Cable reference id: #04ABUDHABI4188

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Reference id aka Wikileaks id #23143  ? 

SubjectUae: Biographies Of New Cabinet Members
OriginEmbassy Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)
Cable timeMon, 22 Nov 2004 13:55 UTC
References04ABUDHABI2254, 04ABUDHABI3955
  • Time unknown: Original unredacted version, leaked to Wikileaks
  • Thu, 1 Sep 2011 23:24: Original unredacted version published, with HTML goodies

Diana T Fritz 02/05/2007 04:03:17 PM From DB/Inbox: Search Results






DE RUEHAD #4188/01 3271355
P 221355Z NOV 04
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E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/22/14
TAGS: PGOV [Internal Governmental Affairs], PINR [Intelligence], ECON [Economic Conditions], TC
SUBJECT: UAE: Biographies of New Cabinet Members

REF: A) Abu Dhabi 3955 B) Abu Dhabi 2254

(U) Classified by Ambassador Michele J. Sison, reasons
1.4 (b) and (d).

¶1. (U) The November 2 cabinet reshuffle merged six
ministries into three, created a new ministry, shifted
portfolios and elevated seven new people to
ministerial rank. As part of our analysis of the new
cabinet, we have prepared biographies of its members.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed swore in his new cabinet on
November 21, 2004.

——————————————— —–
¶2. (C) Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of Economy
and Planning
——————————————— —–

–Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi is the first female Minister
appointed to the UAE Cabinet. An excellent contact of
the U.S. Embassy and Consulate General, Sheikha Lubna
is a warm, dynamic and highly intelligent leader who
has cultivated close ties with many U.S. officials and
business leaders.

–Career and Education: Sheikha Lubna was appointed
Chief Executive Officer of, an online
business to business marketplace to buy and sell goods
and services created and established by the Emirate of
Dubai, in April 2000. Under her management, the
company experienced quick growth. Prior to that she
had been a manager in the Dubai Port Authority,
working under DPA CEO Sultan bin Sulayim, with whom
she maintains close ties. She also acted as Dubai
branch manager for the General Information Authority,
the organization responsible for automating the UAE
federal government.

–Sheikha Lubna holds a Bachelor of Science degree
from California’s Chico State University and an
Executive MBA from the American University of Sharjah.
She studied in the UK and Japan prior to going to the
US. She frequently represents the UAE at
international conferences, including last year’s Arab
American Forum in Detroit where she led a delegation
of UAE businesswomen and the first TIFA council talks
with the USG last April. She serves on the board of
the Thunderbird School of International Management.

–Significance: Sheikha Lubna is a true believer in
open economies and free trade. While other UAE
interlocutors have expressed concern about the
dislocating effects that an FTA might have on Dubai
families who rely on mandatory “agency” relationships
with U.S. firms, Lubna has no patience for that:
“These people just want to sit around and do nothing
and get paid for it. They’re just going to have to
get used to the idea that from now on they’re going to
have to work for a living, just like I do.” Embassy
contacts at the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of
Economy have both expressed support for her
appointment, saying that “she will shake up the place”
by reforming a generally backward leaning bureaucracy
and pushing forward economic reform.

–Personal Data: Despite having achieved prominence
in Dubai, as a high-profile prot €of MbR, Sheikha
Lubna is actually a member of Sharjah Emirate’s ruling
family, and (as an unmarried woman) she continues to
reside there with her mother and sisters. Sheikh
Sultan, the religiously conservative current ruler of
Sharjah and Sheikha Lubna’s maternal uncle, is said to
be somewhat uncomfortable with Lubna’s very public and
(until now) Dubai-centric role in the UAE and
international public arena. While in the UAE, she
wears a traditional “abaya” (black cloak) and “shayla”
(hair covering), but in private and when speaking
abroad she frequently removes both, sporting stylish
western business dress.

–Ministry: The Ministry of Economy and Commerce and
the Ministry of Planning merged into the Ministry of
Economy and Planning. The original Ministry of
Economy and Commerce was responsible for regulating
UAE businesses under the companies’ law as well as
regulating trade agreements with other countries and
the WTO. Many parts of the ministry had the
reputation of being overly bureaucratic and not
aggressively pro-reform. For that reason, the UAE
gave the lead in TIFA (and FTA) negotiations with the
US to the Ministry of Finance. The Ministry of
Planning had the task of collecting and consolidating
statistics for the UAE; these statistics have been
sharply criticized in the past, in part due to the
difficulty of collating information from seven semi-
autonomous emirates.

——————————————— —–
¶3. (C) Major Gen Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan,
Minister of Interior
——————————————— —–

–Career and Education: Sheikh Saif is a former Under
Secretary at the Ministry of the Interior and he is

Director General of the Abu Dhabi Police where he
holds the rank of Major General. He implemented the
retina-scanning program at UAE ports of entry to
prevent deportees from returning to the UAE. He
implemented the Institute for Special Needs in 2002 at
the Ministry of the Interior, an employment program
for special needs adults in the UAE.

–Sheikh Saif holds a bachelor’s degree in political
science from UAE University. He studied English in
the UK where he also attended a training program for
police at Scotland Yard.

–Significance: Sheikh Saif is a good friend of the
U.S. and pays close attention to Embassy security. He
reportedly is autocratic, delegating little authority
to his subordinates. He is commonly regarded on the
street, however, as the right person for the Interior

–Personal Data: Born in 1968, Sheikh Saif is a son
of the late UAE President Sheikh Zayed and Muza Suhail
Awaida Shamsi. He is married to Asma bint Awaida bin
Suhail Al-Khaili.

–Ministry: The Ministry of Interior is responsible
for overseeing the federal police, prisons, and
support centers. Additionally, it oversees
immigration, and civil defense.

——————————————— —–
¶4. (C) Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister
of Public Works
——————————————— —–

–Career and Education: Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al
Nahyan is currently the chairman of the Abu Dhabi
Department of Civil Aviation, deputy chairman of Gulf
Air, and a member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.
He is also the deputy chairman of Emirates Media Inc.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak received his bachelor’s
degree in political science and public administration
from the UAE University in 1982. He speaks good

— Significance: After the Bush re-election, Sheikh
Hamdan bin Mubarak has indicated that he was pleased
with the US role in the region, particularly since he
felt it important the US stay longer in Iraq to stop
the insurgency.

–Personal Data: Born 1959, he is the son of former
Minister of Interior Mubarak bin Mohammed Al Nahyan
who is the oldest male member of the Al Nahyan ruling
family, although he was incapacitated by a car
accident in 1979. He is a distant cousin of current
UAE president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and
his brother Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan is the
current Minister of Education.

–He is married to Sheikha Moza (daughter of Sheikh
Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan) and they have two
sons. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak is passionate about
soccer, and is the head of the Al Ain Soccer Club.

Ministry: The Ministry of Public Works is responsible
for federal-level transportation, technical services,
government housing projects, and maintenance. The
Ministry is one of the ways that Abu Dhabi distributes
wealth to the poorer emirates.

——————————————— —–
¶5. (C) Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister
for Presidential Affairs
——————————————— —–

–Career and Education: Sheikh Mansour established
the President’s Office and was director general of the
office until it was elevated to the ministerial level.
He serves as chairman of the International Petroleum
Investment Corporation and deputy chairman of the
Sheikh Zayed Charitable Foundation. He is a member of
the Supreme Petroleum Committee.

–Sheikh Mansour was an English student at Santa
Barbara Community College in 1989. He speaks English
well, but his academic record was poor. He received a
bachelor’s degree in international affairs in 1993
from the UAE.

–Significance: Sheikh Mansour was a powerful behind-
the-scenes player in controlling access to Sheikh
Zayed through the President’s Office. It is unclear
whether this role will continue under Sheikh Khalifa.
Press clippings have announced that Sheikh Mansour, as
Minister for Presidential Affairs, will be Sheikh
Khalifa’s chief adviser in all issues.

–Personal Data: Born in 1970, Sheikh Mansour is one
of the six sons known as the Bani Fatima (sons of the
late Sheikh Zayed by his favorite wife Fatima). He is
married to Alia bint Mohammed bin Buti.

–Ministry: The Ministry for Presidential Affairs was
established on Nov. 2, 2004 with the purpose of
offering advice to the President in all matters. The
new ministry encompasses all previous officials from
the President’s Office and the Presidential Court, and
will likely hold a similar role in the Cabinet.

——————————————— —–
¶6. (C) Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of
——————————————— —–

–Career and Education: He is chairman of the Dubai
Islamic Insurance and Reinsurance CO. (AMAN) and a
Vice-Chairman of Dubai Islamic Bank. Since 1998, he
has been a managing partner of Al Nabooda Group, the
family business of the Dubai-based merchant family, Al
Nabooda, which is involved in contracting, travel, car
dealerships, and other ventures. He is a member of
the Dubai Economic Affairs Council, an advisory body
of prominent businessmen and government officials
which makes recommendations about economic and
business policies to the Dubai government. He
previously served as deputy chairman of the Dubai
Chamber of Commerce and Industry from 1994 to 1996 and
helped set up Dubai Cargo village at the Dubai
Airport. Al Mansouri is a University of Michigan
graduate, with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Embassy Contacts at the Ministry of Finance praised Al
Mansouri’s strong private sector background.

–Significance: Al Mansouri appears to be an ally of
Minister of State for Financial and Industrial
Affairs, Dr. Mohammed Khalfan bin Kharbash.

–Personal Data: Al Mansouri is married to a daughter
of the Al Nabooda family.

–Ministry: The Ministry of Communications is
responsible for the postal service, civil aviation,
meteorology, and maritime, land, and air
transportation. With the UAEG’s announcement that it
will open up the telecommunications sector to
competition and the transfer of the UAEG’s share of
telecommunications company Etisalat from the Ministry
of Communications to the Ministry of Finance, the
Ministry of Communications’ role in telecom is less
clear. The Minister of Communications is no longer on
Etisalat’s board. The Ministry of Communications does
represent the UAE in discussions with Intelsat and
other international fora, but once the regulatory
authority is set up, the responsibility for
international relations may shift to it. While each
individual emirate has its own Department of Civil
Aviation, the federal Civil Aviation Authority manages
the overall air traffic system for the UAE.

——————————————— —–
¶7. (C) Mohammed bin Dha’en Al Hamili, Minister of
——————————————— —–

–Career and Education: Until his appointment as
Minister of Energy, Al Hamili worked in successive
marketing and refining positions in the Abu Dhabi
National Oil Company. In 1997 and 1998 he was the
general manager of ADNOC. He represented the UAE as a
governor in OPEC from 1994 to 2002. He is currently
the head of the administrative council for the
National Company for Gas Transportation and the
National Transportation Company. He has also
previously served as chairman of the board of
directors for National Gas Shipping CO. and the Abu
Dhabi National Tanker Co. He is a member of the
Supreme Institution for Specialized Economic Region in
Abu Dhabi. Al-Hamili is a 1998 Harvard Business
School graduate. He is also a certified accountant.

–Significance: Al Hamili is taking over the new
Ministry of Energy, a merger of the former Ministry of
Electricity and Water and the Ministry of Petroleum
and Natural Resources. He has announced that he
expects the UAE will maintain its present oil policy,
with no expected changes.

–Personal Data: Al-Hamili was born Dec. 31, 1952 and
is from the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

–Ministry: The Ministry of Energy is a merger of the
Ministry of Water and Electricity and the Ministry of
Petroleum and Mineral Resources. The Ministry of
Petroleum represents the UAE at OPEC meetings and
agrees to OPEC quota constraints. However, oil and
natural gas are owned by the individual emirates,
which means that Abu Dhabi’s Supreme Petroleum Council
plays a much bigger role in setting overall oil sector
policy. (Reftel B). The former Ministry of
Electricity and Water provided federal regulation,
funded projects in the poor northern emirates (through
the Federal Electricity and Water Authority (FEWA))
and is engaged in a project to connect the electricity
grids throughout the Emirates. FEWA is responsible
for projects in Fujairah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, and
Umm al Quwain, while Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai
have their own Electricity and Water Authorities.

——————————————— —–
¶8. (C) Dr. Ali bin Abdullah Al Ka’abi, Minister of
Labor and Social Affairs
——————————————— —–

–Career and Education: New Minister Dr. Ali bin
Abdullah Al Ka’abi served as a Manager at the UAE
Offsets Group. He holds a Ph.D. in Engineering
Management and Software and Information Systems
Management from George Washington University. He is
also a graduate of Sandhurst University Military
College. He has previously worked as an IT advisor
with the UAE Armed Forces, an IT Manager in the
Washington office of the Abu Dhabi Investment
Authority (ADIA), and an IT Manager in the Office of
the Defense Attache of Embassy of the United Arab
Emirates in Washington DC.

–Significance: After his appointment, Dr. Al Ka’abi
stressed that his priority would be to address the
UAE’s demographic challenges and organize the labor
force so that “current nagging problems are resolved.”
His key challenge will be to pass and implement new
labor laws, particularly important for the US in the
upcoming FTA negotiations. He has announced the
formation of a committee within the Ministry to help
manage the labor market, by addressing issues of
transparency and clientele service.

–Personal Data: Dr. Al Ka’abi was born in 1968.

–Ministry: The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs
is responsible for employment visas, labor market
regulation, and private sector labor issues.
Additionally, the Social Affairs section oversees
social security, NGO’s, public beneficiaries
associations, and disabled assistance programs. The
Ministry is taking the lead on drafting a new labor
law that meets ILO standards, in addition to presiding
over labor disputes.