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UAE prime minister launches seven-year national plan

Posted on Jan 15 2014 | IANS

Dubai, Jan 15 : Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE, announced Tuesday a national agenda outlining the economic, social and cultural objectives the Gulf country wishes to achieve within the next seven years.

"Our goals include increasing Emiratisation in the private sector by tenfold, and the government will enforce various measures if there are not enough incentives for working in the private sector," Sheikh Mohammed, also the ruler of Dubai, was quoted as saying by Dubai Media Office, Xinhua reported.

Emiratisation describes the integration of Emirati nationals in the private sector which is dominated by foreign workers or expats. Eighty percent of the 8.8 million people residing in the United Arab Emirates, a major oil supplier, are expats.

Other objectives of the seven-year plan include upgrading the infrastructure in the Gulf state over land, air and sea, while creating high rates in housing for young adults.

Sheikh Mohammed also said that over the next seven years the UAE also aims to increase the gross national income per capita by 65 percent. The UAE is the second largest economy in the Middle East behind Saudi Arabia.

The plan aims to make the UAE "the safest place in the world, in addition to achieving a four-minute response time for all emergency calls. Another objective is to make the UAE the top country in smart-phone governmental services", he said.

The time schedule for the seven-year plan was chosen in a way that the plan will expire in the year 2021 when the UAE will observe its 50th anniversary of its foundation.

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