UAE’s 41st National Day: A nation and its builder

The building of the UAE was to maintain independence and safeguard its sovereignty

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

  • Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
  • Carnival at Ras Al Khaima Cornich on the occassion of United Arab Emirates 40th National Day.

Dubai: On the declaration of the federation between the six emirates, the rulers of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah expressed their desire and their people’s desire to establish a federation.

The constitution states: “We, the Rulers of the Emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah, whereas it is our desire and the desire of the people of our Emirates to establish a Union between these Emirates, to promote a better life, more enduring stability and a higher international status for the Emirates and their people.”

Ras Al Khaimah joined the Union on February 10, 1972.

The main aim of the federation was to maintain the UAE’s independence and to safeguard its sovereignty.

Shaikh Zayed, first president of the United Arab Emirates, along with his brothers, the rulers of the other emirates, had succeeded in building a strong modern state with one of the highest GDPs per capita in the Arab world and a state-of-the-art infrastructure.

As a ruler of the country, Shaikh Zayed maintained the traditional role of a father figure to his Emiratis and expatriates.

Being a modern statesman with values and traits of a conventional tribal leader who was a very approachable and down-to-earth president, Shaikh Zayed was discussing with his people their concerns and complex state policies.

Shaikh Zayed encouraged positive and effective involvement from youngsters in the building process of the nation to help it thrive. During that time, Abu Dhabi’s capabilities were quite limited. From 1971 until he passed away on November 2, 2004, Shaikh Zayed was the president of the UAE and he was given the titles “Nation builder, UAE founder and Father Zayed”.

Shaikh Zayed, in cooperation with the other rulers, implemented major reforms including modern education, health care, public housing, and general urban development to improve the living conditions and standards.

One of Shaikh Zayed’s initiatives was to provide education for all UAE citizens which led to building schools and learning centres all over the country and teachers recruited from other Arab countries to educate the young generation.

Within a few years, the country was able to meet all the necessary educational requirements for a modern nation-state.

In a message delivered to the Emirati youth nearly 20 years ago, which is still relevant today, Shaikh Zayed said: “What we have achieved, my dear young people of the Emirates, will not survive, unless you yourselves engage in further work and efforts, and sacrifices.

“You should work hard to protect our national achievements, to foster and support the continued march of our Federation, and to make more achievements that contribute to the dignity and prestige of our country and to the welfare of our people. This cannot be achieved without positive and effective participation from all of you.”

Celebrations on the 41st National Day within the UAE and abroad will start from November 25 up to December 3 2012, including a number of impressive and exciting events in various parts of the country.

Gulf News