Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, UAE Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has called for suggestions from the public to help shape the future of the country as he launched a project for the next half-century.
The project, Designing the Next 50, supports the 2020: Towards the next 50 plan, a national strategy to serve the next five decades of development in the Emirates.
A website will be launched on which citizens and residents are encouraged to share their thoughts.
Their contributions on sectors such as health, housing, education, tourism and food security, among many others, will help to shape government policies.
“Fifty years ago, the UAE’s founders started a mission to involve people in shaping the country’s future that we see today,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
“They started from the desert with ambitions that reached outer space.
"They gathered and discussed people’s ideas while living in different circumstances with fewer resources, but they were united by the same spirit and extensive efforts that aimed for the summit.
“Their mission made history and redefined the concept of modern societies. Today, we revive the mission of the UAE’s Founders.
"Today, we begin our mission to prepare for the next 50 years that lead up to the UAE’s centennial.
“Our duty is to design the UAE of the future for the next generations and to involve our people in this mission, just like our Founders did.
"We invite citizens and residents to join us in shaping the future of the UAE.”
Ministers will meet representatives of the public to understand their suggestions.
The project will also bring public and private companies together to generate and discuss ideas with the public.
It will be overseen by the 50-year development plan committee, led by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
The committee is charged with ensuring the country’s continued success up to its centenary in 2071.
The UAE aims to reduce its dependence on oil revenues and become a knowledge-based economy by developing key sectors.
A report by the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority said that the UAE ranked first globally on 121 parameters, first in the Arab world on 479 competitive indicators, and among the top 10 countries in 314 indicators.