The Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan's Portrait. (Courtesy Al Ittihad) Portrait of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. (Courtesy Al Ittihad)
Sheikh Zayed has engraved his values into each and every one of us. Courtesy Al Ittihad

The Year of Zayed has been a fitting tribute to the vision of the Founding Father

It is mind-boggling to think that in less than half a century, the UAE has managed to not only compete with much larger countries that have been around for centuries, but even surpassed some of them in attributes such as quality of life, safety, prosperity and happiness.

The land the UAE was once part of, known as Arabia Deserta, was for many years inhospitable, filled with vast sand dunes and not much else. Today, our nation is home to people from around the globe and a list of superlatives, from the world’s largest to the tallest and fastest.

As a 26-year-old Emirati woman, I have had the opportunity and privilege to travel to many of this planet’s most beautiful cities, but there is not a single place I would rather call home. The UAE is, of course, not without its detractors. Some like to downplay the UAE’s triumphs and lazily associate all the nation’s successes with its large reserves of oil. While oil might have been the catalyst of the UAE’s development, it is far from the whole story. This country has given history a challenging and inspirational example to replicate. Its drastic transformation from a desert to one of the most dazzling countries in this world is the embodiment of Sheikh Zayed’s will and determination.

Not every nation with oil reserves prospers. Nor does every country with abundant natural resources have a low crime rate, a happy population or empower its youth. In short, being rich in resources does not always mean the wealth is passed on to a population. Wise and compassionate leadership is key, and the UAE’s leaders have always had in mind the fact that natural resources are exhaustible. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, highlighted that when he said: “In 50 years, when we might have the last barrel of oil, we won’t be sad. We’ll actually be celebrating that moment.”

The late Founding Father of the UAE, fondly known by Emiratis as Baba Zayed, has, through his example, engraved his name and values into each and every one of us and led by example. It was his will, compassion, generosity and noble values that led to the establishment of this country, and it is his legacy that is responsible for its subsequent flourishing. We as citizens of this country, the sons and daughters of Baba Zayed, stand today with pride. His teachings make us continuously dare to dream big.

As a young Emirati, I feel like an integral part of this nation, one that empowers its women and its youth. Some observers might wonder:  how can Emirati women be proud when they are subject to gender inequality? Yet this is a widely held misconception. Women and men in the UAE are given equal opportunities to contribute to the success of their nation. It is never about gender but about having the right mindset, skill set and determination to pursue one’s dreams. Our leaders continue to empower youth – who are the nation’s real wealth – nurturing them to continue the fulfilment of Sheikh Zayed’s vision. Youth today – both male and female – are ministers, entrepreneurs, and community leaders.

This was the Year of Zayed and as it draws to a close, I feel compelled to express my gratitude to Baba Zayed for his inspiration and to our current leaders. This year was a reminder of why we love him so dearly, because he built a nation that is a haven for peace in a world filled with conflict and war. We will forever look up to him and learn from him because even though he has physically gone, his spirit and values still live within us. One of the sights of 2018 that made me happiest this year were the huge billboards that went up around the country, depicting Baba Zayed and his contagious smile. Was there ever a world leader who smiled as much or as sincerely?

As we head into the Year of Tolerance, one quote from Sheikh Zayed perfectly encapsulates both the year gone and the one that dawns tomorrow: "No matter how many buildings, foundations, schools and hospitals we build, or how many bridges we raise, all these are material entities. The real spirit behind progress is the human spirit, the able man with his intellect and capabilities".

Maha Al Mehairi is a capital projects performance specialist for the Abu Dhabi Executive Office

Recycle Reuse Repurpose

New central waste facility on site at expo Dubai South area to  handle estimated 173 tonne of waste generated daily by millions of visitors

Recyclables such as plastic, paper, glass will be collected from bins on the expo site and taken to the new expo Central Waste Facility on site

Organic waste will be processed at the new onsite Central Waste Facility, treated and converted into compost to be re-used to green the expo area

Of 173 tonnes of waste daily, an estimated 39 per cent will be recyclables, 48 per cent  organic waste  and 13 per cent  general waste.

About 147 tonnes will be recycled and converted to new products at another existing facility in Ras Al Khor

Recycling at Ras Al Khor unit:

Plastic items to be converted to plastic bags and recycled

Paper pulp moulded products such as cup carriers, egg trays, seed pots, and food packaging trays

Glass waste into bowls, lights, candle holders, serving trays and coasters

Aim is for 85 per cent of waste from the site to be diverted from landfill 


Director: Tamer Ruggli

Starring: Nadine Labaki, Fanny Ardant

Rating: 3.5/5

How to join and use Abu Dhabi’s public libraries

• There are six libraries in Abu Dhabi emirate run by the Department of Culture and Tourism, including one in Al Ain and Al Dhafra.

• Libraries are free to visit and visitors can consult books, use online resources and study there. Most are open from 8am to 8pm on weekdays, closed on Fridays and have variable hours on Saturdays, except for Qasr Al Watan which is open from 10am to 8pm every day.

• In order to borrow books, visitors must join the service by providing a passport photograph, Emirates ID and a refundable deposit of Dh400. Members can borrow five books for three weeks, all of which are renewable up to two times online.

• If users do not wish to pay the fee, they can still use the library’s electronic resources for free by simply registering on the website. Once registered, a username and password is provided, allowing remote access.

• For more information visit the library network's website.


Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Company profile

Name: Cashew
Started: 2020
Founders: Ibtissam Ouassif and Ammar Afif
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: FinTech
Funding size: $10m
Investors: Mashreq, others

Company profile

Name: Envi Lodges
Started: September 2021
Co-founders: Noelle Homsy and Chris Nader
Based: UAE
Sector: Hospitality
Number of employees: 12 to 15
Stage of investment: Series A

The specs

Engine: 3.8-litre twin-turbo flat-six

Power: 650hp at 6,750rpm

Torque: 800Nm from 2,500-4,000rpm

Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch auto

Fuel consumption: 11.12L/100km

Price: From Dh796,600

On sale: now

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now

The Energy Research Centre

Founded 50 years ago as a nuclear research institute, scientists at the centre believed nuclear would be the “solution for everything”.
Although they still do, they discovered in 1955 that the Netherlands had a lot of natural gas. “We still had the idea that, by 2000, it would all be nuclear,” said Harm Jeeninga, director of business and programme development at the centre.
"In the 1990s, we found out about global warming so we focused on energy savings and tackling the greenhouse gas effect.”
The energy centre’s research focuses on biomass, energy efficiency, the environment, wind and solar, as well as energy engineering and socio-economic research.