UAE restructures government, seeking more agility as it deals with coronavirus impact

Sultan al-Jaber was named as industry and advanced technology minister. PHOTO: REUTERS

DUBAI (REUTERS) - The United Arab Emirates announced a broad government restructuring on Sunday (July 5), merging government entities and appointing new economy and industry ministers, and giving it a year to achieve new targets.

The head of Abu Dhabi's national oil company ADNOC, Sultan al-Jaber, was named the industry and advanced technology minister, and Mr Abdullah al-Marri was appointed economy minister, as part of the restructuring announced by UAE Vice-President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum on his official Twitter account.

The energy and infrastructure ministries were merged under a single portfolio to be headed by the current energy minister, Mr Suhail Al Mazrouei.

A source familiar with the matter said Mr al-Jaber would retain his post as ADNOC chief executive.

The changes are being made to help the country deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Sheikh Mohammed said last month when plans to restructure were first announced.

Changes include abolishing half of government service centres and converting them to digital platforms within two years and merging around half of federal agencies with each other or within ministries.

Sheikh Mohammed, also the ruler of Dubai emirate, said the changes would speed up decision making and make the government more responsive to change.

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