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UAE: This radio show is a ‘hot line’ between Sharjah ruler and residents – News


Ahmed Sultan, the host of the program.

Published: Tuesday, March 12, 2024, 6:00 am

Last update: Wednesday March 13, 2024, 12:48

There are several radio programs in the UAE that allow citizens and expatriates to raise issues on air. However, Sharjah’s Direct Line has an attentive listener: the ruler of Sharjah.

The program has helped solve several problems raised directly on the air. One of those cases involved a resident who called and said she couldn’t afford to enroll her son, who has a disability, in a particular branch of school. She said she had no job and no one to support them. Immediately afterwards, Dr. Sheikh Sultan, ruler of Sharjah, called the line and assumed all costs related to the child’s education and treatment.

The Hotline program was launched in Sharjah in 2006. It is dedicated to receiving suggestions and complaints from citizens and residents and subsequently seeking solutions from government officials.

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Last year, in a call on the program, Sharjah’s ruler expressed his disapproval of the registration and addition of foreign words to the Arabic language, saying the practice is becoming prevalent.

In 2021, he prevented a bank from auctioning a citizen’s house due to his inability to pay his home loan. This came after the owner called the program and asked for help.

In another case, he helped a woman get a job. In yet another, a residential building intended for families in Sharjah was cleared of all singles after a tenant called the radio show and complained.

In an interview with Khaleej Times, one of the hosts of the show, Ahmed Sultan, said: “Sheikh Sultan always directs us, keeps telling us to give priority to the citizen. He has told us not to neglect it when a citizen or expatriate contacts us.”

More examples of issues that have been resolved directly: Some taxi license plate owners were unable to pass their license plates on to their families after they passed away, leading one caller to suggest inheritance rights for family members, which which was implemented later.

Another was that of the fishermen who lacked spaces to dry their catches, which motivated a direct directive from the ruler to allocate land for this purpose in each area.

The program also encounters funny situations and calls, such as an old woman who urges the gas replacement operator to come or a woman who asks for help with a beehive in her house.

While some issues may not be resolved immediately and may take up to a year or two, they are closely monitored by staff and institutions.

The program, presented by Sharjah Media Corporation and hosted by the four media figures, Muhammad Khalaf, Ahmed Sultan, Hassan Yaqoub and finally Muhammad Al Suwaidi. They listen well to callers and respond to their interventions with complete professionalism.

The objectives of the program are many, but one of them is to transmit the voice of citizens and residents to the relevant authorities. The program also aims to improve the services that these entities provide to the public.

Some officials even contact the program if they miss it to make sure any issues related to their institution are addressed. This demonstrates the important impact of the program and the commitment of the institutions to improve their services.


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