Viewpoint: Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan

The UAE – under the leadership of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the UAE, and ruler of Dubai – is capable of overcoming crises. This is due to both the capacities of the country and the efforts of its citizens and residents. As such, the country is confidently and rapidly moving forwards with its economic development while heading into the future.

In May 2020 the leadership of the UAE met via video link with all the government authorities to confirm their readiness to implement the country’s post-Covid-19 recovery plan. This envisions using all the opportunities available to achieve the fastest-possible recovery of the country and all vital economic sectors, while benefitting from any relevant lessons learned during the pandemic. The current circumstances facing the UAE will pass, and in 2021 the country will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its foundation – while being stronger, more developed and more prosperous than ever before. The remote meeting undertaken in May 2020 was the largest government gathering – involving both the federal government and local governments – conducted thus far to discuss the economic and health implications of the global Covid-19 pandemic. It was noted that the UAE has the capacities, resources and human capital needed to address the crisis and enable the country to make a rapid recovery. Working together as one, we need to think and act differently, with the aim of not only overcoming the current crisis, but also meeting the requirements of the post-Covid-19 world. We need to learn what changes are necessary to our government, culture, economy and institutions in order to both overcome the challenges and benefit from the opportunities provided by the new global situation. Attended by over 100 officials, including government ministers and international experts, the meeting was a milestone in the history of the country. Moments of crisis bring out the best in countries and highlight their potential. The UAE has shown clearly that it is ready to overcome the global Covid-19 pandemic, just as it has overcome previous crises. We will continue to focus on six key sectors, namely health care, education, the economy, food security, community and government. In addition, we will continue to lead the way in providing humanitarian aid wherever it is required.

We are constantly reviewing the measures taken by relevant hospital administrations to deal with the pandemic, which are based on a unified medical system. We are also listening carefully to all the plans being pursued by hospitals to continue providing services to non-Covid-19 patients. I praise the efforts of all government offices and hospitals that are taking part in the nationwide plans under HH The President’s Initiatives, as well as their coordination with other national institutions, to combat Covid-19. The UAE has led the world in the number of tests conducted for the virus and in the manufacture of personal protective equipment. Furthermore, medical researchers in the UAE have successfully trialled and patented a stem-cell therapy to treat Covid-19. Similarly – as part of a coordinated effort with the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority – we are emphasising the importance of the UAE’s local agriculture sector in meeting the needs of the domestic market. All major food retailers must now allocate space for local produce, and various innovative initiatives – including in hydroponics and fish farming – are taking place across the UAE in line with the National Food Security Strategy 2051.

Under the directives of Sheikh Khalifa and the monitoring of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE armed forces, the UAE is harnessing all of its human and material capacities to effectively combat and overcome the pandemic. Throughout our history we have shown our adaptability to changing global situations, and we are committed to emerging from this pandemic stronger and more resilient than ever before.