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REPORTS - NATIONAL DAY 2013


Khalifa University wins Best National Day 42 Celebration


posted on 03/01/2014

Khalifa University announced yesterday that its Abu Dhabi campus has won the Best National Day 42 Celebration category in the Exceptional University competition organised by the Ministry of Culture Youth and Community Services.
The innovative, day-long festivities were organised by students, faculty and staff and included a variety of activities such as the Time Machine Museum, and a play written by Khalifa University students about a student whose invention saves the world. The play is set in 2100, and showed a future version of the UAE projecting a very advanced society based on technology and knowledge economy.
Other activities included traditional dances and a souq that was built inside the Abu Dhabi campus which demonstrated traditional merchandise, a photography kiosk and a traditional tent where several handicrafts were demonstrated.
In addition to the best celebration win, Khalifa University students also ranked highly in the other categories. Khalifa University student Mohammed Abdulrazaq Hussain won second place in the Best National Short Movie about the Union category for his movie entitled, "Between the Past and the Future." Student Meera Saeed Al Yammahi won first place in the Best National Dress for Girls (over the age of 16) category.
The awards were launched by the Ministry of Culture Youth and Community Services with the aim of instilling and supporting a feeling of pride in National Day Celebrations, the state and its achievements, its leaders and of Emirati youth in the UAE The awards also aim to encourage cooperation between the ministry and universities and encourage the creative abilities and talents of university students.
"We are very pleased that our National Day Celebrations have been voted the best in the UAE," said Dr. Mohammed Al Mualla, Senior Vice President of Research and Development. "I would like to thank our students and staff for putting together such an enjoyable programme for National Day. Our students did an excellent job showcasing Emirati traditions and heritage, and engaging our non-Emirati staff and students in the festivities. National Day represents the UAE's success in the 42 years since its creation and it represents the importance of unity and cooperation.
"Our students and staff demonstrated this unity on the day, and showed their pride in the UAE and the bold vision of its founding fathers. We are moulding the next generation of leaders and it's important that they recognise the achievements of the past as they move forward towards creating sustainable growth." – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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It's raining heritage in Dubai: Oldest mall installs 1,200 umbrellas


posted on 10/12/2013

Al Ghurair Centre, Dubai's first shopping mall, is celebrating its heritage in the heart of Deira by installing 1,200 umbrellas.
Currently on display at Entrance 3, the spectacular display will be on view to the public until December 28.
A Dubai-based decor company was asked to install the umbrella art as the Al Ghurair Centre wanted a UAE flag-inspired piece to celebrate the end of 2013 and this year's achievements, including winning Expo 2020 and the launch of the centre's expansion with its ‘Soul of the City' campaign.
Having taken four days to execute, this piece of street art echoes the urban vibe that the mall has been creating over recent months with street artists, urban acts and free, live, daily entertainment in the heart of Deira. – Emirates 24│7
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Nahyan bin Mubarak receives Emirati who walked 380km in 11 days to observe National Day


posted on 05/12/2013

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, this evening received at his palace Emirati, Abdul Rahman Al Rabia Al Mansouri, who walked 380km in 11 days from Fujairah, passing in other Emirates until arrival in Abu Dhabi, to mark the 42nd national day anniversary.
Sheikh Nahyan commended the initiatives of Emirati youth in their interaction with the national occasions, among others, the initiative of Al Mansouri.
Al Mansouri thanked Sheikh Nahyan and other Sheikhs for their encouragement to the youth. He presented a sword gift to Sheikh Nahyan in recognition to his support to the youth in all fields. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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UAE's Permanent Representative to the UN hosts reception on the occasion of 42nd National Day


posted on 05/12/2013

New York: Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates Mission to the United Nations, yesterday hosted a reception on the occasion of the 42nd Anniversary of the National Day of the United Arab Emirates, in the presence of Sheikh Dr. Hazza bin Sultan Al-Nahyan.
The reception, which was held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, was attended by Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr. John Ashe, President of the General Assembly, Lakshmi Puri, Assistant Secretary-General of the UN and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, and the President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, David Miliband.
Also present were a number senior UN Officials, as well as ambassadors accredited to the UN and the diplomatic and consular corps represented in New York, senior New York City Government Officials and prominent personalities from various sectors and institutions, such as NYU and Guggenheim.
In her remarks, Ambassador Nusseibeh welcomed the attendees and outlined the U.A.E.'s achievements since its foundation in 1971. Ambassador Nusseibeh also celebrated the U.A.E.'s successful bid to host EXPO 2020 and expressed her gratitude for the support Member States had given the U.A.E..
She re-affirmed the U.A.E.'s commitment to the United Nations and its principles and said, "The U.A.E. is a firm believer in the importance of multi-lateralism and the benefits of a strong and effective United Nations. The UN is the embodiment of a global collective interest and my country is a believer in that ideal". She reiterated her commitment to continue deepening the relationship between the U.A.E. and the UN, especially in the areas of humanitarian assistance, gender equality, development and the promotion of international peace and security.
Speaking at the reception, Ambassador Nusseibeh congratulated President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the U.A.E. Armed Forces, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union (GWU), Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and the people of the U.A.E.. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Strong UK-UAE ties celebrated at National Day celebration in London


posted on 05/12/2013

London: The strong relationship between the UAE and Britain was emphasised at a National Day event in the heart of London.
Ambassadors, business leaders, politicians, bankers and military top brass were among the guests at one of the British capital's grandest hotels, the Dorchester, to celebrate 42 years of nationhood.
The occasion offered a fitting climax to 2013, in which the ties between the countries were highlighted by the successful state visit of Sheikh Khalifa in April, which included a banquet at Windsor Castle hosted by Queen Elizabeth.
Abdulrahman Ghanim Al Mutaiwi, the UAE Ambassador to Britain, said the visit celebrated "our many decades of friendship. Since then, we have gone from strength to strength.”
In his speech, he listed a range of achievements and initiatives including: Britain's support for the successful Dubai bid to host Expo 2020; 100,000 Britons living and working in the UAE; 5,000-plus UK-owned businesses operating in the country; 3,000 Emirati students on courses in the UK; plans for a £1 billion (Dh6 billion) investment by Masdar, the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, in Britain's green business plan; Masdar support for London Array, Europe's largest offshore wind farm; DP World's London Gateway port project, the first phase of which opened last month.
Mr Al Mutaiwi said the links would be demonstrated again in January at the UAE-UK Pioneers Forum, a two-day careers event billed as "a unique experience bringing together the most prestigious UAE and UK businesses with bright undergraduates from universities in the UK”.
Both the ambassador and Britain's minister for North Africa and the Middle East, Hugh Robertson, also reflected on mutual efforts on defence and conflict resolution.
Mr Al Mutaiwi made particular reference to attempts to secure a peaceful settlement in Syria, scene of "one of the worst conflicts in our time”, as core members of the Friends of Syria group.
"There are many in this room who have worked tirelessly to advance our cooperation in those seemingly intractable conflicts and to enhance our relations,” he said.
Mr Robertson, who began his new role only six weeks ago having previously been the minister in charge of the 2012 London Olympics, spoke of troops from the two countries serving "side by side” in Afghanistan.
As well as monitoring developments in Iran and Syria, the UAE and UK were encouraging the "more positive horizons of the Arab Spring”.
Since 1974, he said, 200 Emiratis had graduated from Britain's army officer training centre, the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the second highest rate among the UK's defence partners.
"I cannot think of any time when our ties have been closer than now,” said Mr Robertson. "We have achieved the real trick of really strong relationships by not depending on one field alone.
"It goes beyond economic links, which work both ways, and the unbelievably thriving defence relationship. The leaderships of our two countries simply get on extraordinarily well.”
He cited two examples: big orders placed for Airbus aircraft, especially by Emirates, at last month's Dubai Air Show and the British prime minister David Cameron's enthusiastic support for Dubai Expo 2020 bid.
Mr Al Mutaiwi agreed. He said Expo 2020 would be more than a trade fair. "It is an opportunity for cultural exchange, a showcase for innovation,” he said.
"Dubai is ideally placed to hold the fair. Although famed for its glimmering skyscrapers, it is also one of the Middle East's art hubs and the home of the region's burgeoning technology startup scene.
"A UAE city holding the expo comes as no surprise - it is our cosmopolitan open society that makes the UAE the most inspiring place for ambitious young Arabs to emigrate to, and attracts over a million British visitors a year.” – The National
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Mohammed bin Zayed raises UAE Flag in Abu Dhabi


posted on 03/12/2013

His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, this afternoon hoisted the UAE Flag on the flag-staff at the Abu Dhabi Breakwater, marking the conclusion of the Flag Procession Initiative, in which the UAE flag toured the seven Emirates, under the patronage of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Crown princes, sheikhs and senior officials attended the ceremony which started when His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed received the UAE Flag from H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council.
In his remarks on the occasion, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said, "It is a great honour for us all to celebrate a glorious and everlasting occasion which reflects the achievements of the Founding Fathers of the nation, who erected an immune edifice based on their hopes then for having a glorious country that is advanced and civilised." "The successive generations will remember the founders of the Union who had determination and will, overcame hardships and wrote an eventful chapter of history, and the success story for this nation which is now a source of pride for all Arabs. Today we celebrate this glorious occasion with my brothers the Crown Princes and nationals out of loyalty to, and in recognition of, their role and in honour of their memory, as well as in honour for the stature of the Flag for the people of the UAE as this flag represents the symbol of our existence, unity and identity that generations vow to always keep high and fluttering." His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan thanked those in charge of the Flag Procession Initiative for embodying the greatest levels of loyalty to, and love for the nation, as well as keenness on promoting the values of gratitude, cohesion between the leadership and the people, fraternity, love and unity between the Emirates of the nation.
The celebration yesterday included an airshow and a boat show displaying the UAE flag.
The Flag Procession was a parade which set off from Fujairah and toured all the emirates before arriving in Abu Dhabi. Seven emirates in seven days.
The flag hoisting celebration was attended by H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, H.H. Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah, H.H. Sheikh Rashid bin Saud bin Rashid Al Mu'alla, Crown Prince of Umm Al Qaiwain and H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince of Ras al-Khaimah.
It was also attended by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region, H.H. Sheikh Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Ruler`s Representative in the Eastern Region, H.H. Sheikh Saif bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, H.H. Sheikh Surour bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor, H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, H.H. Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy National Security Advisor, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, Sheikh Hazza bin Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Under-Secretary at the Court of the Ruler's Representative in the Eastern Region, Abdullah Al Masaood, Chairman of the National Consultative Council (NCC), ministers, senor officials and military and police officers, and a large audience of people. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Mohammed bin Zayed attends launch of Zayed Heritage Festival


posted on 03/12/2013

His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, yesterday attended the launch of the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi, under the theme "Our Heritage Is Our Identity ... Zayed Is Our Role Model." The festival is organised under the patronage of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as part of the 42nd UAE National Day celebrations.
The event also pays eponymous tribute to the founding father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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With its clear vision, wise leadership, loyal and sincere nationals, UAE can win international competitions, says Mohamed bin Zayed


posted on 03/12/2013

His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has affirmed that the UAE, thanks to its clear vision, wise leadership, loyal and sincere nationals who work in line with a national strategy, is able to win international competitions.
In his statements to the media during the 42nd UAE National Day celebrations, His Highness the Crown Prince said, "I congratulate President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the people of UAE on this blessed national occasion. The nation is united thanks to the spirit of Emiratis and their prudent leadership." Speaking on the popular participation in the National Day celebration by residents alongside nationals, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said, "Today we have many things that are sources of happiness and pride for us. This was only possible by the help of God, the wisdom of the leadership and the activeness of the men who follow it on the way to achieve the goals which are in the best interest of the nation and its people." "The UAE is fine thanks to its loyal people and to the residents who hail from across the globe. Today we see our brothers and friends share the joy with us and with the nationals of our country. Many of those brothers and friends wish for the best for this nation." "No doubt, the UAE, in the 50 past years, has benefited from residents. We should remember and note that they made efforts and took part in building this nation alongside Emiratis." Commenting on the UAE's successful bid to host the world EXPO 2020 in Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said, "No doubt that many of our Arab brothers and many of our friends consider that the UAE and Dubai are capable of engaging in competitions in different spheres. We competed and won the bid to host the headquarters of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) although we faced competition from major countries. Today we competed and won the bid to host EXPO. Seven years to go to 2020, a period during which we will prove to the world that we deserve to host this event." "Thanks to its unique development experience, the UAE has become a role model, thanks to help from God, to the vision of its wise leadership and to the loyal people who back this leadership." "The UAE owes its current stature to its clear and national and clear strategy and the loyalty of national decision makers who carry out this strategy so as to achieve the goals of the UAE," His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed concluded. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Heart of Sharjah celebrates UAE National Day


posted on 03/12/2013

The Heart of Sharjah, one of the region's largest heritage and tourist projects being developed by Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), hosted a line-up of events and activities in celebration of the 42nd UAE National Day.
A music parade moved along Sharjah Corniche in participation of senior government officials and directors as well as a huge crowd. The parade started from the area opposite Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation and made its way to the activities area in the Heart of Sharjah, where crowds enjoyed a series of live musical performances, took part in walking parades and watched a procession of riders on horseback accompanied by groups of children from different institutions, including schools and clubs.
The National Day celebrations were held on the 1st and 2nd of December and featured family friendly activities and events, including a children's corner, a traditional store, a photograph booth, where visitors took pictures with traditional dress, and a henna corner, where women and girls had their hands decorated with henna. Other activities included folklore bands, Emirati traditional food, a UAE traditional dress contest and many contests with cash prizes. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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"Our Mother the UAE.. I Am Proud', says Mansour bin Zayed


posted on 03/12/2013

H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, said yesterday that the UAE has mastered the use of its resources to make its achievements in terms of modern social development and sovereignty based on standards that led it to assuming its present global stature. This meant, he said, that everybody had the responsibility to display allegiance to the founders of the nation as well as to those who built it and continue to do so.
In an article entitled "Our Mother the UAE.. I Am Proud" published in the Arabic language Al Roya newspaper, H.H. Sheikh Mansour said that patriotism should be linked to the protection of gains, which is the responsibility of all patriotic and loyal people.
H.H. Sheikh Mansour said that there should be gratitude for the generosity of the nation, as well as work towards achieving the aspirations of the leaders. They had sacrificed dearly for the nation and expected the promising national youth to serve their country everywhere, to advance their society and to preserve the gains of their country.
"Citizenship requires awareness of the historic, national and cultural particularities, as well as of ways of promoting it and defending it, using all knowledge and scientific material means, and at the same time showing full respect of the particularities of others, insightfully discerning the different and general human experiences, as well as opening up to all cultures based on a fine-tuned dialogue," Sheikh Mansour wrote.
Elaborating on the implications of citizenship, H.H. Sheikh Mansour noted that "the rights, duties and the sense of responsibility of individuals can only prevail in a fair society where equality, parity and shouldering the burden of impartiality and objectivity prevail, and where advancing the practice of these concepts does not mean that emotions override intellect. This is exactly what our Emirati society is." "We have a common legacy of principles, values and behaviour that crystallises the gains of nationals and makes them unique. In this sense, the common legacy protects the nation and nationals," added H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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UAE flag raised high on giant flagpoles in Kalba, Al Dhaid and Dibba Al Hisn


posted on 03/12/2013

As part of the celebration of the 42nd UAE National Day, the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) inaugurated three giant 75-metre high flagpoles, concurrently, in the cities of Kalba, Al Dhaid and Dibba Al Hisn in the emirate of Sharjah during special ceremonies held in the three cities in presence of a number of senior government officials and directors from the emirate of Sharjah.
Sheikh Haitham bin Saqr bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Chief of the Sharjah Ruler's Office in Kalba, attended the flagpole inauguration ceremony in Kalba, accompanied by Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq, Dr Abdullah Saif Obaid Al Yamahi, Chairman of the Kalba Municipal Council. Mohammed Sultan bin Huwaidin, Chairman of Al Dhaid Municipal Council attended Al Dhaid's ceremony Tamim bin Salem Al Tamim Al-Riyami, while Chairman of Dibba Al Hisn Municipal Council attended the city's flagpole inauguration ceremony.
Speaking on the occasion, Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), said that the inauguration of the three flagpoles came in implementation of the directives of H.H. Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, of establishing national and tourist destinations in each city of the emirate of Sharjah, to share the joy of the people of the UAE in their country.
She added: "The UAE has accomplished a lot of achievements during the last 42 years in all areas of life, and made its citizens' lives better. These flagpoles are an icon of the UAE citizens' pride of the role played by the Union in maintaining our identity, boosting our capabilities and developing our communities to claim the rightful place among the world's civilised nations, in terms of economic, architectural, social and cultural development. These achievements have elevated the country to prestigious position in the ranks of most advanced countries in the world".
Sheikh Haitham expressed his thrill in the flagpoles inauguration in Kalba and other cities in the emirate of Sharjah, which came in line with the nationwide celebrations of the 42nd UAE National Day. He said that the flag has a dominant presence in such occasions as it is one of the most important patriotic symbols that portray the greatness of the Union and its achievements in all aspects of life.
He extended his heartiest congratulations and salutations to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, H.H. Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to their brothers Their Highnesses Members of the Supreme Council Rulers of the Emirates and to the UAE people on this special occasion. He expressed his wishes that the UAE will remain an oasis of safety, progress and prosperity and a beacon of excellence in all areas.
Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq, said the authority is always keen to mark National Day by organising various activities in the different destinations and regions being developed and managed by the Authority, and to share the joy of the UAE people on this special occasion. He added that Shurooq would be committed to transforming the squares of the flagpoles in each respective city into attractive destinations that catch the attention of visitors from inside the country and abroad.
The UAE flag was raised high on the three flagpoles at the end of the ceremonies, which began with the UAE national anthem, followed by the oath of loyalty, and then the flag-raising ceremony, accompanied by a musical performance by the military musical band of Sharjah Police.
The celebrations also featured a saluting of the flag and then concluded with releasing of balloons in UAE colours. Al Dhaid's ceremony included "Here is the UAE" operetta performed by 42 children, while Dibba Al Hisn's ceremony was concluded with live performance by the folklore band.
Dr Abdullah Saif Obaid Al Yamahi said that a number of facilities and amenities would be developed in Flagpole Square in Kalba to transform the area into a national and tourist landmark that attracts visitors and tourists. He added that the area would also host national activities in the near future.
Mohammed Sultan bin Huwaidin said that people in Al Dhaid have been eagerly awaiting the flag inauguration since the commencement of construction works on the site. With the inauguration of the flagpole on 2nd of December, they are extremely happy of this new national landmark that will occupy an important place of their city.
Tamim Salem Al Tamim Al-Riyami said that Dibba Al Hisn has made a national achievement with this huge flagpole which reflects the country unity and people loyalty to the federation. He said that the flag square in the city will be a beacon of dignity, pride and glory for all citizens.
The inauguration ceremonies were attended by a huge crowd of people from Kalba, Al Dhaid and Dibba Al Hisn who expressed their heartfelt joy on the occasion and their pride of their flag and loyalty to their leadership. They stressed that such activities will contribute to maintaining sense of belonging to their beloved homeland for which all citizens share love and loyalty. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Google doodle marks UAE’s 42nd National Day


posted on 03/12/2013

Google has joined millions of UAE citizens and residents in celebrating the United Arab Emirates' 42nd National Day yesterday, with a doodle on its homepage on the UAE domain.
This is not the first time Google has changed its UAE homepage to mark the country's National Day – the first time it did so was in 2008, and the technology giant has been marking the UAE's National Day every year since then with a Google Doodle.
This year's doodle artistically depicts the UAE flag's colours across the Goggle logo, with part of the flag forming the letter ‘l' in Google.
Last year's doodle depicted a falcon flying across the sky as it carried banners in the colour of the UAE flag which form the Google logo with one of the banners depicting one of the tombs found on the island of Umm Al-Nar.
The history of the United Arab Emirates extends to well before the union was formed 42 years ago.
Previous Google Doodles on the occasion have depicted various famous landmarks and icons in the UAE, including forts, camels, falcons and indeed the flag. – Emirates 24/7
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Spectacular aerobatic display at Skydive Dubai wows residents


posted on 03/12/2013

The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, ‘the Red Arrows', conducted a spectacular display to celebrate UAE National Day at Skydive Dubai on Monday.
The world-famous team performed at 4.30 pm on Monday to coincide with the 4th Dubai International Parachuting Championship (DIPC).
Monday's display was the final one from the Red Arrows for this year as part of its major tour of the Middle East.
The team has visited various locations across the area, including the Dubai and Al Ain Airshows, over the past four weeks.
Being organised to mark the 42nd UAE National Day celebrations, the event drew thousands of people to turn up at the Skydive Dubai site opposite Grosvenor House Hotel to see the thrilling aerial performance by the team.
"This display from the Red Arrows was also meant to pay tribute to the successful bid from Dubai to host Expo 2020, and so we expected residents to turn up and witness such a world-class team,” remarked Yousuf Al Hammadi, Deputy Chairman, DIPC.
Squadron Leader Jim Turner, the Team Leader of Red Arrows, said: "The team has been overwhelmed with the reception it has received during our tour of the Middle East. A large part of this month-long visit to the region has taken place in the UAE, with displays in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. And to say thank you for this fantastic, warm welcome, the team performed one final display in the Middle East.”
Officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows represent the United Kingdom and have been thrilling crowds, at home and overseas, since the 1960s. As ambassadors for the UK, the Red Arrows showcase the excellence of the Royal Air Force.
Next year is the 50th display season for the team which is based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire and since its formation it has performed more than 4,500 displays in 55 different countries worldwide.
"The Red Arrows showcase the speed, agility and precision of the Royal Air Force. Our flying display includes a combination of a synchronised formation aerobatics during the first half of the performance, followed by a more dynamic second half,” Squadron Leader Turner said.
"The location at Skydive Dubai provided a stunning backdrop for our performance." Thousands of people watched the team's last display of 2013. – Emirates 24/7
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Colourful festivities mark the National Day


posted on 03/12/2013

Colourful festivities were held across the country as the UAE celebrates its 42 National Day yesterday. A sea of red, green, white and black colour flags was seen everywhere as decorated car parades and fireworks mesmerised the residents across the country. – Gulf News
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Sharjah Maritime Parade celebrates the UAE’s National Day


posted on 03/12/2013

Over 1,200 people in traditional marine boats set off for the annual Maritime Parade from the Sharjah Maritime Museum Anchor yesterday in celebration of the UAE's 42nd National Day.
The parade, which has been carried out for fourth consecutive years in honour of the UAE National Day on December 2, starts at the Maritime Museum by the Sharjah Aquarium and heads to Al Qasba, Khalid Lagoon, and Flag Island before returning back to the starting point.
Families who registered to participate at the parade, gathered at Sharjah Aquarium along with their loved ones and friends to celebrate the country's heritage and culture by going on a two-hour boat trip using several types of boats.
"This year, the event included a variety of traditional marine boats, yachts, Sharjah Police boats and coast guard boats,” Rashid Al Shamsi, Head of Museums Operations and Acting Curator of Sharjah Aquarium told Gulf News.
Al Shamsi also pointed out that with over 60 boats holding over 1,200 people, a larger number of people participated at this year's event than expected. "We had a variety of people celebrating this occasion, from locals to expats to school children and policemen- everyone was having a great time,” added Al Shamsi.
With a total of 6,000 people attending the event this year, the Sharjah Museum's Department is planning to carry out the Sharjah Maritime Parade in the next following years as it is a symbol of appreciation for the country's leaders, said Al Shamsi.
Gulf News also talked to Hasna Abdul Ghani who was in line for the boat ride with her family and friends about her plans for the day. "Me and my family are celebrating today by touring around Sharjah by boat and then enjoying the fireworks later tonight,” said Hasna.
The 13-year old from Egypt also added that her family likes to take part in the parade every year as it's a great way to celebrate with the community.
"I am Egyptian, but I was born here and I have lived here for 13 years- I am very happy to be celebrating the UAE's National Day because this country is my second home,” she added.
The parade event also celebrated the spirit of union through several musical performances, including renditions of the UAE's beloved national anthem and other traditional songs. – Gulf News
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Mohammed bin Rashid meets foreign and national media delegation


posted on 02/12/2013

Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, on Sunday met representatives of media organisations of 36 Arab and other countries, currently visiting the UAE on the occasion of the 42nd National Day, and of prominent representatives of UAE media organisations, at Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa Present at the meeting were H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister and Chairman of National Media Council (NMC), Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gargawi, Minister for Cabinet Affairs, H.H. Sheikh Majed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, and other senior officials.
At the meeting, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid spoke about a number of important topics, most notably the UAE National Day and its importance to the people for the UAE, and the success of the UAE's bid to host the world EXPO 2020 and its significance both locally and internationally as well as its positive effects for the region and the world.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid expressed appreciation of the role the media play in expressing people's ambitions and as well as in being partners to governments in observing improvement and development.

Speaking on the UAE National Day, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said, "Our joy today as we celebrate the 42nd National Day is doubled by the UAE's winning of the bid to host the world EXPO 2020." He described the occasion as the crucial day which saw the establishment of the UAE Federation, and the current celebrations of the occasion as an opportunity for Emiratis to express their love and loyalty to the historic determination and will against challenges.
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed attributed the success of the UAE in hosting EXPO 2020 to the wise leadership and directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the follow-up by His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces who was interested in following up all stages of work in the lead up to the U.A.E's win which is one of its most important achievements in terms of global competitiveness.
He also attributed the success of EXPO 2020 bid "to the wise policy established by the nation's founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who laid the solid foundations for the country's strong and friendly international relations based on mutual respect. This policy is followed by my brother President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, supported by my brother Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed." "We worked hard to provide the basis of this achievement. Allah helped us to succeed. We are now thinking beyond EXPO 2020, as we are in a new phase of achievements. The future will be our main concern.... to peacefully coexist with others and to do good for all." "We thank all the countries which stood by us and voted for us, as well as the countries which did not vote for us." He described the success of EXPO 2020 bid was not only an achievement for the UAE, but also a strategic success of a vast region inhabited by two billion people. "The UAE engaged in a fierce international competition to host this global mega event to its land in order to open promising and unlimited opportunities for the peoples of this region to achieve their aspirations and find a proper position within the progress of the world." His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum praised all the relevant teams government departments and ministries for their role in making the national achievement of hosting EXPO 2020. Paying a special tribute to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) he said, " Led by H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, MoFA has made exceptional efforts. All worked as one team and the positive energy was always there during all stages as all the efforts and strengths were unified for the achievement of one goal. Thank God for helping us make this achievement." "We were glad to see that all people here including nationals, residents, guests and visitors were happy when we dedicated the win (of EXPO 2020 bid) to all Arab and regional countries. During our work on the bid, we put in mind, not only interests of the UAE, but also the interests of the whole Arab region. The interests of their peoples were always on our mind. We thank our brothers for their stance for the UAE Persistence leads man to success." Answering a question by a member of the visiting media delegation on when Arabs would manufacture their own weapons, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, "We don't want weapons. We do want peace. As my brother Mohammed bin Zayed said, international relations are more important than guns and missiles." He also re-affirmed the U.A.E's commitment to promote global peace against wars.
"We want peace to prevail the whole world so all people can live in peace and safety. The people of the UAE enjoys peace and happiness under the leadership of my brother Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, and under follow-up by my other brother Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed." "We hope that peace will prevail all our Arab countries. We tell them that determination, will and positive attitude are important factors for the targeted positive development," His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said.
On his part, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister ( Chairman of National Media Council (NMC), affirmed that the prosperity of the nation and the welfare of nationals is among the top strategic goals the UAE is seeking to achieve under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, within the vision of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and under follow-up by His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces." Thanking His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid for his unwavering support, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah said, "Any successful official looks forward to working as a member of a team led by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid. This is a big honour that requires more efforts and commitment on the way to achieve the successes the wise leadership of the nation seeks to achieve in the service of the country. Thanks to this vision, the UAE has succeeded in earning international respect and appreciation." – Emirates News Agency, WAM

ZURCK NACH OBEN | AKTUELLSTE NACHRICHTEN BEI WAM


Khalifa congratulates UAE people on 42nd National Day, approves Dh 20 billion for development projects


posted on 02/12/2013

President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan on has announced the allocation of Dh 20 billion for funding social and economic projects in various emirates and decided to increase the housing assistance the citizen gets from the Zayed Housing Programme from Dh 500,000 to 800,000.
Sheikh Khalifa congratulated the UAE leaders and people on the historic victory of Dubai to host the 2020 World Expo.
In his address to the nation on the 42nd National Day, the President paid a glowing tribute and thanks to the Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, for this magnificent national achievement.
'It emphasises the stature of the UAE as an international hub for attracting business and as an ideal platform for meeting of creative ideas and minds. We also highly appreciate and value the national work teams for their tireless, faithful dedication over two years.' 'We and all the UAE people feel extreme joy and pleasure that this year's National Day anniversary coincides with the selection of Dubai as host for the 2020 World Expo, the world's largest and prestigious exhibition. It is a well-earned victory and a certificate of appreciation for our fathers who laid down the foundation of a strong State that can feel proud, in front of the nations of the world, of its achievements.

It also represents a medal for every Emirati man and woman as well as for every resident living in the State,' Sheikh Khalifa said.
Sheikh Khalifa added:' December 2nd is a day on which we recall the impressive and insightful life of the late founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and also recall his fellow founding fathers, who devoted their energy and thought to establish a strong, viably-structured Federal State, a prosperous nation; where people enjoy justice, safety and welfare; where people feel respected and dignified and live a glorious present with a bright future.' "It is a day of expressing our gratitude to great men, who laid down the foundation of a successful state whose achievements have surprised the world by surprise and for providing its citizens with sources of strength and welfare. These remarkable achievements have placed the UAE at the top rank of the world's nations in prestigious indices of human development, happiness and satisfaction. This, in itself, represents a bumper harvest of what our founding forefathers nurtured. We will always be proud of their devotion and will stay on their course to preserve the nation and drive its development forward,' the President continued.
Sheikh Khalifa pledged to pursue the path of the fathers to further consolidate the Union's institutions and protect its gains.
Towards that end, he asserted the government will adopt the quality of life, development, and the rule of law as standards to assess success and measure progress.
"Our government's ambition does not only seek to leverage indices of economic growth, though these are important, but also to improve the living standards of citizens, to put the UAE on the map of the world's most advanced nations, in terms of justice, security, education, culture, housing, sports, health, environment and smart cities.' Looking forward, Sheikh Khalifa said "The future to which we aspire will not be within our reach without a rich, influential society and cultural environment that strengthens self-confidence, makes us feel proud of our leaders, represents our heritage and promotes our adherence to our Islam as a religion of mercy, tolerance, moderation and openness.' "Furthermore there will be no future for our development without local culture, and there will be no future for our national culture without integrating and incorporating the components of local culture into the school curricula, media policies, and social and family upbringing programmes.' Development, the President noted, will also have no future if it is not based on an ever-developing education with an integrated system in which the teacher plays a pivotal role.
He called for the adoption of a national plan for the development of sports which will create a world-class infrastructure for both modern and traditional sports.
" We believe that engaging in sports serves as a school which deepens the spirit of belonging and fair competition and gives individuals a healthy physical and mental lifestyle that prompts them to work hard and become a productive force.' These visions and targets, he said, will definitely evolve into initiatives, projects and programmes within the new strategic plan of the Federal Government and other strategic plans of the relevant ministries, institutions and councils. Sports and culture have, like education, a role in building the human being , in our investment in the future and in protecting the Union .
Sheikh Khalifa expressed his appreciation of the value of the "Flag Day' initiative, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for its role in upholding the symbol of our Union, which serves as a headline for our identity, confirming our unity and vision, as well as instilling the meaning and connotations of patriotism into our sons and daughters.
"We pledge to Allah that we will keep the Union strong and majestic and its flag fluttering high. We also praise the institutions established under our Constitution and the federal and local authorities for shouldering their responsibilities towards the nation and the citizen, for their intelligent outlook for the future in adopting excellence, leadership and planning to address the current challenges by finding solutions that fit the nature of our society and its lifestyle.' The President praised diverse government initiatives aimed at promoting the values of social solidarity and cohesion, of increasing participation of nationals in the labour market, and in generating sustainable job opportunities in all emirates in a true partnership with the private sector.
"We also commend the continuing efforts to reform the local labour market by removing the obstacles hindering progress of Emiratisation which limit the participation of national professionals in it.' He also applauded plans that have been announced for diversifying sources of renewable and alternative energy and for the adoption of a unified and comprehensive national strategy on emergency, crisis and disaster management that enhances the resilience of the nation and community alike and builds on and increases their capacity to respond to risks and mitigate their impact.
"Our appreciation also goes to the federal government for earmarking over 50% of the Union budget for the social sector in the fiscal year 2014, to develop and upgrade education, health, labour, social and Islamic affairs, culture, youth and community development, the Zayed Housing Programme, and other social benefits.' On the foreign policy, the President underscored that the UAE will remain committed to an independent, flexible foreign policy whose ultimate goal is to serve national interests, to safeguard the sovereignty of the State, to strengthen the framework of the GCC as it moves towards a fully-fledged integration and to consolidate cooperation with Arab countries and regional alliances for building a regional and international environment based on peace, stability and mutual trust.

"We will continue this policy, committing ourselves to combating terrorism and extremism, to seek to resolve conflicts through peaceful means, to engage in international efforts for conservation of the environment and to contribute to the forging of a more just and fair international order,' Sheikh Khalifa said in his landmark national day address.
This policy, he noted, has enabled our State to maintain close ties with brotherly and friendly countries, to earn an prominent international stature and maintain a strong presence in international and regional organisations, to host international institutions, organisations, and conferences, and provide development and humanitarian aid, cherishing the legacy of the late founding father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
On the issue of the UAE's three island occupied by Iran, the President said: 'We will also continue to call for peace, development and cooperation, appreciating and valuing highly the GCC and Arab support for the UAE's historic and legitimate right to its three occupied islands of Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunb, asserting that the only way to resolve this issue through direct negotiations or international arbitration that strengthens the opportunities for security and stability in the region.' At the same time, he said the UAE welcomed the initial agreement between Iran and the P5+1 world powers over Tehran's nuclear programme and also expressed its hope the agreement would represent a step that paves the way for a permanent agreement that preserves stability of the region and staves off tensions.
Internationally, Sheikh Khalifa expressed his deep concerned about tensions that are being experienced in the region, which have promoted sedition and which have fuelled spells of extremism, terrorism and violence.
In this respect, he highly appreciated and valued the positive presence and fruitful activity of our diplomacy in defending our national choices.
"Amongst these are the advancing of the progress of the GCC, advocacy of just Arab causes, of which the key one is the right of the Palestinian people to establish their own independent state with the holy city of Jerusalem as its capital.
The President also expressed the UAE's support for meaningful initiatives to enable Egypt regain its Arab leading role, as well as the restoration of peace to Syria, calm to Tunisia, security to Libya, stability to Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan and other countries, as well as advancing the efforts being made to make the Middle East a region free of weapons of mass destruction and increasing pressure on Israel to comply with international and legitimate resolutions on its withdrawal from all Arab occupied territories.
Sheikh Khalifa described has been accomplished over the past 42 years as an "exceptional and phenomenal achievement in' which all Emiratis have participated, while being consistent and united in your confidence that tomorrow will be definitely better than today as the present is better than the past.
Following is the full address of Sheikh Khalifa to the nation on the occasion of the UAE's 42nd national day.

Dear Citizens, Assalamu 'alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh On the anniversary of this glorious day of the unity of our will and the declaration of our Union, we convey our warmest congratulations to the sons and daughters of the United Arab Emirates for explicitly expressing their loyalty, allegiance and perseverance for further promoting the spirit of the Union. We also extend our sincere congratulations and felicitations to my brother, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and to Their Highnesses the Members of the Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates, (may God save them all) for their dedication to serve the affairs of State and their care for both Emirati citizens and expatriate residents and for their devoted efforts to dispense justice and preserve the gains of the Union.
December 2nd is a day on which we recall the impressive and insightful life of the late founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and also recall his fellow founding fathers, who devoted their energy and thought to establish a strong, viably-structured Federal State, a prosperous nation; where people enjoy justice, safety and welfare; where people feel respected and dignified and live a glorious present with a bright future.
It is a day of expressing our gratitude to great men, who laid down the foundation of a successful state whose achievements have surprised the world and for providing its citizens with sources of strength and welfare. These remarkable achievements have placed the UAE at the top rank of the world's nations in prestigious indices of human development, happiness and satisfaction. This, in itself, represents a bumper harvest of what our founding forefathers nurtured. We will always be proud of their devotion and will stay on their course to preserve the nation and drive its development forward.
We and all the UAE people feel extreme joy and pleasure that this year's National Day anniversary coincides with the selection of Dubai as host for the 2020 World Expo, the world's largest and prestigious exhibition. It is a well-earned victory and a certificate of appreciation for our fathers who laid down the foundation of a strong State that can feel proud, in front of the nations of the world, of its achievements.
It also represents a medal for every Emirati man and woman as well as for every resident living in the State.
On the day of triumph, we all express our rich gratitude and thanks to the Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, for this magnificent national achievement. It emphasises the stature of the UAE as an international hub for attracting business and as an ideal platform for meeting of creative ideas and minds. We also highly appreciate and value the national work teams for their tireless, faithful dedication over two years.
Dear citizens, Since the establishment of the State, we have recognised the true value of the human being in the building of the nation; we are also committed to safeguarding his rights, ensuring his welfare, empowering him and diversifying his options and realising his aspirations. This is the legacy of our fathers, which is entrusted to us, and to which we are committed as a policy because a wise leadership is one under whose rule people feel that their life is safe and their community is coherent and well-knit. This is the true spirit and essence of the Union and the basics of good governance.
Today, we, with the help of Allah and with your dedicated efforts, clear visions, integration in planning and implementation and fruitful cooperation between federal and local authorities, will pursue the path of our fathers to further consolidate the Union's institutions and protect its gains. Towards that end, we will adopt the quality of life, development, and the rule of law as standards to assess success and measure progress. Our government's ambition does not only seek to leverage indices of economic growth, though these are important, but also to improve the living standards of citizens, to put the UAE on the map of the world's most advanced nations, in terms of justice, security, education, culture, housing, sports, health, environment and smart cities.
The future to which we aspire will not be within our reach without a rich, influential society and cultural environment that strengthens self-confidence, makes us feel proud of our leaders, represents our heritage and promotes our adherence to our Islam as a religion of mercy, tolerance, moderation and openness.
Development that does not protect the family, that does not inspire the bringing together of the culture of society and its ethics, is development that is incomplete, regardless of its returns, because stripping the human being of his language, traditions, customs and values means to deprive him of his sense of belonging and of elements of his identity, stifling his capabilities to rise to challenges, to innovate and to aspire to excellence, within a spirit of conscious openness to other cultures of the world. Furthermore, there will be no future for our development without local culture, and there will be no future for our national culture without integrating and incorporating the components of local culture into the school curricula, media policies, and social and family upbringing programmes. By the same token, also of importance and priority, allegiance to the nation and its leadership, respect for the constitution, abidance by the law and commitment to community values remain the firm principles in the pursuit of which we will never display leniency because the preservation of our security is our ultimate goal for providing a conducive environment for development.

Development will also have no future if it is not based on an ever-developing education with an integrated system in which the teacher plays a pivotal role. While we are proud of the teacher as the backbone of the learning process, we are also determined to improve his living conditions and upgrade his working environment. We have also taken advanced steps in developing a modern education system that is responsive to developments as they unfold, that takes the culture of the local community as a source of its curricula and the meeting of social and economic needs as a prime target for building a good citizen and a qualified workforce capable of protecting the Union's gains, carrying the burdens of development and running the affairs of the state. We are also working to empower women and youth, to take care of our mothers and children, to promote investment in diverse sectors that are most capable of developing knowledge and improve efficiency, to deepen the value of work and achievement, and to foster the culture of volunteerism and community participation.
To reach these goals, we call for the adoption of a national plan for the development of sports which will create a world-class infrastructure for both modern and traditional sports. We believe that engaging in sports serves as a school which deepens the spirit of belonging and fair competition and gives individuals a healthy physical and mental lifestyle that prompts them to work hard and become a productive force.
We are confident that these visions and targets will definitely evolve into initiatives, projects and programmes within the new strategic plan of the Federal Government and other strategic plans of the relevant ministries, institutions and councils. Sports and culture have, like education, a role in building the human being , in our investment in the future and in protecting the Union.
Dear citizens, On this day, we express our appreciation of and acknowledge the value of the "'Flag Day" initiative, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for its role in upholding the symbol of our Union, which serves as a headline for our identity, confirming our unity and vision, as well as instilling the meaning and connotations of patriotism into our sons and daughters. We pledge to Allah that we will keep the Union strong and majestic and its flag fluttering high. We also praise the institutions established under our Constitution and the federal and local authorities for shouldering their responsibilities towards the nation and the citizen, for their intelligent outlook for the future in adopting excellence, leadership and planning to address the current challenges by finding solutions that fit the nature of our society and its lifestyle, and for launching diverse initiatives with the aim of promoting the values of social solidarity and cohesion, of increasing participation of nationals in the labour market, and in generating sustainable job opportunities in all emirates in a true partnership with the private sector.

We also commend the continuing efforts to reform the local labour market by removing the obstacles hindering progress of Emiratisation which limit the participation of national professionals in it. We express our appreciation of the measures taken to restructure industry and business sectors to enable them to move from the phase of a labour-intensive dependence to a phase where productive processes are driven by knowledge, advanced technology and a qualified workforce. We also applaud the plans that have been announced for diversifying sources of renewable and alternative energy and for the adoption of a unified and comprehensive national strategy on emergency, crisis and disaster management that enhances the resilience of the nation and community alike and builds on and increases their capacity to respond to risks and mitigate their impact.
Within the context of our keenness to achieve happiness and welfare for citizens, we have decided to allocate additional Dh 20 billion for funding works and projects under the initiatives we have launched to achieve the aspired standard of welfare to our citizens. In recognition of the maximum priority of housing as a stepping stone for a decent and safe life, we launched our initiative to build 10,000 houses for citizens in various emirates to deliver justice, equality and welfare. We also instructed the government to immediately implement this initiative and secure the necessary funds to complete it.
We also decided to raise the housing assistance the citizen gets from the Zayed Housing Programme from Dh 500,000 to Dh 800,000.
Our appreciation also goes to the federal government for earmarking over 50 percent of the Union budget for the social sector in the fiscal year 2014, to develop and upgrade education, health, labour, social and Islamic affairs, culture, youth and community development, the Zayed Housing Programme, and other social benefits.
Dear citizens, Experiment has proven the feasibility and soundness of the approach we have pursued over the last decades, to which we will continue to adhere. We will also remain committed to an independent, flexible foreign policy whose ultimate goal is to serve national interests, to safeguard the sovereignty of the State, to strengthen the framework of the GCC as it moves towards a fully-fledged integration and to consolidate cooperation with Arab countries and regional alliances for building a regional and international environment based on peace, stability and mutual trust. We will continue this policy, committing ourselves to combating terrorism and extremism, to seek to resolve conflicts through peaceful means, to engage in international efforts for conservation of the environment and to contribute to the forging of a more just and fair international order.
This policy has enabled our State to maintain close ties with brotherly and friendly countries, to earn an prominent international stature and maintain a strong presence in international and regional organisations, to host international institutions, organisations, and conferences, and provide development and humanitarian aid, cherishing the legacy of the late founding father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who made the humanitarian dimension a true part of the UAE's foreign policy. We will also continue to call for peace, development and cooperation, appreciating and valuing highly the GCC and Arab support for the UAE's historic and legitimate right to its three occupied islands of Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunb, asserting that the only way to resolve this issue through direct negotiations or international arbitration that strengthens the opportunities for security and stability in the region.
At the same time, we welcome the initial agreement between Iran and the P5+1 world powers over Tehran's nuclear programme and we also express our hope that the agreement will represent a step that paves the way for a permanent agreement that preserves stability of the region and wards off tensions.
It is no secret that we are deeply concerned about tensions that are being experienced in the region, which have promoted sedition and which have fuelled spells of extremism, terrorism and violence. At the same time, we highly appreciate and value the positive presence and fruitful activity of our diplomacy in defending our national choices. Amongst these are the advancing of the progress of the GCC, advocacy of just Arab causes, of which the key one is the right of the Palestinian people to establish their own independent state with the holy city of Jerusalem as its capital, and support for meaningful initiatives to enable Egypt regain its Arab leading role, as well as the restoration of peace to Syria, calm to Tunisia, security to Libya, stability to Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan and other countries, as well as advancing the efforts being made to make the Middle East a region free of weapons of mass destruction and increasing pressure on Israel to comply with international and legitimate resolutions on its withdrawal from all Arab occupied territories.
On this spectacular occasion, we salute the commanders of our Armed Forces and police and security agencies for their dedication in discharging their duties of preserving order and security and promoting tranquillity as well as for their efforts to upgrade our nation's defence and security capabilities. We also pledge the continuation of our persistent effort to further develop their capabilities, to modernise their equipment and to ensure delivery of comprehensive care to them and their families. We would like also to thank expatriate residents from brotherly and friendly countries for their commendable role in our development.
Dear citizens, What has been accomplished over the past 42 years has been an exceptional and phenomenal achievement in which you all have participated, while being consistent and united in your confidence that tomorrow will be definitely better than today as the present is better than the past.

We pray to Allah to make us grateful servants, to guide our steps to the right path, to aid us with strong will and to instill a fervent vibrancy in our people.
May Allah grant you success and may you all be well every year.

ZURCK NACH OBEN | AKTUELLSTE NACHRICHTEN BEI WAM


Khalifa bin Zayed: Generous historical leadership In building national pride and achieving happiness and well-being of citizens


posted on 02/12/2013

The UAE has laid the foundation of more outstanding national achievements in all areas, as it continues its blessed federal march under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The country now occupies a prominent place among the best modern advanced countries in the world.
These achievements were accomplished as a result of the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in close collaboration with Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, and His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces along with other Crown Princes. In addition to the sincere efforts of citizens and their absolute confidence in their leadership, as confirmed by the Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014 of the World Economic Forum, in which the UAE was ranked third in terms of high confidence in political leadership, among 148 countries in the world.
The United Arab Emirates has topped the list of Arab countries and ranked 14th worldwide in the UN's World Happiness and Satisfaction second survey, announced in 2013.
The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan accomplished with wisdom the nation's establishment phase with all its challenges, and took the UAE from zero into an era of progress, raising the nation in record time to be among the ranks of developed countries.
His Highness Sheikh Khalifa had previously stressed, on the 33rd anniversary of the U.A.E, that the nation's great achievements, the peace and tranquility the country enjoys today, were the fruit of the long and tedious march, hard work and perseverance led by the UAE's great leader, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Sheikh Khalifa said the great UAE leader led this country with great wisdom and judiciously tapped the country's resources to achieve a comfortable and decent life for both UAE nationals and expatriates living in this country.
Sheikh Khalifa added, "We feel honoured by this anniversary of the blessed federation march. Now, it is a new phase of national work that we embark upon, using the wise approach of the late great leader as our guidance in every step that we take forward and in every element of work that we do. We shall remain committed to working together, shoulder to shoulder with my brother, His Highness. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and my brethren Their Highnesses Members of the Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates." Historic leadership President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is one of the historical leaders known for giving over 45 years of devoted work in the service of the homeland and the citizens.
Sheikh Khalifa gained his rich historical experience from spending his life close to his father, the founder of the state, during the various phases of national work, which he confirmed in an interview in 1990, saying: "My father was the teacher from whom I learnt everything, following his path and being inspired by his adulthood, authentic values and patience." In his speech on the occasion of the 34th National Day, Sheikh Khalifa said, "Considering the developments in our region, which is now witnessing significant transformations and reforms, the years ahead in our blessed march of progress require a bigger role for the Federal National Council by empowering it to be an authority that will provide great support and guidance for the executive arm of the government. We shall work to make the Council more capable, more effective and more sensitive to the issues affecting the nation and the people. This would be done by ensuring a more participatory process and the entrenchment of "Shura" (consultations) policy. Through a gradual, organised course, we have decided to re-energise the role of the FNC by electing half of its members through councils for each emirate and appointing the other half." His Highness Sheikh Khalifa, while receiving FNC Speaker Mohammed Ahmed Al Murr, reiterated his commitment to strengthening the role of the Federal National Council. He also asserted his keenness on supporting the FNC to ensure its active participation in the development of national work, in the building of a state of law and in the consolidation of the Shura approach that will take into account the peculiarities of the customs and traditions of the people of the UAE, its heritage and the components of its social and cultural fabric.
Future strategy President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan launched the "Future Strategy" in 2007 and the initiative of the "National Identity".
On the occasion of the 36th National Day, he said that the United Arab Emirates would stay on the course of democracy to ensure greater participation and empowerment in the Federal National Council.
"The last year witnessed an important development with regard to political empowerment and the practice of democracy, as the FNC's 14th legislative session has had half of its members elected, with women representing 22% of the total number of FNC members." He continued, "We remain committed to continuing our democratic change until we achieve all planned goals through paving the way for and offering the chance for more participation, and through enhancing the role of the FNC as a legislative and monitoring power." To keep in line with this trend and to support it, His Highness maintained, 'We call for the implementation of a national programme that aims to strengthen our identity and deepen the values of belonging and of citizenship, as well as providing the required conditions in society that reflect our country as an example of an open modern society whose values are consistent with our beliefs and our heritage." Sheikh Khalifa also called for a programme that sets out a clear vision of the objectives of the UAE's experiment in elections and associated mechanisms, and for an expansion of the authority of the FNC.
The President made it clear that shedding light on future strategies and visions does not mean that 'we should overlook the present with its challenges and problems." Development project President Khalifa, in the opening session of the Federal National Council session on February 12, 2007, launched the "Development Project" of the UAE in the framework of the empowerment strategy, a project that embodies the hopes and aspirations of U.A.E's citizens.
Sheikh Khalifa called on FNC members to "Give maximum boost to development efforts and take on a positive and advisory role as well as give sound opinion to further drive forward the process of developing and building our country." Sheikh Khalifa further called FNC members to "shoulder their national responsibility, be involved in interaction, to give and preserve the development march established by the UAE Father and Founder, the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan." He also expressed appreciation for all former FNC members in the House's previous sessions, affirming his support in all ways to boost this democratic experience and achieve the nation's goals.
"The leadership and citizens have faith in you. You are expected to adopt the concerns of the nation and citizens as your top priority, to put public interest and common well-being above any other considerations and to advance giving and development efforts to top levels," Sheikh Khalifa told FNC members.

Objectives of the Empowerment Process:
His Highness Sheikh Khalifa pledged, in his second term, to continue the implementation of ambitious new strategies to promote the political, economic, social and cultural empowerment programmes of development which the he launched in his first term.
In an address to the nation on the occasion of the 38th National Day, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan stressed that the leadership and the UAE people are confident to continue steadily and consistently the implementation of what have been adopted in terms of strategies and plans.

He added that "The huge achievements attained were not the end in themselves, but the top priority was, and still is, to build national capacity and launch human energy directed toward the horizons of excellence, innovation and competition." Sheikh Khalifa underscored that the transformations experienced by the UAE economy do not come from a vacuum, but through the regulations and standards to establish a new economic model, based on the philosophy and practices of community-based components.
"We would like to assure everyone that our country is stronger and better off, since our economy is fine and our society enjoys welfare. The global financial crisis in its severity will not be a reason for hesitation or retreat, not a justification to lead us to despair or inaction." He added, "On this great day, I offer you my sincere congratulations as you celebrate the 38th anniversary of the unification of our country, the Declaration of our Union, and the founding of the nation. On your behalf, I appreciate deeply Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, who lead the triumphant march to instil the principles of justice, equality and equal opportunities.
"It is a great event through which we get inspiration and entertain patriotic meanings and lessons. We evaluate the present process, reflect on the visions of future, derive strength and determination to move in the course and vision outlined by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his late brothers. They will remain as role models." In his address to the nation on the occasion of the 39th National Day, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan stressed that the government was working hard to achieve social development, to improve quality of life and to realise its developmental goals through a comprehensive national vision that aims to provide excellent educational standards, adequate housing and world class healthcare services.
"The perfection of work is a necessity of life. It is an essential element to continue the achievements of our forefathers, through which we can build a capable national workforce, restructure our economy, address the imbalance in the labour market and prepare a well-balanced and thriving community. As our nation is bracing for another year of achievements, we assure you that we are moving from strength to strength, and that we are reaping the fruits sowed by our forefathers in terms of best practices, building the nation's institutional and legislative frameworks, enjoying a strong, diversified and free economy, a modern infrastructure, a sustainable social development, enhanced cultural and societal identity and most importantly, preparing capable and skilful human resources. Human resources are the true wealth of nations. Our policy is based on the commitment to the principles of the UAE constitution. We have always advocated unity and solidarity to achieve the ultimate goal of modern and prosperous UAE" "In parallel with this effort, the government needs to give special and exceptional attention to the development of remote areas in a way that would guarantee a balance in social and economic development at the national level. Different projects are being implemented there. Various steps have also been taken to establish a rich cultural and social life that promotes equality of rights and duties among citizens and allows them to participate in policy and decision making in full compliance with the norms and laws that are safeguarded by capable law enforcement agencies and a fair judicial system that fosters the respect for people's rights and dignity.
"In order to enrich that, a national strategy must be adopted to care for the youth, to encourage sports and to promote youth centres and public libraries, to utilise spare time in useful activities, to develop the skills and to instil the culture of openness and acceptance to others. It is also important to expand cultural activities and to encourage arts, science and intellectual creativeness. We are extremely proud of the achievements made by UAE women who participate vigorously in public life and who are capable of playing more roles. The efforts being made to promote the culture of volunteerism deserve our commendation."

Empowerment of the Citizen Project:
On the occasion of the 40th National Day, Sheikh Khalifa said that "The Union, whose 40th anniversary we celebrate, is a social and collective responsibility. It is a project for renaissance and a continuous action plan. The selection of the 'Spirit of the Union' as a theme for this year's celebration is a true expression of the genuine experiment which veritably embodies the originality, values and special nature of the reality of the UAE
"Keeping the Union's spirit alive is something that can be achieved through the empowerment of UAE citizens who are the top national priority and the focus of the vision for the future that guides all strategies and policies that the government will adopt, in all sectors, over the next ten years.
"Empowerment of the citizen is our project for the next ten years of the Union - a project through which we will lay the ground for a more confident and strong national personality and whose driving force and cornerstone will be an active Emirati who is proud of his stable and coherent family and of his well-founded, dynamic community where security and justice prevail, where the values of voluntary work and of initiative are highly recognised, with a forward-thinking, modern learning system, advanced, high quality health services, a knowledge-based sustainable and diversified economy, an integrated infrastructure, a sustainable environment, well-conserved natural resources and, finally, an eminent status on the international stage.
"I have a word for all leaders: heed the voices of the people, take them into consideration while you are planning, setting goals and making decisions. In a world that has diverse organs of mass communications and platforms for social contacts, it is necessary for governments to seek the best and effective tools of communication with the citizen everywhere, to listen to his voice, to learn about his trends and to respond to his aspirations. "This requires that we should pay attention and that we should listen", Sheikh Khalifa added while addressing the leaders.
He continued, "Based on that, we assert that broadening popular participation is a firm national trend and an irrevocable option which we have chosen with our full will. We will continue to take it further forward, gradually and steadily, in response to the aspirations of our people for a homeland for which they can come forward together to serve and develop its society".
Inaugurating the second ordinary session of the 15th Legislative Chapter of the Federal National Council, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa emphasised in a speech delivered on his behalf by the Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the commitment that exists to maintain the constitution and to preserve rights and freedoms, these being the pillars of political work at all the institutions.
He said: "We are going forward firmly to bring our political experience to its desired ends so as to achieve development and expand participation. We are also looking forward to the pivotal role of the FNC, as a supportive and control authority to further strengthen the government with its visions and innovative ideas." Sheikh Khalifa noted that the FNC had witnessed a qualitative development with regards to the experiment in expansion of participation that resulted in the holding of the second elections on September 24, 2011.
He added that this was one of the phases of the gradualist political empowerment programme launched in 2005 to activate the role of the FNC.
The UAE President underlined that the UAE constitution protects rights and freedoms. "This makes the UAE a paradise for citizens and expatriates. All live in peace in a tolerant community that is free from segregation and injustice." Sheikh Khalifa said that Emirati women received full support from the leadership, noting that they have exhibited ability and responsibility and have come to occupy top jobs. "I called upon my daughters to sustain the efficiency and dedication they have demonstrated so far.
"Your membership in this Council is a great trust and responsibility," he told its members. "Governance here belongs to those who have bestowed their trust on you. So be solicitous to maintain your eligibility to have received this trust and be committed to the interests of the country and the citizens." Sheikh Khalifa called on the FNC members to communicate always with fellow citizens and to protect the bond between the various segments of Emirati society "in our quest to entrench the culture of consultation and participation in decision-making, as well as to emphasise the importance of individual opinions in formulating the opinion of society." The UAE won membership of the UN Human Rights Council for a three-year term starting from early 2013.
The country was elected in a secret ballot conducted by the UN General Assembly in which 21 candidate countries from 18 geographical groups competed for 18 vacant seats.
The UAE received 184 votes, the highest vote turnout of the total votes garnered by the four winning Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Japan, Korea and Pakistan) and the second highest votes of the total 18 winners.
This achievement reflects the respect and admiration paid by the international community to the UAE under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Initiatives to Promote National Cohesion President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced the launch of a new housing programme that aims to build 10,000 housing units throughout all regions of the emirates as a gift to his people on the 41st national day.
'It is our belief that housing forms the basis of psychological, social and economic stability for local families and so it is within our constant remit to provide a suitable lifestyle for all our citizens.
The Follow-up Committee, formed by our direct order, will immediately co-ordinate with the federal and local authorities concerned in order to speed up this project's implementation. It will achieve its goals by creating conditions that will help members of our community to flourish in a healthy family environment,' the President said in his address to the nation on the occasion of the UAE's 41st national day.
Sheikh Khalifa also gave instructions for developing the abilities of the young workforce.
'We directed that a committee be established, under the direct supervision of the Cabinet.
One of its main responsibilities is that of Emiratisation in both the public and private sectors, through enactment of the laws that guarantee jobs for citizens. The Committee will also be responsible for encouraging co-operation with the private sector to train Emiratis and provide them with the knowledge and experience they need, thereby increasing employment opportunities for the national cadre.' 'December 2, which we celebrate today as the 41st National Day, marks a great occasion on which to enhance the culture of citizenry, deepen our love for our nation, confirm our enduring loyalty and strengthen cohesion and communication between the people and its leadership.
On this historic day, we recall, with gratitude, the efforts of our founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his late brothers the members of the Supreme Council, whose unstinting efforts led to the upholding of the principles of a country of which we are all proud and defend its sovereignty. We pray that their souls may rest in peace. 'Our union is the safety valve of our country, and our unity is the strong shield of our glorious achievements; in fact, it is the source of our unyielding strength. As we mark the 41st anniversary of the founding of our nation, we must reiterate that the security of our country is sacred, and that any attempts to tamper with it shall be viewed as crossing the line,' he emphasised.

The declaration of the Union, he added, represented a historical moment. Our forefathers formed this country based on piety and the most noble of ethics, devoting themselves to the interests of the people and the nation. We are following their path, affirming that justice is the basis of governance, ensuring the rule of law, achieving social equality and providing a decent life: all these form the pillars of society and are fundamental rights, guaranteed by the Constitution and protected by a fair and independent judiciary.
'On this day, we call for further collective efforts to strengthen our march. Protection of the Union is an indisputable national objective. Awareness, unity and cohesion are required in order to uphold its values, to consolidate its pillars, and to sustain the continuous co-operation between the federal and local agencies.
'With our commitment to balanced development nationwide, we have launched a package of highly-focused initiatives aimed at focusing the government's efforts and harnessing the country's financial resources. These initiatives will aim to develop the infrastructure and the basic services in all emirates and regions, giving precedence to those development projects that directly affect people's lives.
'The successive initiatives that we have launched over the last few years are intended to improve the quality of life for our people and achieve their ambitions in a prosperous future. It is our duty to deliver on these endeavours and consider them top priority. The concerned institutions should continue with the implementation of these initiatives, by solving any obstacles, in order to transform them into tangible projects with effective results'.
Sheikh Khalifa affirmed: "We shall proceed with the gradual approach that we have chosen to broaden the basis for popular participation in decision-making. We shall continue our efforts to reach a viable political model that reflects our realities and play in harmony with the nature of our own society. Yet, such a model should be compatible with the level of advancement that we have made so far in terms of economic progress, and urban, civil and human development. We feel deeply satisfied with the country's level of achievements, and shall thus remain confident about the promising prospects of a bright future for our citizens.
He noted the UAE political model will be truly nationalistic, preserving national identity and protecting established principles. 'It is a model to which all of our fellow citizens and national institutions shall contribute, especially our national elite. Our intellectuals, creative men and women, scientists, teachers, artists, engineers and doctors are the true treasure of our nation, and their role in mobilising the capabilities of our people is indispensable.

Absher Initiative:
On the 29th of November, H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced the 'Absher' Initiative launched by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a programme designed to strengthen participation of the national cadre in the labour market.
Sheikh Mohammed, attending the launch ceremony, lauded this national initiative and said:" This outstanding initiative by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is an addition to his numerous national and humanitarian initiatives. For him, the citizen comes the first, second and third and the Absher is a great initiative".
Sheikh Mansour stressed that the initiative receives the attention and care of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, out of his keenness to provide a decent life for the citizens and promote job stability for them.

Infrastructure Development Initiatives:
His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, after he was briefed from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, on the result of his field tour to a number of remote areas, ordered to allocate Dh 16 billion for the implementation of a complete infrastructure throughout the state, to harness the necessary resources in order to provide a better life for U.A.E's citizens, and to ensure the highest quality of infrastructure across the UAE
The Follow up Committee of Initiatives of UAE President, headed by Ahmed Juma Al Zaabi, Deputy Minister for Presidential Affairs, has accomplished a large number of developmental, strategic and services projects, which included thousands of residential units.
President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on March 2, ordered an increase of investments in the northern areas of the country in the water and electricity sectors to reach to Dh 5 billion and 700 million, after Sheikh Khalifa was briefed by Sheikh Mohammed on the results of the tour he made upon his directives to make the needs of citizens as the highest priority of the government as well as to inspect the level of services provided to citizens by governmental departments.
In this regard, His Highness directed that Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority to export electricity and the required amount of water to the Federal Electricity and Water Authority, to enable it to provide the needs of all citizens in the northern areas of the state.
H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs on November 6, 2013, revealed a new package of initiatives and projects announced by His Highness the Head of the State targeted citizens in the northern and eastern parts of the country, to meet their requirements and needs of infrastructure projects and services.

Generous National Giving:
President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has his finger on the pulse of the needs of both citizens and residents, he is also keen to follow up on their circumstances and their living conditions to help them overcome the difficulties and to provide a decent life for them.
This was embodied in his generous vital decisions including exempting citizens and residents students of the fees of the study, and the settlement and processing of citizens' loans with banks, in addition to increasing salaries and allowances of workers in the country, the payment of the debts of thousands of prisoners , and support various segments of the society and achieve social stability.
His Highness is also keen to work on empowering young citizens through the establishment of Khalifa Fund for Emiratisation Empowerment, and Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development for their economic and social uplift.
Upon directives from President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 15th August, 2012, all expatriate students at Abu Dhabi public schools have been exempted from overdue tuition fees.
This generous initiative by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan aims to provide decent life and stability for all residents of the UAE and to relieve families from financial burdens. The number of beneficiaries in the last five years amounted to more than 180,000 student from 700 government school.
This comes in line with Abu Dhabi Government strategy which places education as a top priority and considers it a cornerstone for development and growth. Moreover, this generous initiative emphasizes the keenness of UAE prudent leadership to achieve excellence and put the UAE at par with leading nations promoting creativity and world competitiveness.
Back in 2007/2008, Sheikh Khalifa has instructed Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation to bear tuition fees of Emirati students at model schools as well as expat students at public schools.
The Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation launched, in September 2011 for the fourth year in a row, its humanitarian project entitled " "In-kind assistance to students of the academic year 2011 - 2012", benefitting about 27,215 students attending 650 schools across the country.
Debt Settlement Fund Out of his care for his citizens' social stability and welfare and keenness to provide them with a dignified life, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has ordered settlement of defaulting personal loans of 6,830 citizens for an amount of about AED 2 billion.
The presidential gesture would settle all the personal loans of citizens, whose debts are less than one million Dirhams, be they in detention, pending trial or convicted or settling their debts through installment schedules set by the courts.
Those in prisons will be released and have their loans settled in accordance with the specific settlement mechanisms, including deduction of 25 per cent from their monthly salaries, with an undertaking from a beneficiary not to borrow again until the loan is settled.
Towards these ends, the President set up a AED10 billion fund to put an end to the phenomenon of personal loans which poses a burden on the citizens with low income. The fund has carried out a survey in cooperation with the Central Bank to assess the level of the default. The fund aims to encourage saving and to incentivize citizens not to fall into debt traps again.
The initiative aims to alleviate the suffering of citizens who cannot pay back their loans.
His Highness Sheikh Khalifa has also ordered the settlement of defaulting personal loans of citizens whose debts are less than AED 5 million, be they in detention, pending trial or convicted, or settling their debts through installment schedules set by the courts.
The number of Emiratis covered by the Presidential Decree was 368, whose defaulting debts amounted to about AED 568 million. The number of detainees to whom sentences have been issued was 60 citizens who were defaulting on total amounts of about AED 68.8 million.
Ahmad Juma Al Za'abi, Deputy Minister for Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Supreme Committee of the Debts Settlement Fund for Citizens, said the presidential decree reflects the keenness of Sheikh Khalifa to provide good living conditions and family stability to the citizens. He added that the Fund continues work to settle all defaulting loans, taking into account the size of beneficiary categories, nature of loans and the defaulting cases.
Agreements were signed with lender banks, stipulating that the defaulting personal loans of 6,830 citizens, worth about AED2 billion, will be paid off, and cases against the defaulters will be dropped immediately. 88 banks were involved in the debt settlement process.
The number of those released in bad-cheque cases was 127. The amount settled for these citizens stood at AED122 million in cases with banks and finance companies.

Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development:
The Khalifa Fund is one of Sheikh Khalifa's landmark business initiatives to help develop local enterprises and provide financial services to support the development of Emirati entrepreneurs and SMEs through specialised programmes. The fund also offers non-financial support services, such as consultancy, training, business idea development and market data.
Launched on 3rd June 2007 with a total capital investment of AED 2 billion, the fund aims to create a new generation of Emirati entrepreneurs by instilling and enriching the culture of investment amongst young people, as well as supporting and developing small to medium-sized investments in the Emirate.
The fund backed 149 projects during 2012, with a total amount of AED 53.3 million, where the fund's performance came in line with its strategic plans.
Hussain Jassim Al Nowais, the Chairman of Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, said, "The funded projects were distributed between all economic segments in the United Arab Emirates. The investment visibility and the added value plus the entrepreneur commitment are the essential standards to receive the required funds.' "The number of funded projects increased since the launch of Khalifa Fund's services in 2007 to 460 projects, with a total value of AED 758 million, which is distributed all over the United Arab Emirates," added Al Nowais.
From its establishment until end of 2012, the Fund approved 73 projects through Khutwa (microfinance programme), 260 through Bedaya (start-up programme), 100 projects through Zeyada (loan expansion programme) in addition to 8 projects through Tasnea (industrial programme), and 4 projects through Al Hasela programme which targets fishermen.
The Fund's database shows that the Khalifa Fund has approved funding for 122 projects in the industry sector for a total amount of AED 300 million, 41 projects in agriculture with a total amount of AED 41.1 million, 207 projects in the services sector with a total amount of AED 276.7 million, in addition to AED 2 million which was allocated to fund three tourism projects, and 105 projects in the commercial sector with a total value of AED 137.7 million.
Al Nowais continued, "The Fund will continue its effort to develop its services and to introduce new and innovative initiatives in order to prepare and empower a good business environment for entrepreneurs and the owners of small and medium sized enterprises and to support them to achieve their positive role in supporting the economy of Abu Dhabi in particular and the national economy in general." The Fund gave a financial donation of AED 4 million for an Aquaponics Project to produce vegetables and fish, which benefited 40 Emiratis with special needs.
In September 2013, the Fund launched a programme called Ziraai to support citizens working in the agricultural sector by providing training and marketing services, and giving loans of up to AED1 million interest-free per farmer. The programme is in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Farmers' Services Centre.
The agricultural programme, the first of its kind in the country, will provide comprehensive solutions and financing for the agricultural sector.
It aims to cultivate growth in the agricultural sector by helping farmers to improve the marketability, profitability and efficiency of their farms through cutting edge technology; for instance, by switching to innovative methods that reduce water consumption The Fund has signed a number of agreements and memoranda of understanding for marketing farm products that are funded and supported by the Khalifa Fund, covering cooperative societies, major shopping centres and others.
Inmate pardon President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan ordered the release of 1097 prisoners on the occasion of the country's 41st National Day.
The pardon underscored the President's desire to give inmates a chance to start a new life and ease the suffering of their families.
Sheikh Khalifa is recognised for pardoning prisoners and waiving their financial liabilities on religious and national occasions.
On 29th April 2013, the President ordered the release of 103 Egyptian prisoners.
The President also pledged to settle the prisoners' financial obligations that came as a result of their sentences.
The pardon underlines the president's keenness to offer the released prisoners the opportunity to start a new life and alleviate the suffering of their families.

Naturalisation:
Sheikh Khalifa has issued decrees granting citizenship to 1,117 children of UAE women married to foreigners who satisfied the requirements for citizenship. The children will be granted full UAE citizenship once they reach 18 years old.
The decision reflects the President's keenness to achieve greater family stability and provide a decent life for all.
They are granted the same rights as any other Emirati regarding education, health benefits and employment.
On 28th November 2013, the President issued a further decree, granting citizenship to 500 children of Emirati women, who meet the conditions necessary to acquire the citizenship.

Emiratisation:
President Khalifa, in February 2011, ordered the establishment of the Khalifa Fund for Emiratisation Empowerment to support the policy of empowerment and boost economic and social development in the country.
The establishment of the fund came in support of the empowerment policy initiated by Sheikh Khalifa to advance socio-economic development plans, provision of decent living means and stability to UAE citizens.
The new fund aims to provide the financial resources necessary to support programmes and policies for encouraging UAE citizens to join the job market and make most of job opportunities available in both the public and private sectors.
The fund will offer a package of incentives to encourage citizens to join the job market, especially the private sector, and will enable Emiratis to make most of job opportunities offered by this sector.
The package of incentives the Fund will offer includes payment of financial privileges when a UAE citizen joins work in the private sector so as to reduce the pay gap between the public and private sectors, allocation of funds to employers to help them cover a certain percentage of the pay the national private sector employees will draw in the first year, funding part of training and rehabilitation costs of the new national employee when he joins the private sector for the first year and contributions to long and short term training programmes for national job seekers.
It will act as a key contributing mechanism to leverage participation of citizens and develop the social welfare concept into a new one that enables social assistance recipients to become a productive force contributing to the growth of the national economy.
It will also serve as a mechanism for facilitating the success of Emiratisation policies and programmes and increasing the share of small size businesses owned by UAE citizens in a way that generates more job opportunities.

A generous philanthropist Sheikh Khalifa is considered one of the world's most generous philanthropists and donors and in recognition of his far-reaching charitable and developmental initiatives across the world to alleviate the suffering of needy persons and disaster-hit people, he has been given numerous prestigious awards, including the Sheikh Rashid Humanitarian Personality of the Year (2011) and receives praise from international organisations for his support for humanitarian causes.
His humanitarian philosophy was crowned in 2007 when he established The Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation with the vision of "Pioneering Initiatives for Welfare". Its strategies are focused on health and education on domestic, regional and global scales.
The Foundation aims to take the initiative in serving humanity through significant assistance to those in need, encouraging tolerance among people to serve the needy in different parts of the globe, extending bridges of cooperation with domestic and world organisations involved in humanitarian work, providing financial support to various care giving programmes, and spreading the culture of social integration in Emirati society while encouraging all aspects of voluntary work Its massive qualitative humanitarian oversees works have changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in need in 70 countries for the better, drawing praise and appreciation from major UN organisations.
The UN Relief and Works Agency for the Palestinian refugees (UNRWA ) said, "The Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation is one of UNRWA's most supportive donors in the Gulf. In addition to regular food support for the neediest refugees in the West Bank and Gaza, the Foundation contributed to the Agency's 'Adopt-a-School Initiative', for the academic years 2010 and 2012, by adopting a school, named Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Elementary Boys School.
"This generous support allows us to ensure that existing UNRWA schools are serving pupils well, giving these refugee children the best possible chance of securing a bright future. We are deeply grateful to the Foundation and its Patron, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, for this partnership with UNRWA." UNHCR's Representative in Pakistan, Neil Wright, has lauded the outstanding and unprecedented role of the United Arab Emirates under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in improving the difficult humanitarian conditions faced by the people in Pakistan due to floods and natural disasters.
Wright praised the UAE's benevolence and march of goodness, laid down by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, encompassing almost every country in the world, saying, "The legacy is continued by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan under the system of charitable and humanitarian work for the United Arab Emirates." The UN official said that he was following-up with pride and appreciation the projects implemented by the UAE in Pakistan as per the directives and initiatives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. One of the pilot projects through the UAE Project to Assist Pakistan (PAP), the provision of the necessary infrastructure of roads, bridges, schools and hospitals, health centres, basic services and the provision of water for the people of Pakistan who have faced difficult circumstances over the past years, will guarantee them the means to a decent life.
On the delivery of 49 schools in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and South Waziristan, Neil Wright said that these schools established by the UAE will always be remembered by the future generations and contribute effectively in the current education system.
He praised the efforts of the UAE in the establishment of the first training and rehabilitation centre for women in Pakistan, which will be an important and necessary addition to improve the conditions of the families and women in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
He also mentioned the vital infrastructure projects carried out by the UAE in Pakistan, including the Sheikh Zayed Bridge and Sheikh Khalifa Bridge on the Swat river, and the Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Road in Waziristan, pointing out that these development projects will help ease the plight of the people in the affected areas. "These vital projects, especially roads and bridges, are essential for Pakistani people in order to help them to move from place to another," he asserted.
Lynn Hastings, head of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Pakistan, also hailed the humanitarian initiative by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to launch the UAE project to Assist Pakistan (PAP) to alleviate the suffering of the victims of the floods that devastated Pakistan two years ago, saying "The UAE's humanitarian experience is unique.' She praised the initiatives undertaken by the UAE's Project to implement development projects and aid programmes worth US$ 110 million in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
These initiatives contributed to the promotion of stability in a number of countries and helped underprivileged communities and individuals.
"Children and their families in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region will always remember those who rushed to help them when that earthquake hit Pakistan in 2010," she noted.
From 2011 to the end of 2012, PAP carried out 106 projects worth US$ 127 million. I n October 2013, Sheikh Khalifa allocated a further US$184.2 million for funding 21 more projects.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has welcomed the initiative of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the provision of humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees in Jordan.
Andrew Harper, UNHCR representative to Jordan, welcomed the move and referred to the depth of strategic relations between the UAE and UNHCR in service of the Syrian refugees in Jordan.
He added that the UAE has so far provided US$25 million as relief and humanitarian assistance to the Syrian refugees in Jordan.
The UAE further announced US$300 million as financial aid to support the humanitarian situation in Syria.
The UAE, under the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, initiated humanitarian work since the beginning of the events in Syria, to fulfill its responsibilities in providing relief to Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries, and has supported Arab and International initiatives aimed at putting an end to the tragedy and suffering as well as achieving their legitimate aspirations in having a free and decent life.
The Representative of the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in Yemen, Geert Cappelaere, said the initiatives launched by the UAE for Yemen enhance efforts to alleviate suffering from food shortages and minimise the consequences on the life of Yemenis in the governorates which are the most affected by the crisis.
On the instructions of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE announced support and assistance programmes and projects to the value of US$10 million to the Philippines.
The UAE extended its deepest sympathies for the loss of life and property caused by Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in the Philippines.
A spokesman for the fund said, "The UAE stands by the people of the Philippines in these tragic circumstances and commends the Government of the Philippines and its emergency workers for making all possible efforts in providing aid and relief to the victims." The UAE believes that the international community must stand together in times like these and assist the relief efforts. With this contribution, the UAE government affirmed its deep solidarity with those affected by this natural disaster in the Philippines.

Serving Islam:
The Ministry of Presidential Affairs signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Egypt's Al-Azhar, to provide AED 155 million in funds to support the University's educational and cultural projects.
According to the MoU, the funds will be used to construct a new building for the Al-Azhar library to house some 50000 precious manuscripts and publications, to secure the current assets by state-of-the-art electronic control and security systems and to construct accommodation units for the university's students.
The MoU expresses the appreciation of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for the role Al-Azhar plays in service of the Islamic nation and is in continuation of the ongoing support by the UAE sisterly people of Egypt within the framework of historic and fraternal relations between the two countries.
"The UAE, under the leadership of Sheikh Khalifa, takes pride in this great seat of Islamic learning which has become a prominent centre for enlightenment and an authority for the promotion of Islam's tolerance and moderation," a UAE official said.
Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayeb expressed his appreciation of the initiative by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and valued the role taken up by the UAE in service of the causes of the Islamic nation and the Arab nation.
Sheikh Abdul Tawwab Abdul Hakim Qutob, the Undersecretary of Al-Azhar, said the UAE never spares any effort to help Egypt. "The Emirati brother's support for cooperation between the two countries is evident and our fraternal ties with them are very ancient. We pray to Allah to keep these ties and relations for the good of the two sisterly peoples," he added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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It is time to look into the future with confidence and optimism: Mohammed bin Rashid


posted on 02/12/2013

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai has reaffirmed the keenness of the UAE leadership, government and people for economic and cultural openness and contribution to the peace and amity among peoples of the world.
In his speech to mark the 42nd anniversary of the UAE National Day, published by 'Dira'a Al Watan' magazine, Sheikh Mohammed highlighted the achievements made by the UAE in 2013 including, among others, the accelerated pace of economic growth.
He paid homage to the forefathers who preserved this land by standing firm against all challenges and by defying the harsh environment, scarce resources and difficult living conditions and congratulated His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the country, who is leading the Emirates through the avenues of advancement and who is giving the federation an impetus to grow stronger.
"This year," he noted, "The UAE made the largest progress ever made in the fields of global competitiveness, according to reports by the United Nations and other international organisations concerned with comprehensive development, modernity, stability, prosperity and happiness." Spelling out some of many achievements the UAE has made, Sheikh Mohammed said, 'Our country has made achievements in all domains. Our economy continues to flourish, registering the highest growth rates in the region and counted among the best performing in the world. The government's budget for 2011-13, made a big success, leading to marked improvements in the use of resources and development of government performance. The three-year 2013-16 budget, with a 15 percent increase, was issued and half of its expenses have been allocated for social benefits to citizens and human development programmes, being the main pillar for the government's policies, plans, strategies and initiatives.
'The success of our country was not a product of mere chance, but as a result of the leadership's vision, planning and keen interest in serving the country and its citizens. It is a result of continuous interaction among different generations and the unique relation of trust and allegiance between the people and their leader. It is a result of self-development, knowledge and the ability to adapt to changes. Our success is complemented by our optimistic forward looking, yearning for excellence, encouraging innovation and believing that failure is just another experience in life and a good lesson for the next attempt.
'As much proud as we are, we are not going to be intoxicated by these successes. They are in fact, an alarm for us to continue shouldering our responsibilities and a call for us to rally our efforts and to move on with our task of achieving further progress to our country,' he added.
Sheikh Mohammed said, 'It is time to look into the future with confidence and optimism. We stand on a solid ground. Our people are enjoying the fruits of the development process and becoming an essential part of it. Our country is enjoying respect and making a strong presence in international arenas and becoming an icon for determination for success.' The Vice President noted that just a few days before celebrating the 42nd National Day anniversary, all these indices culminated in the resounding win as the country was announced winner of the Expo 2020 hosting bid, following an arduous 2-year journey of competition with internationally-renowned cities.
'As His Highness Sheikh Khalifa affirmed, our joy in the UAE was doubled by the win as it coincides with the celebrations of the 42nd National Day. This success was the culmination of a series of successes and great achievements the UAE has been incessantly making since its establishment 42 years ago to remain in the lead in all fields.
'We have a lot to accomplish and we have no excuse for any delays or poor performance. We have what it takes to achieve as we are blessed with rich resources, capabilities, expertise, positive energy, thirst for knowledge, dedication and above all, the leadership's unlimited support,' Sheikh Mohammed emphasised.
The future, he continued to say, is for everyone, but only those who heed its call, speak its language and explore its directions, will be able to get a fair share of it. 'Future knows no waiting, delay or procrastination. Therefore, our only choice in the UAE is to put future at the hearts of our plans. We should make the future by competing for a place in it.
'We speak the same language of the future and we are ready for its challenges, without ignoring challenges of the present.' Farther afield, Sheikh Mohamed said, "We closely monitor the developments in the region and the world and do what we can to enhance regional security and stability and in supporting peoples' right for the determination of their future. We help fraternal countries with their development plans.'
Below is the full text of Sheikh Mohammed's speech: Fellow countrymen, We salute our beloved country as we celebrate the 42nd anniversary of the federation and beginning of the march for progress and prosperity.
On this day, we remember the founders of the modern UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, his companion the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum and their brothers the rulers, who all met on 2nd December 1971, armed with their deep belief and keenness on their country and people's interests and eventually, witnessing the birth of the United Arab Emirates and the onset of the country's renaissance.
We also pay homage to our forefathers who preserved this land by standing firm against all challenges and by defying harsh environment, scarce resources and difficult living conditions.
I salute and congratulate my brother, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of our country, who is leading us through the avenues of advancement and who is giving our federation an impetus to grow stronger.
I also congratulate my brothers, Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, and my brother H.H. General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Fellow citizens, As we see off an eventful federal year, we welcome a new year united in our effort and resolute on our vision to maintain security and stability and to continue our sustainable development drive to achieve prosperity and progress and to preserve our traditions, heritage and identity.
Men and women of the UAE; it is time to look into the future with confidence and optimism. We stand on solid ground. Our people are enjoying the fruits of development process and becoming an essential part of it. Our country is enjoying respect and making a strong presence in international arenas and becoming an icon for determination for success.
Our country has made achievements in all domains. Our economy continues to flourish, registering the highest growth rates in the region and is counted among the best performing in the world. The government's budget for the three-year 2011-13 made a big success, leading to marked improvements in the use of resources and development of government performance. The three-year 2013-16 budget, with a 15 percent increase, was issued and half of its expenses have been allocated for social benefits to citizens and human development programmes, being the main pillar for the government's policies, plans, strategies and initiatives.
This year, our country made the largest progress ever made in the fields of global competitiveness, according to reports by the United Nations and other international organisations concerned with comprehensive development, modernity, stability, prosperity and happiness.
According to the Global Competitiveness Report for 2013-2014, the UAE advanced five positions in the total competitiveness of its economy in one year, from 24th last year to the 19th this year.
The UAE also gained advanced positions worldwide in many indices as it came 1st worldwide in quality of roads, absence of organised crime and containment of the effects of inflation, 2nd worldwide in foreign direct investment and technology transfer, 3rd worldwide in citizens' trust in political leaders and 4th worldwide in efficiency of its markets.
Additionally, the UAE came 3rd worldwide in the index of government purchases of advanced technology, 4th worldwide in quality of infrastructure, 2nd worldwide in the low effect of crime on business sector and 3rd worldwide in the infrastructure of its air transport.
Just a few days before celebrating our 42nd National Day anniversary, all these indices culminated in a resounding win as our country was announced winner of the Expo 2020 hosting bid, following an 2-year arduous journey of competition with internationally-renowned cities.
As His Highness Sheikh Khalifa affirmed, our joy in the UAE was doubled by the win as it coincides with the celebrations of the 42nd National Day. This success was the culmination of a series of successes and great achievements the UAE has been incessantly making since its establishment 42 years ago to remain in the lead in all fields.
Fellow citizens, The success of our country was not a product of mere chance, but as a result of leadership's vision, planning and keen interest in serving the country and its citizens. It is a result of continuous interaction among different generations and the unique relation of trust and allegiance between the people and their leader. It is a result of self-development, knowledge and the ability to adapt to changes. Our success is complemented by our optimistic forward looking, yearning for excellence, encouraging innovation and believing that failure is just another experience in life and a good lesson for the next attempt.
As proud as we are, we are not going to be intoxicated by these successes. They are in fact, an alarm for us to continue shouldering our responsibilities and a call for us to rally our efforts and to move on with our task of achieving further progress to our country.
Fellow citizens, You are well aware that your government is marching ahead, inspired by the National Action Programme initiated by His Highness the President in 2005 and our UAE Vision 2021.
Our government will keep its promise of driving change, building team-work, and empowering Emiratis to realize their ambitions.
We have a lot to accomplish and we have no excuse for any delays or poor performance. We have what it takes to achieve as we are blessed with rich resources, capabilities, expertise, positive energy, thirst for knowledge, dedication and above all, the leadership's unlimited support.
I said it once and I say it again: that every peak we reach overlooks the next. This is the recipe for success and advancement. One's success is not only for them, but against them as well and the more successful you are, the more responsible you become. Sustaining success requires development and success brings with it new challenges of how to keep pace with changes because knowledge is on the rise and every day, there are new inventions, applications and solutions in agriculture, industry, medicine, engineering, telecommunications and other services.
We have never feared challenges, no matter of what kind they are and how quickly they are posed. Our hands have never been tied before any challenge. We addressed them and we confronted them, knowing that they are usually accompanied by opportunities. Our duty is to contain challenges and make use of the opportunities. I am confident that we are capable of doing this by the grace of Allah and thanks to our experience in building an exemplary country in terms of comprehensive development, political empowerment and economic and social development.
Fellow citizens, The future is for everyone, but only those who heed its call, speak its language and explore its directions, will be able to get a fair share of it. Future knows no waiting, delay or procrastination. Therefore, our only choice in the UAE is to put the future at the hearts of our plans. We should make the future by competing for a place in it.
Going by this, we launched the Smart Government initiative, whereby government services will be delivered via mobile phones and other advanced technology tools as part of a vision to provide services to clients where ever they are and at any time.

The modern telecommunication technology is infused into a palm-sized device that has become one of life's necessities, especially for the younger generations. It is now a trusted device for doing business and performing government and private transactions and is greatly impacting the lifestyle and sources of living for the people and the work of telecommunication companies, media, banks, commerce, services, logistics, aviation and tourism. It has also impacted governmental services, infrastructure, education and human resources planning.
This development creates a challenge before governments, private sectors and societies in general. Those who want to be part of smart future should adapt to its needs. We in the UAE prepared for the adaptation process early. The government organised a major workshop on the timely implementation of smart government. Leading this strategic process, the government is expecting the private sector to actively engage by developing its techniques and by providing training to employees of that sector. It also expect the media to play a role in spreading culture and concepts of smart government.
Transformation into a smart government is essential for sustaining our economic growth, enhancing our human resources, improving excellence in government performance and continuing the climb to the top of the global competitiveness index.
After pioneering the e-government fields, we will be the pioneers in the smart era, with all concerned getting busy, strategies being carved out, plans made, timelines drawn and government entities racing against time to complete building infrastructure for smart technology, training employees and developing contents.
Fellow citizens, We speak the same language of the future and we are ready for its challenges, without ignoring the challenges of the present.
At the top of these challenges is developing education at all levels. There are huge efforts being made in this field and satisfactory results are achieved. The educational performance indices improved significantly, leading the country to move up in global rankings. We are determined to achieve our objectives in education development because it is the main pillar in the nations' progress with its positive outcomes to cope with the rapid changes and with the smart future we mentioned here.
We are also moving with enhancing healthcare services in terms of quality and extent. We are keen on maintaining world-class standards for our healthcare facilities.
We made tremendous achievements in providing houses to citizens. Yet, we look forward to doing better. Thanks to the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme, to His Highness the President's initiatives, and to the housing schemes at the local levels, we will realise our ambition of granting houses to all illegible applicants in a period shorter than 3 years from application date.

Additionally, we are working on updating our legislations as part of our keenness to bolster law and justice by providing a new umbrella for simplifying litigation and speeding up commercial and general dispute settlement processes.
We are also aware of different types of challenges, some of which come with risks to our national interests. I mean the challenges resulting from the tense situation in the region, the transitional difficulties faced by some Arab countries, the diminishing role of the Arab regional order and the volatile international situation, all reflecting on the regional security and preventing world powers and international community from taking their roles in resolving chronic issues like the Palestinian cause and the developments in Syria.
We closely monitor the developments in the region and the world and do what we can to enhance regional security and stability and in supporting peoples' right for determination of their future. We help fraternal countries with their development plans.
While closely following up developments, we prepare for the worst, relying on our capabilities, our principles, our unity, our loyalty to the leaders and our keenness for the security and stability of our country.
Fellow citizens, As we celebrate the 42nd anniversary of our National Day, I thank Allah for the peace, security and success of the UAE and pray that He will give us the strength to continue serving our country and our people. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Union is core our strength through challenging time: Ruler of Sharjah


posted on 02/12/2013

H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has extended his warmest congratulations to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and to Their Highnesses the Members of the Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates and the U.A.E people, on the occasion of the 42th National Day of the UAE Union.
Sheikh Sultan stated that "Anyone who pursues the history of the Union of the United Arab Emirates, which was founded more than four decades ago, should feel the endeavours and efforts made by the Founders of the Union in their struggle for this entity, derived from all the difficulties they faced and the obstacles encountered in their way, energies and greater resolve to continue working for the principle that they believed in, which is the integration and cooperation among them through a strong union that ensures security and stability for its people and push them for progress to emulate major countries in its achievements.
'The United Arab Emirates, thanks to God and thanks to the efforts of its loyal sons, has provided the opportunity to build a solid Union based on strong and firm foundations, laid down by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan,' Sheikh Sultan said in a statement to 'Dira'a Al Watan' magazine on the occasion of the UAE's 42nd National Day anniversary.
The 2nd day of December, he added, is really a historical day, where the efforts of the honest and loyal, the Rulers of the Emirates and the leader of the march, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, crowned with the establishment of the Union of our dear nation, and along the march of this Union all our heart, government and people, thanks to God and to ourselves, still full of faith in the principle of unity and working for it.
Sheikh Sultan continued, "We all as people of the UAE, men and women, old and young, should make this anniversary as an opportunity to encourage all to achieve their hopes and our hope, that the new generation will be able to carry the responsibility with loyalty and awareness of what the Union has achieved to our country, and with all strength to maintain its achievements.
'We prayed God that this Union will be the core of our strength, way and our guide to preserve its rules in this difficult time, which is being witnessed a lot of changes and tragedies that requires from everyone to take lessons and maintain this nation and its soil and unity,' he concluded. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Ruler of RAK says UAE Union experience has become a glowing example of urban development


posted on 02/12/2013

H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras al-Khaimah, has said that the UAE Union experience has become a glowing example of urban development.
He a paid a rich tribute to Emiratis for their perseverance and allegiance to the forefathers, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the nation.
'U.AE. led by Sheikh Khalifa, the UAE today is proud of its huge achievements attained under the Union. The world wonders at the urban development carried out by the UAE in record time,' Sheikh Saud told 'Dira'a al-Watan' magazine on the occasion of the 42nd National Day anniversary.
'We will never falter following the footsteps of the founding fathers. We have pledged allegiance to Sheikh Khalifa, to lead on the basis of the Union, he affirmed.
'The Union is our present and future. We pray to Allah to preserve our nation and prosperity to pass the gains on to our sons and grandchildren.' The following is the full text of the speech: 'The 2nd of December each year represents a symbol of unity to our people, country and history. It sums up the values of allegiance and loyalty that produced the most successful union experience in the Arab world. It has become an experience to be emulated.

Exhibiting loyalty to the forefathers and the U.AE. led by Sheikh Khalifa, the UAE today is proud of its huge achievements attained under the Union. The world wonders at the urban development carried out by the UAE in record time.
When we observe the National Day anniversary, we remember the UAE founding fathers, notably, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his late brothers, the Rulers of Emirates, for their valuable efforts to establish the pillars of the Union based on justice, equality, fraternity and strenuous work, to develop the country and achieve welfare for the people of the UAE.
We will never falter following the footsteps of the founding fathers. We have pledged allegiance to Sheikh Khalifa, to lead on the basis of the Union.
It is incumbent upon us to shoulder our responsibilities towards the country and the leadership that has not spared any effort to elevate the UAE at international forums and provide good living conditions for citizens.
Based on solidarity and cohesion, the UAE extends assistance to sisterly and friendly countries, as well as those in need, irrespective of religion, race or sect.
We mark the 42nd year of the success story of Emirati people who built a modern state out of a scratch, thanks to the leadership who displayed limitless determination to continue building the Union, to pass it to the next generation intact to continue the success of the forefathers.
The security and prosperity enjoyed by citizens today is the fruit of the Union tree sowed by Sheikh Zayed and irrigated by the sweat of Emiratis to yield a good harvest. So we have to continue building, through sticking to our national identity and authentic Arab traditions and tolerance to assert the UAE's position representing a paradigm shift in terms of security and prosperity.
The Union is our present and future. We pray to Allah to preserve our nation and prosperity to pass the gains on to our sons and grandchildren.
I extend my congratulations and thanks to the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, The Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Members of the Supreme Council, Their Highnesses the Rulers of the Emirates, and the UAE people, on the occasion of the 42nd National Day anniversary.' – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Ruler of Fujairah: Union is progressing day after day towards more empowerment into horizons of pioneering, security and innovation


posted on 02/12/2013

Since the establishment of the Union 42 years ago, the UAE has become the symbol of pride, progress and development, H.H. Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah, has said.
In a statement to 'Dira'a Al Watan' magazine on the occasion of the UAE's 42nd National Day, the ruler of Fujairah said ;'Union consolidates determination, achieves welfare, coordinates efforts, develops knowledge and science and highlights the country's stature and hoists its flag high." Sheikh Hamad added, "We will not be able to build our homeland, secure a better life, maintain achievements, boost development or increase wealth without the Union. It also highlights the prestigious stature of the country among nations in the international events.
"Thanks to the wise leadership, its love for its people and the mutual love of the citizens towards their leadership, the march of the union has started and developed steadily.
"Now, the UAE is a hub of the international economy and a destination of renaissance, prosperity and overall development. For everyone who seeks happiness, security and safety, the U.A.E will be the destination for those who thrive for the Arab and Islamic identity, tolerance, social co-existence and the culture of moderation,' he added.
The UAE, under the umbrella of the Union, is progressing day after day towards more empowerment into horizons of pioneering, security and innovation. All these achievements come within an overall government strategy, which has put the UAE among the most generous, development funding and charitable countries worldwide.
Sheikh Hamad prayed to Allah to rest the soul of the founder of the Union, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan in eternal paradise, and bless the steps of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Following is the full text of the speech of H.H. Sheikh Hamad to Dira'a Al Watan Magazine on the occasion of the UAE's 42nd National Day.
"42 years have passed since the establishment of the Union. Since then, the UAE has become the symbol of pride, progress and development. It has become a developed country.
"Love is the greatest blessing gift from Almighty Allah, our religion always teaches us the value of the union and the importance of Union in order to address obstacles of life, attain more achievements and build civilizations.
Union consolidates determination, achieves welfare, coordinates efforts, develops knowledge and science and highlights the country's stature and hoists its flag high." "We will not be able to build our homeland, secure a better life, maintain achievements, boost development or increase wealth without the Union. It also highlights the prestigious stature of the country among nations in the international events.
"The march of Union is a story of a people, who chose cooperation and building bridges of brotherhood in order to reach the future with confident steps. This is the legacy of the Founder the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the Rulers of the Emirates, who hoisted the flag of the Union.
"Union was a vision which planted sustainable hope and generosity in all social, cultural, economic and humanitarian avenues. The first goal the prudent leadership focused on is the citizen, who is the target and the core of the building and development process.
"Thanks to the wise leadership, its love for its people and the mutual love of the citizens towards their leadership, the march of the union has started and developed steadily.
"Now, the UAE is a hub of the international economy and a destination of renaissance, prosperity and overall development. For everyone who seeks happiness, security and safety, the U.A.E will be the destination for those who thrive for the Arab and Islamic identity, tolerance, social co-existence and the culture of moderation.
"The world today is addressing various challenges and risks, but the Almighty Allah has helped the UAE to avoid all such risks, thanks to the smart vision of our wise leadership, which harnessed all the potentials to serve the nation. Emiratis now live in a safe, prosperous and confident country.
"The UAE, under the umbrella of the Union, is progressing day after day towards more empowerment into horizons of pioneering, security and innovation. All these achievements come within an overall government strategy, which has put the UAE among the most generous, development funding and charitable countries worldwide.
"We should know the secret behind the powerful and moving energy of the march of development and building in the country in order to continue the march and preserve the continuity of achievements.
"At the end, we ask the Almighty Allah to rest the soul of the Founder of the Union, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan in eternal paradise, and bless the steps of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan." – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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UAE will continue united: Ruler of Ajman


posted on 02/12/2013

H.H. Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ajman, said the previous four decades represented a very prosperous period in the history of the UAE which under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has maintained its progress, cultural and civil horizons with full perfection.
Sheikh Humaid extended his greetings to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, and His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and to the UAE generous people, wishing all progress, welfare and prosperity for the beloved country.
' Under the umbrella of the Union, our country has witnessed an educational, economic, urban and agricultural renaissance, which meets the needs of the present and the future within an outstanding developmental process. In a way, it put the UAE in the front row among the most civilized countries in the world, as it put sustainable development at the top of its priorities,' Sheikh Humaid said in a statement to 'Dira'a Al Watan' magazine, on the occasion of the UAE's 42nd National Day.
He added that the founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan left his hallmark in every walks of life and led the march of building, progress and renaissance confidently as a real lover of his people.
"He made generous efforts, the effect of which will continue permanently. The late Sheikh Zayed conserved the development experience and was keen on promoting it for the benefit of the UAE people and the Arab nation.The march of development, which witnessed great achievements, is continuing under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and we will continue united.' "The UAE has become a role model among the countries of the world and independent surveys and statistics prove this fact. Figures reveal that the UAE is placed first in the Arab World and 18th globally in the Economist Intelligence Unit survey, 'Where-to-be-born' index for 2013. "The UAE also ranks 4th globally among the top 10 states in the crime drop rate, notwithstanding the huge number of various nationalities in the country.' Following is the full text of the speech of H.H. Sheikh Humaid to Dira'a Al Watan Magazine, on the occasion of the UAE's 42nd National Day.
"On the occasion of the 42nd anniversary of UAE National Day, I extend my greetings to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, and His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and to our generous people, wishing all progress, welfare and prosperity for our beloved country.
"Talking about the Union is one of the closest issues to my heart, since it is connected to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who left his hallmark and led the march of building, progress and renaissance confidently as a real lover of his people.
"He made generous efforts, the effect of which will continue permanently. The late Sheikh Zayed conserved the development experience and was keen on promoting it for the benefit of the UAE people and the Arab nation.
"The march of development, which witnessed great achievements, is continuing under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and we will continue united.
"The previous four decades represent a very prosperous period in the history of the UAE The country has maintained its progress, cultural and civil horizons with full perfection. Under the umbrella of the Union, our country has witnessed an educational, economic, urban and agricultural renaissance, which meets the needs of the present and the future within an outstanding developmental process. In a way, it put the UAE in the front row among the most civilized countries in the world, as it put sustainable development at the top of its priorities.
"Thanks to the far-sighted vision of exploring the future with all its aspirations and ambition, all these issues made the Union an inevitable decision and a target we had to reach. Anyone who can see and assess the situation and thinks of the moral lessons, will appreciate what has been done.
"The late Sheikh Zayed said �Union is the way of pride and mutual benefit. The fragile beings in this world have no place and these are the lessons of history.' "All indicators underline that our country has witnessed high recorded levels of civilization, progress and welfare in all avenues, that has put the nation among the developed countries which have achieved a prosperous economy, balanced development and stable political conditions, strong security, administration, and a productive and developed capacity for organisation.
"The UAE has become a role model among the countries of the world and independent surveys and statistics prove this fact. Figures reveal that the UAE is placed first in the Arab World and 18th globally in the Economist Intelligence Unit survey, 'Where-to-be-born' index for 2013.
"The UAE also ranks 4th globally among the top 10 states in the crime drop rate, notwithstanding the huge number of various nationalities in the country.
"We are always looking forward to achieving success and safeguarding our achievements in order to rank in first position. This will come through loyalty to the wise leadership and working tirelessly to preserve the country.
"We should preserve our principles, customs and traditions which we have inherited from our forefathers, as well as the cohesion and our highlighting of the value of work and production, so as to continue the march whatever the challenges and obstacles are. Sheikh Khalifa said The UAE competitiveness is the responsibility of every citizen and official.' "The UAE has been keen on building the Emirati citizen, since this was one of the most important objectives. The country's priority is to meet the needs and hopes of every Emirati and provide him with suitable work and an innovative atmosphere, since the citizen is the basis of the building and renaissance process.
"The UAE has empowered women, she now occupies top and prestigious posts in all work sectors. She has became a member of the Federal National Council (FNC) whether by elections or appointment. Emirati women hold 22.2 percent of the FNC and this percentage represents the highest among all parliaments across the world. In accordance with the Global Economic Forum, she ranks 1st in gender equality regionally.

"The UAE has acquired international respect and admiration thanks to its moderate approach, and stable stances in foreign policy. The country also has occupied the highest positions among international donors of foreign aid, which reaches more than 120 countries. The country has contributed to sheltering the homeless, securing food for underprivileged people and ending disputes, regardless of gender, religion, race or sect.
"At the end, we say, if the Union was a highly notable achievement, its continuation is the miracle. Consequently, we call on the coming generations to recall the great sacrifices of the founding fathers, led by the late Sheikh Zayed. They are also asked to work very hard to preserve all the gains and achievements by exerting more effort and production.
On this terrific day, we thank the Almighty Allah for all the blessings. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Ruler of UAQ: UAE celebrates its development success story


posted on 02/12/2013

The UAE's 42nd National Day anniversary is a great occasion to mark the inception of the UAE Union, a fulfillment of a dream of the forefathers who exerted their utmost efforts to make it a reality, H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu'alla, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Umm Al Qaiwain, has said.
'Our Union has presented to the world a distinguished model of state growth and a unique success story that earned applause and appreciation from the world in terms of the welfare state and urban development, to the extent that many people across the globe wished to be Emiratis,' Sheikh Saud said in a statement to 'Dira'a Al Watan' magazine on the occasion of the 42nd National Day.
The call for excellence, he added, has become a watchword for this generation, upon the directives of the leadership to sustain gains in all fields. It is a test in which each in his field looks to further excel and innovate.

Following is the full statement of H.H. Sheikh Saud to 'Dira'a Al Watan' magazine on the 42nd National Day anniversary.
'The 42nd National Day anniversary is a great occasion to mark the inception of the UAE Union, a fulfillment of a dream of the forefathers who exerted their utmost efforts to make it a reality.
As the spirits of the founding fathers celebrate their success story, toady we also observe the grand feat that evokes in us joy and pride about the common identity of the UAE people who overcame the divisions. We pay a glowing tribute to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
Our Union has presented to the world a distinguished model of state growth and a unique success story that earned applause and appreciation from the world in terms of the welfare state and urban development, to the extent that many people across the globe wished to be Emiratis.
The call for excellence has become a watchword for this generation, upon the directives of the leadership to sustain gains in all fields. It is a test in which each in his field looks to further excel and innovate. For instance, renewable energy projects that have become reality, and natural sources of energy.
As we pledge allegiance to the leadership, the development project plans take many issues into account to sustain welfare and strengthen institutions.
We also praise the move of the Federal National Council to discuss the demographic structure issue in its third ordinary session of the 15th legislative chapter.
May almighty Allah bestow His care on the UAE leaders and inspire them to continue their development efforts across the country.' – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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UAE has delivered its developmental goals: Mohamed bin Zayed


posted on 02/12/2013

His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has said that the UAE has made resounding success in achieving its development goals in various sectors and is bracing to take the Union to advanced standards of progress, stability and prosperity.
His Highness hailed the 2nd of December as a glorious day in UAE history, which holds a special place and significance "in our hearts" given its deep, far-reaching emotional and patriotic values.
"On the 42nd anniversary of the Union, we reflect on its grand structure and remember the founding fathers, led by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan whose faithful efforts and insightful thoughts to realise his deep historic conviction of establishing a federal state brought all people of our beloved country together in a unique developmental experiment that set a role model for building of nations," His Highness said, referring to the shining pages of the UAE's history.
"Throughout the past 42 years, the Emirati people have always been, and still are at the heart of development plans, policies and efforts, whether in the founding phase led by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, or through the continuous drive for development and giving in the empowerment phase, launched by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, within a transparent, well-established vision that envisages the Emirati citizens as the true wealth and feasible investment for the future of the U.A.E, His Highness said in a statement to 'Dira'a Al Watan' magazine on the occasion of the 42nd National Day.""From this point," he continued, "The UAE's wise leadership saw the necessity to dedicate and mobilise all resources and assets for the benefit of citizens, improving their living standards, preserving their gains and maintaining their welfare. These efforts were crowned by the high rankings the UAE has achieved in recognised international indices and reports for human development, social welfare, security and stability.
"We, on the anniversary of this spectacular day and as every day, renew the spirit of deep belonging and loyalty that lives in the hearts of all our people. We are proud of what we have achieved in the past and we are looking forward to a promising future where we realise our ambitions for a nation that takes its top place among advanced countries in terms of various fields and sectors of development.
"These historic days give all of us a renewed patriotic spirit to pursue the drive towards development, giving, welfare, building and modernisation. For our future ambitions, the sky is the limit and we will go ahead unabated, knowing no limits. The achievements made by UAE citizens over the decades of the Union's age speak volumes for the depth and strength of will for building the excellence of our State. It is the same determination that guards our federal experiment against any threat," Sheikh Mohamed emphasised.
Sheikh Mohamed continued, "The UAE has succeeded in achieving its development goals in various sectors and has completed construction of a coherent Union which has jumped to the ranks of the most advanced and prosperous nations and opened up new and promising development in several areas where our country has become a global hub in vital sectors of global concern, such as increasing renewable and clean energy, and opened itself to broad horizons in the areas of health and education, welcoming in the areas of development, reconstruction and urban planning. As well as avoiding the effects of the global financial crisis, which has threatened the economies of most developed countries.
"And we go with confidence to further engage in the global economy and benefit from it, as it provided investment opportunities that enhance our nation's ability to meet the aspirations of our citizens in various fields.
"The UAE also recorded notable successes in foreign policy and international relations, where diplomacy has become more effective. Our diplomacy has several areas of movement aimed at achieving our interests and our goals and serving our citizens at home and abroad. Perhaps this day is a historical stage to confirm that our foreign policy has been, still is, and will remain, of importance to achieving security and stability at regional and global levels. As well as re-affirming need for international cooperation in the face of daunting challenges the world is witnessing, such as poverty, ignorance, disease and unemployment.
"We, on this historic day, send all our greetings and appreciation to the people of our country, appreciating their deep sense of belonging to this land and their loyalty to our wise leadership. We also extend our greetings and appreciation to all the institutions of this country in the various fields of work and production, and we thank the employees of the military establishments, which have become a paragon of efficiency and competence which makes them the subject of national pride and a source of contentment as a genuine protective shield for our development. Our thanks go also to the police and security services that operate day and night in order to maintain security and safety throughout this beloved country.
"Dear Citizens, our people in Ras Al-Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah, Ajman, Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and those in the Eastern and Western regions of our beloved country, we remember our ancestors, entrenched in building our civilization, our place in history, on this land.
Here we do not just mean our ancestors who contributed to the features of the building and the future of their grandchildren when they gathered in the courtyards of the Al Hosn Palace in Abu Dhabi 250 years ago, nor those who were gathered in the capital, Liwa, nearly 400 years ago, before building Abu Dhabi city. We mean those who were thinking about the future of the descendants of their grandchildren. The common history of all the emirates in the UAE is all rooted in history, and we tell you, that we have a history dating back thousands of years.
We emphasise these facts because we are one family over the soil of this country from Fujairah to Sila, a remote city at the far western end of our beloved country.
"We are brothers and sisters, moving today and every day with a steady and confident pace in the areas of sustainable development, so as to reap the fruit of these efforts by the UAE people now, tomorrow and in the future, and in particular that the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, emphasises the priorities of the citizen, empowering, progressing and ensuring his well-being in all areas. These areas are at the forefront of our priorities, especially in the strategic plans of the UAE's vision for the future, and in particular that human beings will continue to be the objective and the purpose in our strategic plans, as well as strengthening and maintaining national stability, and the consolidation of unity between the sons of the nation in their united home, more and more adhering to the principles of our constitution in preserving the rights and protection of freedoms and respect for the law.
"But today, dear brothers and sisters, we are also invited to shoulder other responsibilities of great importance leading in the future, that we endeavour to complete the process of construction, and these responsibilities require more effort, perseverance and will, especially in the field of creation and innovation. At the forefront of these responsibilities, empowering our people through a knowledge-based economy will be the main engine for sustainable development in the future. As you all know, the wise leadership of the country has been keen to diversify sources of income for the country, and at the same time maintain the national wealth for the benefit of future generations, in order to provide the opportunity for other sources of non-oil wealth to be given the greater share of the GDP.
"Dear brothers and sisters, the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan will never neglect the importance that the UAE attaches to shouldering its national and historical responsibilities and its Arab, regional and international role, as well as its humanitarian role in everything that contributes to laying the foundations of development, security, stability and peace in the entire region, and all over the world.
"The UAE also recognises its role in counter-terrorism in all its forms, trends and types, whether it's the kind that depends on spreading a culture of violence, destruction as a means and a goal for it, or the one that depends on terrorism of thought and seeks to impose a creed of intellectual, ideological and sectarian terrorism on others by force, violence, exclusion or the refusal to engage in dialogue and consider other opinions, with the aim of personal and factional domination at the expense of the goals and the higher interests of the people.
"The developments experienced by the region and the political and security changes taking place in the world, make it imperative for all our countries to strengthen efforts, unify visions and adopt strategies consistent with these variables and challenges in order to achieve regional and international stability, security and peace, as well as promote development and stability for the peoples of the world.
"While we are celebrating our 42nd National Day, we all feel extreme joy and pleasure that this year's National Day coincides with the selection of Dubai as host of the 2020 World EXPO.
"On this glorious day, we all have to renew our confidence in, and our loyalty to, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, we pledge to do everything to achieve the hopes of our people in having a prosperous and decent life, asking Allah Almighty to keep Sheikh Khalifa safe, and for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and Their Highnesses The Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, and the Emirati people; may Allah help us all in serving our beloved country." – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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