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We live in exciting times. Come 2021, the UAE will be turning 50 — a time of great celebration and recognition of how far this wonderful nation has come.

What an exciting and marvellous journey we have travelled together from that historic gathering in the Union House nearly five decades ago.

Already there is so much to look forward to in the coming year, which has been declared as '2020: Towards the next 50'.

The UAE will showcase this nation to the world during Expo 2020 Dubai — how exciting is that?

But there is still much more to look forward to.

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That’s one of the principal reasons why the resources and strategic thinking of the nation will be focused on getting ready for the next 50 years and marking the progress made in the last five decades. So the next year has been declared as '2020: Towards the next 50'.

“Brothers and sisters, the UAE is approaching its 50th anniversary in 2021 and we want it to be the year of fresh starts and new beginnings,” His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced in a series of tweets.

“We will celebrate our country’s 50th anniversary and launch into another fifty. We will get ready for that in 2020. Next year will be the year of preparation for great strides”

When the Founding Fathers gathered at Union House, they did so in the belief that they were about to create something unique and exciting, a nation that would proudly set forward into the world and be fearless in its embrace of the future.

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That’s a mindset that will be harnessed once more as the UAE celebrates turning 50 and prepares for the next 50 to come.

Whether it be the economic sector, in education or research, in putting the infrastructure for growth in place, in the health sector or in the media — all together will convey the story of the UAE to the world.

The task of preparing the groundwork for both 2021 and the following five decades falls on two teams: The first is tasked with mapping out the development plan of the next 50 years and the other will oversee the celebratory activities of the country’s Golden Jubilee.

In the words of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, 2020 will be a “red letter year” — preparing the UAE for the next 50 years, a post-oil economy and a time of unimaginable technological innovation and change.