Grand structure Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque is Abu Dhabi’s most imposing building. It is the largest mosque in the UAE and the eighth largest in the world. The stunning detail in its four minarets, 82 domes and 1,000 columns make the building an exquisite work of art. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Gulf News has an extraordinary asset in the 1.2 million images its photographers have taken over the 35 years since the newspaper launched in 1978, so it is was natural that Gulf News celebrated its 35th anniversary by publishing an expanded edition of The Rise of a Nation.

The award-winning book tells the story of the UAE with more than 1,900 pictures organised by year, and within each year, into themes, including major political and national events, social occasions and concerts, the business life of the UAE, and sporting events ranging from major global clashes right through to school community football tournaments.

Each of these four threads in the UAE’s life is followed all the way from 1978 up to the present year.

One of the most powerful illustrations of how rapidly the UAE has developed is in the contrasts visible on these pages between the pictures of early buildings and street scenes with traditional or low-rise buildings and lots of sandy spaces between them, and the gleaming high-rise cities of the modern UAE connected by sophisticated transport systems, including the Gulf’s first metro.

The UAE’s dramatically fast development has meant that many people still resident in the country can remember the early days of the country, and their comments and support have played an integral part in making this new edition of The Rise of a Nation as informed and relevant as possible.

Anyone recently settled in the UAE will still be able to recognise many of the places and people from the earliest days in The Rise of a Nation, and so become aware of the UAE’s dramatic history and of which Gulf News has been proud to be a part.

Gulf News was delighted that the first edition of The Rise of a Nation won the Best Emirati Book award at the 30th Sharjah International Book Fair in 2011, which was presented by His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.