UNDP in the United Arab Emirates
Who we are
The United Nations Development Programme has been operational in the UAE since 1977. Since then, It has been working closely with national counterparts on the development of nationally-owned projects, while also founding strong partnerships. The UAE Office is also responsible for UNDP's operations in Qatar and Oman.
UNDP UAE is managed by the Regional Bureau for Arab States based in the UNDP headquarters in New York. The office is headed by the UNDP Resident Representative, who also serves as the UN Resident Coordinator (UN RC) representing the Secretary General of the United Nations and coordinates the operational activities of the UN system at the country level.
The country programme is fully funded by the UAE Government, which gives the UAE its status as a Net Contributing Country (NCC), as all the other GCC countries that have UNDP offices (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait).
The UNDP office also supports the work of the entire UN Country Team in the UAE by serving as the Secretariat to the United Nations Resident Coordinator's office in the UAE. UNDP thus organises the UN Country Team (UNCT) monthly meetings, coordinates the joint UNCT events, and facilitates the work of the non-resident agencies by hosting their visiting delegations to the UAE. This support that UNDP provides to the work of the UN Country Team in the UAE is in line with recent progress in one of the key structural aspects of UN reform which is to bring coherence and cohesion to United Nations activities at the country level.
What we do
In light of the focus areas of Country Programme 2013-2017, and based on the above mentioned challenges, UNDP UAE will continue to focus and build on areas where there is national demand for its services and where it is uniquely positioned to provide policy advice and support the development of national capacity and ownership.
The country programme will support the country’s strategic goal of becoming ‘among the best countries in the world by 2021’. Therefore, the programme is based on four national priorities: advancing cohesive society, promoting sustainable environment, developing a competitive knowledge economy, and achieving strong global standing. Hence, the programme is focusing on four main outcomes that include the country’s cross-cutting priorities of national capacity development of public institutions and human resources; leveraging global partnerships for sharing knowledge and technical expertise; forging private-public partnerships for accelerated regional development; and enhancing women’s empowerment.
The Country Office structure and capacity will need to be further realigned and strengthened to meet the demands of the programme and operational functions. This will be imperative for the Country Office to adequately fulfil its expanded role in overseeing Qatar country activities and its support to UN agencies now based in the UAE. Similarly the unavailability of core resources to use as seed money and for proper advocacy poses a key challenge for the mobilisation of resources in a highly competitive market.
On the other hand, the office, with its new country programme, has many opportunities to seize in the country that are of added value; such as reducing the development gap among the emirates, an important issue for a more sustainable human development; focusing on knowledge management and centres of excellence that are a top priority for the UAE government; assisting the UAE with more focused and strategic approach to the development of its human capital, and being the bridge for cross-sector collaboration for social development.
Hence, the new country programme 2013-1017 was put together to answer the above challenges and explore opportunities for more substantial engagement in areas that are within UNDP’s mandate. Thus, it will be focusing on four programmes that include the crosscutting priorities of the national capacity development of public institutions and human resources; leveraging global partnerships for sharing knowledge and technical expertise; forging private-public partnerships for accelerated regional development; and enhancing women’s empowerment through focusing on the following outcomes: fostering regional integration and development; mainstreaming environmental sustainability; supporting institutional development and good governance; and enhancing national capacities and leadership for international cooperation.