RIYAD (Reuters) – UAE Prime Minister and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on Saturday announced ministerial changes, including new finance and environment ministers.
Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum – the son of Sheikh Mohammed and current Vice President of Dubai – has been appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.
Mohammed bin Hadi Al Husseini replaces Obaid Humaid Al Tayer as UAE Minister of State for Finance, while Maryam Al Muhairi becomes Minister of Climate Change and Environment.
Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei remains Minister of Energy, but also assumes the role of Minister of Infrastructure reflecting the merger of the two ministries.
Sheikh Mohammed announced the reshuffle as part of a new government strategy to accelerate change through “transformation projects” in the Emirates.
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“The new strategy comes with the completion of our previous plan, UAE Vision 2021, through which we have achieved all of our ambitions over the past 10 years,” he said on Twitter.
The announcement comes as Gulf countries seek to secure investments and strengthen their international status as the importance of oil diminishes.
The UAE recently announced plans to launch 50 new economic initiatives to boost the country’s competitiveness and attract 550 billion dirhams ($ 150 billion) in foreign direct investment over the next nine years.
The Gulf state has launched several measures over the past year to attract investment and foreigners to help the economy recover from the effects of the pandemic. The changes also come against a backdrop of growing economic rivalry with Gulf neighbor Saudi Arabia for being the region’s trade and commerce hub.
(Reporting by Raya Jalabi and Lisa Barrington; Writing by Raya Jalabi; Editing by Jason Neely and Mike Harrison)
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