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Sunday, July 05, 2020, 18:26
UAE restructures government, merges 50% of federal agencies
By Agencies
Sunday, July 05, 2020, 18:26 By Agencies

UAE's Minister of State and CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber speaks during the opening ceremony of the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) in Abu Dhabi on Nov 11, 2019. (PHOTO / AFP)

The United Arab Emirates announced changes to its government structure, including reducing federal agencies by 50 percent, as the Gulf nation seeks to prepare itself for the challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic.

The new government has a year to achieve its “new priorities” and there’ll be “continuous changes” to improve efficiency and flexibility, Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum said in a tweet

The new government has a year to achieve its “new priorities” and there’ll be “continuous changes” to improve efficiency and flexibility, Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum said in a tweet on Sunday.

The head of Abu Dhabi's national oil company ADNOC, Sultan al-Jaber, was named as industry and advanced technology minister and Abdullah al-Marri was appointed economy minister, as part of the restructuring announced by UAE Vice-President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum on his official Twitter account.

Al-Jaber will also head the Emirates Development Bank, and according to ADNOC, he would retain his post as ADNOC chief executive.

Meanwhile, the energy and infrastructure ministries were merged under a single portfolio to be headed by the current energy minister, Suhail Al Mazrouei.

ALSO READ: Virus hits biggest Arab economies with record declines in Gulf

Suhail Al Mazrouei, the United Arab Emirates' energy minister, arrives ahead of the 177th Organization Of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting in Vienna, Austria, on Dec 5, 2019. (PHOTO / BLOOMBERG)

The Ministry of Economy will have three ministers. Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri was named minister for economy, Ahmed Belhoul was appointed as minister for entrepreneurship and small and medium-sized enterprises, and Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi was appointed as minister for foreign trade).

Also under the restructuring, the Federal Electricity and Water Authority, Emirates Transport, Emirates Post Group and Emirates Real Estate Corp. will be brought under the Emirates Investment Authority.

READ MORE: Gulf faces expatriate exodus as oil crashes, jobs lost

The changes are being made to help the country deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Sheikh Mohammed said last month when plans to restructure were first announced.

Changes include abolishing half of government service centers and converting them to digital platforms within two years and merging around half of federal agencies with each other or within ministries.

Sheikh Mohammed, also the ruler of Dubai emirate, said the changes would speed up decision making and make the government more responsive to change.

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