UAE leaders heralded the start of a 50-day countdown to the country's landmark Golden Jubilee celebrations.
On December 2 the nation will mark 50 years since its historic unification.
Members of the public are being invited to embrace the country's rich traditions and join the march to 50 years.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, said the hearts of the people of the UAE are united under the country's flag.
"Fifty days, and the Emirates will complete 50 years as one state," Sheikh Mohammed said.
"Its emirates are united ... its hearts are united ... its people raise one flag and rule for one constitution and wrap around one president.
"Fifty years to start our celebrations on December 2, 2021, God willing."
His message was shared by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
"In fifty days, our beloved country will celebrate its 50th UAE National Day. We approach this historic milestone with pride in our country’s achievements, gratitude to all contributors to the building of the nation and shared optimism for the promising future that lies ahead of us," Sheikh Mohamed said.
Preparations are gathering pace for the landmark National Day festivities this December.
Public can join 50 days to 50 countdown
The Golden Jubilee Celebrations Committee is calling on the public to count down the days until the 50th anniversary.
The initiative, titled 50 days to 50, will feature a series of activities and events that will be promoted on the official UAE National Day social media platforms, @OfficialUAEND.
"With over 200 nationalities living in the UAE, we invite everyone who calls the UAE home to celebrate by learning more about the traditions and rituals that make our great society, and participate in our daily activities in the lead-up to the official National Day Ceremony," said Shaikha Al Ketbi, head of creative strategy for the Year of the 50th.
Each day in the run-up to December 2, people are being invited to visit attractions, discover hidden gems around the country, learn and sing the UAE’s national anthem, submit photographs of locations in the country that are meaningful to them, and take part in the celebrations leading up to National Day with their friends and family.
Government departments, private companies, schools and organisations are also being asked to support the Golden Jubilee project.
The official National Day celebrations will be held on December 2. More details on the event will be announced soon.
UAE makes its mark
The UAE is setting out ambitious plans for another half century of achievement, while also reflecting on the remarkable rise of the Emirates since 1971.
The country has cemented its place on the global stage in recent years and has a blueprint for even greater success to come.
The Emirates is pressing ahead with renewed optimism as it continues to stage a watchful recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Last week, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said the UAE had "overcome the crisis" and called for people to return to normality.
The UAE has enjoyed a number of notable achievements in recent years, on the home front, internationally and into outer space.
In September, 2019, Hazza Al Mansouri became the first Emirati to journey into space.
His momentous mission aboard the International Space Station paved the way for the rapid growth of the space sector.
Including Maj Al Mansouri, the country has three other astronauts-in-training – including the first female from the Arab world.
The Hope probe successfully reached Mars orbit in February of this year, with the Moon and Venus in the sights of ambitious space chiefs.
Closer to home, the UAE oversaw the opening of the Barakah Nuclear Plant – a first for the Arab world – and the signing of the Abraham Accord that ushered in diplomatic relations between the UAE and Israel.
The Etihad Rail megaproject, which will stretch about 1,200 kilometres across the country and will carry passengers and freight when completed, is also quickly taking shape.
The UAE announced on Thursday an ambitious strategic initiative to reduce carbon emissions by 2050.
The plan will mean Dh600 billion being invested in clean and renewable energy sources in the next three decades.
It comes in a crucial year in the fight to protect the planet, with the UAE building momentum ahead of the Cop26 climate talks in the UK next month.
UAE builds for next 50 years
While much has been achieved, the journey is far from over.
In September, the UAE rolled out plans for 50 new projects and initiatives to lead towards further prosperity.
The initiatives will be the cornerstone of growth as the country marks 50 years since unification.
Key projects announced include a plan to spend up to Dh24 billion ($6.53bn) on getting 75,000 Emiratis into private sector jobs and a Dh1 billion fund, under the patronage of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, to provide micro-loans for new graduates to support their business projects, in collaboration with UAE universities.
In March, President Sheikh Khalifa declared 2021 to be the 'Year of the 50th', ensuring a year-long celebration of the momentous occasion.
The Year of the 50th officially started on April 6 and will last until March 31 next year.
The declaration was coupled with the announcement of year-long initiatives, activities and grand celebrations.
These are being governed by the UAE Golden Jubilee Committee under the chairmanship of Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, with Sheikha Mariam bint Mohamed bin Zayed as deputy chairwoman.