After a series of assessments, consultations, and best practice studies in 2017 and 2018, the Ministry of Culture was restructured in January 2019. There was a radical shift in the role of the Ministry in this restructuring, as the Ministry used to implement programs and initiatives across the country, this led to duplications with the mandate and role of many local cultural authorities. Furthermore, there was a clear absence for cultural policymaking at the federal level in the UAE. 2019 marked a transition for the Ministry of Culture to be a regulator and policymaker of the cultural sector in the UAE, a role much called for by organizations and individuals in the country.
Furthermore, a sector responsible for the cultural and creative industries was established in the Ministry as a result of the 2019 restructuring. For the first time, ensuring greater economic impact of culture on the UAE GDP has become priority and also nurturing jobs and SMEs in the cultural sector.
In July 2020 the mandate of the Ministry of Culture was further broadened to include media and youth, now the Ministry of Culture and Youth. To ensure a wholistic framework for culture, media's integration into the mandate of the Ministry of Culture was natural and necessary. Moreover, youth demonstrate the biggest interest and potential in developing the creative sector in the UAE, therefore, expanding the mandate of the Ministry to include Youth will ensure that cultural policies are developed with them and cater to them.
* A number of cultural policies have been implemented since the new structure has been implemented in 2019, which include the Culture agenda 2031, Talent Policy for Culture, Talent Visa, establishment of 3 Cultural Councils (Arts, Heritage, and Cultural and Creative Industries), removal of ISBN fees to support publishing, amongst others.
* The contribution of culture to GDP was measured
* The beginning of the development of the Cultural and Creative Industries Strategy began in 2019
* Multiple studies related to Arabic language, heritage, publishing, integrating NGOs and associations, and others have begun with the intention to develop policy solutions to support those areas
Having examined the response of the cultural sector to the health crisis, the UAE is going to build on its strengths that were highlighted during this period. Namely,
* Introducing more flexibility in policies and measures to allow for efficiency and agility in crisis situations.
* The study carried out to examine the impact of health crisis on the cultural sector highlighted the strength of, and important role played by CSOs, allowing for an increased focus on strengthening the involvement of civil society and non-governmental organizations in the cultural sector.
* The study also brought to light the way national policies and measures can support freelance artists and creators, and cultural SMEs, allowing the UAE to further organize the work of cultural freelancers.
* The speed with which the cultural sector (public, private, CSOs) moved its programing online is an indication of the flexibility of the UAE's cultural sector. In light of this, there will be increased focus on the digital cultural economy.