Abu Dhabi: Residents fondly remembered the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan on Tuesday to mark the 53rd anniversary of his accession as Ruler of Abu Dhabi.
Footage of his accession was released online by Zayed TV – a channel created by Abu Dhabi Media Company solely dedicated to mark the achievements of the UAE’s founding father. It was launched as part of the government body’s initiatives to mark the Year of Zayed in 2018.
“On this day in 1966, Sheikh Zayed led the government in the emirate of Abu Dhabi and announced the beginning of an era in human development, construction and investment,” tweeted Zayed TV.
Social media users praised the remarkable life of Sheikh Zayed who was known for his deep religious faith, vision, determination and hard work, his generosity at home and abroad, and the way in which he devoted his life to the service of his people and the creation of a better world.
@KhadeejaM tweeted: ““The sixth day of August marks the anniversary of the late Sheikh Zayed’s accession to rule Abu Dhabi, which changed the fate of a nation.”
Born around 1918 in Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed was the youngest of the four sons of Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler of Abu Dhabi from 1922 to 1926. At the time of Sheikh Zayed’s birth, the emirate of Abu Dhabi was poor and undeveloped, with an economy based primarily on fishing and pearl diving and on simple agriculture in scattered oases inland.
As Sheikh Zayed grew into a young man, he travelled extensively throughout the country, gaining a deep understanding of the land and its people. In the early 1930s, when oil company teams arrived to undertake preliminary geological surveys, he obtained his first exposure to the industry that would shape the development of the UAE today.
The first cargo of crude oil was exported from Abu Dhabi in 1962.
On 6 August 1966, Sheikh Zayed succeeded his elder brother as Ruler of Abu Dhabi. He promptly increased contributions to the Trucial States Development Fund and with revenues growing as oil production increased, Sheikh Zayed undertook a massive construction program, building schools, housing, hospitals and roads.