UAE leaders mark Armed Forces Unification Day

May 6 marks the 48th anniversary of the decision to unify the country’s armed forces

The UAE Armed Forces were unified in 1976. Photo: UAE Presidential Court
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UAE leaders have come together to mark the 48th Armed Forces Unification Day.

President Sheikh Mohamed has described May 6 as “one of the most revered and enduring days in the history of the UAE”.

“On this day in 1976, one of the most important decisions of the nation was made to unify our armed forces,” he said.

“This decision strengthened the union and reinforced the pursuit of national cohesion by the UAE’s Founding Father and his fellow Rulers, may God bless them.

“Our armed forces will remain a shield for the nation, a protector of development and a pillar of progress in the UAE.”

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, described it as a momentous occasion that filled the hearts of the UAE people with immense pride.

“The decision to unify the armed forces on May 6, 1976, stands as a pivotal moment in our history, forever etched in the chronicles of our nation,” he said.

“On this day, our esteemed Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, with the unwavering support of our founding fathers, established the cornerstone of our union, embarking on a journey to establish a formidable armed force that can serve as an impenetrable shield for our nation, capable of confronting any threats to our sovereignty, security and stability.

“Since the decision for unification, over the past 48 years, our armed forces have embarked on a steady trajectory of excellence, achieving remarkable milestones in organisation, training, weaponry, efficiency and operational capabilities.

“They have rightfully earned their place among the world’s most modern armies.”

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court, emphasised that the decision to unify the armed forces was a strategic choice during a pivotal stage in the country’s history.

He said the armed forces had contributed to society and continue to enhance security, stability and peace.

Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, affirmed that the decision to unify the armed forces was the cornerstone in strengthening the foundations of the country, supporting its cultural and development journey, and protecting its national achievements.

Military unification came five years after the UAE was formed. Six of the seven emirates – Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah – declared their union on December 2, 1971.

The seventh, Ras Al Khaimah, joined on February 10, 1972.

Updated: May 06, 2024, 3:58 AM