On March 16, the president of the UAE Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan declared 2021 as the ‘Year of the 50th’ to commemorate 50 years of the UAE’s formation in 1971. “Year of the 50th represents a historic defining moment in our journey that started immediately after the declaration of the UAE’s union in 1971. It’s an acknowledgement of the resolute will and strong determination our Founding Fathers had while building up their nation. It also comes in recognition of the sincere efforts made by our citizens for our nation to be what we are seeing today as one of the best growing and fastest developing countries in the world,” he said.
His Highness valued the efforts made by other foreign nationals who have shared with Emirati citizens the same journey and the efforts to build this young nation. “We are living in a rapidly changing world. Amid this change, there are opportunities up for grabs to drive innovation and creativity. Therefore, we’ll have to double efforts to generate novel ideas, and quality initiatives to preserve our heritage and values and protect the cultural diversity of our society. As such, these initiatives should contribute to creating a better tomorrow with a brighter future for our nation,” he said.
The history of the UAE
The UAE is located at the eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is a federation of seven emirates, consisting of Abu Dhabi (which serves as the capital), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain. The UAE’s rich history is rooted in trade and tied to Islam, which came to the region in AD 630. The UAE’s ideal location between Europe, India, and the Far East was desired by the European empires. The region had come under British protection through a series of treaties in 1820 until it gained independence in 1971.
The pearling industry thrived in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The people of the Gulf depended on pearling as a source of income in summer and tending date gardens in winter. In the early 1930s, the first oil company teams conducted geological surveys in the UAE. Almost thirty short years later, in 1962, the first cargo of crude oil was exported from Abu Dhabi. The steady oil revenues resulted in an infrastructure overhaul with the construction of schools, housing, hospitals and roads throughout Abu Dhabi.
After the British empire announced its withdrawal from the Arabian Gulf in 1968, an agreement was reached between the rulers of six of the Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Umm al-Quwain, Fujairah and Ajman), to formally establish the federation of the United Arab Emirates on 2 December 1971. The seventh Emirate, Ra’s al-Khaimah, acceded to the new federation the following year. The UAE is an elective monarchy as the president is elected with a term of 5 years by the seven emirates’ rulers who constitutes the Federal Supreme Council which is the highest constitutional authority and the highest legislative and executive body in the country.
The last achievement the UAE commemorated the Year of the 50th was on March 9 when the nuclear regulator in the UAE has issued an operating licence for the second unit of the Barakah nuclear power plant for peaceful purposes, the first commercial nuclear power station in the Arab World after nuclear reactor 1 reached 100 per cent in output in an output-raising test on Dec. 7. The Plant’s four APR1400 design nuclear reactors will supply up to 25% of the UAE’s electricity. It is worth mentioning that this clean electricity is generated in a safe, reliable, and eco-friendly manner to support the UAE’s advance and sustainable development for the next decades.
The second achievement was when the Hope probe reached Mars on February 9 and the UAE became the first Arab country and the fifth country in the world to make such an achievement. The sixth and final phase started in April and coincided with the UAE 50th anniversary. In this phase, the probe yielded the first complete picture of Mars’ lower and upper atmospheres throughout the day, night and seasons of a full Martian year the thing that made the probe the first weather satellite for the red planet in history of Mars exploration. Omran Sharaf, project manager of the Emirates Mars Mission, said that the probe is a service to humankind in general and the scientific community in particular because the UAE makes the information the probe gathers accessible to more than 200 scientific foundation and research centres around the world.
The third achievement was the construction of the Abrahamic Family House which is due to open in 2022. It consists of a mosque, church, and synagogue and an educational centre. The house reflects the UAE’s belief in the Document on Human Fraternity aka the Abu Dhabi agreement. This landmark will be a beacon of mutual understanding, harmonious coexistence, peace among people of faith and goodwill and a place for learning, dialogue and worship.
The fourth achievement was the progress the UAE made in women’s rights. Fifty per cent of the UAE’s 40-member FNC (the Federal National Council) are women. The UAE looks forward to being among the top ten economies exhibiting the most progress toward gender equality according to Gender Inequality Index (GII). It has been ranked 18th globally and the first regionally according to World Bank reports.
The UAE law abolished all restrictions on female employees working at night or in arduous works, such as mining, building, working in factories, energy industry, agriculture, and transportation.* The law as well does not allow the employer to fire pregnant employees or warn them. The UAE Labour Law prohibits gender discrimination which prejudices wages, equal opportunity employment, and job promotion
The UAE has made important women’s rights reforms. A new domestic violence law came into effect to protect all family members. The government passed a law that states that “whosoever disgraces women by words or deeds in a public place, or a street shall be punished with imprisonment of a period not more than two years and a maximum fine of AED 10,000.” The United Arab Emirates has scrapped laws defending “honour” killings which carried weaker penalties, therefore, they will be publishable like any other crimes. UAE
In the end, anyone can easily compare the UAE today as a pioneering country with the countries which brag about adopting political policies against the West. Those countries fight and steal no one but their own peoples the thing that prompted foreign countries in the region to revive their imperial ambitions, therefore, they occupied parts of those countries claiming to protect their peoples against the authoritarian regimes that rule them.