UAE leaders marked UAE's 49th National Day by urging optimism and recalling the nation's strength on Tuesday. Here's a look at their messages.
Sheikh Khalifa: Look to the future with optimism
President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has called on the people of the UAE to look to the future with optimism and contribute with ideas and visions that will help the country achieve further progress across all sectors.
On the occasion of the UAE’s 49th National Day, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa, in a statement to Nation Shield, the UAE Armed Forces magazine, said that while the nation prepares to celebrate its Golden Jubilee in 2021, the nation’s sons and daughters should be ready to welcome the next 50 years with future visions “that will prepare our country for more development across all sectors, so that by year 2071, the UAE will become the first in the world in global indicators for well-being, happiness and quality of life,” according to WAM.
“Looking to the future with optimism, anticipating its horizons and pre-planning its paths is an authentic Emirati approach,” he added.
Tribute to frontline workers
The President also paid tribute to the nation’s frontline workers in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. He said, “We extend our deepest appreciation to the dedicated workers; for a crisis well managed, for a decisive handling of the pandemic, for the preservation of the nation’s security, for the protection of its economy, for safeguarding the wellbeing of its community, and for ensuring the continuity of the educational process.”
Addressing the nation’s citizens, His Highness said, “I, and on behalf of my brothers, Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and the Rulers of the Emirates, deeply congratulate you as you welcome the new year with great optimism, a year that will conclude with the Golden Jubilee of the declaration of our Union; while preparing at the same time to welcome the next 50 years with future visions that will ready our country for more development across all sectors. Therefore, by year 2071, the UAE will become the first in the world in global indicators for well-being, happiness and quality of life.
“Looking to the future with optimism, anticipating its horizons, and pre-planning its paths is an authentic Emirati approach for which the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan laid the foundations with his brothers, the Founding Fathers,” he added.
President Khalifa expressed pride in the achievements of the UAE as it celebrates the 49th anniversary of its establishment, saying the country serves as a “model” for progress and sustainable development and sets an example with its values of tolerance, coexistence, openness and rejection of hatred; as well as for the justice, equality, security, well-being and prosperity it provides to its citizens.
His Highness stressed that building the future is paramount and that creating a successful future requires a clear vision, an early anticipation of opportunities and challenges, and the courage in decision-making.
As part of “our project for designing the next 50 years, some of the decisions we took included the renaming of ministries, merging some, and creating new ones,” he explained, in addition to appointing state ministers to focus on areas of utmost importance for the future; which include government development, scientific research, advanced technology and artificial intelligence, smart systems and the digital economy.
Other areas the President said the country is focusing on developing the applications that support remote work, renewable energy, food security, women empowerment and youth protection, as well as nurturing a future generation of qualified Emiratis, and attracting high-calibre foreign talent.
His Highness said the country has taken “accelerated steps” in the fields of nuclear and renewable energy by operating the Barakah plant for the production of peaceful nuclear energy. Furthermore, the UAE has also secured a leading position in the space sector by launching Hope Probe to Mars, the President said, “as we also set out to build future frameworks for health, education, infrastructure, energy, transportation, services, and entrepreneurship.”
The COVID-19 challenge
On the UAE’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, His Highness said 2020 was an exceptional year that brought many challenges, most difficult of all was the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, the UAE, through its strict precautionary measures and an effective national sterilisation programme, was successful at controlling the spread of the virus; and was able to offer medical care and protection to its citizens, residents and visitors alike.
His Highness said that despite the significant losses in life and finances, the pandemic has revealed “the efficiency of our healthcare system, how highly prepared our country is in the face of emergencies and crises, and confirmed the readiness of the country’s information and communication technology infrastructure,” which enabled the nation to move easily towards remote work and education.
“In this respect, we extend our deepest appreciation to the dedicated workers; for a crisis well managed, for a decisive confrontation of the pandemic, for the preservation of the nation’s security, for the protection of its economy, for safeguarding the wellbeing of its community, and for ensuring the sustainability of the educational process,” he said.
In regards to the country’s political development, President Khalifa said the UAE has “succeeded in making remarkable achievements” in people’s empowerment, raising the levels of participation and strengthening the role of the Federal National Council by increasing the representation of both women and youth.
Emirati society, values
“The UAE’s Political Empowerment Programme is a sustainable one that will remain guided by Emirati society and its virtues,” he said.
On the country’s economic achievements, the President said those were reflected in a number of global competitiveness indicators that highlighted the “resilience of our economy and its high ability to confront economic shocks and fluctuations, as well as global challenges.”
This was made possible, His Highness added, thanks to an economy that boasts a number of components, most notably: a successful economic diversification policy, large investment assets, wide trade relations, diversified exports, and even more importantly, empowered individuals who are capable of giving and free to create ideas and enterprises.
On community welfare and stability, His Highness said, “We have succeeded in establishing a health care system of global standards, a high-level educational system, community development programmes, distinguished social care, nationwide housing projects, an integrated infrastructure, a sustainable environment... and other remarkable achievements that have enabled us and our people to successfully surpass the stage of empowering to begin creating the next 50 [years].”
UAE has weathered challenges of 2020, says Sheikh Mohammed
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said that December 2 will remain the nation’s most cherished day wherein wisdom, principles and noble goals triumphed. “It is the day when our Founding Fathers embodied the quintessential Emirati values of dignity and steadfastness and represented the sense of belonging and national identity.”
WAM reported on Tuesday that in a statement to Nation Shield, the UAE Armed Forces magazine, on the UAE’s 49th National Day, Sheikh Mohammed said, “We look to the future with confidence and hope, armed with our vision, our experience, and our achievements in the field of human development and urbanisation, realising that our successes in the past decades were achieved with effort, hard work and determination. In the next five decades, we will need to double this effort, increase production and enhance capabilities, as the ambition is greater, challenges are tougher, competition is more intense, and the transformations around us are faster and deeper.”
Full text of his statement
“In the Name of Allah Almighty, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
Peace be upon you all!
I congratulate you on the occasion of our country’s 49th National Day. I extend my greetings to my brother, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan; His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and to my brothers, Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates.
Today, as the spirit of the Union prevails across the nation, we proudly remember our father and our icon, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his lifetime friend, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, and their brothers, the late Rulers of the Emirates.
The legacy of our fathers will always live among us as long as there is life on this land. It lives in us and encourages us to be ambitious and optimistic, motivating us to accomplish more achievements, therefore strengthening our perseverance to face challenges.
Citizens of our country:
2020 has been an exceptional year, as it was rife with surprises, mysteries and challenges. During this year, anxiety, fear and surprise united nearly 7.7 billion people around the world in an unprecedented common destiny. An unknown virus killed some 1.4 million people and infected over 60 million, and this number is accelerating. This virus has negatively affected the global economy, restricted travel and aviation, and paralysed food, medicine and goods supply chains, as well as disrupted the work of governments, markets and companies, and led to curfews and lockdowns everywhere around the globe.
This year has been a test for countries, the capabilities of governments, the efficiency of their institutions and procedures, and the level of their readiness to face pandemics and disasters, and their repercussions.
I thank Allah Almighty for the stellar success of our nation during this difficult test, as well as for the excellent performance of our government and institutions, and our readiness to face pandemics and disasters in a way that has been recognised by the entire world and its specialist organisations.
This success is not a mere coincidence or luck, but rather the outcome of our Emirati model that foresaw the future and developed appropriate strategies and plans to get the nation ready for emergencies and worst-case scenarios. Our Emirati model will ensure the efficiency and flexibility of our institutions and their ability to make the right decisions at the right time.
The performance of our government and people has enabled us to meet the threat posed by the pandemic. Our community responded aptly to the preventive measures and our institutions fought hard against the virus, supported by our advanced health infrastructure, with its facilities, equipment and medical cadres who contained the pandemic and limited its spread, enabling our country to be the first in the world where COVID-19 tests have exceeded the population count. We have also reached our targets for monitoring infections and recoveries.
The pandemic has forced many countries to reassess their healthcare systems. However, in the UAE we have implemented the necessary initiatives to support our health system, whose efficiency and competence we trust.
We are proud of our healthcare system, which is ranked first in the world in seven health indexes, including its healthcare coverage, lack of health problems and national early detection programmes.
Also, we have succeeded in securing the food and medicine needs of our community, increased our strategic reserves of these two staple commodities, and established a sustainable food system. Three years ago, we created the Ministry of Food Security and established the Emirates Council for Food Security. Our objective was to achieve food self-sufficiency, and we sought to double our agricultural production.
We also established the National System for Sustainable Agriculture to serve this vital sector and provide technological solutions to meet its needs. We’ve also sought to strengthen our advanced food industries, in which we invested over Dh62 billion.
Citizens of our nation:
The pandemic has changed people’s life patterns and their ways of work; however, we have managed to easily adapt to the new patterns in a timely manner. The government established a teleworking system, which has been successfully implemented. This success expanded to the educational institutions and private sector corporations, thanks to three factors: i) the government’s efficiency, flexibility and the competence of its cadres, and their ability to make decisive, timely decisions; ii) the government’s digital transformation, which has been carried out for nearly two decades, which was then developed for use in smart governments, and iii) the country’s advanced digital infrastructure.
Thus, our work continued as usual, sometimes at a faster pace, while moving ahead to implement the programs of the year of preparation for the next fifty years. We restructured the government in a manner that achieves timely decision-making and maximises the ability to keep pace with the changes and seize the opportunities that accompany them, in order to enhance the achievements and gains in our country.
We also proceeded to implement our strategic projects, according to set timetables, including the successful operation of the first peaceful nuclear energy reactor at Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant. Both the Hope Probe and the mini satellite MeznSat were launched into space. We also inaugurated the Mohammed bin Rashid Medical Research Institute, the UAE’s first independent biomedical research centre, with a vision to prepare the next generation of researchers to develop effective vaccines against pandemics and conduct research on common diseases in our country.
Neither the pandemic nor the global economic stagnation has affected our approach to extending a helping hand to less fortunate countries and supporting their efforts to confront the pandemic. Our country has also provided medical and relief aid to more than 100 countries. During our participation in the virtual G20 summit, we affirmed the UAE’s full commitment to back every effort aimed at supporting human interests, wherever they are, and helping humanity to usher in a new phase, filled with hope, after eliminating the pandemic that’s impeded global development efforts.
We also emphasised that collective action is the best way to overcome the current challenges and tackle their negative repercussions. We called for unifying our resolve and will to empower societies, especially the underprivileged, to weather these challenges in order to pursue development and meet the essential needs that guarantee the simplest forms of life for human beings.
Our common global issues, such as empowering women, providing health care, climate change, offering low-cost education, and facing issues of food and water security, cannot be addressed without acting collectively and determinedly under the collective will of the international community.
Citizens of our country:
We’ve learned from our fathers and from our experiences that adopting new ideas and methods of working is not a difficult thing, but the difficulty always lies in relinquishing old ideas and routine management. People usually suffice themselves with what they already know and practise, and are afraid of trying new things. Our confidence in our people, and the confidence of our people in their leadership, are the most important factors in overcoming this difficulty. With a gradual approach, we succeeded in reconciling our traditions with the requirements of development and modernisation. This success has been reinforced by our remarkable and tangible achievements in all walks of life, so keeping up with the new and harnessing it to serve development and progress has become an integral part of our work and thinking, and a constant component in the culture of our society. This is one of the secrets of our growing self-strength, our excellence in government performance, our progress in diversifying the economy, developing services, improving education, and achieving gender balance.
This mutual trust between our people and their leadership, the consolidation of the culture of change and development, and keeping pace with the new in our society, will open the doors in the next 50 years, and will enable our young men and women and our young generations to deliver on our vision of the UAE Centennial Plan 2071, for our country to be in the first ranks of the world’s most advanced and prosperous countries.
In less than a month, 2021 will commence, and we are approaching our 50th National Day. We want 2021 to witness a major breakthrough for the next 50 years. We want our country to be the most distinguished and offer the best in terms of quality of life. We will continue to prepare all sectors for the post-oil era, by building a true knowledge-based, innovation-driven economy, investing in qualitative minds and competencies, promoting the system of the civilised values of tolerance, openness, coexistence and acceptance, preserving our national heritage, authentic customs and traditions, and global competition for leadership, and building strong foundations to sustain this development for future generations.
In this context, the 50-year Development Plan Committee and the specialist teams continue to work round the clock. The community, the private sector, and everyone who has an idea to participate in designing the future have joined them, reaffirming the solid approach of participation, long cherished in our country since its establishment.
This blessed national effort has achieved the vision of all of our vital sectors, and has contributed to the enactment of relevant legislation, including laws that support development and strengthen its engines, boost the economy, open doors to new economic sectors, develop a business-friendly environment, stimulate direct investment, encourage innovation and attract talented minds in vital areas, focused on advanced science and technology, as well as research and development, R&D.
Citizens of our country:
The progress our country has made makes us happy and fills us with feelings of pride and contentment, but it is not enough for us because we want similar progress for our Arab brothers. Every success achieved in any Arab country represents an added force for the benefit of the entire Arab world. Since the establishment of our state, we have been seeking the paths of goodness for our nation. We have always been part of the Arab consensus, and we have always sought to close Arab ranks, and we took the initiative to help all those whose capabilities fell short of meeting the development needs of their countries. Towards that end, we launched initiatives after initiatives to empower Arab youth, in terms of knowledge, science, administration and culture.
We’ve also placed our acquired experience at the disposal of our Arab brothers, and we will continue to seek the advancement of our Arab world, for we stem from it and it is from us. And if the many common denominators among our Arab countries are not sufficient to deepen cooperation between Arab countries, then geography alone calls for the highest levels of integration and coordination, and affirms our common destiny, security and stability.
In spite of the daunting problems and challenges facing the Arab World, and the deterioration of the situation in Arab countries, the opportunities for revival and reform are always available for those who possess a consciousness and will, and perhaps the huge and costly turmoil experienced by some countries has reached its end. While it has left tremendous losses in lives and property, deep wounds in souls, it also created valuable lessons which will speed up the processes of reconstruction and healing, if well understood.
Our Arab world needs to think through the perspective of language and data for use in the third decade of the twenty-first century, to comprehend the political, economic and value changes that have swept our world in recent years, to foresee the future and to recognise the engines of development in it, and to be completely certain that the old means and old patterns of work and thinking will not produce new results. Rather, they will reproduce the old systems, most of which are neither good nor build sustainable development, nor aid in achieving peace, security or stability.
Likewise, it is no longer acceptable to blame others, or external conspiracies and interventions, for failure. For centuries, the Middle East region has been the focus of the attention of major powers, and this interest deepened and its affects increased after World War I, making security and stability in the region part of international security and stability concerns.
This situation has weighed heavily on the countries of the region, and placed two options before them: Either invest in this international interest in a way that advances their development and enhances their security, or let its influences and competitions control the contexts of events, their unfolding developments, and the means of managing them.
It is true that the international situation is now characterised by uncertainty, and that the global order - represented by the United Nations - needs more effectiveness, and that the competition that prevails on relations between major countries is reflected in our region and complicates its issues and disputes. Therefore, it is difficult to address and find solutions to them. But it is also true that this situation is not a justification for the region to remain in a state of waiting for global developments; nor is it a justification to stand idly and fail to seriously address the region’s issues and its chronic problems, especially since most of them are concealed behind the people’s rights to development, stability and dignified living.
We in the UAE neither carelessly wait, nor stand idly. If we had waited, we would not have established our union, would not have achieved development, would not have built our brilliant Emirati model, would not have succeeded in strengthening our own sources of strength, and would not have propelled our country to its prestigious, effective and respected position in the world.
We work, initiate, strive, and foresee the future, and adopt strategic planning, and we do not start something without conducting a thorough study after assessing all possibilities.
This has enabled us to effectively contribute to combating extremism and terrorism, thwarting schemes to change Yemen’s identity and its belonging to the Arab world, and building channels of dialogue between cultures, and launching the Human Fraternity Document, with the participation of the top religious references in Islam and Christianity. And when we concluded the Abraham Accords, we provided our region with a valuable opportunity to break through the stalemate, move stagnant waters, and chart paths that lead to peace, security, coexistence and devotion to development.
The accord halted annexation of lands of our Palestinian brothers, and reminded the world of their just cause, after they were absent from events and developments, and opened a horizon for them towards their legitimate rights in their independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Citizens of our country:
On our National Day, I greet with you the officers and soldiers of our armed forces, our security organs and civil protection agencies, and renew my pride in their vital role in safeguarding the freedom, independence, sovereignty, security and stability of our homeland, and my appreciation for their sacrifices, loyalty to the covenant and oath, and their embodiment of the values and principles of our homeland and our people.
Our armed forces have shown competence and courage in all the missions they have been assigned to, and have achieved victories and professional performances in the land of brotherly Yemen; they have contributed to the liberation of most of its lands. They carried out a strategic redeployment after successfully performing their mission and contributing to the rebuilding of the legitimate Yemeni forces. Yemen has been the focus of attention and care of our state since its inception, and will remain so. Our state continues its contributions to the humanitarian efforts to support the Yemeni people, rebuild their infrastructure, and to continue to participate in international efforts seeking a peaceful solution that puts an end to Yemeni conflicts and divisions.
We also extend a warm greeting to our white army and its battalions of doctors, nurses, technicians and administrators, who have shown sincerity and dedication, have taken risks and advanced their ranks to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and treat the patients. Our health workers have presented new heroes to our country. Their model - nurse Asma Al Shehhi - took the initiative to halt her study leave, left her infant and worked 12 hours a day.
In our homeland, there are thousands of men and women like Asma. They are in all worksites, achieving and innovating, and developing their capabilities, knowledge and skills. They are our most inexhaustible wealth, and our heroes who spare no effort for the sake of the advancement of their homeland and the well-being and happiness of their citizens.
Citizens of our country:
The second of December will remain our dearest and most cherished day. It is the day when wisdom, principles and noble goals triumphed. It is the day when our Founding Fathers embodied the strength, dignity, virtues and qualities of the Emirati people. It is the day that culminated in the struggle, steadfastness and success of our ancestors in preserving our land.
Tomorrow, our Union will enter 50th year of its long journey. We look to the future with confidence and hope, armed with our vision, our experience, and our achievements in terms of human development and urbanisation, realising that our successes in the past decades were achieved with effort, hard work and determination. In the next five decades, we will need to double this effort, increase production and enhance capabilities, as the ambition is greater, the challenge is more difficult, the competition is more intense, and the transformations around us are faster and deeper.
I promise you, at the beginning of the 50th year of our Union, that the next 50 years will be more glorious and splendid. And as our vision has expanded, our experience accumulated and deepened, and our ability to face challenges, and keep abreast of changes and plans for the future doubled, you will remain our most cherished assets.
Many happy returns of this blissful National Day and may Allah bless and keep you safe each hour of every day.”
National Day 2020: UAE’s development experience is exceptional - Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has affirmed that the UAE’s 49th National Day marks a milestone in its history during which it stands with pride and full of determination to continue its progress and achievements across various fields.
WAM reported on Tuesday that in his statement on the occasion of the UAE’s 49th National Day, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed said that the country’s achievements have never stopped despite challenges along the way, which confirms that the UAE’s development experience is exceptional and unmatched worldwide.
“As we enter the 50th year of our young country and our unique union experience, we are stronger, self-confident and more capable and determined to achieve our goals during the next 50 years, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. We are well-placed to realise our ambition of making the UAE the best country in the world by its 100th anniversary, relying on the strong foundations laid down by our founding leaders and the major successes that we have achieved over the past decades,” Sheikh Mohamed said.
He added, “We also rely on our children, their efforts and love for their homeland, our authentic positive values, the latest applications of modern science and technology, active involvement in the process of human development, and our constant aspiration towards the future, and dynamic partnerships with other countries in the interest of development, peace and stability for all.
“This year, the UAE, along with the rest of the world, has faced the severe challenges posed by COVID-19. By the grace of God and the sincere efforts of our frontline teams, the team spirit among our institutions, the awareness of our people, our preparedness and advanced technological infrastructure, the UAE has been able to provide an effective humanitarian model to tackle the pandemic and manage its repercussions. The UAE has accorded the highest priority to people’s health and safety because people are the focus of our development project, and the compass according to which all our plans and strategies proceed. Our approach has won praise and admiration from international institutions.”
Sheikh Mohamed said that despite the adverse effect of the pandemic on global supply chains, especially food and medicine, the UAE has succeeded in providing all its food and medical supplies through local production and emergency plans, its own expertise in dealing with crises, its proactive preparations and its forward thinking. It has also been helped by its constructive partnerships with friendly countries, which has earned it respect and appreciation at the regional and global levels.
‘UAE believes crisis will pass’
The UAE has demonstrated its bright human face since the pandemic first began by providing unconditional support to countries and communities in need of assistance, regardless of their religion, sect, race, ethnicity or geographical location, and through its repeated calls for international solidarity to tackle COVID-19.
His Highness added, “The UAE has also actively participated in international scientific and research efforts aimed at finding treatments and vaccines for the virus, and has cooperated with other countries to achieve this goal. It has called for these treatments and vaccines to be provided to everyone without exception out of its belief in the unity of human destiny, dating back to the time of Sheikh Zayed, may God have mercy on him.
“The UAE government, under the leadership of my brother, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has - thanks to his insightful vision - been proactive in developing strategies for dealing with the post-COVID-19 phase on scientific grounds, through informed dialogue and by involving experts and specialists. The UAE believes that this crisis will pass, and what is important is to not only tackle it effectively, but also have the ability to deal with the situation once the pandemic is over.
“Despite the difficulties posed by COVID-19, the UAE did not allow the problems to slow its march, undermine its determination, or limit its ambitions. Rather, it motivated us to take on the challenge, use our full potential and delve into our long history of facing up to challenges.”
Sheikh Mohamed stated that the launch of the Hope Probe to Mars - the first Arab and Islamic interplanetary mission and the start of the production of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes from the Barakah nuclear power plants, which made the UAE the first Arab country to produce nuclear energy for development purposes, represent two exceptional moments in the history of the UAE and the Arab world, where the UAE’s powerful will has manifested in its most wonderful form.
“The determination to launch the probe and start the production of peaceful nuclear energy on the pre-determined date despite the raging COVID-19 proved that our ambitions would not be stopped by any obstacle and that the UAE always delivers on its promise, no matter the challenge,” he said.
His Highness continued, “During 2020, the UAE opened a wide door to peace, development, stability and hope in a Middle East fraught with tensions and conflicts, through the peace agreement it signed with Israel under the auspices of the United States of America. Thus, the UAE affirmed its courage in making major, historical decisions when it comes to its principles, what it believes in, and what is consistent with its firm approach to calling for peace, tolerance and coexistence among different nations and people regardless of differences of religion, race and sect.”
Call for peace
The UAE’s stance towards regional and international issues will always be to adopt responsible positions that call for peace, reject interference in the internal affairs of other states, respect international law, support people’s interests and aspirations, and address the global threats facing humanity, he noted.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said, “The UAE is firmly opposed to extremism, violence and terrorism, regardless of its source, nature, or the forces behind it, and rejects hate speech that harms relations between peoples, civilisations and cultures and affects opportunities for coexistence among them. All this has earned the UAE the respect and appreciation of the world, made it a voice for wisdom and moderation, and strengthened its soft power, presence and influence on the regional and international arenas.
“The UAE has been working sincerely to find stable settlements for the crises afflicting the Arab region and the Middle East, in cooperation with its brothers, partners and friends. The UAE has always stood by dialogue and diplomatic means as a way to deal with such crises, because it believes this is the only way to end them and stop the bloodshed and waste of resources, and resolve all conflicts and problems that plague the world.”
He concluded by saying that, “What we have accomplished so far since the birth of this country calls for immense pride. I am confident that our pride will double in what we will achieve in the coming years because we will never stop moving forward towards the first place in all fields, with an ambition built on our strong will and a dream based on planning and action. May this anniversary bring the UAE and its people more goodness, pride, unity and stability now and in the years to come.”
UAE a global model for unity and cohesion: Sultan Al Qasimi
His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, said that the UAE, while marking 49 years of its union this year, “treats all its nationals and residents alike, forging ahead with a proven track record of achievements that have been possible — thanks to the Founding Fathers who instilled the noble values of unity, dedication and giving among our people. This helps in the evergreen pursuit of success and happiness”.
In a statement to ‘Nation Shield’, the UAE Armed Forces magazine, on the occasion of the 49th UAE National Day, Sheikh Sultan said: “Every year we celebrate our Union Day on 2nd December, a great day in the history of our nation, wherein we express our pride of groundbreaking achievements that have turned the UAE into a global model to be emulated for unity and cohesion across the globe. These achievements have earned our nation a much-coveted position that is sought after by the entire world.”
“On this day,” he continued, “we recall the historic decision made by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his brothers who established the Union. They all had a profound faith that unity is the right path towards development, progress and a decent life for the people of the nation.
“On this noble occasion, I congratulate my brother President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan — may God bless him — and my brothers, Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and the Rulers of the Emirates.
“My heartfelt congratulations go as well to all my Emirati sons and daughters. I urge them all to continue the march of their ancestors, shield themselves against besetting challenges with our time-honoured values and principles, follow in the footsteps of their wise leadership, gain as much knowledge as they can, and sow the seeds of love for their homeland among their children.
“We pray for our dear homeland to achieve more success, prosperity, development and gain more strength in its noble march for more glory.”
The experience of being unified remains a great achievement: Sheikh Humaid
His Highness Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ajman, said the UAE has made great historical achievements and continues to strengthen its stature in all areas.
In a statement to ‘Nation Shield,’ the UAE Armed Forces magazine, on the occasion of the UAE’s 49th National Day, Sheikh Humaid said: “On the 2nd of December 1971, the Emirati people were on a date with a brighter tomorrow, as that day opened the prospects for a promising future, prosperity and happiness for the UAE community. Today, we stand in appreciation for what we have achieved with the grace of Allah and thanks to the wise leadership that transformed the dream of the Union into a tangible achievement.”
The Ajman Ruler added: “The experience of being unified remains a great and unique achievement, as the UAE was transformed into a modern, prosperous country on a path towards progress and civilisation, and with great stability and capabilities. Under the Union, the country has witnessed a great educational, economic, architectural and agricultural renaissance that has fulfilled the needs for the present and the future in a unique developmental process involving the quality of human life, and the environmental and economic needs of the people.
“The quality of life in the UAE has placed it amongst the most advanced countries in the world that have made sustainable development one of their top priorities.”
On the occasion, Sheikh Humaid congratulated 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 Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and the Rulers of the Emirates and the people of the UAE. He wished them health, wellness and happiness, praying to Allah to bless them with security and prosperity and to grant the UAE stability and prosperity.
Sheikh Humaid continued: “The 2nd of December is a blessed occasion that marks the birth of a glorious nation that cherishes its loyal citizens and their journey, ever since the establishment of the Union by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, along with the founding leaders.”
He concluded: “As the UAE is looking forward to the next 50 years, we remember the achievements that we should be proud of, most notably the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, which made the UAE the first Arab country to possess nuclear energy technology to produce electricity; the launch of the Hope Probe, the first Arab and Islamic probe to Mars; and the launch of the biggest national strategy to prepare for the coming 50 years at the federal and local levels as the country approaches its Golden Jubilee in 2021.”
National Day reflects UAE’s prominent stature in the world, Fujairah Ruler says
The UAE has attained its prominent stature in the world by following the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, said His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah.
In a statement to ‘Nation Shield,’ the UAE Armed Forces magazine, on the occasion of the 49th UAE National Day, Sheikh Hamad also referred to the National Action Programme, which was launched by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as an initiative that “aims to plan for the future and overcome all challenges with determination and perseverance”.
Following is the full text of his statement on the occasion:
“Some 49 years have passed since the establishment of the UAE, with the memory of the blessed establishment of our Union, which was announced on 2nd December, 1971, under the leadership of the Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
The UAE has attained its prominent stature among the world nations by following the legacy of Sheikh Zayed. The National Action Programme, which was launched by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, aims to plan for the future and overcome all challenges with determination and perseverance.
The UAE has proved its ability to overcome and counter crises, most notably during the coronavirus pandemic, which it handled with professionalism under the direct leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
The country has implemented the best practices and standards in providing patients with comprehensive health care, implemented the National Disinfection Programme and launched a series of incentives for the national economy to support banking and business activities. It also eased the financial burden of companies and individuals and involved the local community in all social responsibility initiatives.
The UAE’s National Day is a glorious and precious memory that is always present in the conscience of the Emirati people, marking the establishment of a country that is flourishing due to the vision of its leadership, which foresees the future and aims to achieve happiness and security of its citizens and residents. On this glorious day, I am pleased to extend heartiest greetings to my brothers President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, and to the people of the UAE.”