August 6, 1966, was a day that would change Abu Dhabi for ever. That was when – 56 years ago today – Sheikh Zayed became Ruler of the emirate.
Abu Dhabi had struck oil in 1958, shipped its first barrels to the market four years later and in 1966, with Sheikh Zayed at the helm, set course for a bright new future.
Oil revenue grew each year and this money went towards building schools, housing, hospitals and roads.
When Britain announced it was leaving the Arabian Gulf in 1971, Sheikh Zayed understood the emirates would be stronger together and worked hard to unite them. He became the UAE's Founding President that year.
More than five decades on, the UAE is recognising the day Sheikh Zayed assumed the role.
Dr Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to the President, wrote on Twitter that August 6 set in motion the march towards unification and prosperity.
Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed, vice chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, also marked the anniversary.
He said it was a day that laid the foundations for the advanced position the UAE is in today.