UAE announces broad govt reshuffle amid pandemic

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced a broad government reshuffle, merging several ministries and departments and appointing new economy and industry ministers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The restructuring was announced by UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on his official Twitter account on Sunday, reports Xinhua news agency.

The move is part of a drive to create a more agile government amid COVID-19.

“Our goal from the structural changes is for a government quicker in its decision-making … an agile government quick in solidifying the achievement of our nation,” he wrote on Twitter.

Al Maktoum announced the creation of a Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, and named Sultan al-Jaber, head of Abu Dhabi’s national oil company ADNOC, as its minister.

Other changes include abolishing 50 percent of government service centres and converting them to digital platforms within two years.

The UAE was the first among the Gulf countries to report COVID-19 cases.

On Sunday, it announced 683 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total to 51,540, while the death toll stood at 323.