In his 2022 end-of-year address, UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba stated that the UAE “has evolved further and faster than any other country.” While the UAE has experienced numerous achievements throughout its 52-year history, it continues to focus on sustainable development to accelerate the country’s growth and ensure a better future for generations to come. Campaigns such as UAE USA United continue to be a beacon for inspiring change across areas such as inclusion, gender equality, economic prosperity, and climate action. As the UAE moves through 2023, the country is taking measures to encourage economic growth by uplifting Emirati women, investing in young entrepreneurs, and supporting initiatives that focus on sustainable, clean energy.
Supporting Emirati Women at Work
The UAE has long promoted women in the workforce. As of January 1, 2023, UAE women accounted for 30% of the country’s cabinet, 50% of parliament, and over 50% of all STEM students in UAE universities. Women’s impact on the UAE’s economy will only continue to flourish, which means supporting Emirati women is more critical than ever. With this, the UAE is continuously working to establish an enabling work environment to assist women in succeeding in their careers.
From improving access to education to providing networking opportunities, the UAE aims to give women the tools they need to be empowered at work. Additionally, the UAE has enacted policies to ensure there are places for women in leadership roles. For example, in 2012, the country mandated that publicly-listed companies and government agencies in the UAE must have at least one female director. Looking forward to 2023, the UAE will further support women in the workforce and beyond.
Encouraging Emirati Entrepreneurship
In recent years, the UAE has pushed for more young people to pursue entrepreneurial interests by enacting programs to help young Emiratis start their own businesses. The Nafis program allows government employees to take sabbatical leave to establish or manage private projects for one year. This economic project hopes to boost the UAE’s private sector by introducing 75,000 Emiratis over the next five years, resulting in 10% of the sector comprising of UAE citizens.
Climate Action Leadership
Perhaps one of the biggest strides in progressing the UAE is the country’s commitment to climate action. As stated by Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, “the Emirati people and way of life share a deep connection to nature, and prioritizing the protection and preservation of the Earth is of utmost importance.” With this, the country has become a leader in the pursuit of solutions to climate crises. Climate action has become a priority for the UAE and in turn, the country has recognized the need for clean energy and other climate change solutions in order to grow a diverse, prosperous economy.
UAE and USA collaboration has been a crucial element to the UAE’s climate plan. This collaboration between the UAE and the US has worked to lead the charge in addressing various environmental challenges. Together, the countries established the Partnership for Accelerating Clean Energy (PACE) which will introduce $100 billion towards financing for clean energy. The PACE partnership will also deploy 100 new gigawatts of clean energy by 2035.
The UAE to Host COP28 Conference
As a leader in climate action, the UAE won a bid to host the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) this November. Heads of state and international leaders will convene in the UAE capital to discuss climate change and environmental protection efforts. COP28 gives leaders the opportunity to explore solutions to help safeguard the planet’s future.