Shaikh Mohammad honours Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan on behalf of Shaikha Fatima. Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Monday honoured 43 Emirati pioneers in various fields to mark the 43rd anniversary of the UAE’s National Day by decorating the pioneers with medals of honour.

Shaikh Mohammad said the UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has great ambitions to become number one in the world in innovation, economy, tourism, energy and other fields.

He paid tribute to the founders of the nation, Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Shaikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

“Shaikh Zayed and Shaikh Rashid are topmost pioneers because they built a country which is only satisfied with the first place,” Shaikh Mohammad told the audience at the ceremony held at Jumeirah Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi.

Last month, Shaikh Mohammad called on the public and his followers on social media networks to nominate 43 pioneers in the UAE in various fields, in a bid to honour them during the UAE’s 43rd National Day celebrations.

“We Emiratis like the first position and appreciate those who work for it. We want the community to nominate the top achievers, such as first Emirati doctor, female ambassador, first Emirati to climb Mount Everest or those from other academic, sports, social and professional fields, to honour and show our appreciation to them during the UAE’s 43rd National Day celebrations.”

“First position holders are role models, and honouring them embodies the UAE citizen’s love for the top position,” he added.

The public placed their nominations through Hash Tag #Awa’el_Al Emarat- Emirati First Position Holders.

Some 137 entries were posted on the social media within a fortnight.

The great response showed that Emiratis love the first place, said Shaikh Mohammad.

On aspiring to be number one, he said, “We, in the UAE, have no such word as ‘impossible’; it does not exist in our lexicon. Such a word is used by the lazy and the weak, who fear challenges and progress. When one doubts his potential and capabilities, as well as his confidence, he will lose the compass that leads him to success and excellence, thus failing to achieve his goal. I require you, youth, to insist on number one,” said Shaikh Mohammad.

“We are taking the course of our founding fathers and the path of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who places the citizen at the top of his priorities, first, second and third.” He added: “We are confident that our Vision 2021 will be realised through mobilising all efforts, particularly those of the youth, in the various government positions.”

Shaikh Mohammad stressed that the power of the nation hinges on the stength of its people and the future of the UAE hinges on the success of its people.

“Everyone has an opportunity to be a pioneer, every man has an internal energy and a miracle which surfaces by will and wins him or her the first place,” Shaikh Mohammad said.

Her Highness Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, topped the list of honours for her involvement in advancing the position of women, both in the UAE and across the world.


The list of honorees include the first Emirati to win a gold medal at the Olympics, Shaikh Ahmad Bin Mohammad Bin Hasher Al Maktoum; the first Emirati university graduate, Shaikh Mohammad Bin Saeed Bin Gobash; the first Emirati physician, Dr Ahmad Kazim; the first Emirati editor of a newspaper, Khalid Mohammad Mohammad Ahmad; and the first Emirati winner of an Olympic medal, Shaikha Maitha Bint Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Two woman teachers, Shaikha Na’ama Bint Majid Al Qasimi and Amna Salem Al Hajeri, were also decorated.

Also honoured were the first Emirati martyr, Salem Suhail Khamis; the first Emirati soldier in the Armed Forces, Colonel Mohammad Al Qaidi; first Emirati woman to join the Armed Forces, Brigadier Dr Asma Sultan Al Mughairi; and the first Emirati university professor, Dr Rashid Abdul Rahman Al Saeed.

The first Emirati woman to hold a PhD degree, Dr Aisha Al Sayyar, the first female Emirati broadcaster, Hessa Al Osaili, the first Emirati Chief Justice of the Federal Supreme Court, Dr Abdul Wahab Abdoul, and the first Emirati woman to join the judiciary, Khulood Al Daheri, were on the list of honours.

The list of honours also included the first Emirati ambassador after the Union, Dr Ali Humaidan; the first female ambassador, Shaikha Najla Al Qasimi; the first Emirati to join the police, Mohammad Saeed Bu Haimed; and the first Emirati novelist, Rashid Abdullah Al Nuaimi.

The first Emirati banker, Eisa Saleh Al Gurg; the first Emirati woman elected to join the Federal National Council, Dr Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi; the first Emirati head coach of the national football team, Juma Gareeb; the first Emirati nurse, Hussain Qaed; the first female Emirati photographer, Shaikha Al Suwaidi; and the first Emirati to win an international medal in the Paralympics, Humaid Murad Al Mazem, were also honoured.

The first Emirati international referee (football), Abdullah Al Sai; the first Emirati inventor, Saqr Majid Al Merri; and the first Emirati child on the CNN’s list of 8 most brilliant children in the world, Adeb Al Beloushi; the first Emirati woman nuclear engineer, Amani Al Hosani; and the first Emirati manager of the project of launching the Emirati satellite, Salem Humaid Al Merri, were on the list of honours.

The list included a host of Emirati inventors, mainly professor Ali Al Naqbi, who invented the first artificial liver from hollow fibre in the world, Rashid Hamdan Al Gafri, who invented the world’s first male genetic print for forensic use, Dr Habiba Al Saffar, the first Emirati woman to invent genome mapping for prevention and early detection of diabetes, Dr Hawa Al Mansouri, the first Emirati woman to invent a catheter through a vein for intensive heart surgeries, Ahmad Al Harithi, the first Emirati to invent genetically engineered algae for industrial uses and Mohammad Mattar Al Shamsi, the first Emirati international robotic expert.

Ahmad Majan, the first Emirati inventor to win golden medals from international invention exhibitions, Dr Mohammad Al Marzouqi, the first Emirati to invent a mechanism for poisonous gas detection in oil and gas fields through thermal reading, Dr Ahmad Al Olama, the first visually impaired Emirati holder of a PhD, Thuraya Ahmad Al Zaabi, the first Emirati woman to win achievement in sports for the disabled in Asia, and Tuffaha Salem Al Hamedh, the first female Emirati police officer, were also decorated.