Hundreds of delegates from around the world have gathered in Dubai this week to discuss ways to further the UAE's progress towards its Vision 2021 goals. But what is Vision 2021?
Formulated in 2010, Vision 2021 represents the ideals of the country's future that guide its public policy. By its 50th National Day, the goal is to be considered one of the best countries in the world.
"Work is a true criterion of citizenship," said the President, Sheikh Khalifa, when he presented the vision. "It is evidence of sincerity and loyalty.
"We all share the responsibility of building this country, protecting its sovereignty and safeguarding the gains."
Vision 2021, taglined United in Ambition and Determination, is divided into four key sections.
1. United in responsibility
The first element of the vision concerns the people of the UAE, who by 2021 will be a confident and socially responsible population with strong work ethic and deep sense of duty to the nation. Strong families will make up rich communities where no one is excluded or left behind.
The social fabric will be further enriched by the respectful coexistence of other nationalities.
The people will continue to represent a vibrant culture founded in Arab-Islamic routes by preserving the core tenets of Islam in a spirit of religious tolerance.
2. United in destiny
The country will uphold the legacy of its founding fathers by continuing to strengthen unity between emirates. Public policy will strive to close any gaps that exist between citizens' standards of living.
The UAE will continue its record of safety and security, and its justice system will dedicate itself to fairness for all. Government will also ensure Emiratis are provided with every basic need through a sustainable welfare system, so as to ensure they can contribute to society positively and productively.
Once all these elements are in place, in eight years' time the UAE will be seen as a global player, as a regional business centre and a gateway to the region. That status will be reflected in hosting international conferences, involvement in diplomatic efforts and a role in global humanitarian efforts. At the same time, the country will be regarded as a cultural haven by fostering local traditions in literature, art and poetry. National champions in every sphere will be promoted to the world, be they sportsmen, artists or scientists.
3. United in knowledge
More Emiratis will continue their education at university and gain the skills required to make the nation a centre of innovation. The economy will be richly diversified and small businesses will thrive. As it shifts to a knowledge-based economy, the country will be known for strides made in science, technology, research and development.
4. United in prosperity
Emiratis will have access to a wide range of top-class medical services and hospitals. Schools will offer an unparalleled education for all and a seamless infrastructure of utilities, government services and leisure options will add to quality of life. Finally, the country will be known for its efforts to conserve its natural environment and contribute solutions to environmental concerns.
The vision for the UAE of 2021 can summarised in two sentences. "In a strong and safe union, knowledgeable and innovative Emiratis will confidently build a competitive and resilient economy. They will thrive as a cohesive society bonded to its identity and enjoy the highest standards of living with a nurturing and sustainable environment."