Majlis will be new forum to raise civic issues

DUBAI // The majlis, the traditional gathering place for friends, relatives and neighbours to chat and discuss community issues, will soon become a venue for citizens to address their concerns directly to the authorities. Dubai's Community Development Authority (CDA) announced yesterday that its officials would start sitting in on majaless - the plural of majlis - across the emirate to "communicate, understand and identify" the needs of Emiratis residing in different neighbourhoods.

Maryam Matar, the authority's director general, said officials would "be listening to their problems and comments and work with the concerned parties to find appropriate solutions". The CDA also wants to promote the idea of "social cohesion" and expects the move to highlight the role of the majlis in "connecting members of the UAE society", Dr Matar said in a statement yesterday. The first majlis with CDA and other officials attending was held in Rashidiyah last week.

Among the issues raised at the gathering were the importance of supporting the older generation and how to tap to their experience and knowledge, as well as the need for more access to services relating to family matters.

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