UAE Fighting the Greatest Collective Crises Since WW2 with Agility: Can India learn a lesson?

Image: Al Jazeera

The majority of the world’s population is living under lockdown (restriction of movement). The global economy has come to a screeching halt, international travel has become a thing of the past and social distancing is the new norm.

In the time of this global pandemic, UAE has set forth a bright example to deal with the crisis with agility. “ Agile government: Becoming future Proof ” was the theme of the United Arab Emirates Public Policy Forum 2020 which was held in February 2020 in Dubai.

Agility refers to the ability of an organisation to react to changes in its environment faster than the rate of changes happening. UAE’s Heath sector has adapted to the concept of agility. The UAE actually prepared for the (unexpected) outbreak well in advance. With the indispensable support of artificial intelligence, prompt reception of patients in critical conditions in proximity-based Health care centres has helped the nation to mitigate the impact of the contagious virus.

A medical professional carries out a swab test for the COVID-19 virus at a drive-thru testing centre in Abu Dhabi, UAE, on March 30. (Reuters)

With the threat and possibility of a virulent COVID-19, it is only logical to anticipate fluctuations in demand and supply of the necessary medication. The UAE health ministry has adopted multiple precautionary measures to deal with the outbreak of the virus. The country has stocked significant medicines, regardless of the people affected. They have mobilised the medical staff from both the public and private sectors to deal with emergency situations. The medical suppliers are working under a partnership mode and ensuring a sufficient quantity of the necessary protective gear, also known as PPE (Personal protective equipment) is available in the market.

Also read: Transforming India-U.S. Relations in the times of COVID-19

Where powerful rich nations are garnering a large number of COVID-19 testing kits, surgical masks, gloves, ventilators leaving poor countries with less of these essentials in these testing times, UAE has reached out to other countries by dispatching several cargo planes carrying tonnes of medical supplies and relief material to those in need. UAE has also successfully evacuated 215 Arabs stranded in Hubei province of China, which is regarded as the epicentre of the virus. UAE carried out relief measures in London by setting up a 4000-bed field hospital named NHS Nightingale. UAE has placed human solidarity over political issues and has sent medical supplies to Pakistan and Syria.

India needs to learn from the agility of the UAE health sector in creating stability in the rapidly changing environment and disrupted markets. The health sector should always be prepared to steer away from the chaos. India should desire to learn from the UAE to increase its testing per capita which is even lower than certain underdeveloped African nations.

Beyond all of this, the future consequences of the COVID impact are to be analyzed in terms of the growing strategic ties between the two Asian Giants. With the apprehension that Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) in UAE is reviewing its labour relations with partner countries, it could sprout out to become concerned for the Indian Government as well as the over 3.4 million Indians in the UAE.

With India’s relations with the UAE being elevated from a mere “buyer-seller” to that of a comprehensive strategic partnership, it is certainly time that the charismatic leaders of both the countries come together and form a convergence on labour migration as well as expatriation matters to not only secure the present but also set a positive roadmap for the future so that there are no adverse aftermaths between the two nations dealing with the COVID crisis.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Anima Puri

Anima Puri is an Assistant Professor (Political Science), Department of Social and Political Studies, Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Manav Rachna International Institute of Research & Studies, Faridabad, Haryana. She can be reached at

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