2013 UAE National Day Report
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