DUBAI, UAE, Feb 8, (AP): Dubai’s ruler said Monday the United Arab Emirates will privatize some government services in the oil-rich country, as well as create a state minister position devoted to ensuring the happiness of its citizens. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who also serves as the UAE’s prime minister, made the comments on Twitter after appearing at the World Government Summit being hosted in his city-state.
He also announced that some government ministries would be merged, while also creating a minister of state position to oversee tolerance in a country that is home to many faiths and ethnicities. “It is a beginning of a new journey of achievement and giving to the people and we ask Allah to help us to serve and take care of them,” one message read. The series of tweets sent out to coincide with the summit did not offer a timeframe for when the plans would be implemented. However, they come amid a monthslong push by the 66-year-old ruler focused on happiness in his emirate, which is known for its futuristic skyscrapers and a liberal disposition compared to the rest of the largely conservative Arabian Peninsula.
The United Arab Emirates is a federation composed of seven autonomously ruled emirates. The ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, serves as the country’s president. In his tweets Monday night, Sheikh Mohammed said the changes in the federal government came after he consulted with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi’s crown prince. This isn’t the first time Sheikh Mohammed has turned to Twitter to make a major announcement. Last week, he posted messages to Twitter saying he wanted a young person under 25 to serve as a UAE government minister to oversee youth issues.