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FCSC documents UAE’s economic advancement over 50 years

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ABU DHABI, 30th November, 2021 (WAM) — Over the past 50 years, the UAE has established solid foundations for a diversified and sustainable economy and has succeeded, after the discovery of oil in the region in the 1950s, in achieving significant economic advancement.

It has also exerted significant efforts to transition to a knowledge-based economy, by encouraging innovation and optimising the regulatory frameworks of key economic sectors.

In its new report to be published soon, titled "The UAE: Data Documenting the Journey until 2020", the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre (FCSC) revealed key facts and figures underscoring the country's economic growth during the past 50 years, to mark the country's Golden Jubilee.

The report highlighted a significant rise in the country’s GDP from AED58.3 billion in 1975 to over AED1.3 trillion in 2020 while the contribution of non-oil sectors to GDP surged from 43 percent in 1975 to 83 percent in 2020.

The report also showed an increase in overall foreign trade from AED11.5 billion in 1975 to AED 1.4 trillion in 2020, while foreign direct investments (FDI) in the country grew by 82 percent, amounting to around AED73 billion in 2020, compared to AED40 billion in 2005.

The value of the country's FDIs abroad surged from AED14 billion in 2005 to AED69.5 billion in 2020.

The report also revealed an increase in government spending from AED1.258 billion in 1975 to AED442.386 billion in 2019.

Moreover, the banking sector witnessed a significant surge after the number of commercial banks in the country rose from 20 in 1972 to 59 in 2020, while the total value of bank deposits increased from AED19.5 billion in 1978 to some AED1.9 trillion in 2020. The number of insurance companies in the country rose from 62 in 1975 to 406 in 2020.

Tourism: The UAE’s tourism sector has been a success story, and the country has become a leading international hub to which tourists flock from around the world.

The number of hotel establishments rose from 64 with 5,379 rooms in 1978 to 1,089 with 180,257 hotel rooms in 2020.

The operational capacity of the country’s hotel establishments has developed over the years. In 1979, the number of hotel guests was around 392,000, with stays totalling 1.02 million. In 2020, this number exceeded 14.882 million guests with total hotel stays of 54.3 million.

Total hotel proceeds in 2020 exceeded AED16.6 billion, marking a significant increase compared to 2005 when proceeds totalled AED1.5 billion.

Electricity and Water: The UAE has made massive efforts to meet the growing national demand for electricity and water brought forth by its growing population and its economic and commercial growth, in addition to adopting renewable energy solutions.

The total capacity of the UAE’s power plants increased from 482 megawatts in 1975 to around 35,000 megawatts in 2020, while the generated electric power exceeded 137,000 gigawatts per hour in 2020 compared to 1,467 gigawatts per hour in 1975.

The electricity generated by renewable energy plants has grown significantly in 2020 compared to 2009, rising from 6 gigawatt hours in 2009 to 5,476 gigawatt hours in 2020. In 2009, the total installed capacity of renewable energy plants was 10 megawatts, but in 2020, this jumped to 2,289 megawatts, a rise of 22,698 percent.

Moreover, the report highlighted an increase in the quantity of desalinated water produced in 2020, reaching 2 billion cubic metres, a significant increase from 1983 when it stood at 256 million cubic metres. In 2020, the number of wastewater treatment plants in the country stood at 125, an increase of 145 percent over 2011, when there were only 51. The volume of treated wastewater increased by 55 percent in 2020, reaching 769 million cubic metres, compared to 498 million cubic metres in 2011.

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Emirates

UAE private sector pledges to accelerate gender balance in leadership

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DUBAI,18th January, 2022 (WAM) — In a first of its kind initiative for the UAE private sector, 18 leading local and multinational companies from diverse sectors have signed a pledge to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 5 (achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls).

This pledge by the private sector aims to increase gender balance in the workplace, with an emphasis on increasing the representation of women in leadership positions to 30% by 2025 through policy, programme, and initiative developments that are aligned with UAE government direction.

The pledge was signed during a ceremony hosted by the UAE Gender Balance Council, the UAE’s National Committee on SDGs and the UAE’s Private Sector Advisory Council on SDGs. The ceremony was attended by Mona Ghanim Al-Marri, Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council; Abdulla Nasser Lootah, Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and Vice President of UAE National Committee on SDGs; Shamsa Saleh, Secretary-General of the UAE Gender Balance Council; Hanan Ahli, Acting Director of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre; as well as representatives of member companies of the Private Sector Advisory Council and representatives of international organisations working on the SDGs.

Companies that signed the pledge include Majid Al Futtaim Holding LLC, Masdar, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), Dubai Holding, Unilever, Standard Chartered Bank, MasterCard, Michelin, UPS, General Motors, Schneider Electric, PepsiCo, Mondelez International, BASF, Mars, Nestle, and General Mills.

Each of the signatories committed to taking key actions before 2025 to strengthen gender balance in leadership positions, including by: ensuring equal pay and fair compensation; promoting gender equitable recruitment and promotion; mainstreaming gender balance through policies and programmes; and being transparent about progress with fellow signatories and government.

H.H. Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, President of Dubai Women Establishment, and wife of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, commended this voluntary initiative, which reflects the unique partnership between the government and private sector in the UAE to achieve the national goals and a future vision by the wise leadership that will enable the country to be a leading global economy in the next fifty years. She stressed on the pivotal role of the private sector in supporting the government’s efforts to enhance the UAE’s global competitiveness.

She affirmed that gender balance is a key priority for the government, and that the private sector is an indispensable partner in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 5 (Gender Equality). She stressed that the pledge will be an inspiration for the region and the world.

Sheikha Manal said: "The UAE is highly committed to the Sustainable Development Goals of 2030 and has integrated them into its strategic plans, and prioritized them in its local and international partnerships. A national committee for these goals was established in 2017, comprising several ministries and federal agencies, which share the responsibility of implementing these goals at the national level. The UAE Gender Balance Council also launched a host of local and global initiatives to accelerate the implementation of SDG 5 (Gender Equality), in cooperation with government entities and international organisations. These efforts have resulted in remarkable progress for the UAE in global competitiveness reports on women and gender balance, leading the region in some of the most important indexes and climbing to eighteenth place globally in gender equality in a report issued by the United Nations Development Programme. We have witnessed other notable successes, which include ranking first in Middle East and North Africa in the ‘Women, Business and the Law’ 2021 report issued by the World Bank, and first in the Arab world in the Global Gender Gap Report 2021, issued by the World Economic Forum, as well as successfully ranking first globally in 9 competitive indicators related to the progress in achieving the fifth goal of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2021."

She added: "I would like to thank our partners in this initiative that supports the UAE's commitment and continuous pursuit to achieve the sustainable development goals. Eliminating obstacles to gender equality is essential to achieving economic prosperity, social stability and sustainable growth. The UAE, since its establishment, has invested in the capabilities of all members of its society without prejudice or discrimination, and this direction is being reinforced by our wise leadership with pioneering legislation and policies that consolidate the rights of women, ensure equal opportunities and leadership positions in the labor market and enhance their representation in decision-making areas. We are confident that the private sector will keep pace with the achievements made in government in this field, and this initiative constitutes an inspiring model for all private institutions in the country."

Mona Al Marri, Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and Chairperson of the Global Council on SDG 5, said: "The signing of this pledge is a defining moment that deserves to be commended, as it enhances government efforts and confirms the important role that the private sector has in achieving the UAE’s vision and goals."

She added: "The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need to work together to come up with innovative solutions to some complex challenges facing our world. It has also demonstrated the extent to which women are affected by crises, noting that there are real gender gaps in leadership positions across the world, with women occupying only 22% of CEO-level leadership positions. We need to escalate efforts to increase the number of women in senior and middle management roles, as more women in leadership means stronger organisational performance and thriving economies."

She expressed her gratitude to the companies that signed the pledge and their cooperation with the government, adding that it represents a great opportunity for the rest of the private sector to join this important initiative, stressing the readiness of the UAE Gender Balance Council to provide support to the private sector to progress in this field.

Abdulla Lootah, Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs, and Vice President of UAE National Committee on SDGs, stressed the important role of the private sector in supporting national efforts to achieve sustainable development goals, as well as promoting national initiatives and projects aimed at consolidating gender balance across various fields.

He said: "The pledge, signed by 18 national and international pioneering companies, constitutes an important step in the UAE’s path to empowering women. Progress in gender equality started with Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and the wise leadership continues to build on it because of women’s pivotal role in the advancement of countries and societies."

He added: "This initiative reflects the strategic vision of the UAE Gender Balance Council and H.H. Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Completing the sustainable development goals is a joint responsibility between the public and private sectors, and success in this field requires joint efforts to launch initiatives that empower women working in the private sector."

The pledge is the result of the tireless efforts of the UAE’s Private Sector Advisory Council on SDGs, in collaboration with the UAE’s National Committee on SDGs as represented by the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Center (FCSC) and the UAE Gender Balance Council, after a focus group discussion on SDG 5 was organised in 2019.

The result of this discussion was the Private Sector Pledge to Accelerate Gender Balance, an effort which will promote a culture that encourages all employees to realise their full potential, in line with SDG 5 (Gender Equality). Specifically, the pledge will drive the implementation of Target 5.5, which emphasizes the global importance of ensuring women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic, and public life.

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Emirates

Qatari FM condemns Houthi attacks on UAE in phone call with Abdullah bin Zayed

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ABU DHABI, 18th January, 2022 (WAM) — H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, received a phone call from Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar who affirmed his strong condemnation and denunciation of the terrorist attack by the terrorist Houthi militia on civil facilities in the UAE.

He pointed out that such terrorist acts contravene all international norms and laws, expressing his sincere condolences to the families of the victims of this terrorist attack, his wishes for a speedy recovery to the injured, and for continued security and stability to the UAE.

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Emirates

Maldives FM condemns terrorist Houthi attack on civil facilities in UAE in phone call with Abdullah bin Zayed

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ABU DHABI, 18th January, 2022 (WAM)– H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, received today a phone call from Abdulla Shahid, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives.

During the phone call, Shahid expressed strong condemnation and denunciation of the terrorist attack by the terrorist Houthi militia on civil facilities in the UAE. He also affirmed the Maldives' full solidarity with and support for the UAE in the face of this cowardly attack.

He offered condolences over the victims of this terrorist act and wished a speedy recovery to the injured.

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