Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Sheikh Zayed's vision lives on all around us

The founder of the UAE's great vision is reflected in the nation he built.

The late Sheikh Zayed was a remarkable leader with great vision. That vision has created what the UAE is today: a country that numbers among the top 10 most competitive nations in the world - just 41 years after its formation.

Since the union of the seven emirates on December 2, 1971, the country has developed at a rapid pace. Simply by looking around, one can see Sheikh Zayed's tangible legacy across the country. Within a few decades, the UAE has been transformed from a desert to a thriving modern state.

But his vision of development has gone beyond infrastructure and landscaping. The late Sheikh Zayed always emphasised the importance of building human capital, saying: "Wealth is not money. Wealth lies in men. This is where true power lies." And so he focused on education as a top priority for the UAE, putting all efforts into raising new generations of educated Emiratis who could work hard to serve their country.

Sheikh Zayed also believed strongly in the role of women in the development of the nation. He stood in the frontline in support of women's rights and empowerment. During his time, women were given the opportunity to hold key positions in government institutions and had integral roles in decision making. Today, the UAE has four female cabinet ministers, nine Federal National Council members and many more women working in various leadership positions across the nation.

Sheikh Zayed cared not only for his own people. His universal respect and tolerance has encouraged people from all over the world to come to the UAE and participate in the process of development. The UAE is now a model for tolerance in the region and one of the most welcoming nations in the world. It hosts more than 200 nationalities of various backgrounds and different faiths.

Sheikh Zayed played a vital role in regional issues; stressing the importance of cooperation and Arab unity; and he established good relations with other countries. He supported the Palestinians in their struggle against Israel and stood by other Arab countries in need. The Arab world will always remember his famous statement: "Arab oil can never be dearer than Arab blood."

In a fitting memorial to the nation's founder, the UAE is marking the day by launching Emirati Humanitarian Work Day. His humanitarian legacy lives on and he'll always be remembered not just by Emiratis but by everyone in this land and many others beyond its borders.

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 The Retreat at the Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa will screen IPL games on request. Lee Hoagland / The National

Top five places to catch an IPL game in the UAE

Enjoy all the 20/20 cricket action at a sports lounge near you – whether in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain or Dubai

This April 17 don’t take our word, we’ll take yours

Have a catchy caption for our picture above? Share it with us.

 Fans braved long queues and early morning hassles to buy IPL tickets in person rather than buy them online, such has been the enthusiasm for the tournament. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

Love it, hate it but IPL is too big to be ignored

The tournament steamrolls its way through life perennially from the throes of extinction to the prospect of expansion; alive one moment through its on-field spectacle, dying the next because of another off-field wrangle.

 An employee plays the game Flappy Bird at a smartphone store in Hanoi. Hoang Dinh Nam / AFP

How Flappy Bird made app developer $50,000 a day

The game propelled the unknown Vietnamese developer Dong Nguyen to rock-star status.

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 A view of a defaced portrait of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during an anti-North Korean rally on the 102nd birthday of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung in central Seoul. Kim Hong-Ji / Reuters

Best photography from around the world today

The National View's photo editors pick the best images of the day from around the world.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National