The UAE Cabinet on Sunday approved an additional AED16 billion economic stimulus package to bolster the country’s economy, ensure continuity of businesses, and manage the adverse economic impact caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The package was discussed as part of a virtual cabinet meeting held under the chairmanship of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
The AED16 billion aid follows the aid announced by Abu Dhabi and Dubai, along with that of the Central Bank of the UAE, taking the total value of COVID-19 stimulus packages pumped into the economy to AED126.5 billion.
Among other measures introduced include a renewable six-month suspension of work permit fees and reduction of labour and other charges to cut the cost of doing business, support small businesses and accelerate major infrastructure projects, according to a WAM report.
Asserting that the UAE government is ready to deal with all future scenarios, Sheikh Mohammed said that the country will also continue to be part of the global efforts to contain the pandemic.
“Our message for everyone is that we are completely ready to deal with all circumstances,” added Sheikh Mohammed. “Over the past 10 years, we have invested in smart learning, electronic and smart services to enhance our readiness for emergencies and disasters. Today we are reaping the fruits of our strenuous efforts as evidenced by the continuation of our educational process and basic government services. We are being proactive in dealing with global health conditions.”
Calling the Coronavirus a “health virus, an economic virus, and a political virus too…” Sheikh Mohammed called upon all nations of the world to work together in unity and solidarity to “fight the worst enemy of humankind”.
He said, “All differences diminish in the face of this challenge and the world can overcome it faster if the strong stood with the weak and the rich with the poor. We have adopted new systems in the banking, economic, and public sectors and provided a healthy infrastructure to deal with the worst possibilities. We have a national team that works around the clock. We will safeguard the health of our society. We will protect our economy. We will protect education. We will cross such a global crisis with confidence.”
Meanwhile, The Health and Environmental Affairs Committee of the Federal National Council (FNC) also held a remote meeting using video conferencing, led by Mohammed Ahmed Al Yamahi, Chairman of the Committee, to discuss a draft federal law on public health comprising 38 articles, with the participation of relevant authorities.
The draft law includes provisions related to a healthy lifestyle, nutrition, physical activity, tobacco control, studies and research on public health, healthy advertising, occupational safety, communicable and non-communicable diseases, and environmental health.