Illustrative purposes Image Credit: Gulf News archives

What you need to know:

  • UAE is a tolerant nation and everyone lives here in harmony.
  • Other countries should learn from this country's leadership.

Having lived in Dubai for a little over three decades, it has become my first home with all the love, respect and of course, the livelihood, too. My birthplace has become so alien to me that I feel like a stranger back home.

I’m sure most of the other nationalities living here feel the same. Dubai is an inspiring place. The visionary leadership here offers perpetual love to everyone without any bias.

March 20 is International Day of Happiness, and the UAE has taken this a step further by recognising that happiness is a fundamental obligation and it became the first country in the region to appoint a minister of happiness. The basic aim of the ministry is to promote programs and policies to achieve a happier society. This year has been declared as the Year of Tolerance. The UAE has a minister of State for Tolerance. The bridge near Business Bay Dubai has been named as the ‘Bridge of Tolerance’ too. Without a doubt, the UAE is a land of tolerance, not just in phrase but in action too.

The country is an excellent example of a cosmopolitan, tolerant society where people live in harmony and has the freedom to practice the religion of their choice. The UAE is home to 40 churches of different denominations, two Sikh Gurudwaras and a number of Hindu temples.

Expats get to enjoy the multicultural environment and the secular nature of the country. No one feels discriminated; no matter what an individual’s creed or race everyone is special in the eyes of the law. It’s not by chance but thoughtful action and motivation practiced by the UAE leaders that dignity and respect for all is promoted as the basic value system.

Many nations are slowly but surely losing their basic values on which they were built, be it democracy or secularism. The violence, hatred, prejudice and anger present in societies these days is shocking. People are being quizzed on their principles and their patriotism is under question! I wonder what has led to this situation. Is it because of politics and power-hungry individuals? The common man does not have the time nor the ability to fight the pressures of the system.

This in my opinion is the key difference which lies in the hands of the leadership to drive the communities to stay focused and forget their differences and work for the growth and wellbeing of society.

A big thank you to the leaders of the UAE for recognising that tolerance is a great trait to have and it is important for the survival of peace between human beings.

- The reader works at a private manufacturing company in Dubai.