Post COVID-19 recovery plans and initiatives
Following are some of the measures and initiatives implemented by the UAE to ensure the recovery from the effects of the pandemic.
Changing the government structure
The UAE made changes in its government structure. It merged some federal entities and appointed new ministers of state and CEOs for specialised sectors to allow for a more agile government and flexible decision-making. The new ministries include Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, which will develop the UAE’s industrial sector. A new Minister of State for Digital Economy, Artificial Intelligence and Remote Work Applications was appointed. Read more on the UAE’s current Cabinet and its functions.
Closing down customer happiness centres
With movement being restricted and people having to maintain physical distance, the UAE Government closed down several customer happiness centres and moved the service centres to digital platforms such as websites and apps.
Recognizing the role of ICTs amid the pandemic and the role of digital transformation in maintaining the continuity of businesses and learning, the UAE Government launched a Strategy for Government Services which aims that all its services will be accessible from anywhere, any time by the year 2023. It also appointed a Head of the UAE Digital Government with for a comprehensive digital transformation of the UAE.
Forming a National COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Committee
Formed with representatives of several ministries, departments and public companies, the key mandate of the UAE’s National COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Management and Governance Committee is to lead the country's economic recovery post the pandemic. The Committee will develop a strategic plan and identify key performance indicators for the post-COVID-19 phase for targeted sectors to gauge the performance of the entities concerned with returning to normalcy.
Supporting the economy
- Launching 33 initiatives to boost economic growth
On 3 August 2020, the UAE Cabinet approved the launch of 33 initiatives’ plan to support the economic sectors. It also formed an Interim Committee to coordinate and follow up on the implementation of the flexible package and increase business growth rates.
On 18 October 2020, the Interim Committee approved the implementation plan of the 33 initiatives. The plan was divided into three phases. The first phase involved providing immediate support to business sectors by carrying out 15 major initiatives. The second phase involves launching complementary support to sectors to enable a rapid economic recovery. The third phase will involve providing integrated support to vital sectors and will open up a sustainable and flexible development path for the economy.
- Financing priority industrial sectors, start-ups and SMEs
The UAE Government approved the Emirates Development Bank Strategy to provide financial support of AED 30 billion to businesses and start-ups in a major step to drive the national economy. The bank allocated a portfolio of AED 30 billion to support priority industrial sectors over a period of five years from 2021 to 2025.
This step will contribute to financing more than 13,500 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and creating 25,000 jobs. The bank will also launch an AED 1 billion investment fund for start-ups and SMEs in 2022 and target industrial companies in priority sectors that need financing and investment.
- Launching a 10-year plan to boost industrial sector
The UAE’s 10-year Industrial Strategy "Operation 300bn" aims to empower and expand the industrial sector to become the driving force of a sustainable national economy. The strategy is expected to increase the industrial sector’s contribution to the GDP from the current AED 133 billion to AED 300 billion by 2031. It will roll out programmes and initiatives to support 13,500 industrial SMEs.
- Strengthening foreign trade and local non-oil sectors
The UAE adopted an ‘Export Development Policy’ to increase its exports and open new international markets with the aim of supporting the country's foreign trade and increasing the participation of non-oil sectors in the GDP. The policy will enable the national economy to benefit from opportunities of the economic recovery expected during 2021 and the future.
- Encouraging creative economy
Dubai launched a Creative Economy Strategy to double the contribution of its creative industries to its GDP from 2.6 per cent in 2020 to 5 per cent by 2025. Dubai will provide flexible packages, incentives and advanced creative incubators to maintain pace with the rapid technological developments.
The UAE also implemented a strategy to attract and retain talents to enhance the country's attractiveness to foreign investments.
In 2020, the UAE had launched schemes to support the economy and reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economic situation.
Read publications that predict future trends in the areas of retail sector, education, telecommunications and work spaces post COVID-19.
The UAE’s post COVID-19 strategy
The UAE Government held virtual meetings over a three-day period from 10 to 12 May 2020 to assess the country's strategy for developing the UAE post the pandemic of COVID-19. The meetings were attended by ministers, secretaries-general of executive councils and officials from over 100 federal and local government authorities.
Goal of the meetings
The aim of the meetings was to develop a strategy for the whole government work system, produce business plans, policies and means to ensure the short, medium and long-term development of the UAE’s government work, and enable the country to tackle economic and social challenges post COVID-19. The strategy would include a review of current ministerial and government structures and focus on a two-phase recovery plan.
Areas of focus
The six main areas of focus for the meeting were health, education, economy, food security, society and government. Ministers presented their vision and the UAE’s readiness for the future of the said sectors in the post COVID-19 stage.
After the meetings, H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, declared that the UAE:
- will review the structure and size of its government as part of its strategy for dealing with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic
- may merge ministries and alter bodies and will make changes for a more agile, flexible and speedy government.