STOCK Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Image Credit: WAM

As the UAE continues to mourn a greatly loved leader, the nation is assured that its glorious march will continue as strong as ever with the election of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler of Abu Dhabi, as president by the Union’s Supreme Council.

The smooth transition, as per Article 51 of the Constitution, attests to the unique order in this nation, which has always been a symbol of stability in a turbulent world.

It is also an embodiment of the unity of the leadership and the people, a key characteristic of the UAE since its inception in 1971. This nation was founded 51 years ago on mutual love, respect and solidarity between its leaders and the people.

The UAE today opens a new page with the presidency of Sheikh Mohamed, the country’s third president, and one of the world’s most influential leaders. He is a leader with more than three decades of public service, and an architect of the UAE and Abu Dhabi’s modern transformation -- politically, militarily, economically and socially.

Born in 1961, Sheikh Mohamed has a strong military background, graduating from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the United Kingdom in 1979. His training and dedication led him to take up important positions in the armed forces, until he became its Deputy Supreme Commander in 2004.

Strong leadership qualities 

Growing up under the watchful eyes of the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Sheikh Mohamed ably absorbed the leadership traits from his great father. The people of the UAE today see Zayed in Mohamed - the love and care for the people, the modesty, the political wisdom and taking the right decision at the right moment.

His unique style of leadership and management is clearly shown in the way the UAE military progressed in the past few decades to become one of the most advanced and potent forces in the region, supported by a decisive leader and an effective foreign policy.

Under the leadership of Sheikh Mohamed, the UAE has been playing a leading role in regional affairs, especially during the challenging years of the so-called Arab Spring. The UAE has led Arab efforts to restore stability and end the conflicts in a number of Arab countries.

Sheikh Mohamed has played an active role to end conflicts, including the Arab-Israeli conflict. In 2020, the UAE was one of several Arab countries that signed the Abrahamic Accords with Israel to revive the peace process and help bring about a just and lasting peace to the Middle East.

Human development has been his top priority since taking up his first public service position in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. He firmly believes that citizens are the real wealth of this country.

Showing unwavering commitment to enhance educational standards in the emirate, he has helped forge partnerships with prestigious world-class educational institutions and think-tanks.

Many of them, such as the Sorbonne and New York University set up campuses in Abu Dhabi.

Committed to development

Sheikh Mohamed holds a similarly strong commitment to raise the bar in the health services.

Today, the UAE and Abu Dhabi have some of the best institutions in the world. The UAE tops the world’s ranking in the efficiency of managing the Covid-19 pandemic. That is a testament of the quality of the UAE’s health sector.

Despite the role oil played in the building and continued rise of this nation, Sheikh Mohamed has worked tirelessly to reduce this dependency and oversaw leading initiatives to diversify the economy.

He famously shared this belief a few years ago with the world when he announced: “In 50 years, when we might have the last barrel of oil, the question is: when it is shipped abroad, will we be sad? If we are investing today in the right sectors, I can tell you we will celebrate at that moment.”

The UAE has become a global symbol of tolerance and peaceful coexistence, thanks to his efforts and the efforts of UAE leaders. Nearly 200 nationalities live and work in the country today.

These efforts were boosted when in February 2019, Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al Azhar Ahmad Al Tayyeb made a historic visit to the UAE upon the personal invitation of Sheikh Mohamed. In Abu Dhabi, they signed the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together in February that year.

With the election of Sheikh Mohamed, the loyal bearer of Zayed’s legacy, the nation’s future is assured.

He is a leader who has a staunch belief in the UAE union, unwavering commitment to the development of the nation and its people, the shared destiny of the Arab nation and the political will and wisdom to continue to a more multilateral, peaceful world.