An unprecedented show of support for the leadership has flooded social media sites after the Thank You, Khalifa initiative.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, announced this week that he wanted to mark the anniversary of his accession on January 4 by giving thanks to the President, Sheikh Khalifa.
Since then, residents have been posting messages of gratitude and patriotic videos and pictures on sites such as Twitter, writing in both Arabic and English using the hashtag, ThankYouKhalifa.
“This year will be dedicated to expressing our profound gratitude and thanks to Sheikh Khalifa, in recognition of his efforts,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
The campaign holds “special significance” for the UAE’s people, according to the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research.
It praised Sheikh Mohammed’s words as embodying “true historic leadership”, and hailed the President’s dedication.
“Sheikh Khalifa’s actions speak volumes for his love to his people, his keenness to implement policies and resolutions that serve their interests and his direct interaction with his people to probe their needs and answer them,” the centre said.
Sheikh Mohammed has also written an article, Thank You, Khalifa, in which he discusses the President’s unique approach to leadership and his historical contributions to the country since he took on government responsibilities in the 1960s.
“I write this article not to commend the President but for history and as a testimony that when we rush to do something for the benefit of the citizens, we find the President has done it before us,” Sheikh Mohammed wrote.
The centre said on Wednesday that the initiative was a message to Sheikh Khalifa and the world about the UAE’s strength and progress.
“The formula of progress of nations lies with the bond of love and regards between the Ruler and his people, a relationship that is deeply grounded in the UAE history since the era of the late Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who established a school of politics and governance that is still providing the source of inspiration for all those seeking secrets of success, development and progress of nations,” the centre said.
Sheikh Mohammed uses the anniversary of his accession on January 4 to draw attention to different parts of UAE society.
Last year, he called on people to honour workers and labourers, while previous years recognised orphans and mothers.
More than 2,000 videos and photos were shared on Instagram in the first seven hours of the Thank you, Khalifa campaign, the Dubai Media Office said.