Describing the UAE as a melting pot would not be a myth. With nearly all nationalities represented, the UAE is one of the world's most culturally diverse countries.
The effect of globalisation on Abu Dhabi's society brings many positive benefits, and our progress on many levels is very evident. Amid the pace of progress, however, it would be very easy for the people of the Emirates to get swept away from their own cultural roots.
With so much influence from other cultures, the Arab-Islamic identity could easily be diluted. We live in a country that has a global culture. The size of the expatriate workforce has created a visible demographic imbalance in which Emiratis are very much in the minority, a situation that could have a major effect on our Emirati cultural identity.
Safeguarding our Emirati values, customs, traditions, language and national personality so that future generations understand their unique identity is critical if we are to avoid a situation in which the children of the future do not know who they are or where they come from.
The social and economic development framework of the UAE on its journey to becoming a sustainable, knowledge-based economy is focused on transforming its people into cultured and skilful individuals. Empowering Emiratis for the future requires a focus on the development of the "whole individual" - from first steps until retirement.
Educators have a central role in supporting the preservation of the UAE's national heritage and promoting our national identity, culture and character.
Private schools in the UAE have been criticised for not providing sufficient cultural teaching. Educators need to work hard to develop a learning environment that provides young minds with a comprehensive, well-rounded education with an international dimension that is adapted to the needs of students living in the UAE.
This naturally includes a strong focus on the elements that make the UAE culturally distinct, which is crucial for helping today's generation prepare for tomorrow.
Students need to be able to enjoy the advantage of a diverse, creative and robust teaching and learning programme in Arabic language and Islamic studies. There has been a recognition over recent years that teaching of the UAE's history - both in public and private schools - can be improved.
Work is being done in our Aldar Academies schools to tackle this issue. We believe it is important that our youth understand what has taken place in this country and how past generations were able to cope with life here. To quote the late Sheikh Zayed, "he who does not know his past will certainly not understand the present. If a man knows the past, he will understand the present also and on that basis find out what lies in the future".
Of particular focus for the future of Abu Dhabi is the teaching and promotion of the Arabic language. The wide use of English in most private educational institutions is driven by a strong connection to the global economy, job market and technology. But language is an important safeguard of national culture.
Languages develop in communities over time and over centuries the knowledge and culture is stored in the language. In our language is stored our perspective of the world.
As educators, we need to be most concerned in developing world-leading learning programmes for Arabic.
In April this year, the first Aldar Academies Arabic Conference, hosted in conjunction with Abu Dhabi Education Council and under the patronage of Sheikha Al Yazia Bint Saif Bin Muhammad Al Nahyan focused on the language's role in national and cultural identity and curriculum development. It was fascinating to hear the debate among experts from a range of social and educational disciplines.
They were in agreement that improved materials and elevating the quality of teaching will lead to greater engagement with students. Getting these elements right is a long-term undertaking, but an important one, that all educators must bear responsibility for. The price of not succeeding - a diminishing role for Arabic in our society - is very great indeed.
Mohammed Khalifa Al Mubarak is the chairman of Aldar Academies