With a great track record of achievements 2016, UAE all set to carry out 2021 Vision

ABU DHABI, 2nd January, 2017 (WAM) – As the UAE welcomes 2017, it can look back with pride on 2016, the year in which it accomplished a number of goals, including the formulation of an ambitious five-year plan.

The country is expected to witness several challenges in the next five years, as it works to meet the goals set in the UAE 2021 Vision, which follow the themes of United in Ambition, United in Destiny, United in Knowledge and United in prosperity.

During meeting of the Cabinet, held in October, decided to speed up the pace of development to reach the goals set in the national agenda.

The UAE has a front ranking position globally when it comes to implementation of government plans in the public sector, thanks to the introduction of the “government accelerator,” a new government mechanism meant to speed up the decision making process.

The mechanism was introduced, in line with the directives of Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

As of now, the UAE leads the region in more than 100 development indicators, apart from indicators related to infrastructure, quality of roads, security and safety, women’s education, government performance and confidence in government.

Furthermore, the UAE’s economy has witnessed a great improvement, with the GDP doubling from AED 663 billion to AED 1360 billion.

The UAE’s non-oil exports also increased from AED 113 billion to AED 603 billion, accounting for the non-oil sector’s share in the GDP going up from 66 to 77 percent.

Moreover, the share of government services in the GDP increased from AED 23 billion to a whopping AED 86 billion. Similarly, foreign direct investment increased from AED 179 billion to AED 410 billion, and state bank assets rose from AED 859.6 billion to AED 2,478.2 billion.

The past year also saw spending in the health sector rise from AED 1.18 billion to AED 3.82 billion. The UAE now has more than 17,000 doctors, significantly up from the earlier 10,000 figure.

The government’s spending in the education sector rose by 57 percent, to AED 9.75 billion. Keeping in step, State universities also increased the number of their accredited programmes, from 206 to 862.

As soon as 2016 began, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum convened a ministerial meeting to discuss the state of the UAE’s economy, following a slump in oil prices. Those at the meeting also discussed ways to begin implementing a comprehensive national programme to achieve this vision.

The government introduced important measures in 2016, including the establishment of the Ministry of Happiness and the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development. It also took steps to protect the Arabic language.

The leading global communications marketing firm, Edelmen, ranked the UAE in first position, in terms of people’s confidence in the government, besting China, as well as Singapore.

In the World Happiness Report 2016, the UAE occupied the first position in the region, and 28th position globally. The report was issued by the United Nations’ International Initiative for Solutions for Sustainable Development, in co-operation with the Canadian Centre for Advanced Studies and the Earth Institute at the Columbia University, which covers 157 countries.

In addition, the UAE came to occupy first position in the Arab region in achieving prosperity for its citizens, as reflected by the social advancement indicator for 2016, issued by the American Social Progress Imperative Organisation.

Clearly, with such an impressive track record of achievements, the UAE is now endeavouring to successfully implement the national agenda, called the UAE’s 2021 Vision, with the aim to become one of the best countries in the world.