UAE Efforts in Fight Against COVID-19

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Introduction

The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated that the UAE model is robust. We are an adaptable and resilient country, shaped by 50 years of growth in a competitive region. The UAE model is based on constant evolution and diversifica- tion and is designed to deal with high levels of uncertainty.

The UAE will continue to act as a responsible global citizen and problem-solver. As a devastating demonstration of nature’s power and a reminder of humanity’s interdepen- dence, COVID-19 must prompt new efforts at conflict resolu- tion and improving international cooperation.

We are ready to help lead the global recovery. The UAE has mobilized a significant international aid effort and has strengthened multilateral coordination alongside global orga- nizations and fellow nations. As a major hub of innovation and exchange, the UAE is determined to play a major role in restor- ing global connectivity and reviving the world economy.

Healthcare

Announcement of a breakthrough stem cell treatment for COVID-19 on May 1 by a UAE-based team of researchers at Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center.

Development of a rapid laser test to identify COVID-19 patients by QuantLase Imaging Lab, aiming to increase mass screenings, with results available in seconds.

Ranking first worldwide in mass testing per million people, having conducted more than 4 million tests.

Establishing the world’s largest testing lab outside of China in 14 days to process tens of thousands of tests daily.

Developed the Al Hosn contact tracing apps on April 24 to help identify COVID-19 cases and assist with the implemen- tation of home quarantine measures.

58+ studies underway in the UAE to research and develop innovative treatments for COVID-19.

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Launching COVID-19 drive-through test centers to expand testing, making the UAE the 5th nation in the world and the 1st nation in the region to do so.

Introducing the National Home Testing Program for People of Determination to ensure adequate access to testing for all members of the public.

Health authorities built 24 facilities across the nation, including the largest field hospital in the Middle East, to expand testing capabilities and build on the existent health- care infrastructure. They performed 2 million COVID-19 tests, completed 200,000+ remote consultations and delivered 120,000+ prescriptions to patient homes.

International Cooperation

Providing 1,100 metric tons of medical aid to more than 74 countries in need, supporting more than 1,000,000 medical professionals.

Facilitating 80 percent of World Health Organisation-pro- cured supplies through Dubai’s International Humanitari- an City, the world’s largest humanitarian hub.

Participating in a global pledging conference hosted by European leaders to raise €7.5 billion to discover, produce, and distribute a vaccine for COVID-19.

Launching an international air bridge to provide a lifeline of essential health and humanitarian supplies to nations in need in partnership with the UN World Food Programme.

Supporting G20 Leaders’ efforts to reinvigorate the global economy as part of its participation in this year’s G20 Leaders Summit.

Conducting more than 1,146 land and air missions to assist people with the return to their home countries during the pandemic.

Hosting 215 people of different nationalities from China’s Hubei Province to the Emirates Humanitarian City in Abu Dhabi in March, where they received necessary medical evaluation and care as part of the UAE’s Home- land of Humanity Initiative.

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Facilitating the repatriation of 80 individuals from Iran on March 19 in response to a request by the South Korean Government.

Economic Measures

UAE Central Bank stimulus package of AED 256 billion.

Federal Government approval of AED 16b to support the private sector by reducing various government fees and accelerating existing infrastructure projects.

Central Bank fee waiver for payment services provided to banks operating in the UAE through its payment and set- tlement systems for six months.

Reduction in the amount of capital banks have to hold for their loans to SMEs by 15 to 25 percent to facilitate further access of SMEs to finance.

Work permit fees suspended for six months. Suspension of real estate registrations fees for 2020. 50% reduction in municipal fees paid by hotels in Dubai.

20% rebate on rental values for the restaurant, tourism and entertainment sectors in Abu Dhabi.

Exemption from UAE road toll tariffs for all vehicles until the end of 2020 in Abu Dhabi.

Culture & Education

The UAE was an early leader in moving all students to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UAE’s Arabic remote learning platform Madrasa is serving 2.5 million people across the Arab world, three times more than before the COVID-19 crisis began.

The UAE has made many of its museums and social spaces available to visit remotely, including:

Virtual heritage and cultural tours through Dubai 360.

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Art Dubai digital program featuring more than 500 images, videos, and talks.

#Dubai_Ideas_Marathon addressing challenges faced by creative and cultural organizations.

Alserkal Online offering gallery tours and virtual meetings with artists.

Cultural Marathon series featuring diplomats, cura- tors, artists, and creatives.

“Culture for Everyone” presenting Manarat Al Saadi- yat, Qasr Al Hosn, Berklee Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Art, and more online.

Celebrating bilateral relations online, including a virtual UAE-China week in July 2020.

The Louvre in Abu Dhabi reopened on June 24 after a 100-day closure, with social distancing and other measures to ensure visitors could return safely.

Labour & Employment

Committing USD 70 billion to stimulate the economy and assist businesses in retaining jobs.

Automatic renewal of work visas and extensions for resi- dency and other permits.

Launching the National Relief Program to permit workers to engage in temporary employment.

Establishing an online labour market platform to publicize new jobs.

Allowing employers and employees to renegotiate employ- ment contracts during the pandemic, with the agreement of both parties.

Early Leave Initiative to allow employees whose work was impacted due to COVID-19 to take their annual leave early in their home countries.

Assisting foreign nationals who wish to return to their home countries.

Ensuring access to food and accommodation for those in need and financial support where necessary.

Ensuring high standards of health and safety at work and in accommodation facilities provided by employers.

Developing mental wellness awareness campaigns and connecting workers to psychiatric professionals.