UAE at 51: The way forward | By Dr Mehmood-ul-Hassan Khan


UAE at 51: The way forward

MOST recently, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) celebrated its 51 national day. It has been a long journey of socio-economic prosperity, social unity, ethnic diversity, biodiversity, tolerance and interfaith harmony.

The successive leadership of the UAE initiated numerous holistic and comprehensive policies and programs to transform “Sands into Space Centres”, “Barren lands into Best” destinations of foreign direct investment and last but not the least, “Dusts” into caravans of structural “Development”.

Now, the UAE is the best “Innovated”, “Diversified”, “Futuristic” and “Knowledge Based” economy in the GCC and MENA.

It has “connecting: hub of ideas, interactions, intimacies, industries, interdependencies and innovations.

It has become one of the “hottest” destinations of seeking foreign direct investments in the region and beyond.

It has become the “Safest” country for the workers, employees, investors, businessmen and tourists alike.

Interestingly, most recently its “passport” has been rated as the “Best” in the world which vividly reflects its immense socio-economic development, usefulness at international level, political stability, social cohesion, accountability, prosperity, peace, sustainability, rule of law, social justice, protection of labourers, provision of basic human rights, higher education and above all services to humanity in the world.

In his first National Day speech as President of the UAE Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan showcased a new “future vision” for his country and described investment in research and innovation, the way forward.

He assured that the UAE would continue to focus on “Science and Technology” and capitalize on opportunities in these areas so that current and future generations can benefit.

He further termed education, further diversification of macro-economy, economic prosperity, and building a successful knowledge-based economy should be foremost priorities of the country.

He pinpointed that “Sustainability” is another pillar of the UAE’s strategy for the future.

In this regard, Ajman’s goal of becoming the first fifteen minutes city in the region by 2030 and building of smart homes under construction in Sharjah’s sustainable city will be achieved through integrated policies of green energies in the days to come.

Moreover, UAE has become banking and financial hub for Asia, Central Asia, Middle East and the entire world.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi have become two of the most important centres of economic activity which vividly reflects innovative banking and financial management of its visionary leadership.

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) have further strengthened its position in the region and beyond.

Many of the region’s FinTech start-ups have gravitated toward the UAE, which some of the most important players in the ecosystem now call home.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and wise leadership have continued to lead the country’s economic growth and prosperity under the vision of our founding father, His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

The UAE has made “tremendous” strides, and as a top higher education institution, we take pride in contributing to the advancement of the nation.

Additionally, the UAE has created the safest and the best socio-political and economic environment that is helping global communities to come, invest, live, work and do business.

The UAE’s leadership has “succeeded” in managing multiple regional and international crises and now reinforces the country’s position as the safest place to live, work and do business in the country.

In the latest report, the International Monetary Fund said that the UAE will record 6 per cent growth in its GDP up from 3.8 per cent last year.

This makes the UAE one of the fastest-growing economies in the world this year in the region and world alike.

The socio-economic prosperity of the UAE has been achieved in just 51 years which is indeed a “Miracle”.

In this connection, the country’s dynamic and visionary leadership has created the most enabling environment for people to grow and generate wealth.

The UAE leadership continues to set the “Global Standards” in honesty, freedom, dedication, and bravery, and who work tirelessly to ensure achievement of ambitious goals for the betterment of the nation.

It has been achieving great success in the fields of “Humanitarianism”, “Philanthropy”, “Technology”, “Healthcare”, business and tourism.

It is truly a celebration of a national journey full of achievements, justice, selflessness, and strength achieved by the UAE thus far in our magnificent history.

It is an opportunity for reflection, through which people renew their loyalty and support to UAE wise leadership, which we are eternally blessed to have, and that has worked endlessly to create a better future for the nation and its citizens and residents

Interestingly, the UAE has entered into a new phase of sustainable development with the launch of “The UAE 2031’.

The new vision and national plan will transform the UAE in the next decade and for the next fifty years, achieve the impossible in all fields of education, business, technology, healthcare, philanthropy, sustainability, and more.

To conclude, the UAE is a prime example of “Peaceful Coexistence” and “Tolerance” with the home of more than 200 nationalities.

Its successive leadership has transformed the country into a global leader, setting benchmarks for varied industries.

In 2022, it created a unique “Economic Development Model” covering all political, economic, social, scientific and cultural areas, after presenting a success story in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moreover, the UAE has maintained its rise in “International Competitiveness” reports and continued the development of its legislative structure.

The UAE has strengthened its international presence, stressing its international leadership in the space sector

The UAE is “committed” to advance its legislative and regulatory infrastructure, by issuing a range of federal decrees, laws and ministerial resolutions aimed at improving the community’s security and safety, as well as continuing the process of economic and social development.

Notably, the UAE has been rated as the best among the top 10 countries in the world on the “Human Development Index’’, raising the country’s stature in the food security index to be among the top 10, achieving first place globally in terms of food security, and developing proactive legislation for new economic sectors, in addition to raising the contribution of the tourism sector to the GDP to AED 450 billion.

The UAE has achieved outstanding results in the field of international competitiveness. Until September 2022, the country was ranked first globally in 156 indexes, in the top five in 288 indexes and in the top 10 in 432 indexes.

For the sixth consecutive year, the UAE was ranked first in the Middle East and North Africa region in the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook Report 2022, where it maintained its leadership in the first regional position in the overall ranking while being ranked 12th in the world.

The UAE is also expected to achieve new international success in the space sector with the launch of the explorer “Rashid” on the first Arab mission to the moon, the fourth such mission in the world. It seems that the future belongs to the UAE.

—The writer is Executive Director: The Centre for South Asia & International Studies (CSAIS), Islamabad Regional Expert: UAE, GCC, Senior Analyst: Defence & World Affairs, Pakistan Observer.