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18 January 2016

MBRSG Publishes Report on Fertility Rates among Emiratis in Dubai

Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG), a research and teaching institution specializing in public policy in the Arab world, today published a report of the fourth session of the Policy Council, held under the theme ‘Fertility Rates among Emiratis in Dubai: Challenges, Policies and the Way Forward’. The report discusses and offers recommendations on issues and policies related to fertility rates.  

Although fertility rates in the Gulf and the UAE exceed sub-replacement rates, they are of special importance due to the overall imbalance in demographics. The report emphasizes the complexity of the topic. Policies related to fertility issues require the involvement of government, citizens, healthcare providers and the education sector. A high level of coordination is, therefore, paramount to ensuring an effective strategy. 

The Policy Council report highlights a number of factors contributing to lower birth rates in Dubai, based on a survey conducted by MBRSG. Involving a cross-section of UAE citizens in Dubai across varied age groups, education levels and social status, the survey cited rising cost of living, delayed marriage, and women entering the work force as primary reasons for the low birth rate. Other causes included higher cost of marriage, personal preference for not having many children, and spending more time on pursuing education and building a career. 

The report discusses the importance of maintaining fertility rates due to their significance for economic and social continuity. Birth rates are a critical factor in preserving Emirati families, upholding Emirati identity, and ensuring participation of UAE citizens in all sectors of society and economy. 

The Policy Council made a number of recommendations, topped by the need to conduct more in-depth research on Emirati families, fertility issues, and the challenges of raising children. The report recommends a review of government policies and human resource procedures related to working mothers. It also stresses the importance of awareness and clarifying the government message related to fertility rates. 

The Council called for support for the Amal initiative, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and encouraged similar efforts that contribute to sustaining fertility rates and family stability. 

His Excellency Dr Ali bin Sebaa Al Marri, Executive President, MBRSG, said: “The Policy Council chose the topic of fertility for its fourth session in line with its support for Dubai Plan 2021. The plan places special emphasis on the wellbeing of society and driving sustainable development of UAE citizens towards active participation in the economic, social and civil sector.” 

He added: “Fertility is multi-faceted issue in causes and effects. We conducted a survey among UAE citizens in Dubai, and included a number of leaders and decision makers in the discussion about the results. The aim was to come up with an accurate definition of the issues and practical recommendations that would contribute toward developing government policies related to fertility.” 

Chaired by Dr Al Marri, the Policy Council session was attended by His Excellency Hamad Al Rahoomi, FNC member, Aisha Miran, Assistant Secretary General, Strategy Management and Governance Sector at The Executive Council of Dubai, H.E. Humaid Al Darei, Assistant Secretary General, Strategy and Communication, Federal Demographic Council; H.E. Tariq Al Janahi, Acting Deputy Executive Director of Dubai Statistics Centre; Samia Dawi, Policy Specialist, Department of Economic Development, Fatima Issa, Business Development Advisor, Dubai Foundation for Women and Children; Aisha Al Midfa, Programs and Research, Zayed Universty; Dr Awatif Al Bahar, Medical Director, Dubai Gynaecology and Fertility Center, Khawla Lootah, Dubai Business Women Council, and Prof Raed Awamleh, Dean of MBRSG.

The Knowledge and Policy Council provides insights and recommendations into areas that impact government performance, while enhancing personal and institutional communication to facilitate intragovernmental relations. The Council is also mandated to highlight priority issues and public policy matters that are relevant to the community and the government.

The 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.
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