RIYADH (Reuters) -United Arab Emirates Prime Minister and Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced ministerial changes on Saturday, including new finance and environment ministers.
Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum — Sheikh Mohammed’s son and the current deputy ruler of Dubai — has been appointed deputy prime minister and finance minister.
Mohammed bin Hadi Al Husseini replaces long-serving Obaid Humaid Al Tayer as the Emirates’ minister of state for finance, while Maryam Al Muhairi becomes the minister of climate change and environment.
Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei remains energy minister, but also takes on the role of infrastucture minister reflecting the merger of both ministries.
Sheikh Mohammed announced the reshuffle as part of a new government strategy aimed at expediting change through “transformational projects” in the Emirates.
“The new strategy comes with the completion of our previous plan, UAE Vision 2021, through which we achieved all our ambitions in the past 10 years,” he said on Twitter.
The announcement comes as Gulf countries seek to secure investment and boost their international status as the importance of oil declines.
The UAE recently announced plans to launch 50 new economic initiatives to boost the country’s competitiveness and attract 550 billion dirhams ($150 billion) in foreign direct investment in the next nine years.
The Gulf state has launched several measures over the past year to attract investment and foreigners to help the economy recover from the effects of the pandemic. The changes also come amid a growing economic rivalry with Gulf neighbour Saudi Arabia to be the region’s trade and business hub.
(Reporting by Raya Jalabi and Lisa Barrington; Writing by Raya Jalabi; Editing by Jason Neely and Mike Harrison)