Shaikh Mohammad with Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and other officials at Qasr Al Sarab yesterday. Image Credit: WAM

Following is the full text of the UAE Vision 2021:


The United Arab Emirates owes a great debt of gratitude to the perseverance, wisdom, and forward vision of its founding fathers, who in those early days invested all their efforts and took careful stock of their resources in order to chart the path that has shaped our great nation. In this quest they rose to the challenge of building a modern and progressive nation, in order that the Emirati people may share in the fruits of their common development.

The UAE can count many impressive accomplishments since its inception, and now stands among the most advanced nations in the world. Emiratis have reaped many benefits from this remarkable pace of development while also preserving the fabric of their society, the essence of their way of life and the strength of their culture.

This Vision charts the next stage of our journey leading up until the year 2021, when we will celebrate the golden jubilee of our beloved union. While this Vision is inspired by the principles of our founding fathers, it is also guided by the National Work Program launched by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE, and adopted by Their Highnesses the Rulers of the Emirates and Members of the Federal Supreme Council.

As we look to the future and embark on a journey of empowerment at all levels. We must steer a course among challenges on many fronts with confidence, optimism and determination. There will be challenges to the family ties that bind together the strong fabric of our cohesive society; challenges to our economic competitiveness; challenges to our national identity; challenges to health, education, environment and well-being.

An ambitious nation like ours cannot achieve its goals by relying on its past achievements. We must work harder, be more innovative, more organised, and more vigilant in examining the trends and challenges that will face us. We will start with a deep and honest analysis of our current situation, taking into consideration emerging regional and international changes.

We are determined to respond proactively to all challenges in a way that will bequeath to future generations a legacy worthy of the pioneers who founded our great nation, a legacy defined by prosperity, security, stability, and a life filled with dignity and respect.

May Allah help us and guide us on this noble journey.

- Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum


Theme 1: United in Ambition and Responsibility

An ambitious and confident nation grounded in its heritage

Ambitious and responsible Emiratis will successfully carve out their future, actively engaging in an evolving socio-economic environment, and drawing on their strong families and communities, moderate Islamic values, and deep-rooted heritage to build a vibrant and well-knit society.

1.1 Confident and socially responsible Emiratis

Emiratis will be confident citizens, steadfast in carving out their future in a spirit of entrepreneurship and responsibility, engaged in the course of their nation and embracing moral values for richer fulfilment

Vision Statement

We want Emiratis to take charge of their path through life with the confidence to map out a productive and fulfilling future for themselves and their nation.

In their professional lives they will prove that the route to success lies through personal commitment, dedication and a strong work ethic. Satisfaction and motivation will reward their self-reliance and initiative; their appetite for risk-taking will be fuelled by a vigorous entrepreneurial spirit.

At the heart of every Emirati's ambition is a profound awareness of duty towards their nation. Through this deeply held commitment, personal success and prosperity will grow hand in hand with moral responsibility. Emiratis will reinforce this noble and socially responsible dimension of the national character through greater participation in society.

Emiratis' dedication to the common good will keep them alert to events and changes that will impact our nation. Their proactive and persistent nature will inspire them to shape our nation's future as active members of society, rising to the challenges that tomorrow hold.

Efforts to succeed and prosper will not come at the expense of Emiratis' strong and healthy emotional balance. To ensure stability amid the ever-changing demands of modern life, the notion of success must be broadened away from material wealth or social standing: it must also be defined by spiritual gratification. Prominent Emiratis will be well aware of their moral duties towards others and must allow society at large to share in their success. Those whose actions benefit the common goodwill will become role models in a society that recognises and values those who engage and serve their country.


1.2 Cohesive and prosperous families

Cohesive and prosperous families will form the cornerstones of society, embracing the traditional values of marriage, continuing to empower women, and maintaining close ties between family members to ensure their rightful role in society

Vision Statement

We want large and cohesive families always to form the nucleus of Emirati society. Marriage among Emiratis is a vibrant facet of our culture and will remain fundamental to building strong and stable households, and bonding them together. We must reinforce these bonds and reverse the rising divorce rate. Deep and enduring family ties will shape our nation's future success and provide an essential anchor in an ever-changing world.

Families are the living fabric of our culture, and the guardians of our values. They form a haven of security and a nurturing environment in which Emirati children can grow, prepare for adulthood and reach their full potential as rounded citizens. In large extended households, every family member has a role to play in educating the young on civic values and the importance of connectedness to the community.

Dialogue among children, parents and grand-parents must remain strong to ensure that Emirati identity thrives and flourishes through the passing of traditions from generation to generation. Elders will maintain their distinguished and respected place within Emirati families and society, serving as influential role models and protectors of tradition. Their central presence serves as a constant reminder both of where we have come from, and of where we must go.

Respect for Emirati traditions will wholeheartedly support the emerging role of women and continue in helping them to achieve ever-greater empowerment in all spheres. Women will also gain greater opportunity to combine full participation in active life with the joy and fulfilment of motherhood. In pursuit of these noble goals, women will be protected against all forms of discrimination at work and in society.


1.3 Strong and active communities

Strong and active communities will continue to make up the fabric of a vibrant and well-knit Emirati society, reinforcing a bond of solidarity among citizens in a spirit of openness towards residents

Vision Statement

We want well-knit communities to remain as central pillars of a vibrant society. As well as providing an essential safety net against social exclusion, communities are the collective space where children reach out beyond their families and take their first steps into society. In tightly bonded neighbourhoods, young people develop their Emirati identity, learn respect for others, and develop steadily into fully engaged citizens.

Emiratis will contribute to the vigorous social scene that provides the lifeblood of every community. Grass-roots initiatives, charitable work and volunteering will nurture a common spirit of social awareness and responsibility. By the same token, Emirati communities will embrace the vulnerable to ensure that everyone is integrated in an inclusive society.

Beyond their communities, Emiratis must actively express and reinforce their solidarity as a nation of citizens. Mutual trust and understanding form the basic fabric of our society. This shared identity empowers us to cooperate, exchange information and learn from each other in a way that enriches everyone. Solidarity is the basic ingredient that allows Emirati society to function in harmony, enhancing the well-being of all.

Reaching out further still, dialogue with other nationalities will further strengthen the UAE's social fabric. A spirit of respect and consideration among our many cultural groups is essential for the preservation of productive and harmonious coexistence. It will enhance our tradition of mutual understanding throughout society.


1.4 Vibrant culture

The UAE's distinct culture will remain founded on progressive and moderate Islamic values and endowed with a rich Arabic language, to proudly celebrate Emirati traditions and heritage while reinforcing national identity

Vision Statement

We want the UAE's Arab-Islamic roots to be treasured as a profound and sacred element of our nation's rich heritage. The nation's progressive and moderate model of Islam will continue to support its traditions of respect and openness in public and private spaces. A spirit of religious tolerance will forge mutual understanding and acceptance within the country's pool of diversity.

By preserving the core tenets of Islam, Emiratis will face the challenges of openness to the world with self-assurance, confident that the homogenising effects of globalisation cannot erode their moderate religious values.

Arabic will re-emerge as a dynamic and vibrant language, expressed everywhere in speech and writing as a living symbol of the nation's progressive Arab-Islamic values. The UAE will be a prominent centre of excellence for the Arabic language, hosting scholars and researchers, supporting the production of original content, and promoting the translation of international literary and scientific works into Arabic.

Our nation will celebrate its wealth of heritage and its deep-rooted ancestry. Emiratis will maintain a living link with the past by preserving and celebrating cultural anchors such as literature, traditional arts and poetry as beacons of a modern UAE.

Emiratis' solid national character will be upheld as a main source of inspiration for the protection and preservation of national identity. In the face of increasing multiculturalism, this is a crucial matter of national pride and social stability.


Theme 2: United in Destiny

A strong union bonded by a common destiny

The UAE will continue to grow as a strong and influential nation under the stewardship and protection of a resilient and integrated Federation that ensures balanced development throughout its territory

2.1 Upholding the legacy of the nation's Founding Fathers

The UAE Federation will uphold the legacy of our Founding Fathers to ensure balanced development throughout the Emirates, through active coordination among levels of Government and integrated national planning and execution in all policy areas

Vision Statement

We want the UAE to reaffirm its dedication to upholding the vision and leadership of its gifted and persevering Founding Fathers. The Federation will remain true to its goal of maintaining cohesion and solidarity among the member states, ensuring that the hard work and sacrifices of the early years are never forgotten.

The Federation will continue to rise in the national consciousness to represent the defining point of allegiance for all Emiratis. This sense of common destiny and of belonging to one nation will bind all citizens together in building their shared future.

Our culture of equity and our spirit of solidarity will spur us on to close the gap between citizens' standards of living. The UAE will promote balance in the social and economic development of its emirates. Utilities and services will be provided across the territory such that no region remains isolated or becomes marginalised. World-class transport services and infrastructure will boost development and bridge communities.

Integrated planning and execution will ensure that social and economic development across the entire nation is balanced, sustainable, rationalised and efficient.

In this way the UAE will grow as a just and inclusive society in which all Emiratis enjoy equal opportunities and equitable rewards, bonded by a growing sense of national unity.


2.2 Safe and secure nation

The UAE Government will continue to be the custodian of a safe and secure nation, ensuring economic resilience and stability, upholding fairness and justice, and offering an advanced welfare system to allow all Emiratis to overcome adversity and contribute positively to society

Vision statement

We want the nation to excel in upholding its foremost duty: to protect citizens from all threats to their safety, whether internal or external. The UAE government will renew its commitment to shielding society from crime, maintaining social stability and warding off any external threats that may arise. Enhanced emergency readiness will mitigate the risks of disasters and epidemics.

The UAE will preserve a safe environment in which every Emirati may lead a life of dignity and security, assured of all basic needs, shielded from uncertainty, and empowered to achieve well-being through work and merit.

A strong and effective justice system will bolster security, and the UAE will be diligent in its duty to defend and uphold the rights, interests and freedoms of all. Everyone will benefit from judiciary's impartiality and its dedication to fairness and justice.

The nation will protect its citizens' livelihoods. Wise and capable governance will steer the economy on a stable and resilient course through ever-changing economic tides.

The government will provide all Emiratis with access to their basic needs, through a sustainable welfare system that builds capabilities for the long term. This safety net will help the most vulnerable by empowering them to overcome adversity and to participate positively and productively in society.

2.3 Enhanced international standing

The UAE's international standing will continue to grow as its successes highlight its prestige as a regional and international role model, developing sectors of excellence and national champions.

Vision Statement

We want the nation to draw strength from its traditions of openness, peaceful coexistence and understanding. In this way Emiratis will always resist the value-flattening effects of globalisation, and will always be enriched rather than threatened by their nation's openness to the world.

The UAE will enhance its pivotal role as a regional business hub whose essential infrastructure and institutions provide a gateway linking our neighbourhood to the world, serving as a role model for the region. Internationally, the nation will build on global successes in areas such diplomacy, developmental and humanitarian aid, as well as hosting international institutions and events.

The UAE is also emerging as a point of reference in the cultural sphere. Sustained interaction between Emirati and other cultures has fostered mutual understanding and enrichment. Local traditions of literature, art and poetry will be promoted as international ambassadors for UAE culture.

However great its achievements, the UAE will not slow the pace of its drive for improvement. In the economic and government sphere, our nation will build on sectors of excellence to export its model abroad, while constantly evolving to create new competitive advantages. At an individual level, we will promote national champions in every domain, from sports to science and culture: every Emirati should aspire to become a champion in his field.


Theme 3: United in Knowledge

A Competitive Economy Driven by Knowledgeable and Innovative Emiratis

A diversified and flexible knowledge-based economy will be powered by skilled Emiratis and strengthened by world-class talent to ensure long-term prosperity for the UAE

3.1 Harness full potential of National human capital

The UAE will harness the full potential of its National human capital by maximising the participation of Emiratis, encouraging entrepreneurship, and nurturing home-grown public and private sector leaders while attracting and retaining the best talent

Vision Statement

We want all Emiratis to make a valuable contribution to their nation's growth by building their knowledge and applying their talent with innovation and drive.

More Emiratis will enter higher education, where they will enrich their minds with the skills that their nation needs to fuel its knowledge economy. Universities will listen closely to the needs of Emiratis and of their future employers, and will balance their teaching to the demands of the workplace.

Joining the world of work is a first step towards personal fulfilment and economic empowerment. Many will show the leadership to stride much farther. Promising Emiratis must be nurtured to become captains of industry and dynamic entrepreneurs, marshalling the country's resources to bring innovative products to the marketplace. Others will be groomed as senior public officials, trusted to hold the levers of economic change and empowered by knowledge to steer the economy to the cutting edge of innovation.

For those industries where Emiratis can learn most from global expertise, the UAE will continue to call upon the best talent from around the world. Our nation will attract and retain the finest and most productive workers and entrepreneurs by offering them fulfilling employment and an attractive place to live.


3.2 Sustainable and diversified economy

The UAE will benefit from a sustainable and diversified economy, flexible in adopting new economic models, and capitalising on global economic partnerships to guarantee long-term prosperity for current and future generations of Emiratis

Vision Statement

We want the UAE to sustain its drive toward economic diversification, as this is the nation's surest path to sustainable development in a future that is less reliant on oil. This means expanding new strategic sectors to channel our energies into industries and services where we can build a long-term competitive advantage.

Balanced growth must be fuelled by a sustainable range of energy sources, within which the UAE will ensure an important role for alternative and renewable options such as nuclear power.

To ensure lasting competitiveness, the nation will look beyond traditional economic models and take a more flexible perspective. Businesses will adopt an increasingly customer-centric approach to customising their products and services, and will learn to coordinate in efficient networks to meet the complex demands of the marketplace.

By stimulating home-grown entrepreneurship and attracting foreign direct investment, our economy will mature into a model of sustainable and responsible growth that will ensure long-term prosperity for all Emiratis.

We will position our economy to capture developing trends and adapt to changing global realities, such as the rise of new economic powerhouses. We will forge ever stronger international partnerships and capitalise on them to boost trade and commerce.


3.3 Knowledge-based and highly productive economy

Innovation, research, science and technology will form the pillars of a knowledge-based, highly productive and competitive economy, driven by entrepreneurs in a business-friendly environment where public and private sectors form effective partnerships

Vision Statement

We want the UAE to transform its economy into a model where growth is driven by knowledge and innovation. Productivity and competitiveness will come to rival the best in the world, as a result of investment in science, technology, research and development throughout the fabric of the UAE economy.

Outstanding information and communication infrastructure will network our businesses together and give them a leading edge as they transact and interact with the world. Individual citizens will also reap the benefits of efficient connectedness in their digital lives as they search online for knowledge and the fulfilment of intellectual curiosity.

This shift to a knowledge economy can only be accomplished within an entrepreneurial environment that harnesses the talent and creativity of Emiratis. A new class of entrepreneurs will be nurtured and supported with the help of practical programmes such as start-up incubators. In a national effort, the UAE will cultivate a healthy risk-taking culture where hard work, boldness and innovation are rightfully rewarded.

Legal frameworks and government services will be designed to provide businesses with the efficient environment that they need in order to grow, thrive and commercialise innovative ideas. Regulations will promote efficient markets and protect intellectual property. Partnerships will flourish between the public and private sectors, spurring growth and maximising opportunities.

The UAE will become one of the best places in the world to do business.


Theme 4: United in Prosperity

A nurturing and sustainable environment for quality living

Emiratis will enjoy the highest living standards, long and healthy lives, first-rate education and well-rounded lifestyles guaranteed by excellent public services and recreational activities, within a safe and rich natural and social environment

4.1 Long and healthy lives

The UAE will promote long and healthy lives for all Emiratis by providing equitable access to world-class medical care while actively protecting against health hazards through awareness and prevention

Vision Statement

All Emiratis are entitled to a comprehensive range of high quality basic medical services. We want the UAE to invest continually to build world-class healthcare infrastructure, expertise and services in order to fulfil citizens' growing needs and expectations.

A nationwide commitment to quality will provide every Emirati with access to excellent health and personal care services. The UAE will take a proactive stance in developing new, more effective ways to combat locally prevalent and genetic illnesses through support for cutting-edge medical research.

While healing the sick is a clear priority, it is also true that prevention is better than cure. The UAE will intensify its fight against lifestyle diseases, where early intervention to change habits can dramatically improve citizens' prospects for quality of life. The government will also act tirelessly to eliminate diseases spread by inadequate public health and sanitation.


4.2 First-rate education

All Emiratis will have equal opportunity and access to first-rate education that allows them to develop into well-rounded individuals, enhance their educational attainment, and achieve their true potential, contributing positively to society

Vision Statement

We want our nation's schools to nurture well-rounded citizens, confident in their inner abilities and fully equipped for adulthood. Our educators will instil in young people the shared values of our moderate religion and our national identity. Each new generation will emerge ready to play an active and positive role in society as self-directed and responsible citizens.

Our nation will set and achieve increasingly ambitious educational targets. A progressive national curriculum will extend beyond rote learning to encompass critical thinking and practical abilities, equipping our youth with essential skills and knowledge for the modern world. In terms of such practical competencies – as well as high scores on standard international examinations – our children's educational achievements will place them on a par with students in the most advanced nations.

The UAE will successfully encourage Emiratis to maximise their potential by remaining in school and reaching higher levels of education. School drop-outs rates will fall, university enrolment will rise, and more Emiratis will climb higher up the ladder of learning into post-graduate education. The majority of high-school graduates will choose to continue their studies, and those who do leave school early will receive other forms of support such as vocational training.

Education will provide equality of opportunity and balanced outcomes for all students. Special needs students will be properly integrated within the education system with the benefit of support programmes and infrastructure that guarantee fair access.

4.3 Well-rounded lifestyles

The UAE will nurture high quality of life built on world-class public infrastructure, government services, and a rich recreational environment

Vision Statement

We want the UAE government to provide citizens with world-class infrastructure, services, and leisure resources, creating a rich environment in which they can enjoy well-rounded and fulfilling lives.

On an individual level, public authorities will ensure that the people of the UAE can thrive in an environment rich in cultural and recreational activities, including sports and entertainment. Dynamic public initiatives will be complemented by a growing number of privately organised events, festivals and exhibitions.

Emiratis will benefit from customer-focused government services whose quality is rigorously monitored and constantly improved. Interactive e-government will provide citizens with an especially responsive and efficient channel of service from public authorities.

An excellent standard of infrastructure and utilities will satisfy the fundamental needs of citizens and businesses while also boosting our nation's economic competitiveness as a leading global hub. As a symbol of mobility and interconnectivity, the UAE will reap the benefits of truly nationwide, user-friendly business and technical systems including transport and communication networks. High-quality utilities will deliver the reliable supplies of energy and water that we require.

Overall, the UAE will cement its reputation as a nation that is as attractive to business and investment as it is a thoroughly rewarding place to live.

4.4 Well-preserved natural environment

As a leader of the green revolution, the UAE is conscious of its responsibility to safeguard nature and mitigate the effects of climate change on its habitat and ecosystems in order to ensure that future generations inherit an environmentally sustainable world

Vision Statement

In the face of humanity's shared ecological challenges, we want the UAE to vigorously support international initiatives to protect the environment in full consciousness of its worldwide responsibility.

As a global nation, the UAE is committed to playing its part in developing and implementing innovative solutions to protect and sustain the environment. New, energy-efficient technologies will harness the UAE's pioneering role in the green revolution and reduce its carbon footprint. The government will act decisively to reduce the nation's ecological deficit, promoting environmental awareness and responsible behaviour among Emiratis.

The UAE will mitigate the effects of climate change in order to safeguard its environment for current and future generations. The nation's rich natural environment will be shielded from human-induced threats – both global and local – by preventive measures such as reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and regulation to defend fragile ecosystems from urban development.

The Federation will safeguard Emiratis from harm in the event of large-scale natural or man-made environmental emergencies, guarantee the rights of present and future generations to clean air and water, and protect citizens from environmental health hazards.

Anticipating the problems of tomorrow is the only reasonable way to preserve and enhance our way of life, acting with initiative in full awareness of our collective responsibility.