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Dubai's ruler invites citizens and expats to help shape UAE's future
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 29 - 09 - 2020

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice president and premier of the United Arab Emirates and Dubai's ruler, launched the "Designing the Next 50" project to involve the public in shaping the future of the UAE.
The project will bring together all members of the society to establish the pillars and components of the UAE Centennial Plan 2071 as part of declaring the year 2020: Towards the next 50' to develop a comprehensive development plan for the next five decades beyond 2021.
Sheikh Mohammed said: "50 years ago, the UAE's founders started a mission to involve people in shaping the country's future that we see today. They started from the desert with ambitions that reached outer space. They gathered and discussed people's ideas while living in different circumstances with fewer resources, but they were united by the same spirit and extensive efforts that aimed for the summit. Their mission made history and redefined the concept of modern societies."
He added: "Today, we revive the mission of the UAE's founders. Today, we begin our mission to prepare for the next 50 years that lead up to the UAE's centennial. Our duty is to design the UAE of the future for the next generations and to involve our people in this mission just like our founders did. We invite citizens and residents to join us in shaping the future of the UAE."
The grand project will be overseen by the 50-year development plan committee, chaired by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the deputy premier and the minister of presidential affairs, to shape the UAE's next 50 years.
As part of ‘Designing the Next 50' project, a digital platform will be launched to gather ideas from citizens and residents on shaping the UAE's next 50 years in sectors including health, education, social development, economy, environment, housing, tourism, entrepreneurship, investment, skill development, societal values, culture, family relations, sports, youth, food security, science, and advanced technologies.
Various meetings will bring together UAE's ministers with members of the public who will represent the various segments of the diverse society and capture their aspirations of the future in the country.
Panel discussions and brainstorming sessions will bring public and private entities with the public to work together to develop ideas and recommendations for shaping the future of all sectors and fields across the UAE.
Public and private entities will use interactive tools including remote meetings, surveys, and discussion sessions to receive feedback from the public. These tools will capture people's ideas to help shape the future of different vital sectors in the UAE, namely education, healthcare, sustainability, and advanced technologies.
The private sector's key role in ‘Designing the Next 50' will be specially highlighted through hosting the country's national and global companies, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, SMEs, startups, and entrepreneurship in different events and discussions. The series of interactive events will bring the private sector with the country's official business sector representatives in a move that highlights the private sector's pivotal role in driving the economy. ‘Designing the Next 50' project aims to shape the future of the private sector to enhance its global competitiveness across all sectors.
A special edition of youth circles will be held, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Youth, to inspire dialogue among young people and direct their capabilities and aspirations towards the future. The remote sessions will host young citizens and residents across the UAE to address youth's role in shaping the UAE Centennial Plan and coming up with futuristic ideas to design the country's future.
The UAE has been implementing long-term visions, plans, and strategies throughout its history to achieve the development it has reached today. Preparations for the future continue with aims to cope with emerging changes, enhance global competitiveness, and strengthen the UAE's position as the land of dreams and opportunities.
‘Designing the Next 50' aims to unify minds and visions to achieve innovation and establish partnerships towards a new phase of development in the UAE.
The project's numerous events and activities will result in a unified societal vision to make the UAE one of the world's best countries to live in within the next five decades. Extensive efforts to prepare for 2071 are directed towards developing all sectors for the post-oil era, building a knowledge-based economy, investing in human capabilities, strengthening the UAE's value system based on tolerance, openness, and coexistence, enhancing global competitiveness, and driving sustainable development for future generations.
In December 2019, Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan declared 2020 to be the year of preparations for the next 50 years.
The "2020: Towards the next 50" was launched as the biggest national strategy to prepare for the coming 50 years on the federal and local level and organize the country's Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2021. This year's efforts aim to establish the UAE's global competitiveness, build an advanced system for sustainable development, boost the national economy, and drive investments in advanced technologies to sustain a knowledge-based economy. — WAM

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