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28 February 2024

Mohammed bin Rashid chairs Cabinet meeting; reviews National Legislative Plan

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By E247

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai has chaired the UAE Cabinet meeting at Qasr Al Watan, Abu Dhabi, in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court; H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE and H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said: “Today, I chaired the UAE Cabinet meeting where we reviewed the country’s legislative plan and were briefed on the 2023 plan, within which more than 73 federal legislations were accomplished in the financial, banking, educational, health, and government regulatory sectors, indicating the highest number since the establishment of the union.”

His Highness noted that more than 1500 specialists and 50 governmental teams took part in implementing this plan.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid added: “Our goal is to keep our legislations updated, flexible and adaptable to changes, ensuring the best business environment in the world.”

His Highness said: “Also today, we launched the UAE Legislation Platform (www.uaelegislation.gov.ae) an integrated platform which includes all federal legislation, decrees, executive regulations, and decisions issued in the country since the foundation of the Union in 1971. The platform is accessible for public and includes all legislation in force in both Arabic and English languages. Specialists and experts will be able to provide input on existing legislation, express opinions, and participate in the legislation drafting process through offering suggestions and observations.

“Our aim is to promote government transparency, enhance participation and engagement of various segments of society, and maintain the status of our legislative environment among the best globally”, His Highness added.

H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said: “Within the UAE Cabinet agenda, we approved a new indicator for the Government, the "law enforcement" indicator. It involves assessing the implementation of laws and their effects on investors, citizens, residents, or specialised groups. The objective is to measure the impact of the laws, update them if needed, and ensure equal application to all.”

His Highness noted that the UAE has established a global approach in its laws and procedures, its transparency is well-established, and the rule of law will remain a key priority.

His Highness further noted: “Today, in the Cabinet we approved the ‘Science, Technology and Innovation Policy’. The national policy encompasses six main areas including energy transition, health, food security, water security, technology, cybersecurity, and manufacturing. Investing in R&D programmes will add value to our GDP and multiply chances for our future generations.”

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid concluded: “We approved the ‘National Policy for Improving Women’s Health’ in the UAE, to ensure providing the highest healthcare services quality for women, whether curative, preventive or rehabilitative services. All government and private sectors will work together to champion health research, to cultivate in the country the best environment that prioritises women's health.”

-Reviewing the National Legislative Plan
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai reviewed the National Legislative Plan of 2023, which included the issuance of 73 federal laws covering multiple sectors.

The new or updated legislation further facilitates procedures, reduces requirements of receiving services, and encourages doing business and activities related to various vital sectors. They also enhanced coordination between federal and local governments entities. More than 1500 specialists and 50 teams from federal and local governments as well as the private sector took part in implementing the legislative plan.

The new as well as the updated federal laws support the efforts of transition to a more flexible legislative system, whose positive impact on services in the UAE is tangible to the community, enhancing government work development and ending duplication of governmental functions and responsibilities.

Within the meeting’s agenda, the Cabinet launched the UAE Laws Implementation Index and went through the results of the implementation of the laws of 2020-2022 by the ministries and the federal entities. It also gave its directives to regularly submit reports on the achievement progress and the challenges.

Legislative updated included 10 federal laws which were issued for the first time in the country, such as: law on commerce through modern means of technology, law establishing Emirates Drugs Establishment, law on regulating the use of the human genome, law on regulating the genetic fingerprint database, law on regulation the role of places of worship of non-Muslims, and law on pensions and social security.

-Motivating legislative updates in economy, finance and banking
Key laws introduced in the economic and financial sector in 2023 included laws on commerce through modern means of technology, which, for the first time in the UAE, gives legal aspect to doing business digitally through applications, smart platforms, social media, and technical media such as Metaverse. It regulates consumer rights in E-commerce, intellectual property rights, and data, as well as regulating the recovery and exchange of goods and services, dispute settlement mechanisms, digital payment gateways, and cybersecurity requirements.

Other laws issued in this sector regulate matters such as competition, consumer protection, combating commercial fraud and regulating financial restructuring and bankruptcy, in addition to the Trust Law.
Other laws issued on economy and finance sector included matters such as the establishment of the Financial Stability Council, the Central Bank of the UAE functioning, regulating financial establishments and activities, arbitration and corporate tax.

-Updating social legislation
During 2023, in the family and community sector, laws regarding sports, public benefit entities, pensions and social insurance were amended, among others. The Sport Law, first-of-its-kind federal law that regulates sports entities in the country and outlines their functions, resources and governance framework. The new sports law highlights the role of educational institutions, along with sports clubs in discovering talent and fostering sports creativity.

The Pensions and Social Security Law was issued. It applies to new participants who joined the labor market for the first time as of November 1, 2023. It increases the flexibility of the pension and social insurance system, equates the government and private sectors employees, and supports Emiratisation. An amendment was also made to some provisions of the Personal Status Law, granting the custodial mother educational guardianship over the child.

A new federal law regulating media activities was issued in 2023, which regulates media activities and outlines media content standards applicable to individuals and organisations practicing media activity in the country. It reorganises the functions of government entities with regard to issuing licenses and permits to practice media activities for individuals, establishments and media institutions, and supervising and controlling them, and replaces the Publications and Publishing Law issued in 1980.

A new law legislation regulating places of worship for non-Muslims, which aims to regulate places of worship in the UAE, including free zones, and defines a set of supervisory and controls to be applied under the supervision of the Ministry of Community Development and the competent local authorities. It defines the key controls for their establishment, management, and organisation of their work, including the prohibition of abuse to the teachings on which any religion or faith is based, or interference in the politics or domestic or foreign affairs of the state.

In the education sector, the government issued a law on combating cheating and disruption of the examination system and amended a law on private education institutions.

-New and updated legislation on healthcare sector
In the health sector, the government issued laws on matters related to regulating the use of the human genome and the mental health sector, the practice of health professions by non-doctors and non-pharmacists, among other laws.

The law on regulating the use of the human genome, is a law issued for the first time in the country. It regulates genetic and genomic tests and surveys and their utilisation in the health landscape for prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and personal medicine applications. The law also establishes the first national genomic database, and defines the controls for the utilisation of the Emirati reference genome.

An updated federal law on the donation and transplantation of human organs and tissues was also issued in 2023, which supports the culture of donating organs and protects the rights of the donor as well as the patient.

The updated laws included the Medical Liability Law, prohibiting any abortion unless the continuation of the pregnancy poses a great risk to the pregnant woman’s life, or if the fetus’s deformity is proven to be serious and will affects her health and life, and any other cases approved by the Cabinet.

A law amending the medically assisted reproduction law was issued, which for the first time expands the scope of permitted medically assisted reproduction techniques according to controls determined by government health authorities in the country.

Other laws were issued in 2023 such as the Private Establishments law, the Practice of Veterinary Medicine Profession law, and a law on regulating medical products and the profession of pharmacists and the pharmaceutical facilities, law on mental health.

-Legislation on transport, infrastructure and space sectors
During 2023, various laws were issued or amended, on matters related to transportation, infrastructure and space sectors. They mainly regulate subjects such as: weights and maximum dimensions for heavy vehicles, maritime industry, reorganizing the Emirates Space Agency and land transportation.

One of the key legislation in this sector issued in 2023 was the maritime law, which aims to increase the capabilities of the national fleet and to grow investment opportunities in the maritime shipping sector in the UAE. For the first time, restrictions on foreign ownership of national ships are removed and raising a double flag on unmanned ships became legal. The law redistributes maritime-related functions between federal and local government entities to support flexibility in regulating maritime activities.

Legislations on security and judiciary sector
The year 2023 witnessed the issuance of new laws on combating human trafficking and combating narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, mediation for the settlement of civil and commercial disputes.
The main legislative updates in the sector included laws on regulating the genetic fingerprint database, combating discrimination, hatred and extremism, regulating international judicial cooperation in criminal matters, and judicial fees before the federal courts.

-Launching the UAE Legislation Platform
In the same meeting, the Cabinet approved the UAE Legislation Platform, in alignment with the country’s national plan to develop the legislative structure in all sectors. The platform includes federal legislation and laws, alongside their regulatory decisions and executive regulations, in both English and Arabic languages.
The unified platform encompasses all federal legislation and laws established since the formation of the Union. It also provides a list of the amended laws and all the legislative updates in a chronological sequence.
The platform aims to provide an advanced experience for users, ensuring accessibility of legislative content for all segments of society.

The platform features more than 1000 laws and regulations, and serves as an official platform associated with all local legislative platforms, and enables diverse segments of society including the private sector, to actively engage in reviewing federal law drafts and decisions in accordance with specified regulations.

Featuring an advanced search engine, the platform enables the public to access legislation smoothly, flexibly, and promptly. It also allows tracking amendments to laws and enacted legislation, providing a comprehensive record along with the corresponding time frames for these amendments.
The platform represents a unified and comprehensive platform that encompasses the current legislation in force in the UAE. It can be accessed through the following link: (https://uaelegislation.gov.ae).

-Science, Technology and Innovation Policy
The UAE Cabinet meeting approved the ‘Science, Technology and Innovation Policy’ which aims to set the national directives for Research and Development, and addressing national challenges.

The updated policy encompasses six main areas for Research and Development: the energy transition, health and human prosperity, food security, water security, digital technology and cybersecurity, in addition to advanced materials and manufacturing.

The UAE’s national policy will focus on solar energy, hydrogen production and storage, healthcare areas related to cardiovascular disorders, syndromes, cancer sciences, environmental domains concerning fishing and aquaculture, sustainable food production technology, in addition to sustainable desalination sector, water recycling, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, cybersecurity, and industrial sectors related to 3D printing and smart materials.

-National Policy for Improving Women’s Health
During its second meeting for this year, the Cabinet approved the National Policy for Improving Women’s Health in the UAE. The policy aims to develop a multisectoral national framework to promote women's health by providing high quality and efficient health services whether curative, preventive or rehabilitative.

The policy aims to reduce the cancer mortality rate to 23.24 per 100 thousand of the female population and reduce the mortality rate to 62.77 per 100 thousand of the female population. Additionally, the policy’s targets include reducing health issues arising from unhealthy lifestyle (like obesity and lack of physical activity) by 3%.

-Federal regulations on energy management for industrial facilities
Also, during the meeting, the Cabinet approved the Federal regulations on energy management for industrial enterprises, which aim to enhance sustainability and reduce energy demand in industrial enterprises in the UAE. In alignment with the objectives of the ‘National Water and Energy Demand Management Programme 2050’, a comprehensive energy management system will be implemented. It will include developing a federal regulation to streamline energy consumption in the industrial sector and achieve a 33% reduction in total energy demand by 2050.

The system also aims at reducing emissions and achieving sustainability in the most prominent industries. This includes Aluminum production; Iron industry; Cement industry; Petrochemical industries; water desalination; Chemical industries; and Light industries.

The regulation is set to significantly impact, resulting in energy savings equivalent to 25.8 tonnes of oil by the year 2050 within the industry sector.
Additionally, it aims to enhance air quality significantly, with an anticipated 32% improvement by 2050. This improvement is attributed to a notable reduction in carbon emissions, estimated at 63 million tonnes.
The implementation of the regulation is anticipated to generate financial returns amounting to AED 14 billion by the year 2050. This will be accomplished through reductions in various forms of energy consumption and electricity usage.
-Results of implementing the National Biosecurity Framework 2023
The Cabinet also reviewed the results of implementing the National Biosecurity Framework 2023, as well as the results achieved through the implementation of the National Strategy to Combat Desertification 2022-2030; The results achieved though the projects and initiatives of the UAE national Air Quality Agenda 2031; The milestones achieved through the implementation of the UAE Integrated Waste Management Agenda 2023-2026; and the results achieved through the projects and initiatives aligned with the National Programme to Transform Technology in industrial sector.

-Approval of hosting 3 international and regional events in the UAE
The Cabinet approved the UAE hosting of the World Conference on Culture and Arts Education, which aims to strengthen a global coalition for culture and arts education, as well as shape policies, ideas and practices to better equip all learners with the relevant knowledge and skills they need today and in the future.

Also, the Cabinet approved the UAE University hosting the 34th meeting of the Deans of Student Affairs Committee in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Additionally, the meeting approved the Zayed University hosting the Gulf Programming Contest (GPC)in April 2024.

Three international agreements have been approved by the Cabinet during its meeting, including two agreements with the Kingdom of Bahrain, and one with the Russian Federation.

The UAE Cabinet meeting has approved the Manual of Federal Government Accrual Accounting Standards 2024. It also approved a number of reports on the 2023 achievements and results of several councils, as well as approving the final accounts of the General Pension and Social Security Authority for the fiscal year 2022.