Build-up begins to UAE's 41st National Day

Qatar and Bahrain were supposed to join the federation but this didn’t happen eventually

  • By Shehab Al Makahleh, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 21:20 November 1, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Gulf News Archives
  • Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi; Shaikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, Shaikh Khalid Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, Shaikh Rashid Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Ruler of Ajman, Shaikh Mohammad Bin Hamad Al Sharqi, Ruler of Fujairah, and Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Minister of Defence, at the ceremony in Dubai marking the founding of the UAE in 1971.

Abu Dhabi: December 2, 1971 marks a glorious historic day that witnessed the unification of the United Arab Emirates as one entity and a strong cohesive country when Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan completed the unity of the seven emirates, turning the UAE from a conglomeration of seven emirates into one.

After Shaikh Zayed, along with other rulers of the UAE, established the pillars of security and stability for the country, the political, economic, educational and cultural march embraced all walks of life to place the UAE at the threshold of the future.

The story of unity dates back to February 27, 1968 when Shaikh Zayed held a meeting with the Ruler of Dubai, Shaikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, to discuss border issues.

At that time, Qatar and Bahrain were supposed to be part of the federation and Shaikh Zayed spent almost three years, from 1968 until 1971, to convince the rulers of the two countries to join but to no avail.

On December 2, 1971, the federation was announced officially including the seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah. Ras Al Khaimah later joined the federation officially on February 10, 1972.

December 2 brings back memories of a dear occasion for every citizen, recalling their forefathers and ancestors’ sacrifices who laid down the foundations for unity which prompted them to protect it and its gains on the one hand and proceed with the building process of the UAE to fortify its pillars and grounds for generations to come.

The National Day is a landmark in the history of the UAE and it is a symbol of unity, cohesion and pride. This very dear day embraces the very great achievements of the UAE’s founding fathers, which would have never been possible without their vision and strong will as well as devotion that are engraved in the hearts of Emiratis and expatriates.

Since that day, the day of the birth of unity, the UAE has adopted a policy based on openness and inter-communication with countries in the region and in the world.

A week or more before the anniversary of National Day, buildings and establishments both public and private are decorated with colourful lights. Hotels put up lights with colour patterns much like that of the nation’s flag. And by sunset, the whole city colours itself with a spectacular display of light and fireworks which impresses Emiratis, expatriates and tourists.

Gulf News