UAE announces broad government reshuffle amid COVID-19 pandemic

DUBAI • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced a broad government reshuffle on Sunday, merging several ministries and departments and appointing new economy and industry ministers, Xinhua news agency reported.

The restructuring was announced by UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (picture)  on his official Twitter account.

The move is part of a drive to create a more agile government amid COVID-19.

“Our goal from the structural changes is for a government quicker in its decision-making … an agile government quick in solidifying the achievement of our nation,” he wrote on Twitter.

The prime minister announced the creation of a Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, and named Sultan al-Jaber, head of Abu Dhabi’s national oil company ADNOC, as its minister.

Other changes include abolishing 50 per cent of government service centres and converting them to digital platforms within two years.

The UAE was the first among the Gulf countries to report COVID-19 cases. On Sunday, it announced 683 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 51,540. — BERNAMA