Lessons from the Union Examples for the Future

  • 4 December 2014

The celebrations marking the UAE’s 43rd National Day highlights the achievements of its people and the benefits of the Union following a long march initiated by its founding fathers and led by Founder of the UAE, the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (may God bless his soul). The people of the UAE continue to follow the same path under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may God protect him). The UAE’s achievements have become a matter of pride and honor for every national because it has been a success story full of lessons. This should be highlighted on this occasion so that others follow and preserve this as inheritance from our founders.

Etched in the heart of every UAE national, several luminous achievements stand out on this occasion. A very high-level of human development has made the UAE one of the best countries in the world. According to the United Nations Development Programme, its inhabitants enjoy one of the best standards of living in the world. They have access to advanced healthcare services and numerous opportunities to acquire knowledge. This has brought about a positive impact on its morale as international reports show that the UAE population is currently ranked among the world’s most satisfied and happy people. United Nations Happiness Life-Satisfaction Report and the Global Prosperity Index of the British Legatum Institute confirm this.

A robust economy capable of sustained growth has been another major achievement for the UAE. Through this Union, the size of its economy has gone up by about 236 times. The Ministry of Economy data shows that economy has expanded from AED5.6 billion in 1971 to AED1,540 billion now. From being a completely oil-dependent economy at the time of the formation of the Union, it is now a diversified economy as non-oil sectors contribute about 69 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP). It also enjoys stable monetary and financial conditions as assigned by credit rating agencies such as Moody’s, Fitch and Standard & Poors, which are the best credit rating agencies in the world. They are very optimistic about the UAE’s future due to its economic and institutional durability and the strength of the Union.

Third, the UAE has become critically important for global energy security. Besides maintaining its status as a major producer of oil over the past decades, it has balanced oil policy as a member of OPEC, its current production of about 3 million barrels a day, and its quest to develop its production capacity to 3.5 MBD in 2017. The UAE has pursued an ambitious policy to diversify sources of energy and has invested heavily in renewable energy. It hosts the International Renewable Energy Agency and is home to the world’s largest city entirely depending on renewable energy. The UAE’s balanced energy policy has given it an influential position in the global energy map.

Fourth, the UAE has played a vital role in ensuring peace and security at a global stage. Since its establishment, the UAE has been keen to build bridges with countries around the world and does not hesitate to cooperate with others, bilaterally or collectively, under the umbrella of international organizations, especially the United Nations. Further, the UAE does its best to support global efforts in facing crises that hamper global peace, security and stability under the framework of a foreign policy and diplomacy, which is based on tolerance and settlement of disputes through dialog and peaceful means.