The UAE will be 49 years young tomorrow, and that’s a conspicuous signpost in its illustrious history.
If the formidable achievements of the past decades helped swiftly build a modern state that puts progress, prosperity and the aspirations of its citizens at the core of its foundation, the past year — tinged by the experience of the global pandemic — has brought into focus a bold and resilient UAE ready to convert any challenges into opportunities for innovation and development.
In battling the pandemic itself, the UAE has shown exemplary leadership — whether it’s in limiting the spread of Covid-19 through a range of preventive measures and therapies, becoming a global benchmark in testing the population for the virus, joining the global quest for a vaccine or honouring frontline Covid heroes through long-term residencies and other invaluable ways.
In a year full of global gloom, the UAE unleashed hope — literally — when it launched the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission to Mars in July, a project that shone the spotlight on Emirati scientists and a fully home-grown space research industry.
As the world grappled with the impact of global warming, the UAE announced the successful start of operations at the Barakah Nuclear Energy plant in August, which when fully operational will produce 25 per cent of the country’s electricity needs while preventing carbon emissions equivalent to removing 3.2 million cars from the UAE’s roads annually.
Similarly, in signing the historic Abraham Accords, the UAE not only stopped the annexation of the West Bank but also ushered in a new era of peace, political stability and possibilities in the region.
As the UAE’s dynamic leadership has demonstrated time and again, there is no challenge that can’t be surmounted with the right strategy, determination and patience — thereby nurturing young Emirati talents and helping unlock their true potential in the process.
UAE stands out on the global arena
At 49, that’s what has helped the UAE stand out on the global arena.
From rushing Covid aid and medical kits to dozens of countries to helping displaced refugees around the world, the UAE brought the healing touch where others sowed misery and hatred.
From diversifying its oil-based economy to announcing landmark reforms such as 100% foreign ownership in companies, long-term residency for knowledge workers and talented students and sweeping overhaul of personal, family and inheritance laws, the UAE saw opportunities where others saw only obstacles.
From empowering women, youth and people of determination and carrying everyone on the path of progress to championing tolerance and inclusivity, the UAE firmly focused on the future this year when others pivoted on the pandemic.
With these plethora of reforms, projects and policies, the UAE has shown that its journey will continue undeterred by the pandemic or any other external digressions — and why 2020 will be aptly called the ‘Year of preparations for the next 50 years’.
The UAE turns 49 tomorrow.
Standing on the cusp of its golden jubilee, it’s therefore time to celebrate a glorious day in the nation’s history.