20201125 UAE rulers, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (centre), His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (left), Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi/Dubai: President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, have hailed the UAE Armed Forces’ Unification Day, ahead of its 46th anniversary on May 6.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan said that May 6, 1976, the UAE Armed Forces’ Unification Day, was a turning point and key milestone in the UAE’s journey. In a statement to mark the 46th anniversary of the Armed Forces Unification Day, carried by the Nation Shield, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed said: “On this historic day, the decision to unify the UAE Armed Forces under one flag and one leadership was issued, embodying the aspirations of our people to have a modern and advanced military force that safeguards the country’s sovereignty and independence, strengthens its security and stability, and reinforces the values of patriotism.”

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said the UAE Armed Forces will continue their significant contributions to the nation’s track record of achievements over the coming 50 years and beyond, just as they did over the past five decades.

Noting that economic development can hardly be achieved without security and stability, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid affirmed that maintaining and implementing the ‘UAE’s 10 Principles for the Next 50 Years’ requires the nation to advance the capabilities of the UAE Armed Forces and national security departments.

Sheikh Mohammed’s statement was issued to the Nation Shield magazine on the occasion of the 46th Anniversary of the UAE Armed Forces Unification Day.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said the UAE believes in peace as a way to achieve people’s aspirations for progress and prosperity, strengthen its foundations in the region and create suitable conditions to establish efficient partnerships and achieve development and prosperity in the region.

Noting that stable and sustainable peace requires a solid force to protect it, he affirmed the UAE’s stance in prioritising the development and modernisation of its Armed Forces.

His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, said that on this day every year, we celebrate the anniversary of the UAE Armed Forces Unification Day.

In his speech to Nation Shield magazine marking the 46th anniversary of the Armed Forces Unification Day, Dr Sheikh Sultan said the Armed Forces have always been one of the nation’s cornerstones and were founded by the Founding Leaders to ensure the country’s unity.

Speaking on the occasion, His Highness Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ajman, said that the UAE’s valiant Armed Forces will play a critical role in achieving the UAE’s foreign policy objectives in the next 50 years, especially in terms of maintaining regional and international peace, security and stability.

In his speech published in Nation Shield magazine, marking the 46th anniversary of the Armed Forces Unification Day, Sheikh Humaid said the UAE Armed Forces has proven its status as a forger of heroes and role models of patriotism, as well as the defensive shield of the country and its achievements.

His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah, has affirmed that the decision to unify the UAE Armed Forces, which the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the late Founding Leaders made, was a historical necessity and a critical juncture in the country’s renaissance. Sheikh Hamad issued a statement to Nation Shield, marking the 46th anniversary of the Armed Forces Unification Day.

His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu’alla, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Umm Al Quwain, has said that the decision to unify the UAE Armed Forces represented a breakthrough and a turning point in the history of the UAE, one for which the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan paved the way on May 6, 1976.

He extended his congratulations and best wishes to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, and all Armed Forces officers and soldiers on the 46th UAE Armed Forces Unification Day, lauding their roles in developing the country’s Armed Forces.

His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, has said the Founding Fathers’ decision to unify the UAE Armed Forces helped strengthen the foundations of a country, which has become a symbol of power that helps enhance regional security and helped maintain peace and stability globally.

Speaking to Nation Shield, the UAE’s military journal, on the occasion of the 46th Anniversary of the UAE’s Armed Forces Unification Day, Sheikh Saud said that the decision, made by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the late Founding Fathers, helped deliver their message to the world that the UAE is steadfast in its development drive, which is further supported by a strong army ready to defend its lands.

Full text of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s statement:

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President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Image Credit: WAM

My sons, the commanders, officers and soldiers of our valiant Armed Forces, peace be upon you. The 6th of May, 1976, was a turning point and a critical milestone in the UAE’s journey.

On this historic day, the decision to unify the UAE Armed Forces under one flag and one leadership was issued, embodying the aspirations of our people to have a modern and advanced military force that safeguards the country’s sovereignty and independence, strengthens its security and stability, and reinforces the values of patriotism.

This decision embodies the wise vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the late Founding Leaders, Rulers of the Emirates, as well as their determination to establish the pillars of the Union and support its journey, while fully aware that achieving power, resilience and development requires a strong, unified, highly efficient and well-equipped army. Since their unification, the country’s Armed Forces have remained the trusted guardian of the country’s gains and the main partner of all the successes, ensuring the nation’s safety, security, stability, and providing an environment conducive to development.

My sons, the commanders, officers and soldiers of our Armed Forces, as we celebrate the 46th Armed Forces Unification Day, we are proud of our Armed Forces’ capabilities, competence, readiness and excellence in keeping pace with advanced military technology, as well as utilising the most advanced weaponry systems, and actively engaging in defence and military industries, with the support of our youth, both men and women, along with advanced military colleges and academies and a national service programme that promote a sense of patriotism.

Under this framework, I stress that I, along with my brothers, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, continue to advance the capabilities of our Armed Forces.

The challenges and risks threatening our region and our regional environment and the ongoing tensions facing the world require us, the leaders of this country, to maintain our readiness, harness all capacities, upgrade our capabilities and acquire the most advanced military equipment, to ensure the safety and stability of our country, enabling us to proceed with our ambitious projects, help protect global peace and security, combat terrorism, and provide aid in areas torn by disasters and conflicts.

To boost our political and military vision, we shall continue to strengthen our military cooperation with fraternal and friendly countries and upgrade our armed forces, diversify their weapons, and develop our national defence industries.

To the officers and soldiers of our Armed Forces, we are proud of your achievements and successes in carrying out all your assignments in all fields of duties. You have helped us protect our country’s accomplishments and enhance our country’s security and stability. 

On this glorious day, we salute the frontliners of our military, praying to Allah Almighty to grant peace to those who have passed away, grant the living health and wellbeing and heavenly peace to our soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our home.

Our Armed Forces will forever remain a symbol of national unity and our support for our brothers and friends.

I pray to Allah Almighty to grant you success and the perseverance to continue giving for the sake of our nation, and help us maintain our country’s security, stability, and prosperity.

Full text of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's statement:

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His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Image Credit: WAM

My sons, the commanders, officers and soldiers of our valiant Armed Forces, peace be upon you. I congratulate you on the 46th anniversary of the Armed Forces’ Unification Day.

This historic decision has been a fundamental pillar that mapped our nation’s journey and path forward. The decision has reinforced the Union’s foundations, strengthened drivers of sustainable development and helped establish our national army, inspired by a strategic vision that envisaged plans and projects for the equipment, training and modernisation of an army capable of protecting our country’s security and sovereignty and the independence of our decisions.

When the decision to unify the Armed Forces was issued on 6th May, 1976, our defence capacities were extremely modest. However, our dreams were big and we had a clear vision and ambitious plans. We were racing against time, overcoming obstacles and coming up with solutions to address our challenges.

Thanks to the vision and leadership of our Founding Father and the icon of our nation, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, a major Armed Forces’ establishment process was launched, which continued to be forged ahead under the leadership of my brother, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and my brother His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Firstly, I laud the significant role of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed. Since he graduated from the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst in 1979 and joined the army, climbing up its ranks, he sought to develop all sections of our Armed Forces.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed supervised the drafting and implementation of development and modernisation strategies, led development operations from the field and invested time with soldiers and officers from their camps.

Sheikh Mohamed was the driving force behind the UAE National Service, which, since its launch in 2014, created a qualitative leap that ensure instilled values of loyalty and sacrifice in the hearts of the citizens to defend the achievements and gains of the Federation, push forward the wheel of development and protect the homeland, its borders, its resources and gains and national security and stability.

While establishing our Armed Forces, we have successfully enhanced its stature, reputation and expertise and reinforced everyone’s sense of patriotism. The core foundation of this journey consisted of the Emiratisation and training of all ranks in record time. This strategic achievement resulted from hard work and accurate plans that re-equipped and trained the country’s Armed Forces.

Moreover, the Emiratisation efforts did not overlook the role of women in our Armed Forces. Rather they have been provided with adequate military training and in return, Emirati women have proven their efficiency in civilian fields and their capabilities in all military areas, including participation in military operations.

As we successfully managed to Emiratise all the ranks of the UAE army, we have engaged in localising defence industries. Since 1992, weaponry programmes have been linked to manufacturing and expertise transfer programmes. The private sector has also been motivated to engage in defence industries and the country’s regular specialist fairs helped exchange expertise and established partnerships.

Today, our national defence products are enhancing the potential of our Armed Forces, supporting our political decisions, diversifying our economy and equipping our human resources with distinguished capacities.

Subsequently, one of our national companies has become among the top 25 defence companies in the world, and the ‘Made in the UAE’ seal has become an indicator of high quality, boosting our competitive edge on the international defence market, most notably in the design, manufacturing and development of vehicles, warships, ammunition, projectiles, individual weapons, anti-missile and artillery systems, reconnaissance devices and unmanned systems, including drones.

These achievements were coupled with valuable missions carried out by our Armed Force. In all these missions, the UAE Armed Forces have presented an honourable image of our nation and people and embodied the values of giving championed by our Emirati society in the fields of action or humanitarian action.

Our Armed Forces have played a significant role in the first 50 years of the establishment of the country. This role is continuing for the upcoming 50 years and beyond, which is ever more crucial amidst the rapid developments witnessed by the world today.

The strategic framework of the ‘10 Principles for the Next 50 Years’ undoubtedly covers our Armed Forces, who have kept pace with recent developments and plans with a future-oriented vision. I am confident that the Armed Forces will continue the process of growth and modernisation.

My sons, the commanders, officers and soldiers of our valiant Armed Forces, with every new year, our confidence in our ability to overcome challenges is growing. We have become more confident in going a long way across all fronts, out of a solid belief in the abilities of our sons and daughters to reinforce the country’s development drive.

On this glorious day, we salute our Armed Forces’ men and women, the protectors of the country’s security and stability. We pay tribute to the martyrs of the nation who passed away while defending our soil and we salute the families of martyrs who raised their sons on patriotism and sacrifice.

Full text of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s statement:

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Image Credit: WAM

My dear sons, Armed Forces officers and soldiers, Congratulations on the 46th anniversary of the Armed Forces’ Unification Day.

We celebrate this anniversary as we embark on a new era of our nation’s history, through which we aim to realise great ambitions that will achieve our people’s interests, the country’s development and prosperity and enhance its international stature. Our Armed Forces are in the middle of all these processes, protecting and supporting the country’s capacities and inspiring confidence in a bright present and future.

On this special national occasion, we commemorate the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and other fellow Founding Leaders who took the wise historic decision to unify the UAE Armed Forces on 6th May, 1976, to be the nation’s shield and the cornerstone of its unity and develop. On the occasion, we also commemorate the sacrifices of our martyrs in all fields of action, both inside and outside the country.

We proudly remember all generations of officials who served the UAE military and their valuable additions to its development and strengthening of its overall capacities with much appreciation and gratitude. At the same time, we look forward to further development and the modernisation of our Armed Forces in the upcoming period, to remain the symbol of the UAE’s pride, a protector of justice and a supporter of friends and brothers.

Since the formation of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed was aware that the process of development requires a force that protects the country’s achievements. Therefore, he prioritised the development of the UAE Armed Forces, which is the approach continued by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Our Armed Forces have always addressed all the challenges facing the country and the region over the past decades and will always be the protective shield that deters enemies and their evil conspiracies.

We live in a turbulent and rapidly changing regional and international environment, which poses numerous threats and risks to the national security of countries that require us to be constantly ready and capable of addressing the fast-paced developments around us.

I am confident that our valiant Armed Forces, with its national military approach, sense of patriotism and expertise and awareness of regional and international situations, can keep pace with recent developments due to efficient vision and strategies to address various risks.

The UAE Armed Forces, thanks to Allah Almighty, has become one of the strongest and most advanced armies in the region due to its ongoing development and modernisation strategy launched by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, which focussed on supporting our Armed Forces with excellence and readiness in the areas of training, weaponry and military education.

We are proud of the recent developments witnessed by UAE defence industries, which are now appreciated by the entire region, and the effective regional and international partnerships established by our Armed Forces, which also strengthen the military establishment and help boost our national economy by diversifying sources of income and reinforcing knowledge and technological bases.

The UAE believes that peace is the way to achieve the people’s aspirations for progress and prosperity, strengthen the foundations of peace in the region, find peaceful solutions to regional crises and create suitable conditions to establish efficient partnerships to achieve growth and prosperity in the region. Nevertheless, stable, and sustainable peace requires a solid force to protect it and, therefore, the UAE priorities the development and modernisation and its Armed Forces.

On this glorious national occasion, I salute and appreciate leading Emirati women who are contributing to the journey of our Armed Forces and have proven their ability to undertake military action efficiently. I also salute our youth who are eager to engage in the national reserve service and are keen to benefit from it, promote their capacities and increase their expertise to serve their country.

Despite the importance of advanced weapons and equipment in strengthening the capacities of our Armed Forces, the human element remains the critical component, as they are the ones who use these weapons and equipment, and they are the ones equipped with the values of patriotism and sacrifice to defend the nation.

My sons, Armed Forces officers and soldiers, on this precious national occasion, I extend my congratulations and best wishes to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates.

Full text of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi’s statement:

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His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi. Image Credit: WAM

We are proud of our Armed Forces and the decision to unify them, which has contributed to achieving unity to form a strong and unified Armed Forces that protect the precious nation and its people.

On the occasion, I extend my congratulations and best wishes to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, and all Armed Forces officers and soldiers on the 46th anniversary of the UAE Armed Forces Unification Day, praying to Allah Almighty to protect our country, people and Armed Forces.

His Highness Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi’s statement:

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His Highness Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi. Image Credit: WAM

We are currently living in the light of the glorious military achievements of our Armed Forces and we recognise their role in protecting the safety and security of our people, since their unification in 1976 and their development over the past decades, thanks of the significant support of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, support that continues to be extended by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

On this glorious national occasion, and as we commemorate the journey of our valiant heroes and martyrs, I would like to congratulate and extend my best wishes to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, as well as to the UAE people.”

Sheikh Humaid explained that the anniversary of this special day further highlights the value of national unity, in which the late Founding Fathers believed, describing the unification decision as “a key pillar of the country’s development, which helped strengthen the spirit of the Union, unify national efforts, and establish a strong military”.

He further said: “On this glorious day, we pray to Allah Almighty to protect our leaders, maintain their good health and happiness, and to bless our country with further progress, prosperity, peace and security.”

His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi's statement:

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His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi. Image Credit: WAM

On this special national occasion, we reiterate our appreciation for the strong will of our unified nation, which joined hands to promote joint national action, helping to protect the country’s security and stability and ensuring a safe life for citizens and residents.

We are proud of the local, regional, and international achievements of our Armed Forces. We also laud the capabilities of its loyal members and the technological advancement of our land, marine and air forces, which were made possible thanks to the continuous efforts of the UAE Government to develop the Armed Forces through deliberate planning and effective strategies to attract diverse expertise and utilise the latest world-class military technologies.

The UAE Armed Forces have become a distinguished role model in embodying the values of humanity and sacrifice, promoting the country’s message of tolerance and giving, aiding legitimacy and helping to resolve conflicts and ensuring the stability of communities around the world, he continued.

Sheikh Hamad went on to congratulate President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates.

As we celebrate this glorious occasion, I invite you to look back at the heroic sacrifices of our martyrs, who gave their lives for our country, and pray to Allah Almighty to grant them heavenly peace.

His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu’alla’s statement:

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His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu'alla. Image Credit: WAM

In a statement to Nation Shield, Sheikh Saud said: “We must all renew our loyalty to the country’s leadership, praying to Allah Almighty to protect our country and our Armed Forces, being the protective shield of this nation.”

He then praised the Armed Forces’ officers and soldiers who have proven their mettle in battle for their sacrifices to protect the principles of the late Founding Leaders, who believed in uniting the country and its joint destiny to continue the process of development, noting that they have proven to the entire world that development, giving and promoting tolerance requires a protective force. He also highlighted the efficiency of the UAE Armed Forces and its distinguished stature and leading role in supporting global peace and security, and in providing aid to people in need in areas of disasters, wars, and crises.

Sheikh Saud stressed that the UAE Armed Forces Unification Day will remain an important day in the country’s history.

At the end of his speech, he commemorated the sacrifices of the country’s martyrs, who sacrificed their lives while defending the country.

His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi’s statement:

Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi
His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi. Image Credit: WAM

“This day is also an opportunity to look back at the development of our Armed Forces on all organisational and combat fronts,” he added, underscoring the wisdom behind the historic decision, which contributed to bolstering the UAE’s defences significantly.

He saluted members of the UAE Armed Forces, describing them as the “protective shield of the nation”, adding that “the UAE flag will continue to fly high thanks to your determination and sacrifices. Our union will remain strong thanks to your courage and loyalty”.

Sheikh Saud continued: “You have become a global model of combat efficiency and a symbol of sacrifice and dedication, thanks to the support of our leadership, as you carry the UAE’s message of peace. As we celebrate this precious memory, we proudly commemorate the martyrs of the country who sacrificed their lives to protect the UAE and preserve its independence.”

He extended his congratulations and best wishes to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, as well as the Armed Forces’ officers and soldiers, and the Emirati people.

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