UAE 10-year vision leads to a brighter future

The visionary leadership has driven a remarkable transformation, reflecting an unwavering commitment to its people and a steadfast determination to shape a brighter future

by

Ahmed Waqqas Alawlaqi

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Published: Fri 1 Dec 2023, 4:47 PM

Last updated: Mon 8 Jan 2024, 4:27 PM

In the heart of the Arab world lies the United Arab Emirates, a country that stands as a testament to the transformative power of human ambition and innovation. Over the past five decades, the nation has emerged from humble beginnings as a pearl-diving outpost to become a global beacon of progress, prosperity, and sustainability.

The visionary leadership has driven this remarkable transformation, reflecting an unwavering commitment to its people and a steadfast determination to shape a brighter future.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has previously announced the country’s vision for the next decade, focusing on building Forward Diplomacy, Forward Economy, Forward Society, and a Forward Ecosystem.

The UAE stands at a unique juncture, with diverse impacts across numerous fields. It has no option but to excel, continuously break records, and set benchmarks. Since 2013, the UAE’s population has grown by nearly 800,000. Its GDP grew by 4.3 per cent, and it has become an influential player on the global stage. The UAE’s vision for the next 10 years will be crucial amid rising competition and geopolitical tensions in its region. It will have to overcome challenges to prosper further as a nation.

Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, UAE Minister of Education.
Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, UAE Minister of Education.

FORWARD DIPLOMACY

The UAE is a prominent regional leader and a significant diplomatic partner, actively promoting peace, stability, and cooperation in the Middle East and beyond. In the next decade, the UAE will continue prioritising global growth and strength while supporting the global environmental sustainability agenda.

The UAE’s strategic location at the intersection of Asia, Africa, and Europe makes it a natural hub for diplomacy and cooperation between regions, which helps it achieve its national interests. The country has made significant efforts to be an active member of regional organisations such as the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab League.

Similarly, the UAE is a United Nations Security Council member and a recently invited member of the BRICS. It also continuously exists in exclusive groups like the G20 and ASEAN.

Over the last decade, the UAE has acknowledged the power of soft diplomacy in creating a better understanding, promoting tolerance and creating connections between different nations. This has been crucial in the UAE’s emergence as a leading peace advocate.

The UAE has taken significant steps towards this mission by signing the Abrahamic Accords and leading global discussions on promoting peace and tolerance. Such steps have shown the Emirate’s keenness towards playing a pivotal role in mediating conflict and strengthening universal fraternity in the present and the near future.

As Host to COP28, the UAE signalled its intent to pave the global sustainability Agenda. An ambitious mission that aims to portray the emirates as a role model for adopting eco-friendly measures in the economy and society.

Relief and humanitarian aid has been a profoundly ingrained topic in the UAE’s foreign policy. In 2022, the UAE pledged Dh10 billion in humanitarian aid, a step that paved the way for responsibility and dedication from other nations to impact the world positively.

Reem Hashmi, Minister of State for International Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, explained the UAE’s humanitarian policy.

“The main goal of foreign aid offered by the UAE is to reduce poverty and improve quality of life in underprivileged communities, promote relations between the UAE and other states, including the recipient countries and other donor states, and encourage the creation of economic relations with developing countries based on mutual interests.”

FORWARD ECONOMY

The UAE’s economy and diplomatic relations are closely intertwined as the country strives to become a global centre for trade and partnerships. Over the next ten years, the Emirates aims to strengthen its position as a dynamic and competitive economy, focusing on innovation and highly productive human capital. Economic diversification, openness, and resilience are top priorities, with futuristic plans like UAE Centennial 2071 and the Green Growth Strategy shaping the country’s long-term goals.

The UAE has made remarkable progress in diversifying its economy, with non-oil sectors contributing over 70 per cent of its GDP in 2022. Key sectors driving this growth include tourism, finance, logistics, and manufacturing.

Tourism has significantly contributed to the economy, attracting millions of visitors annually. The financial sector has flourished, becoming a regional hub for investment banking, asset management, and insurance. Logistics is also vital, with Jebel Ali Free Zone as a key trade facilitator. Manufacturing is increasingly important, with the UAE producing aluminium, petrochemicals, and pharmaceuticals.

The UAE is committed to establishing a solid foundation that supports the growth and prosperity of knowledge-based, future-focused business sectors. The country is working towards enhancing its status as a global hub for innovative, AI-driven, and entrepreneurial businesses, with the information and communication sector experiencing a growth rate of 27.2 per cent from 2014 to 2018. The education, professional, and science and technology sectors have grown significantly.

Despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the UAE’s resilient economy has rebounded strongly, growing by 3.8 peer cent in 2021. The country is dedicated to maintaining its position as a leading global economic player by focusing on innovation, technology, and infrastructure development.

As the UAE Minister of Economy Abdulla bin Touq has emphasised the government is committed to adopting flexible economic policies, stimulating financial strategies, and forward-looking plans based on diversification and improved economic procedures and legislation.

In the next decade, the UAE aims to become a leader in the sustainable energy sector, attracting top talent and creating an advanced and innovative environment. The country’s economic aspirations are closely linked to its diplomatic priorities as it promotes peace, stability, and cooperation in the Middle East and beyond.

FORWARD SOCIETY

The UAE takes pride in an advanced and integrated social empowerment model that unlocks the potential of its people, contributing to the development of a cohesive, harmonious, tolerant, and generous society. It aims to create a forward-thinking community proud of its identity, inclusive, empowering, and boasting cutting-edge education that caters to lifelong learners.

With over 60 per cent of its population comprising young people, the UAE recognises the power of education and technology in shaping the future. The country invests strategically in its youth to equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in a constantly evolving world. Emirati youth can be seen everywhere, from ministers and ambassadors to scientists and engineers.

“Enabling our youth to flourish and grow is crucial and remains a key priority for the UAE,” said the President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The UAE aims to revolutionise education by adopting new and innovative approaches that focus on the future with a pragmatic and optimistic outlook. The goal is to provide the best possible support during the first five years of a child’s early life by nurturing their skills and behaviours through state-of-the-art research and the best educational capabilities. The aim is to achieve leading national and global education outcomes. Moreover, the education system will be personalised for everyone, with an agile school and higher education system that enables access to the best capabilities and advanced education.

“The UAE aims to achieve radical transformations in line with the future national strategies and plans,” said Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education.

Recognising the entrepreneurial spirit of its youth, the UAE has established the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development and the Ministry of Economy’s Startup Hub, providing young innovators with the resources and support to transform their ideas into reality. Strategies like the National AI Strategy aim to empower students and youth to progress in AI.

"The next decade will be crucial and exhilarating for the UAE, and on its 52nd national day, we extend our warmest wishes to our country. The UAE’s Vision for the next 10 years is ambitious yet highly achievable."

As an Emirati high school student, my country has empowered me and other youth by enabling us to be a part of the government body. I’ve had opportunities that allowed me to lead a Student Council, join environmental groups, speak at national and international forums, and intern at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"Currently, I am a journalist for the most renowned newspaper in the country, thanks to the private sector, which also played a role. I firmly believe that the youth of the UAE has the potential to lead in all areas, from diplomacy to space exploration. I am optimistic that this momentum will continue, enabling us to make an even more significant impact on the world.

"In the next decade, I predict the UAE will play a crucial role in the global community by mediating conflicts and sponsoring resolutions. The country’s GDP will double, leading the region and the world through a just energy transition. The Emirati community is stronger than ever, and its people are dedicated to preserving their national identity. I do not doubt the Emirati people’s dedication, and I am confident that the UAE will thrive over the next decade.

— ahmedwaqqas@khaleejtimes.com


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