A celebration of the UAE’s achievements
Today marks Flag Day, the day when Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed was sworn in as President in 2004 following the death of his father, Sheikh Zayed. The country’s flag will be raised at government and private buildings across the emirates, from Abu Dhabi to Fujairah. Emiratis and expats alike will be celebrating this occasion with enthusiasm and pride.
Flag Day is an opportunity to remember the efforts of the founding fathers – Sheikh Zayed, Sheikh Rashid and their brothers from five other emirates – who worked hard to set this country on a successful course. As Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, said this week, they “sacrificed everything for the sake of our nation”. Because of their vision, the country was able to become a modern and ambitious state.
When Sheikh Khalifa became President in 2004, he carried with him the vision of his father and continued the development of the country.
We have managed to achieve our position as a beacon of prosperity in the Middle East and North Africa despite violence, instability and turmoil engulfing large parts of the region. Young Arabs and, indeed, young people the world over regard the UAE as a good place to live and a great place to advance their careers. In short, there is much to celebrate today.
This year, of course, Flag Day is invested with even greater significance, as we still mourn the death of our soldiers who lost their lives in Yemen defending the security of this country. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, the Minister of Culture, Youth, and Community Development, called on people to honour their sacrifice.
This country is a safe haven in a part of the world where far too often permanence and peace has been sacrificed and given way to uncertainty and chaos. Flag Day is a chance to remember those who have so selflessly given their lives defending this country and its values and to remind ourselves that our way of life will never be derailed by toxic forces.
While the threats around us have changed over the years, we have remained dedicated to building a better society. Today, the country is unified in upholding and celebrating those precious principles.