Last updated on 8 January 2020
The UAE Cabinet has approved the issuance of a five-year multi-entry tourist visa for all nationalities visiting the country.
The decision was made during the Cabinet’s first meeting during 2020 the Year of Preparation, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. The move comes in a bid to support the UAE’s tourism economy, and affirm the country’s position as a global tourist destination.
Another key decision made during the meeting includes the introduction of a visa waiver for Mexican citizens travelling to the UAE. The two decisions will be implemented during the first quarter of 2020.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid emphasised that 2019 was a year full of achievements across multiple areas, adding, “We are leaving this year behind and we are proud of our government working teams, and we are full of excitement and positive energy for the year of preparation for the next fifty years to come.”
His Highness also affirmed that 365 days of 2019 were marked by the UAE scoring achievements and achieving excellence in all fields, including the quality of life, education, health, Emiratisation, infrastructure, economy, competitiveness, space and futuristic sectors.
Sheikh Mohammed expressed his pride in the nation’s accomplishments over the past 50 years, adding, “We challenge our government and Federal teams for the next 50 years. The year 2020 leaves behind 50 years of achievements, and welcomes 50 years of perseverance and hard work in the service of the nation and its citizens.”
During the meeting, held at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi, Cabinet members reviewed the achievements of the UAE government in 2019. The meeting was held in the presence H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, and H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
Sheikh Mohammed went on to say, “We want 2020 to be a year of development, growth and competition with leading countries in economy, competitiveness and wellbeing.”
“We do not want our achievements to be limited to one segment of society,” he noted, adding, “We want them to be diversified to touch the lives of seniors, children and people of determination, both for UAE nationals and residents, students and employees, entrepreneurs and investors, alike.”
His Highness affirmed, “The preparation for the next 50 years is a challenge we accept along with our federal teams. We are confident that these teams are up for the challenge and able to create a positive change in the lives of our citizens and to achieve the objectives of the agenda 2021.”
The UAE Vice President highlighted that the Year of Tolerance promoted the values of tolerance in a perfect manner, and helped tolerance move from concepts and values to initiatives and plans in practice. “This allowed us to continue together in the journey of tolerance which was initiated by the founding fathers of the UAE. The achievements of the Year of Tolerance made us feel optimistic about what the year of preparation for the next 50 years has in store for us. We will make it a quantum leap for the UAE on the world map in various fields,” His Highness added.
“The year 2019 witnessed many important milestones in our journey to explore the future and to draw a clear road map for our success and for the happiness of our citizens. It also witnessed our achievements when we flew through space, in addition to catching up and leapfrogging in various global competitive indicators,” Sheikh Mohammed continued.
His Highness said, “Our sons and daughters, our sisters and brothers, fathers and mothers, our senior citizens, people residing in our country, our partners in building the nation and development, the distinguished scholars and geniuses everywhere, we have placed enthusiastic government work teams to work in the service of each of them. These teams are made of the best and most sincere capabilities who are working assiduously and tirelessly 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year”.
He added, “We have launched dozens of new initiatives and projects, including the first National Strategy for Wellbeing, the Emirates Schools Establishment, and we have adopted the allocation of a fund to support and qualify Emirati jobseekers, and set out new objectives and decisions to support Emiratisation.”
“Furthermore,” His Highness continued, “We have created a new position for the UAE Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Ambassador, and have issued a strategic economic resolution allowing 100 percent foreign ownership in UAE economic activities.
“We have also granted more than 2,500 golden residence permits to people with outstanding qualifications and investors, allowing them to be part of our success story and excellence.”
His Highness said, “In 2019 we adopted the UAE National Space Strategy. We celebrated the realisation of Zayed’s dream with the journey of the UAE’s first astronaut Hazaa Al Mansoori into space. We received the flame of hope to kick off the Special Olympics , and at the same time, we held the People of Determination Retreat.”
During its meeting, the UAE Cabinet approved a resolution exempting Mexican citizens from visa to enter the Country. The decision, which comes as part of efforts to strengthen the UAE position both regionally and internationally, will improve existing bilateral relations with other countries the world through enhancing collaboration in tourism, economic and investment field. The decision will open up new prospects for UAE passport holders in tourism, investment and commerce and will facilitate their movements between the two countries. The decision will facilitate entry, exit and passage for nationals of both countries without the need to apply for visa.
As part of the agenda of the meeting, the UAE Cabinet approved Air Arabia Abu Dhabi as a national carrier airline for the UAE in order to enhance civil aviation in the country and to allow the aviation sector to keep pace with future development plans and directions.
The Resolution reflects the importance the government attaches to the aviation sector. The UAE government invested considerable efforts to improve this sector and support all the businesses working in it. The government gives the aviation sector all forms of support in line with the comprehensive development plans occurring in the country.
As part of the agenda of the UAE Cabinet meeting, the Cabinet approved a set of decisions and legislation to support the healthcare sector, improve its quality and performance and to provide the best programmes and health services for the community. In this regard, the Cabinet approved the establishment of the National Centre for Health Research in the UAE, which will seek to create a unified database on researchers and health research in the country, to collaborate with international institutions and organisations in research fields and to enhance cooperative researches between health and academic institutions through internal and external partnerships. In addition, the Centre will support the implementation of programs and will contribute to convert health research outputs into products, services or policies in order to raise the bar of health care services.
The Cabinet also approved a resolution on the Supreme Medical Liability Committee, establishing a committee for medical liability in every health entity. The Resolution aims to improve the relationship between the provider and recipients of health services in the country to the best possible levels, to guarantee the rights of each party and to determine the appropriate procedures to defend and protect such rights. This is in accordance with precise rules to achieve the required balance in these relationships in such a vital and sensitive field as the field of providing health services.
The Resolution will provide an appropriate working environment that allows medical practitioners to exercise their profession in a way that encourages them to provide the best health services, within an environment that guarantees their rights according to the peculiarities of the profession, while ensuring the rights of patients at the same time.
The Resolution will also avoid the delay resulting from the accumulation of complaints files with the Medical Liability Supreme Committee, since each health entity will have its own medical liability committee. This will contribute to distributing complaints files related to medical errors between more than one committee, hence, the role of the Medical Liability Supreme Committee will be limited to looking into the grievances files submitted by the committees formed within the health authorities. This will obviously help expedite the settlement of cases brought before the courts that deal with complaints related to medical errors.
It is expected that this Resolution will contribute to improving the UAE’s indicators in the health field and thus creating a positive health environment. This will to strengthen its position as a global hub for healthcare, especially in the field of medical tourism.
In this regard, the UAE Cabinet also approved a resolution to establish the National Cancer Registry. The Resolution comes as part of reinforcing the efforts aiming at preserving public health in the UAE society.
The National Cancer Registry is an essential underpinning to find facts and statistical data that will help find new working processes based on accurate and clear methodologies that that will help decision makers obtain the most accurate and latest indicators related to this disease.
The Registry will also help identify appropriate means and methods to combat cancer. The National Cancer Registry will identify its causes, types, and the groups that are most affected by it, and classify the number of cancer patients by gender and age. The Registry will also provide other necessary information in this regard.
Concerning legislative matters, the UAE Cabinet approved a resolution concerning the implementing law amending the Federal Law No. 19 of 2016 on Combating Commercial Fraud. This Resolution aims at finding a federal unified mechanism to deal with cases of commercial fraud across the UAE, speeding up the resolution of legal cases related to commercial fraud in addition to defining a clear mechanism to get rid of illegal products by either re-exporting or destroying them.
The Law contains provisions related to the procedures of the competent authority for inspecting fraudulent and corrupt goods and seizing fraudulent goods in the market, provisions related to the rules for destroying counterfeit goods, and other provisions.
As part of its agenda, the UAE Cabinet approved the UAE System for Monitoring Solar Energy Products which constitutes the cornerstone of enabling various sectors in the UAE (governmental, industrial, commercial and real estate) to generate renewable energy using solar energy technologies and linking them to the public electrical network in the country. This represents one of the most important elements of the national agenda to support the sustainable development system.
The Cabinet also approved a draft federal law on pesticides, in order to preserve public health and environmental safety, and to strengthen control over pesticide circulation in the UAE in accordance with a law tailored to the needs of the agricultural sector and the public health. The Resolution also determines clear penalties for violations in this regard due to the seriousness of the use of pesticides.
As far as regulatory matters are concerned, the Cabinet approved the restructuring of the Board of Directors of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority and the Education and Human Resources Council.
In line with the vision of the UAE to host leading international events, the Cabinet agreed that the capital of the UAE will play host to Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation’s General Assembly meetings to be held in 2020. The UAE won the bid to host this important event in the field of standardization and accreditation activities for the first time in the region since the establishment of the Cooperation.
The Cabinet also reviewed a report on the results of the UAE’s participation in the Donors’ Conference in support of the United Comoros Republic’s development plan. This participation comes as part of the government efforts to consolidate ties with various countries and provide the necessary support to them at various levels.