The Story of Development in the UAE

  • 30 September 2010

It goes without saying that the UAE’s story of development is replete with lessons. The Chinese News Agency (Xinhua) was the most expressive in this context when it said, in its report on Tuesday, that the UAE’s pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo – themed The Power of Dreams – sent a message to the world that oil was a small chapter in the nation’s development story. The more significant factor, according to the agency, was building a better life by utilizing oil wealth and with the hands of support from the Emiratis. Xinhua emphasized this as the key to the UAE’s development and called it the secret of its success. It said that the human resources in the form of UAE nationals are on top of the country’s priorities and they are regarded as the real wealth of the nation. Hence all investments are first directed towards their advancement to ensure wholesome progress in the country.

We are well aware that since the inception of the state our wise leadership has been keen to make the country’s national workforce as the core of its agenda and has given them the all the necessary support to help them become part of their country’s affairs. This has made the Emiratis the primary contributor to the country’s march towards development at all levels. This process of inclusive growth has gone to another level in recent years and has shown results on the ground during this “stage of empowerment” launched by the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. This phase has been focused on building conditions for further participation of Emirati citizens in the process of nation building.

The grand success of UAE’s development is the story of human triumph in the first place. The country’s wise leadership has directed oil wealth in the right direction in a manner that will serve the present and the future generations of the country. It is due to the leadership’s vision of development and farsightedness that the country is still working towards economic diversification and moving away from dependence on oil. The leadership is ready to face the challenges in the future and is constantly making plans to deal with the post-oil era in order to maintain its sustainable development. The long-term vision of the Emirati leadership is the one which has ensured and will ensure the optimal use of oil revenues. This has made the UAE a model economy which can compete at the world stage due to its ability to progress based on knowledge and not just oil.

The story of development in the UAE is the story of a wise leadership which knew how to direct oil wealth for the benefit of its people. It was aware how to invest in human beings who are capable of achieving sustainable development based on their knowledge, professionalism and openness to the world. This is the story of people who rallied around their leadership, together and through the difficult challenges, and succeeded in radically transforming the lives of its people in a matter of years. In doing so they have provided a lesson in development to countries that seek to transform from backwardness to the wide horizons of progress.