The Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi held a coordination meeting with of Al Ain Municipality, the Eastern Region Development Committee and the Western Region Development Council to discuss the findings and recommendations of the study conducted for stimulation of economic development in remote areas of the emirate and create job opportunities for citizens. The study was prepared by DED Studies Directorate.His Excellency Rashid Ali Al Zaabi, Executive Director of Planning and Statistics Sector said that this study seeks to set a comprehensive vision for economic development in remote areas of the emirate in order to generate job opportunities for citizens living in those areas, according to development plans and strategies that have been approved.Rashid pointed out that the study aims at accelerating pace of economic and social development in remote areas, formulating necessary policies, drawing main lines for equipping national labor force with required competencies and skills to propose appropriate frameworks to stimulate the private sector. The study is intended also to develop small SMEs in distant and areas, raise people's awareness of the importance of changing the culture of work and open new job prospects. Rashid Al Zaabi said that the study focused on the characterization of de facto economic development in remote areas, and identifying most important challenges facing the process of Emiratization. Al Zaabi pointed out that the methodology adopted by the study was based on field research to assess levels of services and development in remote areas; and detect the aspirations of citizens seeking employment and the nature of jobs and sectors most consistent with their preferences competencies and skills; in addition to sorting out labor market needs in remote areas by sectors and economic activities. Rashid Al Zaabi said that the field research depended on a questionnaire which explored views of job seekers, another questionnaire for assessing the levels of development and services in the two Regions and a third questionnaire meant for high school female students, in addition to the findings and results of the Labor Market Demand Index, which the Department of Economic Development periodically prepares.Al Zaabi added that the main partners in this study are Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council (ADTC), the Western Region Development Council, the Eastern Region, Development Committee, Al Ain Municipality and the Family Development Foundation; and he also noted that Abu Dhabi Economic Vision aims at reducing unemployment rate in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to less than 5% by 2030.During the meeting with the strategic partners of the Department, the Studies Directorate made a presentation on the contents of the first draft of the study, based on ADTC statistics in 2010, which indicated that job seekers in Abu Dhabi, the Western region and Al Ain were 3078 males and 9034 females, a total of 12,112 people including 41% graduates of high school and above; 37% high school graduates and 21% holders of diplomas and above.The participants at the meeting discussed a number of key points contained in the study, most importantly the decline in unemployment rate among citizens over the last ten years, despite the increase of national labor force in proportion to total population of citizens, and an expected decrease in unemployment rate in the emirate by the end of 2011 after the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces for accelerating Emiratization.One of the major areas focused on by the study, is the that the government sector accounts for the largest portion of national labor force by 87.4%, while the jobs opportunities which the public sector provides do not exceed 0.4%, and though the private sector provides 97.8% of the jobs, however the rate of national labor participation in this sector is only 6.1%.The meeting between Abu Dhabi DED and its government partners also discussed the education outcomes incompatibility with labor market needs, in view of the surge towards building a sustainable economy based on knowledge, as graduates of theoretical colleges comprise nearly 70% of total graduates (50% are graduates of Business Administration Faculty).The presentation by the Studies Directorate at the meeting, called attention to some of the challenges facing national labor participation in the private sector, which include including the variation between the requirements of the labor market, and the qualifications and experience, in addition to benefits and incentives in comparison to those provided by the government. The presentation indicated that the Eastern Region (Al Ain) accounted for nearly 45% of the total number of job seekers, while the Abu Dhabi Region, accounted for the largest demand for labor, which reflects the differences in size and number of development and investment projects. Participants in the meeting from Al Ain Municipality were Mr. Mohammed Al Marzouqi, Director of Community Relations - for the City Central Sector, Abdullah Al Shamsi, Director of Community Relations - for the Eastern Sector, Ramis Al Amery, Director of Community Relations- for the Southern Sector and Rashid Al Mazrouie, Director of Community Relations for the Western Sector.Mr. Mohamed Al Dhahery, Director of Quality and Institutional Performance , represented The Eastern Region Development Committee, in the meeting, and the Western Region Development Council was represented by Mr. Fahd Al Kayoumi Director of Strategy and Finance and Ms. Mariam Al Zaabi, Director of Strategy and Research.