UAE’ Strategy beyond Coronavirus

  • Ahmed Al-Ali

Following the disruptions caused the Coronavirus pandemic, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has drawn a strategy that focuses on the post-Covid-19 era aimed at restoring the wheel of life to normalcy as quickly as possible, and proceed to a more prosperous and stronger life, especially in economic terms, by creating a model that can coexist with the current conditions and reduce from its negative effects as much as possible. The new model can create new opportunities, adapt to massive geo-economic changes, and preserve noble values and lofty principles.

Thanks to the future vision of the UAE leaders, the whole country was prepared to face the Coronavirus crisis. This exceptional vision will inform the government’s plan of action to turn UAE into the fastest rising and recovering economy in the world.

Human Beings are the Foundations of the State

The wise Emirati leadership takes human life, health and safety as a top priority, and adopts concerted efforts and strengthens the spirit of one team to contain this crisis, and to create a bright future for the country’s citizens and residents on its good land, by formulating its strategy for the post- Covid-19 period. The strategy includes exceptional levels of cooperation, harmony and professionalism across all sectors, entities and institutions, to preserve the mental and emotional health of the Emirati society, and to ensure safety, security and social and economic stability, based on the belief that the human being is the pillar of the state and its first and last foundation.

A decades before the Covid-19 crisis, the
UAE adopted strategies based on looking
ahead, and intensified its policies, programs
and plans in more flexible and diversified

The current mission of the UAE government is to plan how to preserve and safeguard the country’s gains, protect its financial and human resources, re-arrange its national priorities, run its economy and maintain a decent life for citizens and residents alike.

The Covid-19 outbreak accelerated the transformation of many future solutions foreseen by the World Government Summit such as transforming teleworking into a reality. This arrangement which enables employees to work remotely was made possible by the readiness of the UAE government to embrace technological advancements. Education has turned into a future experience of distance learning via virtual platforms based on advanced experiences such as Mohammed bin Rashid Smart Learning Program and Madrasa platform based on a model for connecting government services to homes and companies.

A New Model for Flexible Governments

The epidemic crisis has brought about a great opportunity to create a new flexible model for governments, which can coexist with available financial resources, develop new resources, and deal with rapid changes and various national priorities, ensuring the preservation of a decent life for the citizens and residents alike. The UAE government’s agenda has a clear vision for a rapid rise, a new system for measuring productivity, amending systems and regulations that are appropriate to current developments, goals and priorities. It emphasizes a shift from the traditional methods of work to new approaches such as working remotely for some groups and reliance on smart applications to provide at least 95 percent of government services.

Over the past few weeks, the UAE has worked to develop a practical plan to reopen and revitalize the economy, activate vital sectors such as tourism, industry, exports, financial markets, banks, retail trade among others and stimulate them with new ideas, through its belief that the economy is an engine of government, jobs, social security, stability and life. The UAE leadership is aware that the Coronavirus pandemic imposed a new reality on the world which requires exceptional efforts and specialized work teams to deal with its consequences. The leadership has prioritized the development of a competent skilled human resource and development of modern technologies for key sectors such as agriculture, ICT and health.

Moreover, overcoming the negative consequences of the Coronavirus crisis confirms the importance of adopting the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, to abandon some of the old habits, by finding a plan to change the culture of society and accelerate the transition towards a practical culture tailored to cross the crisis.

Early Preparedness

A decade before the Covid-19 crisis, the UAE adopted strategies that were focused at the future and intensified its policies with more flexible and diversified approaches which are more inclusive and able to face the challenges, through innovation, knowledge and transformation into a digital economy that seeks to use advanced technologies in various fields. The aim was to advance the economy and move the wheel of development, and put government work on the right track in all sectors as the country moves forward to achieve the next 50 years’ plan.

With its strategic vision to become the best country in the world by 2071, UAE has demonstrated its ability to overcome all the challenges through the successes it made in various fields.

UAE can re-prioritize and develop strategies to adapt to rapid changes. The arrangement of national priorities is done in line with the requirements of the future, helping the people of the UAE, and promoting international cooperation and the values of tolerance and humanity.

Development of Government Sectors

The various federal and local government sectors have demonstrated high readiness, and outstanding efficiency, in working to develop their systems, in line with the UAE’s post-Covid-19 strategy, enabling them to continue to operate effectively thus proving the UAE’s ability to manage the crisis flexibility sufficiently. The goal is to lead world economies in controlling the repercussions of the pandemic, and gradually return life to normalcy following the thoughtful plans and detailed road map for the outlook for the future.

The UAE’s strategy for the post-Covid-19 phase focuses on six major sectors: health, education, economics, food security, society, and government, to meet the requirements of the current stage, within a future vision that requires mobilizing the best efforts, experiences and minds to achieve and build a modern and coherent government work system. The strategy has specific plans of action for immediate and future targets that were set to meet the urgent development needs, to address the current challenges resulting from the Coronavirus crisis, and to take into account new developments in the various economic, developmental, community, service, and technological sectors within the framework of the country’s regional environment.

The strategy also seeks to build the largest research, intellectual and analytical system in the country, through holding economic and scientific meetings in coordination with research centers and institutions in the UAE, and with the assistance of a group of leading experts, thinkers and researchers in the region and the world.

It also discusses ways of strengthening the health sector in the UAE, and mechanisms to enhance food security in the country, so that it will be safer in disasters and crises. Furthermore, the post-Covid-19 strategy highlights the need to support the distance learning system and attach it as a basic educational tool in the traditional learning system even in normal conditions and circumstances . This is in addition to formulating features of the future government’s work system, defining government spending priorities and optimizing resource orientation, and reviewing future prospects for government and private sectors to work remotely. It also explores the prospects for developing a digital infrastructure and enhance its efficiency and efficacy in designing future cities, future functions, the role of artificial intelligence and advanced technologies in driving the production wheel, how to remedy future risks and other vital issues and questions.

The UAE, with its wise
leadership, which has an
insightful forward-looking
vision, is capable of facing
crises and making the future,
continuing the process of
development and keeping
pace with global changes

The Importance of Multinational Corporations

The UAE is distinguished by an economy open to the countries of the world, through the presence of multinational companies and the regional headquarters of international corporations, which have positively impacted on the development of important sectors, such as tourism and travel, and is ready to start to the new stage after containing the Coronavirus pandemic, to welcome its guests again. These corporations are flexible and capable of returning the normal life, thanks to a solid foundation set by the government. UAE will return strongly and maintain its distinguished position as a top destination for tourists and a leader in global economic trends.