UAE clebrating 39th National Day today
Everyone's going potty about National Day and the lads have been busily decorating their cars - already the streets are littered with Landcruisers with red, white and black feather boas decorating them nose to tail, Altimas covered in UAE flag stickers and FJ Cruisers with pictures of Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Khalifa all over them. The street lights have the mandatory LED light strings in green, white and blue (because black lights don't work, people) and billboards are shouting out 'Kulluna Khalifa'! ('We are all Khalifa' after Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan, the President of the UAE). Abu Dhabi police have issued an order forbidding people to completely cover their car windows with flags or to hang out of cars, sit on the doors or roofs or in other ways behave madly. It's very
brave of them.
Facts and figures about
the United Arab Emirates are following; Full name:
4.7m (UN, 2010) Abu Dhabi
Dubai 77,700 sq km Arabic Islam
Capital: Largest city: Area: Major language: Major religion: Life expectancy:
77 years (men), 79 years (women) (UN) Dirham Oil, gas GNI per capita:n/a
Monetary unit: Main exports: Internet domain: Int’l dialling code:
President, ruler of Abu Dhabi: Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed: Sheikh Khalifa was named as president by the UAE Federal Council shortly after the death of his father, Sheikh Zayed BinSultan Al Nahyan, in November 2004. The former president, who was 86, had been in poor health. Sheikh Khalifa succeeded his father Sheikh Zayed in 2004. Sheikh Khalifa, who had been crown prince of Abu Dhabi since 1969. Often referred to as the father of the nation, Sheikh Zayed succeeded his brother as ruler of Abu Dhabi in 1966 and, because of his strong leadership and commitment to forming the federation, he was elected as the first president of the United Arab Emirates in 1971. Re-elected every five years since 1971, Sheikh Zayed instilled the values of religious tolerance and equality, especially for women, into his policies, which greatly enhanced the stability of the UAE.
Vice president and PM, ruler of Dubai:
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum:
Sheikh Mohammed succeeded his elder brother Sheikh Maktoum as ruler of Dubai in January 2006, and was elected to take his place as the UAE's federal prime minister. Even before taking over as ruler, Sheikh Mohammed, had pursued the ambition of transforming Dubai - originally a fishing village and the emirates' main trading post - into one of the world's foremost financial and cultural capitals. In the early 2000s, growth rates reached double digits, while investment and workers poured in from Asia, other Middle Eastern countries and the West. Sheikh Mohammed also worked to make his state the most tolerant in the UAE for foreigners. However, the economic crash of 2008 left Dubai with large debts to foreign investors lured during the boom years, and needing assistance from Abu Dhabi. In December 2009, Abu Dhabi gave Dubai $10bn handout to pay off the debts of the government-owned company Dubai World.
Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid al-Nuaimi.
Ruler of Fujairah:
Sheikh Hamad bin Muhammad bin Hamad alSharqi.
Ruler of Sharjah:
Sheikh Sultan Muhammad al-Qasimi.
Ruler of Umm al Qaiwain:
Sheikh Rashid bin Ahmad al-Mualla.