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UAE’s senior citizens rank among happiest in the world

UAE leaders personally have periodic meetings with senior citizens to check on their well-being and ensure the availability of everything that enhances their comfort, stability, and other needs.

This was the case when Gouwayah, an Emirati widower, met the President Sheikh Mohamed. The UAE leader personally checked on her living conditions and needs, ordering complete care for her and everything necessary to be provided.

Another 90-year-old citizen from Fujairah, Ali Al Hassan, was visited by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who promptly arranged for necessary medical treatment for him and his wife.

This is why Emirati senior citizens are among the happiest globally. The UAE ranks 22nd in the world, according to the recently published 2024 World Happiness Report.

Why is this so?

National policy for senior citizens

The UAE launched a national policy in 2018 for senior citizens to provide them with comprehensive care systems, discounts, and protection programmes.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention launched numerous initiatives aimed at enhancing healthcare services for the elderly, ensuring access to medical facilities and specialised treatments.

Moreover, the Emirates Healthcare Foundation introduced mobile clinics in remote areas, equipped with the latest facilities and staffed by medical professionals, to deliver essential healthcare services directly to senior citizens' doorsteps.

Services at their doorsteps

Health care professionals visit the homes of senior Emiratis to monitor their health conditions and provide necessary assistance. From dental care to medical laboratory services and physiotherapy, these clinics have a wide range of healthcare needs.

In Sharjah, Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has ensured that centres are available for senior residents.

Immediate actions

Notably, during a call-in programme in Sharjah, a woman named Um Khaled, who has health insurance as a mother of a Sharjah government employee, complained about the fees she paid.

Sheikh Sultan directed to cancel her health insurance card, and her treatment will now be covered under the senior citizens' system at the University Hospital.

He also confirmed that senior citizens receive comprehensive free medical services at the University Hospital, starting from transportation service to and from the hospital.

Priority financial support

In addition to healthcare, the UAE government provides financial assistance to senior citizens, easing their financial burdens and ensuring their financial security.

Senior Emiratis also receive preferential treatment in government entities, with priority given to them in service delivery and transaction processing.

In Abu Dhabi, many government entities provide direct services to the homes of senior citizens, such as the Abu Dhabi Police, which offers in-home services for people with disabilities and elderly individuals who cannot visit the centre.

Free transportation and education

The Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi provides free taxi cards for seniors of all nationalities who are over 60, allowing them to travel for free for life on all public transportation in Abu Dhabi.

Special positions are designated for them all over the UAE in frequently visited places, and special facilities for senior citizens are available in public transportation.

In Dubai, senior citizens, and residents over the age of 60 receive discounts on public transportation, and there is free parking in areas designated for citizens with disabilities and seniors over 60.

Education is also available, with literacy centres distributed across the country. In Abu Dhabi, various areas have literacy centres offering both morning and evening classes.

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