x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

1974: Abu Dhabi's Executive Council established

Some of the council's earliest decisions were its most important, say those involved.

Abu Dhabi's Executive Council was established in 1974 and some of its earliest decisions were its most important, say those involved.

Sheikh Faisal Al Qassimi witnessed some of those decrees.

As a military official who worked closely with Sheikh Zayed, the Founder of the UAE, Sheikh Faisal's job was to take the decisions made by the council to Sheikh Zayed for him to sign.

He also was head of Sheikh Khalifa's diwan, which led the council at that time.

"They would send the decisions to me and I took them to get signed by Sheikh Zayed," he recalled. "The process would take two or three days, to give Sheikh Zayed a chance [to approve them], as I used to read them out for him and I would take with me an iron pen so he could sign."

He remembers how many of the document sessions at night in Al Ain took place with limited light, because there was still no electricity.

"The decisions were written on transparent paper; there were no printers back then," he said.

And what was one of the most important decisions?

Sheikh Faisal said he could recall one easily: the decree that named Sheikh Khalifa as Crown Prince.