Dubai: Challenges never deterred the people of the UAE from pursuing their own path, said His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
In his statement to Nation Shield, the UAE Armed Forces’ magazine, on the occasion of the UAE’s 50th National Day, Sheikh Mohammed said, ‘’Challenges never deterred us from pursuing our path, and our major challenge was to challenge ourselves. We had to prove our ability to establish an efficient country and an ambitious development model.’’
I congratulate you on the occasion of our 50th National Day, and I thank Allah Almighty for the blessings he gave us. I also thank him for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the formation of the UAE and its establishment.
Today, as we celebrate the achievements of the country’s first 50 years and appreciate our progress, we commemorate our fathers who established the country and the foundations of its development and prosperity.
We commemorate our father, the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and words cannot express our appreciation of his leadership and wisdom. Without him, the UAE would have never become a reality.
With gratitude and appreciation, we commemorate the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Sheikh Zayed’s partner in establishing the country’s foundations on 18 February, 1968. We also remember their brothers, the Rulers of the Emirates, who supported them and joined them in consolidating the Union.
First generation of Emiratis
On this day, we remember the first generation of Emiratis who built the country and worked hard, with loyalty and devotion, to establish the state’s institutions.
Even though 17 years have passed since the death of Sheikh Zayed, he is alive in our hearts, and every 2 December, his presence is consolidated in my own heart. I have worked under his leadership since the formation of the UAE. I have learnt a lot from his values and principles, as well as his decisions and stances. He always aimed to achieve our nation’s interests, make our people happy and strengthen the Union.
The late Sheikh Zayed always worked to reinforce the Union and helped establish the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and helped lead the efforts aimed at strengthening the Arab cooperation.
The legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed in terms of leadership and governance is valuable for this country’s generations. It is a lesson in establishing relations with others, reconciliation, crisis management and facing challenges.
Challenges never deterred us from pursuing our path, and our major challenge was to challenge ourselves. We had to prove our ability to establish an efficient country and an ambitious development model.
Over the past 50 years, we have faced different challenges in security, politics and economy. Nonetheless, we handled these challenges with the belief that our national worth is about confidently facing them with faith and optimism. Therefore, we were able to address challenges during the stages of the formation of the country and during the global economic recession, the first Gulf war, Kuwait’s invasion, the occupation of Iraq, and the so-called Arab Spring.
On this day, we must think about where we were 50 years ago and what we have become. I assume a big portion of the population under 50 years of age, do not know the complete picture.
There is no time now to make comparisons with figures, facts and events, as this will require many volumes of books. They are documented in words and audiovisual media and are available to the public.
Emirates National Identity
Today, I will address the establishment of the Emirati national identity. The establishment of the national identity of any people is usually a historically sensitive and complicated process sometimes accompanied by wars and violence, which led to internal conflicts in some countries.
However, the formation of our Emirati identity did not encounter any of this, because the Emirati people are one community made up of many groups united by the same faith, geography, history, culture, values and traditions.
Overcoming lack of national cadres
Today, I think about the process of government performance, which started from zero but progressed to establishing ministries, institutions and legislations that were new to the Emirati people. At the same time, there was a lack of sufficient national cadres to take on such duties. Nevertheless, the government raced to implement hundreds of projects, so it was only natural to encounter obstacles, but we overcame all these challenges and trained qualified citizens. Now, our government can compete with its best counterparts in planning, performance and adapting to changes.
I also think about the process of fully developing human resources and urban spaces, to the point where the country is in the first position in the world competitiveness indexes in areas of infrastructure, digital infrastructure, economic diversification, education, health and housing sectors.
The process of building our Armed Forces is one of the best examples in this regard, being one of the main requirements for establishing the country, as it involves expertise in developing human resources and sharpening their skills.
Today, I think about the process that helped our country attain a prominent international stature full of achievements, development and humanitarian initiatives, as well as appropriate stances and policies while promoting the principles of tolerance and coexistence.
Back then, the world started to reshape itself by embracing digital technologies, and we engaged in this field at an early stage by establishing an advanced digital infrastructure that enabled us to begin the era of e-government. We then embarked on the generation of artificial intelligence and realised space is vital for the digital sphere, so we progressed from purchasing satellites to manufacturing them with Emirati minds and hands. We have participated in space discovery missions, determined to be the partners of the international space community.
Our space industries have also enriched our national scientific institutions, enhanced our strength, and created high value-added economic opportunities. The size of the space economy today exceeds a trillion dollars, and this is expected to increase steadily.
Furthermore, we share with the world a growing interest in climate change. Government authorities and departments are exerting significant efforts to address this issue, and we aim to encourage the private sector and the community to exert similar efforts.
Next 50 years
Tomorrow, we begin our next 50 in our journey for development, guided by the UAE Centennial 2071 vision plan, the Principles of the 50 and the 10 principles approved by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan as guidelines for all UAE’s institutions to strengthen the Union, build a sustainable economy, harness all possible resources to build a more prosperous society, foster positive regional and global relations to achieve national goals, and support peace and stability across the world.
With our successful Emirati model, we confidently set off our rich experience in planning and shaping the future and with our efficient national human resources. We realise that we move in an ever-changing global environment with significant impacts on international relations, national priorities, work processes and living patterns.
In the past two years, we finalised the frameworks that would allow us to adapt to such changes and to respond to the needs by making the right decision at the right time and by modifying plans when necessary, in a way that would boost our capabilities to utilise the opportunities and to avoid risks associated with these changes.
The lessons and experiences of the past 50 years continue to inspire us to be more dedicated to serving our country. With you, and by you, we will add new achievements and will take our Emirati model to broader domains. We will continue our progress and our goal to be the number one in all sustainable development indexes.
Congratulations on this day.
National Day – an occasion to remember Founding Father's hard work for country's development:
His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, said the UAE Founding Fathers had worked hard to develop human capital by supporting education and qualifying Emirati citizens to contribute to the country’s development and its achievements.
This year’s UAE National Day celebration is distinctive as the country celebrates the UAE’s Golden Jubilee that marks its 50-year development journey, he added.
In his statement to Nation Shield, the UAE Armed Forces magazine, the Sharjah Ruler explained that, since the UAE’s founding in 1971, unity and giving served as the foundation of the country’s development, and comprehensive renaissance being the goal of both the UAE’s leadership and people.
“This holistic vision inspired the UAE people to follow their wise leadership, who sought to shape the future and provided all the means to fulfil their role towards advancing the UAE to this point,” Dr. Sheikh Sultan added.
He continued, “Each time we mark this very special occasion, we must remember the endless efforts made by the late Founding Fathers to pave the way for such progress. Their strong will to achieve unity and futuristic visions made them role models of success.
“The Founding Fathers worked hard to develop human capital by supporting education and qualifying Emirati citizens to contribute in the country’s development and achievements. This made a huge difference in accelerating the UAE’s progress, with the country’s youth competing to offer more and reach higher levels of accomplishment.
“The UAE shines on the top across many global indexes, despite being a young nation, in addition to becoming a world leader across healthcare, education, culture, trade, and space exploration.”
Dr Sheikh Sultan congratulated 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; Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, Crown Princes and Deputy Rulers, and the UAE people on the occasion.
Our ambitions and aspirations in the new fiftieth are never-ending
His Highness Sheikh Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ajman, stated that the journey of the Union went from success to success thanks to the strong solidarity of the country's leadership tireless efforts, and their deep belief in the value of unity as a basis for building a modern state.
In his statement to 'Nation Shield', the UAE Armed Forces magazine, on the occasion of the UAE's 50th National Day, Sheikh Humaid said,'' Thanks to the Union, our country is working for the future, and our ambitions and aspirations in the new fiftieth are never-ending.''
Sheikh Humaid said: ''On 2nd December, 1971, the world witnessed the birth of the state of the United Arab Emirates, the day will be remembered in history and remain alive in the conscience of the Emirati and Arab citizens.
“No matter how many years pass, the Union will remain an immortal memory in our hearts, dear to our souls, which generations pass through. It is a reality we witness and the good we live in under the shadow of a lofty homeland in which human beings advance, their dignity preserved, and people enjoy security and prosperity.
“On this occasion, dear to all of our hearts, I am pleased to extend my warmest congratulations and blessings to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, his brother, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister 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, and Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, and to the people of the UAE, its residents and guests, on the occasion of the 50th National Day of our beloved country.
“If we want to talk about the gains and benefits of the Union, we cannot count them, but only point out that this experience has opened the door wide to unprecedented leaps in all fields. The union of the Emirates as a unified political entity allowed good management of wealth and resources. Through the past five decades, it emerged into a modern, prosperous state whose citizens enjoy prosperity and security. The state built infrastructure as a basis for economic and social development. It established urban, housing, educational, health, cultural, artistic and sports projects as per best international standards that caught the attention and astonished the world. In addition, various international exhibitions and festivals are being held in the country that attracts the world.
Thanks to the Union, our country is working for the future, and our ambitions and aspirations in the new fiftieth has no limits. Our wise leadership has set a national agenda replete with projects, ideas, initiatives, plans and visions that keep pace with the present and foresee the future to continue our blessed journey to build the glory and civilisation of a state that has become a symbol and example.
UAE Golden Jubilee exceptional occasion that crowns past and illuminates future
His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah, has said that the National Day and the 50th anniversary of the founding of the UAE Federation, are "unconventional celebration that reflects our strength, valour and presence in the international arenas".
In a statement to Nation Shield, the UAE Armed Forces' magazine, Sheikh Hamad said, "Today, all the visions have turned into a reality at a time when the development process in our glorious state has reached a place that no one has preceded it. Dreams do not come easily, and moving towards the future requires patience and work, and the will of men to build nations and leave a remarkable impact across the world."
Sheikh Hamada added: "The UAE's 50th National Day is an exceptional occasion and a historical event that culminates the authentic past and illuminates the country's future towards the next 50 years. We proudly recall the achievements that strengthened the state's presence on the world map and established its name as a developed country in various fields, believing that human capital is the nation's true wealth.
“In this exceptional year in which the UAE celebrates its Golden Jubilee, we recall, over half a century, the establishment of the Union on 2nd December, 1971. The Union was founded by the Founding Fathers under the leadership of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and continued by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and my brothers, the rulers of the Emirates. The Union will continue its development path based on the values of giving, ambitious will, and foreseeing the future.
The UAE, within five decades, thanks to the country's vision and continuous efforts, has become one of the best countries across the world in global competitiveness indicators at various levels. This achievement reflects the state's creative thought, ambitious desire and high determination, which moved it towards the path of progress and building the future, and instilled the spirit of giving between its people, residents and the world.
This year's National Day anniversary coincides with a distinguished global event in the UAE, where the world gathers at Expo 2020 Dubai, and human visions, ideas and experiences are integrated towards better opportunities for the future of the peoples. This affirms the UAE's global position as a source of knowledge, creative ideas and competitive practices across all sectors.
Umm Al Quwain Ruler
Founding Fathers' determination guides the country to become one of fastest growing in world
His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu'alla, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Umm Al Qaiwain, has highlighted the will and determination of the Founding Fathers, which led the country to become one of the fastest-growing nations in the world.
"On 2nd December every year, we recall the day when the national will was united and resulted in the establishment of the Union, which was announced by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the Founding Fathers on 2nd December, 1971," he said in a statement to the 'Nation Shield', the UAE Armed Forces magazine, on the occasion of the UAE's 50th National Day.
Sheikh Saud added: “On this day, we proudly celebrate the Union and the Golden Jubilee of national unity, and we are shaping a new era for the next 50 years under the framework of a new national strategy to implement long-term development plans, as well as the modernisation of government work to keep pace with future developments.
“We are also setting plans that will support the country's roadmap for economic action, and drafting laws and policies that will achieve integration across all sectors, in addition to advancing our health, economic and social systems, achieving food security, and developing the social and educational sectors.
Our celebration today of the country's Golden Jubilee, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, highlights the will and determination of the Founding Fathers when they established a strong country, which has become one of the fastest-growing in the world. In the coming period, the country will witness many initiatives that will support the nation's youth, encourage innovation across all areas, and create distinguished policies and initiatives.
On this glorious national occasion, I extend my congratulations and best wishes to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, and Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, and the Emirati people."
Ras Al Khaimah Ruler
50 years have made UAE global oasis of tolerance and coexistence
His Highness Sheikh Saud Bbin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, has said that 50 years have made the UAE a global oasis of tolerance and coexistence, and a destination that attracts people of different cultures and backgrounds.
The UAE's celebration of this year's National Day is special and has exceptional meanings to the people that take more pride in belonging to this beloved homeland, he added.
In a statement to Nation Shield, the UAE Armed Forces' magazine, on the occasion of the UAE's 50th National Day, Sheikh Saud said, "In the UAE, we are proud to be the pioneers of one of the most successful experiences of the Union at the regional level, an experience that paved the way for establishing a modern state, which turns challenges into opportunities, and created the conditions and reasons that make it a major player on the global map.
"What we have achieved in fifty years is an exceptional model that is unique to the UAE. We know our strength, that we are capable of defining our goals and ambitions, and the keenest to create a better tomorrow for our future generations."
Sheikh Saud said, "Today, we celebrate the anniversary of the establishment of the Union, which was founded upon the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his brothers, the founders of the Union, who achieved a distinguished success and worked together to promote the UAE's name and stature based on a sincere desire and relentless determination."
"Investing in people is the cornerstone of the success of the UAE's experience, an experience based on achieving outstanding success, making the UAE a centre of prosperity and growth in the region and a commendable example for social welfare and economic well-being.
"Our celebration of the UAE's Golden Jubilee, a celebration of 50 years of development and prosperity, 50 years of dedication and achievement, 50 years of the story of a nation that believes in its abilities, people who are loyal to their homeland, keen to be always at the forefront."