2013 UAE Na­tional Day Re­port

The Diplomatic Insight - - News -

n 2nd De­cem­ber 2013, the United Arab Emi­rates marks its Na­tional Day, cel­e­brat­ing 42 years since the state was es­tab­lished in 1971. For cit­i­zens and ex­pa­tri­ate res­i­dents of the seven com­po­nent emi­rates of the fed­er­a­tion, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Shar­jah, Ra’s al-Khaimah, Aj­man, Umm al-Qai­wain and Fu­jairah, it has been a year dur­ing which the coun­try has con­tin­ued to thrive and pros­per, de­spite the po­lit­i­cal tur­moil that has con­tin­ued to en­gulf much of the Mid­dle East re­gion. The eco­nomic re­cov­ery al­ready vis­i­ble over the last cou­ple of years has con­tin­ued to ac­cel­er­ate, with a no­table Lo­cated in the south-east cor­ner of the Ara­bian penin­sula, with coast­lines both on the Ara­bian Gulf and on the Gulf of Oman, the seven emi­rates, for­merly known as the ‘Tru­cial States’, came to­gether fol­low­ing the with­drawal of Bri­tain af­ter 150 years. Led by the UAE’s found­ing fa­ther, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the seven rulers de­cided to form a fed­er­a­tion, to work to­gether to bring pros­per­ity and de­vel­op­ment to their peo­ple. Aided by the vi­sion of Sheikh Zayed, the UAE has since emerged as one of the fastest-grow­ing and most sta­ble coun­tries in the re­gion.

Sheikh Zayed him­self died in 2004, af­ter over thirty years as Pres­i­dent. The process of growth, how­ever, has con­tin­ued un­der the lead­er­ship of his son and suc­ces­sor as Pres­i­dent, His High­ness Sheikh Khal­ifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Vice Pres­i­dent and Prime Min­is­ter and Ruler of Dubai, His High­ness Sheikh Mo­hammed bin Rashid Al Mak­toum, their fel­low mem­bers of the UAE’s Supreme Coun­cil of Rulers and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Com­man­der of the UAE Armed Forces, His High­ness Sheikh Mo­hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. De­spite the con­tin­u­ing prob­lems faced by the global econ­omy over the last few years, the UAE, thanks to its wise eco­nomic poli­cies, has con­tin­ued to de­velop suc­cess­fully, The UAE gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment to up­hold­ing all rights and free­doms for its cit­i­zens and other res­i­dents has led to the state be­com­ing what has been de­scribed as “a par­adise for cit­i­zens and oth­ers. All live in peace in a tol­er­ant com­mu­nity that is free from seg­re­ga­tion and in­jus­tice.” Th­ese val­ues are also ev­i­dent in the UAE’s ap­proach to equal­ity for all cit­i­zens, and thanks to the gov­ern­ment pol­icy of sup­port­ing women in their pur­suit of re­spon­si­bil­ity, many now oc­cupy lead­ing po­si­tions in both the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor. To­day, women ac­count for around 70 per cent of all univer­sity jobs, pro­vid­ing four mem­bers of the Cab­i­net, the new UAE Per­ma­nent Rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the UN, sev­eral mem­bers of the Fed­eral Na­tional Coun­cil, judges and am­bas­sadors. Oth­ers can found across a wide va­ri­ety of pro­fes­sions, from po­lice sci­en­tists and teach­ers and even air­line pi­lots. The doors of op­por­tu­nity are open to all. The guid­ing prin­ci­ples that un­der­lie the suc­cess of the state, orig­i­nally laid down over forty years ago, re­main fun­da­men­tal el­e­ments in the poli­cies of the UAE’s Gov­ern­ment. One was that the re­sources de­riv­ing from the ex­ploita­tion of Abu Dhabi’s oil and gas re­serves should be shared across the coun­try in the de­vel­op­ment of its in­fra­struc­ture. A sec­ond was that, as Sheikh Zayed put it, ‘the coun­try’s real wealth is its peo­ple’, and that, in con­se­quence, par­tic­u­lar ef­fort avail­able ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tion, health care and so­cial ser­vices, to equip them, both men and women, to play their full part in the coun­try’s growth.

A third prin­ci­ple, in recog­ni­tion of the fact that the UAE was

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