ADDED chairman affirms Abu Dhabi Government’s commitment to overcome challenges of COVID-19
22 Jun 2020
A special virtual meeting was recently conducted by Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), where he emphasized the Abu Dhabi Government’s commitment to enhance the roles of entities within the public and private sectors in the continuous efforts to overcome the challenges and impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Al Shorafa's statement was part of a speech he gave during the virtual meeting for around 400 employees of ADDED, the Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development (ADCED)Abu Dhabi Investment office "ADIO" and the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED). Also present during the meeting was Rashed Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, Undersecretary of ADDED. The special virtual meeting was held to serve as a key guide in helping prepare the employees for their gradual return to work.
In his speech, Al Shorafa shared that the success of Abu Dhabi Government employees in maintaining business continuity amidst COVID-19 is clearly reflected in the positive results achieved in addressing the pandemic. He further pointed out that the positive achievements can be attributed to the key capabilities demonstrated by human resources, including their qualifications, confidence and commitment to serve the country and its wise leadership.
Al Shorafa lauded the employees’ efforts, interaction and dedication rendered during the remote work period, which helped reinforce ADDED's role in leading the emirate's economic agenda, particularly in the case of facing this current crisis. He noted that these efforts have led to outstanding results and have greatly contributed to containing the crisis--controlling it and continuing to maintain the pace of the local economy while also ensuring the health and safety of the Abu Dhabi community.
Meanwhile, Al Balooshi shared that 30 per cent of ADDED's total number of employees have already been directed to gradually return to their offices. Prior to their return to official duty, ADDED has circulated important bulletins about occupational health and safety regulations to be observed to help combat COVID-19.
Al Balooshi also praised the efforts of volunteers who worked closely with ADDED's field inspection teams, citing them as outstanding additions to ADDED's workforce. He commended their support in implementing circulars, monitoring markets and maintaining the health and safety of society as part of the 'We all volunteer' campaign--an initiative that was recently implemented and participated by the ADDED Chairman and senior management.
In regard to the preparations to gradually return to office work, Al Balooshi stated that all necessary measures have been implemented to prepare the initial phase comprising 30 per cent of the workforce that will be resuming office work. In line with this, posters detailing important guidelines and reminders have been set up for employees. These posters also encourage a new work culture to help deal with the repercussions of COVID-19 and require focusing on achieving objectives according to safety and security requirements and instructions.
He further stated that employees are being introduced to the objectives of this new stage, which includes how to deal with a work culture that is completely different from the previous period. This next stage places key focus on how the local economic system will recover from the impact made by COVID-19; how to achieve self-sufficiency and how to concentrate growth and development on economic areas and sectors that will support this trend in the future.
Also discussed during the virtual meeting were the achievements that ADDED gained in response to battling the pandemic, which covered the period of March to June of this year. During this period, ADDED was able to successfully conduct 64,729 inspections and control campaigns across various commercial facilities. The department also received 5,146 complaints from consumers. It also conducted 95,135 field visits to sales outlets along 864 control campaigns across workers' residential areas, wherein 289 violations were issued. In addition to this, the department confiscated more than 1 million counterfeit and adulterated goods, which follows the closure of 36 establishments for repeatedly violating regulations. Lastly, 1,210 warnings were issued.
During the same period, the department also issued 32 circulars on the precautionary measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, including the creation of 55 indices charts to monitor the COVID-19 effects on a daily basis. Furthermore, ADDED recorded 11 economic studies, 5 indices and 25 initiatives to help minimize the COVID-19 effects in addition to 3 statistical reports on COVID-19 cases across the UAE.
ADDED also implemented media and promotional campaigns designed to raise awareness about the local community’s role in combating the repercussions of COVID-19. In this regard, ADDED issued 71 press releases, organized 12 media briefings and circulated 77 SMS’ in five different languages. The ADDED Chairman was also able to conduct 12 meetings with major private sector companies in the emirate. A total of 475 educational and informative videos were also prepared, featuring online interaction made by 137,532 persons across various social media channels.