He raised the issue of low-income families on a radio show – and now he’s working at the Ministry of Community Development.

Ali Al Mazrouei called into Ajman Radio last week to talk about how he was struggling to make ends meet.

The 56-year-old former driver was forced to retire for health reasons, and explained the difficulties of raising his nine children on Dhs13,000 a month in government benefits.

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During his call to the Al Rabia Wal Nas show, Al Mazrouei was mocked by radio anchor Yaqoub Al Awadhi, The National reports – however HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum quickly stepped in.

Al Mazrouei, who is from Ras Al Khaimah, was invited to attend a UAE Cabinet meeting by the Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

 

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During the meeting, Sheikh Mohammed announced the approval of Dhs11bn ($2.99bn) worth of funding for social assistance programmes for low-income families.

“The priorities of the government were and will always remain our citizens,” he said.

“We reviewed the report of the Ministry of Community Development and asked to conduct field surveys and develop long-term plans and propose urgent solutions for a range of topics.”

The royal also revealed that Al Mazrouei has now been appointed as a social researcher at the Ministry of Community Development.

“A nation moves when a citizen is hurt,” Sheikh Mohammed added on Twitter. “That is what [the UAE’s Founding Father, Sheikh] Zayed wanted.”

“Our interest will not be limited to low-income earners but will include their children and work to secure their futures by ensuring that they have the best education and the best government services.”

Of the Dhs11 billion fund, Dhs3.88 billion will go towards assisting the elderly, Dhs1.55 billion will help those with a financial and health deficit, Dhs1.7 billion will aid “people of determination”, and Dhs183.9 million is allocated for families of prisoners, among other categories.

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Following the incident, radio host Al Awadhi  – who said he was trying to protect the country’s reputation – was suspended.

Here’s wishing Al Mazrouei the best of luck in his new role.

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Images: Dubai Media Office