Dubai: The search giant Google is celebrating today the 46th UAE National Day with a "doodle" showing the United Arab Emirates' national colours.
A click on the doodle is linked to the day's top search result in the country: "Saturday, December 2 National Day 2017 in United Arab Emirates."
On 2 December 1971, six of the seven emirates entered into a union called the United Arab Emirates.
These were Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Fujairah, Sharjah, Ajman, and Umm Al-Quwain. The seventh, Ras al-Khaimah, joined the union in early 1972.
In the last 46 years, the country has been transformed immensely, thanks to its visionary leadership, as highlighted by the international media.
Pioneering initiatives have earned for the country wide acclaim as the "Switzerland of the Middle East".
But even bolder moves have seen the country zoon ahead. It has moved into high-tech manufacturing (making advanced components for the Boeing 787 'Dreamliner', for example), actively pushed renewable energy (and hosts the International Renewable Energy Agency, Irena) and the wide use of apps for everything from payments to government transactions.
Today, the leadership vowed to pursue future technologies, driverless transport, artificial intelligence, and recently, cryptocurrencies to settle transactions.
The UAE plans to build a new city on Mars, too, which international news organisations like The Washington Post have lauded as a "practical" option.
Tolerance, happiness, humanitarian drive
The UAE’s has institutionalised the pursuit of tolerance and set the happiness of its people as a measure of effective governance, creating a Ministry of Tolerance and Ministry of Happiness.
The Emirates has sharpened its foreign policy with an unapologetic fight against Daesh and other radical extremist groups.
UAE is also known for its generous giving: It has dozens of charities and pushed the "Humanitarian Accelerators", a first-of-its-kind initiative in the Arab World connecting start-ups and established companies from around the world with the UAE’s humanitarian sector to tackle social, cultural and environmental challenges in the Arab region.
It also hosts the International Humanitarian City, the base and warehouse of the biggest operations of the UN World Food Programme, as well dozens of charities that had given billions and sent relief goods and humanitarian teams to different parts of the world.
Earlier this year, President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, declared the year 2017 as the "Year of Giving" in the UAE, highlighting the country's humanitarian values at the level of both individuals and society.
In November, Bill Gates thanked His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for hosting a major disease summit, and matching his own pledge of $20 million (Dh73.4 million) towards a $100 million fund to tackle diseases such as river blindness and elephantiasis.
After being awarded the UAE’s Order of the Federation, Gates tweeted to the Crown Prince: “Your partnership has been instrumental in the fight to eradicate polio. I look forward to continuing our work.”
The UN Development Programme (UNDP), meanwhile, ranked the UAE at No. 2 among 131 countries for economic intellect, in the first Global Knowledge Index, a collaboration between the UNDP, Unesco, the World Bank and Dubai-based Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation.