UAE introduces 'Blue Residency' for sustainability experts, approves National Youth Agenda 2031 - GulfToday

UAE introduces 'Blue Residency' for sustainability experts, approves National Youth Agenda 2031

UAECabinet-2024

Sheikh Mohammed chairs the UAE Cabinet meeting at Qasr Al Watan, Abu Dhabi, on Wednesday. WAM

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, chaired the UAE Cabinet meeting on Wednesday at Qasr Al Watan, Abu Dhabi.

Sheikh Mohammed said: "In alignment with the national directives declared by the UAE President, to designate 2024 as the year of sustainability in the UAE, we introduced the "Blue Residency" a ten-years residency granted to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to environment protection, whether in marine life, land-based ecosystems, or air quality, sustainability technologies, the circular economy, or related fields.The sustainability of our economy is now linked to the sustainability of our environment… Our national orientations are clear and firm in this area.”

Sheikh Mohammed said: "Today, I chaired the Cabinet meeting at Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi. We approved the National Youth Agenda 2031. The Cabinet's directives to the Minister of Youth focus on five key pillars: economic empowerment of our youth, developing their scientific skills, consolidating their national identity, enhancing their community contributions, and activating their role in representing their country internationally.”

Sheikh Mohammed added: "The Cabinet approved a new framework for classifying higher education institutions across the UAE. We are set to reveal the national classification results for over 70 institutions, assessing them based on quality of education, the labour market's demand for their graduates, their research prowess, and their global academic affiliations. The national classification is a milestone in elevating the caliber of our higher education and advancing transparency, thereby empowering families to make informed decisions for their children's futures.”

Sheikh Mohammed added: "Today, within the country's strategy to establish its position in the field of artificial intelligence, the Cabinet approved the creation of the position of Chief Executive Officer of Artificial Intelligence in all main federal entities, which will contribute to the adoption of artificial intelligence tools in these entities and will help solidify the process of transitioning to a new phase, in which we further consolidate the use of advanced technologies in our federal entities.”

Sheikh Mohammed said: "Today, we reviewed the latest developments of the UAE space sector. The representation of young Emiratis working in international space projects reached 38%. Spending in the field of space research increased by 14%.We remain dedicated to advancing our youth in promising sectors, protecting our environment, integrating the best global technologies into our government, and enhancing our higher education systems. Together, these efforts ensure a brighter future for our youth.”

His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court, Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and Lt. General Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior were also present in the Cabinet meeting.

 National Youth Agenda 2031

The Cabinet has approved the National Youth Agenda 2031, which aims to empower young Emirati to be a role model regionally and globally. The Agenda seeks to increase their contribution to economic and social development.The Agenda focuses on five main pillars: aiming for the Emirati youth to be a major contributor to the national economic growth, to contribute effectively to the community while adhering to Emirati values and principles, to globally drive positive change and  be a global role model, to keep up with the latest breakthrough in advanced technologies and be highly proficient in mastering the skills of the future, and to enjoy the highest levels of health and quality of life.

The National Youth Agenda 2031 aims to qualify more than 100 young Emirati to represent the country in global organizations and forums related to the national sectors of priority, and to provide 100% suitable career pathways for youth in the labour market.The Agenda seeks to place the UAE among the top 10 countries globally in terms of the quality of life provided to youth.

The agenda aims to enhance the national consciousness among the youth, ensuring that Emirati youth are the proudest of their identity and national affiliation, and to launch the National Charter for Youth in this field.The agenda aims to make the UAE the easiest country in the world for young people to access basic services, and to double the number of youth projects in promising and future sectors, in addition to doubling the number of young Emiratis who obtain academic and vocational qualifications that suite the future skills and labour market needs, in addition to launching the honorary medal for elite youth.

Blue Residency for Sustainability Experts

During the meeting agenda, the Cabinet approved the launch of a new category named "Blue Residency," which is the first long-term residency for individuals with exceptional contributions and efforts in the field of environment action and sustainability both inside and outside the United Arab Emirates.The Blue Residency aims to amplify and maintain the UAE's efforts in sustainability and goes in line with the directives of the UAE President to extend the initiative of the Year of Sustainability of 2023 to include the year 2024.

The Blue Residency will specifically be granted to supporters of environmental action, including members of international organisations, international companies, members of associations and non-governmental organisations, global award winners, and distinguished activists and researchers in environmental work from both Emirati nationals and responsible residents advocate of environment protection.

Sustainability advocates and experts who are interested in the UAE Blue Residency are invited to submit their applications directly through the services of the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Port Security, or through nominations by competent authorities in the state for the individuals recommended for it.

Priority in federal government jobs to Emirati

The Cabinet approved a decision giving priority in appointments in federal government jobs to citizens who have worked in the private sector for at least three years. Experience in the private sector will be added as one of the items to be relied upon when appointing an employee to the federal government. The decision aims to consolidate the federal government sector by integrating national expertise from the private sector, thereby enriching the variety and diversity of knowledge within government entities. The decision promotes the broad dissemination of insights and practices gleaned from private sector companies, enhancing the overall effectiveness and innovation within the public sector.

Scholarship system in federal government higher education institutions

The Cabinet reviewed a new system for financing federal government higher education institutions on the basis of scholarships, with the aim of enhancing the quality of educational outcomes in these institutions and continuing alignment with the labor market and available career opportunities.The new system operates by granting financial scholarships after reviewing and defining the number of new academic seat to be created, and  the specializations required according to the needs of the labour market, using a predetermined mechanism.

National Framework for the Classification of Higher Education Institutions

The Cabinet approved a national framework to classify higher education institutions within the UAE, encompassing both public and private institutions. This framework assesses and categorises institutions based on national performance metrics in line with four primary dimensions: teaching quality and student life, employment and job market alignment, scientific research and innovation, and international collaboration.

Institutions are segmented into two major categories: research institutions and non-research institutions of higher education. They are further classified into one of four levels within each category. The objective of this framework is to raise the standard of educational institutions, promote the adoption of exemplary academic practices and foster an educational environment that improves both the quality of education and student life.

Accomplishments of the UAE Space Sector

The Cabinet reviewed the report on accomplishments of the UAE Space Agency in 2023. The UAE Space Agency is establishing five Space Economic Zones to encourage and support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to join the sector, offering them multiples incentive packages. The agency’s achievements included also launching the " Sirb" Satellite Programme and establishing a national space industry alliance that includes the largest space players in the private sector as well as space centers and local startups.

The Emirates Mission to the Asteroid Belt, is another achievement that represents a milestone in the UAE space exploration endeavors. The project makes the UAE the fourth country in the world to send a mission to Venus and the asteroid belt.

The UAE Space Agency also launched the Space Solutions Programme to develop solutions for climate change and food security. In addition to that, the year 2023 witnessed launching the Space Academy project, an initiative of the National Space Fund, aimed at enhancing the sustainability of national space programmes and supporting human capital.

The Cabinet reviewed the 2022 Space Economic Survey, data shows that the total spending of the national space sector increased by 6.61% compared to 2021, with government spending accounting for 55.7%, an increase of 12.7% compared to 2021.

The commercial spending accounted for 44.3% of the total space sector spending, with spending in research and development rising by 14.8%; where spending on space exploration research and development scored 76.8% of total space sector spending.

Guide for the Controls on the Use of Generative Artificial Intelligence Technologies in Government Work

The Cabinet approved a comprehensive guide for the controls and guidelines of the use of generative artificial intelligence technologies within the UAE government. This guide is designed to standardize best practices for the ethical, responsible, and safe application of AI across vital sectors including education, healthcare, and media, aiming to enhance governmental work efficiency and performance.

The guide outlines key principles such as adequacy of government data, governance of applications, collaboration with stakeholders, users’ rights, data collections for training purpose, sustainability, and limiting and combating misleading information through a risk management based and results-driven regulatory framework.

Additionally, the Cabinet has established a new role, the "Chief Executive Officer for Artificial Intelligence," across ministries and federal entities. This position is pivotal in positioning the UAE as a global leader in AI applications, focusing on strategic AI planning, promoting best practices, and fostering AI integration and governance. This initiative not only aims to enhance innovation and the digital economy but also focuses on developing individual competencies in AI, ensuring the UAE remains at the cutting edge of technological advancement.

Other decisions

The Cabinet approved a decision that aims to regulate marketing calls (cold calling) to ensure consumer privacy and comfort. This includes setting specific guidelines for telemarketing practices, establishing compliance obligations for companies, and setting penalties for violations. The resolution also facilitates effective coordination between federal and local authorities to enforce these regulations optimally.

The Cabinet also approved the issuance of the technical regulations to monitor the quantity of products in pre-packaged containers, aimed at enhancing the quality and competitiveness of domestically produced goods and safeguarding consumer’s rights to meet international standards.

Additional decisions have been approved to regulate virtual assets, the Holly Quran education centers, Islamic pilgrimage trips from UAE controls and regulations and services provided by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Port Security.

The Cabinet approved a decision to extend insurance protection to GCC citizens working across GCC states and set employment guidelines for students’ work in the local labour market to ensure they balance between their ongoing education and work commitments.

Higher Committee for Combating Commercial Fraud

The Cabinet approved a decision to establish the Higher Committee for Combating Commercial Fraud, chaired by the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy. This committee is tasked with updating anti-fraud policies, fostering coordination among relevant authorities, enhancing international cooperation, and promoting awareness programmes to protect consumers and businesses from commercial fraud.The Cabinet approved the restructuring of the UAE Council for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Transactions, chaired by the Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications.

The meeting also approved the restructuring of the UAE Sustainable Fuel committee, chaired by Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. The committee seeks to encourage the adoption of eco-friendly aviation fuels, align strategies across levels of government, and stimulate private sector investment in sustainable aviation technologies.

National Statistics Committee

The Cabinet approved the formation of the National Statistics Committee headed by the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre. The committee aims to enhance the accuracy and reliability of national data, supporting legislative, policy, and program reviews. The committee will play a pivotal in developing a national strategy for statistical operations, ensuring comprehensive data integration across government and private sectors.In the same meeting, the Cabinet ratified an agreement with the government of the Republic of India to encourage and protect investment and approved signing a Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement with the Government of the Republic of Korea.

Additionally, it was approved by the Cabinet that the UAE will host major international conferences, including the United Arab Emirates University Annual International Law Conference and the Cryptocurrency Research Conference 2024. These events align with the UAE's strategic position as a hub for legal and financial innovation. The Cabinet also reviewed the results of the UAE hosting the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation, which attracted wide participation of prominent ministers, decision makers, experts, global institutions and organisations, journalists along more than 30,000 visitors.

WAM

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