New ministers of state for artificial intelligence and food security, with a continuing emphasis on youth, are among the highlights of a reshuffle of the UAE Cabinet announced on Thursday.
The changes, said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, were about the science and technology of the future.
One of the most senior appointments saw Noura Al Kaabi move as Minister of State for the Federal National Council to become Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development. "Her cultural and media experience will complement Sheikh Nahyan's career in the Ministry," Sheikh Mohammed said.
Sheikh Nayhan bin Mubarak, the previous Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, has become Minister of State for Tolerance. Sheikh Mohammed called Sheikh Nahyan "the face of the UAE, Arabs and international… and he is a great asset to the UAE’s soft power”.
“Brother Nahyan bin Mubarak in his great social and community strength… and his wide international relationships... and his love for all community aspects is more than capable of rooting tolerance in the UAE and the region,” he said.
Sheikh Mohammed thanked Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, who previously held the post, saying she had represented the UAE well at international events and represented Arab women in the finest way.
He also thanked Saqr Ghobash, the former Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, who oversaw many of the country's labour reforms. For his four decades of service for his country, and his "dedication and sincere love for the people. You have the appreciation of the Emirati people," Sheikh Mohammed said.
Fresh faces in the Cabinet include Oman bin Sultan Al Olama, 27, as the first Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence. The appointment comes just two days after Sheikh Mohammed announced the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence, a major initiative in the UAE Centennial 2071 objectives.
Sheikh Mohammed said AI is "the new wave after the Smart Government upon which all our services, sectors and future infrastructure will rely on".
The new post of Minister of State with responsibility for research and planning for the UAE's food security has been given to Maryam Al Muhairi.
"Food security is a future national issue, its foundation will be research and scientific projects ... we have great confidence in our youth," Sheikh Mohammed said.
Another young addition to the cabinet is Sara Al Amiri, 30, who is appointed Minister of State with responsibility for advanced sciences. Her responsibilities will include the research, development and manufacture of "scientific competencies", Sheikh Mohammed said.
Ms Al Amiri is also responsible for Emirates Scholars Council and is head of science for the Emirates Mars Mission, which aims to send a probe to Mars for 2020.
"We want hundreds of role models like Sara in the UAE's future," Sheikh Mohammed said.
Hessa Buhumaid becomes new the Minister of Community Development. She was previously Assistant Director for Government Services in charge of the UAE Government Service Excellence Programme.
Sheikh Mohammed said: "The Emirati family is the biggest guarantee in social cohesion and I wish her all the best.”
The post of Minister of Community Development was previously held by Najla Mohammed Al Awar, whom Sheikh Mohammed thanked for her service to the country.
Ahmed Belhoul, Minister of State for Higher Education, has had his portfolio expanded to include Advanced Skills to ensure lifelong learning among the country's young people. He was also named chair of the Federal Authority for Human Resources.
Mr Belhoul will be responsible for equipping the UAE's young people with skills for the future, said Sheikh Mohammed.
Nasser bin Thani Al Hameli was appointed Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, with Sheikh Mohammed observing that the UAE's efforts to employ nationals in key roles still had some way to go, and noting that Mr Al Hameli would help in that regard.
The appointments were not entirely about youth.
Zaki Nusseibeh has been active in government since 1968, acting as interpreter to the first President of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed. He is also Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and cultural adviser at the UAE Ministry of Presidential Affairs. The father of Lana Nusseibeh, the UAE's Permanent Representative to the United Nations and President of UN Women, he becomes a Minister of State.
Abdul Rahman Al Owais assumes the post of Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs, in addition to his current duties as Minister of Health.
Abdullah Mohammed bin Touq was appointed Secretary General of the UAE Cabinet.
"Mr bin Touq is a graduate of leadership programs and an active member of a practical team," Sheikh Mohammed said on his Twitter feed.
The changes, Sheikh Mohammed said, were part of the transition to the UAE centennial in 2071 saying the goal was to: "Develop knowledge, support science and research, and involve young people in leading the march."
UAE Cabinet changes:
Hessa Buhumaid: Minister of Community Development
Noura Al Kaabi: Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development
Suhail Al Mazroui: Minister of Energy
Abdul Rahman Al Owais: Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs and Minister of Health
Zaki Nusseibeh: Minister of State
Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak: Minister of State for Tolerance
Nasser Thani Al Hameli: Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation
Ahmad Belhoul: Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills and chair of the Federal Authority for Human Resources
Maryam Al Mehairi: Minister of State (with emphasis on food security)
Sara Al Amiri: Minister of State (with emphasis on advanced sciences)
Omar Sultan Al Olama: Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence
Abdullah Mohammad bin Touq: Secretary General of the UAE Cabinet