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New working week system a boost to labour market, says Abdulrahman Al Awar

Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, has emphasized the importance of the new working week system, saying it will help boost the labour market.

"The new system will reposition the labour market as a global market and a key driver of national economy," Al Awar stated.

He indicated that the new system would enable continuity of external transactions for the private sector’s companies and entities, hence safeguarding investors, and business owners’ interests.

"This will reflect positively on the workers in various business sectors and lead to increased productivity," he added.

Al Awar underlined the role of the decree law on the regulation of labour relations in the private sector, which will take effect from February 2, 2022, in providing further flexibility to the labour market.

The decree law stipulates that workers are entitled to at least a paid, weekly rest day, to be specified in the employment contract or in the organisation’s executive regulations, with the possibility of increasing the weekly rest day at the discretion of the employer, or by a cabinet resolution.

Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar urged the private companies and establishments to maximise benefits from the new system by amending their internal rules and regulations in a way that will fit to their respective activities and at the same time, guarantee a supportive and balanced work environment to the employees.

He also stressed the need for the business owners to fulfil their legal commitments towards the employees by ensuring that maximum working hours are maintained and rest days, annual leaves are granted as per the employment contracts and that ample breaks are given to the employees to perform Friday prayer.

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Hamdan bin Mohammed launches ‘Create Apps in Dubai’ initiative

DUBAI, 29th March, 2023 (WAM) — H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, today launched “Create Apps in Dubai”, an initiative of the Higher Committee of Future Technology Development and Digital Economy, aimed at fostering an innovation-driven ecosystem for digital applications in the emirate and turning Dubai into one of the world’s most attractive destinations for business opportunities by 2025.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed said the launch of “Create Apps in Dubai” forms part of implementing the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to develop initiatives that can transform Dubai into a leader in the global digital sector and create a new future shaped by advanced technologies and sciences.

Since launching Dubai Internet City, the emirate’s strategic investments in the digital sector have seen it becoming an important player in the global technological landscape, he said.

Sheikh Hamdan stated, “The digital transformation sweeping the world and the exponential growth of cutting-edge digital applications and platforms have created a new global competition for technological leadership. Dubai seeks to be at the forefront of this global race by providing a platform for fostering the development of 1,000 highly-skilled UAE nationals whose ideas and innovation will create a vibrant applications sector in Dubai.”

The “Create Apps in Dubai” initiative overseen by the Dubai Chamber for Digital Economy with the support of government entities and technology companies, seeks to train a select group of 1,000 UAE nationals in partnership with the private sector in Dubai. The initiative will identify priority areas and support development plans aimed at empowering and enabling these UAE nationals to play key roles in realising the country’s digital vision. Furthermore, the initiative seeks to triple the number of app creators by 2025 and support 100 new national projects for developing cutting-edge apps that will be made available in digital app stores over the next 24 months.

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan met with developers of apps targeted at the global market in the fields of healthcare, education, entrepreneurship and others, as part of engagements aimed at promoting exchange of ideas among experts, innovators and developers. By encouraging greater sharing of digital and technological expertise, Dubai seeks to enhance its position as a global launchpad for future-oriented technologies.

Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, and Chairman of the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy; Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director-General of Dubai's Department of Economy and Tourism; Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Director-General of the Dubai Digital Authority; Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of the Dubai Future Foundation; Ahmed bin Byat, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy; Malek Al Malek, Director-General of the Dubai Development Authority and Chairman of TECOM Group; Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC; and Saeed Al Gergawi, Vice President of the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, attended the launch of the “Create Apps in Dubai” initiative.

With global smartphone sales revenues crossing US$448 billion and two million new applications and games created in 2021, growth and innovation in the sector has been steadily gathering momentum. Users spent more than US$160 billion on applications while the number of downloads of applications hit 230 billion in 2021, creating vast new opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs and technology professionals.

The number of financial and business applications downloaded in the Middle East and Africa region exceeded 157 million in 2021, an increase of 182 percent since 2018, while user spending in the top 25 electronic apps increased by 6.5 times compared to 2018. Dubai seeks to leverage new growth opportunities in the sector by creating a strong digital infrastructure, developing a legislative framework that supports the development of apps, and introducing government incentives to accelerate the sector’s economic growth.

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Saif bin Zayed attends Majlis Mohamed bin Zayed lecture exploring technology and future trends

ABU DHABI, 29th March, 2023 (WAM) — H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, attended a lecture organised by Majlis Mohamed bin Zayed, titled “Technology & Future Trends: How to Think like a Futurist”, at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

The lecture was also attended by H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence; and a number of sheikhs and officials.

The first lecture in this year’s Ramadan series was presented by Amy Webb, a quantitative futurist, professor, best-selling author, and founder and CEO of the Future Today Institute. Her lecture explored the importance of imagining future scenarios and foreseeing upcoming revolutionary technologies that could potentially change the world today.

Webb introduced the concept of “worldbuilding”, which she described as “the creative act of imagining, designing and implementing a world that evolves or diverges from today”. Worldbuilding, she said, is foundational to storytelling but is also a vital part of strategic foresight and long-term planning in government and in business.

These concepts, she added, were not new to the UAE, describing the founding fathers as “some of the smartest visionaries and the best strategic planners that have ever lived.” She discussed how they imagined a future with a unified society, inclusive culture and a long-term vision for social and economic development.

In imaging the future, she encouraged the audience to place themselves and their community at the centre, and for them to contemplate multiple potential futures, conscious that the future is the result of the decisions we make and the conversations we have in the present.

The lecture went on to explore how emerging technologies such as generative AI and bioengineering could affect society. Webb advised that effective worldbuilding and exploring uncertainty through different scenarios “helps to remove the guesswork,” suggesting that as a centre of innovation, the UAE could drive global thinking in many of these areas.

In addition to the keynote address by Amy Webb, the lecture featured pre-recorded contributions from Hasan Al Hosani, CEO of Bayanat; Dr. Ebtesam Almazrouei, Director of AI Cross-Centre Unit; and Tannya Jajal, technology evangelist and AI author; and was introduced by Talal Al Kaissi, CEO of G42 Cloud.

The lecture will be broadcast on Thursday 30th March, beginning 60 minutes before Iftar, on local TV networks and on the Majlis Mohamed bin Zayed YouTube channel (

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UAE President, VP attend honouring ceremony of NAFIS Award winners

ABU DHABI, 29th March, 2023 (WAM) — President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council, attended part of the honouring ceremony of winners of the first edition of the NAFIS Award 2022-2023 at Qasr Al Watan.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed emphasised that empowering a skilled and qualified national workforce is a top priority, and should be supported by all institutions, government departments, and private sector partners working together.

He expressed confidence in Emiratis' ability to drive the country's economic leadership and competitiveness in various fields.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid noted that H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan is overseeing the Emiratisation programmes, and the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council has launched an integrated package of opportunities to promote the presence of UAE citizens in the private sector.

He stated, "We have ambitious national objectives to develop the Emiratisation programme, which is crucial to the UAE's development journey. Our policy focuses on strengthening partnerships between government and private sector institutions, investing in youth potential, and enhancing their expertise."

The event was attended by a number of ministers, top officials, public figures, and businesspeople, during which the names of the winners were announced and honoured for their achievements in 2022.

Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, emphasised the UAE leadership’s support for the Emiratisation programme and their commitment to providing all possible support for skilled and qualified workers to enhance their active participation in the country's development.

He added, "The Emiratisation policy enjoys the support of the wise leadership, and the last stage witnessed the launch of a comprehensive set of initiatives aimed at creating a supportive environment for Emiratisation and strengthening the private sector's role as a major partner with great capabilities and opportunities."

Al Awar stressed that the NAFIS Award aims to promote positive competition among private sector establishments in Emiratisation by recognising those who have achieved the necessary targets and celebrating outstanding Emirati talents in this sector. This contributes to improving the national human development system and increasing its participation in strategic economic sectors in the present and future.

Ghannam Butti Al Mazrouei, Secretary-General of the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council, stated that the launch of the inaugural NAFIS Award for 2022-2023 aims to recognise private sector companies, Emiratis working in them, and their trainees who have met the Emiratisation conditions and targets and achieved outstanding performance results.

Al Mazrouei emphasised that the award serves as a stimulus to achieve the UAE leadership's vision by encouraging private sector establishments to increase the participation rate of UAE citizens in the workforce and make a significant leap in the nation’s development journey and the national economic system. Additionally, the award honours Emirati individuals and acknowledges their achievements in their respective fields.

The Award consisted of a number of categories. The Best Company in Achieving Emiratisation Targets included 3 main categories: Large Sized Companies (1000 employees or more), won by Majid Al Futtaim Hypermarkets LLC; Medium Sized Companies (500 to 999 employees), won by Al Masar Recruitment Services; and Small Sized Companies (fewer than 499 employees), won by KPMG Lower Gulf Limited.

This NAFIS Award’s first cycle ceremony also included a special honour to 21 companies who made distinguished efforts in Emiratisation through recruiting and training Emiratis, including: Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas LLC (VOX); Al Futtaim Private Co LLC; Injazat A G42 Company; Crif Gulf DWC LLC; OMB for Manpower Staffing Services; Aldar Projects; Al Riyadh School; Al Rayana School; Emirates Response Services LLC; SAAED for Traffic Systems; Teleperformance; Taqieem Trade Information Centre; Taqdeer Centre; Etimad Holding; IGG Emirates Advanced Training LLC; Al Shuweihat Limited Partnership; Lulu Hypermarket; Jindal SAW Gulf; Halliburton Worldwide Limited; Keolis MHI; and Maximon for Project Management.

The ‘Individuals’ award covered a number of sub-awards. The Supervisory/ Leadership Jobs category won by Ghanim Ghuloom Ali Karam; the Administrative Jobs category won by Fatima Mubarak al-Karbi; the Medical Jobs category won by two Emirati distinguished talents Amal Abdullah AlMulla Al Muhairi, and Noura Salem Mohammed Al-Nashmi Al Mansoori; the Finance Jobs category won by Abdulrahman Mohammed Khalfan Kharbash; the Lawyers Jobs category won by Hawra Moosa Abdulrasool Moosa; the Professional Jobs category won by Mona Ibrahim Jomaa Abdullah Al Mansouri; the Retail Jobs category won by Chadha Ali Ibrahim Obaid Shehhi; and the Trainees category won by Abdullah Khalid Ali Abdullah Al Raissi.

The NAFIS Awards also highlighted 15 success stories of talented and distinguished Emiratis working in different fields in the private sector. They were honoured for achieving a high level of professionalism in their work.

NAFIS is an annual award launched under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan and is supervised by the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council in partnership with the NAFIS programme, which was initiated in September 2021 by the Council as part of "Projects of the 50" to achieve the UAE Vision 2071. The NAFIS Award encourages skilled Emirati talents to work productively and attain competitiveness in the labour market, while attracting young people to work in the private sector as their first choice after graduation.

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