mohammed said the Cabinet would build that brighter future under the guidance of Sheikh Khalifa.
He said the new Cabinet represented “a source of pride for every Emirati as it is the first time that the country has a Minister of State who is 22 years old, and also has a Minister of State for Tolerance and a Minister of State for Happiness.”
Analysts said the Cabinet’s new generation of ministers would be able to take the country to the next level.
“There are about eight Cabinet members who are in their 20s and early 30s,” said Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, political science professor at UAE University.
“When we say it is a Cabinet of the future, it mostly means that these young, new ministers who were appointed will be the ones to take the UAE into the next stage of its development.”
Women make up nearly a third of the Cabinet, said Prof Abdulla, telling all Emirati women that they are an essential part of decision-making and critical players in the nation’s development.
“The message is that they are as much trusted to be in leading ministerial positions as the males, so here the UAE is sending a huge message to nearly half the society that ‘you are sitting in seats of power like the rest’,” he said.
“I also think having portfolios such as happiness and tolerance means the UAE is saying that we want to provide the best services possible and that the happiness and well-being of citizens and expatriates is a priority.
“It means no longer just providing infrastructure, security, housing, education and health, but from now on the Government is supposed to provide services such as tolerance and happiness, which is now going to be a core business.”
Dr Albadr Al Shateri, adjunct professor at the National Defence College and researcher for the Armed Forces, said: “The late Sheikh Zayed famously declared that the real wealth of a nation is not in how much money it has, but in the quality of human resources it possesses.
“Youth is the essence and the future of any country’s human resources.
“The political leadership of the UAE understands this well and the move taken by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid is the application of such bearing – courageous steps, gradual but firm on the ground.
“The region, and indeed the world, can learn from the UAE. As Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed averred, our house is united.
“Development, happiness and tolerance are the building blocks of the leadership’s vision, and rule of law, equality and justice are the bases of rulership.”