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On December 2, 1971, the father founders of the UAE took a crucial step not only towards forming an independent and united nation, but also to becoming the source of blessing to all of humanity. Here, I just wanted to highlight the several aspects about what cornerstones made the experience of UAE’s federation a living legend in building a great nation.

Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of UAE recognised the significance of this federation long ago by saying: “Past years have emphasised the importance of unity as a vital necessity for providing a better life to the people, for ensuring stability in the country and for realising the hopes and aspirations of our people.” This is definitely the right approach that God has guided our leaders in this land to accomplish. Only a leadership that cares about its people and is willing to invest, educate and develop them with all patience and compassion is worthy of sincere patriotism and devotion.

I think the most prominent gift to the UAE was to bestow us with visionary and wise leadership. When you study the events preceding the federation and how the father founders wisely responded to each situation by the grace of God, you will be able to link the historical sequence of events and how these led to the current state of prosperity.

We have heard many corporate establishments and leaders repeating “people are our most important asset” until the phrase became meaningless, because we don’t see the congruency between what is said and what is being done! Our leaders on the other hand, are honest to God, true to themselves and sincere when dealing with us. Shaikh Zayed said: “No matter how many buildings, foundations, schools and hospitals we build, or how many bridges we raise, all these are material entities. The real spirit behind the progress is the human spirit, the able man with his intellect and capabilities.” He meant it, and made it a legacy, which has continued to be the foundation of all developmental endeavours in the country.

Even before the unity, the harsh living conditions in the past embedded a multitude of qualities in our ancestors such as patience, courage, generosity, strive, justice, hard work, faith, belief, dignity, loyalty and hope. These qualities have been passed on to generations and that’s why we see UAE what it is today and have big aspirations for an even better future. When the intent is pure, the journey is enjoyable and the destination is reachable.

— The reader is an Emirati director of human resources based in Dubai