Thursday 19, November 2015

Dubai – MENA Herald: Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG), a research and educational institution specializing in public policy in the Arab world, has provided in-depth insight into the role of the government in implementing socio-economic and health strategies to promote sustainable fertility rates among Emiratis.

The insights came at the MBRSG’s fourth policy council meeting held under the theme ‘UAE Fertility Rate in Dubai: Challenges, Policies, and Future Vision’. The meeting examined the means to secure future generations, ensure sustainable community development and preserve the national identity in the long term, in line with the Dubai Strategic Plan 2021.  

Headed by His Excellency Dr Ali Sebaa Al Marri, Executive President of Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government, the meeting also discussed the research conducted by the school on vital topics related to the current fertility rates in Dubai and the optimal solutions for sustainability. His Excellency Hameid Al Darie, Deputy Secretary General for Policy and Planning, Federal Demographic Council, His Excellency Tariq Al Janahi, Deputy Executive Director, Dubai Statistics Center, and His Excellency Hamad Al Rahoumi, member of the Federal National Council were also present at the meeting.

His Excellency Dr Ali Sebaa Al Marri said: “The fertility rate is a critical aspect of growth for all countries of the world today. MBSRG organizes multi-pronged dialogues and research to gauge community needs and proposes solutions to strengthen the emirate’s ability to maintain a sustainable path in all life streams, in line with the priorities articulated in the Dubai Strategic Plan 2021 that focuses on healthcare. Such sessions also serve as a guideline to enable the UAE to adopt international best practices in different sectors.”

He added: “We believe that the government has a significant role to play in achieving sustainable growth through specific regulations that could improve current fertility rates. The meeting’s deliberations also touched upon how to proactively engage Emirati participation in maintaining the fertility rates towards preserving their national identity in the long term.”

His Excellency Hameid Al Darie, Deputy Secretary General for Policy and Planning, Federal Demographic Council, said: “The fourth session of the policy council highlighted recommendations to achieve a healthy society in which citizens are well-informed and enjoy a high level of general health and well-being. At present, an average Emirati family has three children. The government seeks to ensure the sustainability of this ratio for the long-term future of the nation. This task requires cooperation between the concerned government departments and also calls for citizen engagement and awareness on the issue. In addition, it mandates a greater focus on healthcare and educational services in Dubai.”

Meanwhile, His Excellency Hamad Al Rahoumi stressed the need to support women both socially and economically to fulfill their natural role in bearing children and ensuring proper child care by amending the human resource systems, providing appropriate facilities in the work environment, reducing delivery and child-care costs, as well as supporting and encouraging Emiratis to have children by disseminating family awareness literature.”

The meeting was also attended by Aisha Miran, Secretary-General for Strategic Management and Communication at Dubai Executive Council, Dr Awatif Juma Al Bahar, Medical Director, Dubai Gynaecology & Fertility Centre, Dubai Health Authority, Samia Al Dawi, Policy Specialist at the Department of Economic Development – Dubai, Fatima Hassan Issa, Business Development Advisor at Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, Ayesha Abdullah, from the Official Programs and Research wing at Zayed University, and Khawla Lootah, Member of Dubai Business Women Council.

Aisha Miran stressed the importance of developing enabling laws to raise fertility rates in Dubai to help the emirate reach its socio-economic development goals. She said: “Globally there has been a decline in fertility rates owing to several factors. In Dubai, we continue to maintain acceptable fertility levels compared to these global figures.”

The Policy Council launched by the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government aims to provide insights and recommendations in areas that impact government performance, while enhancing personal and institutional communications to facilitate intra-governmental relations. The Council is also mandated to highlight priority issues and public policy matters that are relevant to the community and the government.

Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government is committed to promoting good governance through enhancing the region’s capacity for effective public policy. The school uses a four-pronged approach, which includes applied research in public policy and management, academic programs in public policy and administration, executive education programs and knowledge forums for scholars and policy makers.