Culture is Catalyst to Development
- 13 July 2010
The President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s speech at the 32nd session of Assilah Forum Foundation in Morocco – delivered on His behalf by His Excellency Abdul Rahman Mohamed Al Owais, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development – reiterated the multiple roles that culture plays in the progress of a society and in promoting the civilization. His Highness reaffirmed that “the choice of renewal energy as a subject at the forum symbolizes its philosophy of making culture the epicenter of development and symbolizes its importance as an umbrella that accommodates the various aspects of the time we live in.”
Culture has been a major priority of the UAE and its wise leadership. The leadership has had consistent belief in the role played by culture in the country’s development besides the fact that it represents a bridge of understanding among people and nations. The various dimensions of the country’s development can be seen in the kind of projects being set up in various fields and how they compete with each other. This applies to the nature of the tourism industry which provides an important opening for the promotion of the UAE’s capabilities in different fields. The most vivid example of this is the Saadiyat Island project, which is scheduled to open in 2012. The economic feasibility of this project is as important as its cultural significance for the region and the world. The island is characterized by tourism because of the unique environmental elements and other ingredients which makes it an international tourism destination.
The major cultural activities organized by the UAE, or those in which the country participates, have become an important outlet through which the state’s cultural contributions are promoted. It also serves the interest of important international issues that capture the interest of the international community. Perhaps the choice of the slogan – renewable energy is the leap in the path towards human development – at the Assilah Forum this year highlights the efforts the country has made in developing renewable and clean energy resources.
Besides playing a developmental role the UAE looks at culture as the main factor behind building stable relations among nations. When His Highness the President affirmed the forum’s role as a bridge between East and West and North and South, he reiterated a significant truth the UAE believes in and applies in its relationship with the outside world, openness to different cultures. It is the key to building strong relations among nations because culture has the ability to narrow gaps in political, economic, science and other fields. His Highness the President referred to culture as an umbrella that accommodates the various aspects of time and adds a catalyst to development that also strengthens coexistence among the different people of the world.