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President Sheikh Khalifa has praised the UAE's remarkable rise as an "inspiring success story" to be shared with the world as the nation unites for joyous Golden Jubilee celebrations.
Sheikh Khalifa said the country's Founding Fathers laid down deep roots for the nation's growth, centred on a sustainable development plan, which will continue to guide its future prosperity.
He said investment in the talent of the UAE's population would remain at the heart of the country's progress as it gears up to become a leading global power in the 50 years to come.
The leader said firm foundations were in place to allow the UAE to thrive for decades to come and cement its place on the global stage.
"In line with the ‘Principles of the 50th’, the UAE will continue to steadily pursue a solid ecosystem of well-established values and principles, with human capital lying at the heart of the UAE Strategy for the Future," he said in a statement to Nation Shield, the UAE Armed Forces' magazine.
"It’s this resilient set of legislation that’s enabled our nation to establish a coherent society with a knowledge-based, innovation-driven economy, a world-class healthcare system, an advanced education sector, an integrated modern infrastructure, environmental sustainability, and an enviable status in global competitiveness rankings."
Sheikh Khalifa lauded the UAE's achievements since its formation, from putting the first Emirati into space to leading the charge for the empowerment of women.
"We have come a long way in empowering women and youth, and developing a diversified economy. Outer space welcomed our first Emirati astronaut and our Hope Probe in historic milestones that have made our nation the first in this sphere in the Arab region and the fifth worldwide.
"We launched the Arab region’s first multi-unit nuclear plant that turned the UAE into a regional hub for renewable and clean energy. We’ve adopted a national strategy to retain and attract talent in a way that further reinforces the UAE’s stature on the Gulf, Arab, Islamic and global levels. And under the theme 'Connecting Minds, Creating the Future', we're hosting Expo 2020 Dubai, the world’s greatest show’ for the first time in the region’s history."
Sheikh Khalifa reflected on the UAE's achievements while looking forward to a bright future.
"We have introduced to the world an inspiring development success story, which has rendered our country a leading regional and international financial centre, and a sought-after place to live, work, invest and travel," he said.
"In so doing, we have surpassed others in terms of well-being, service excellence, corporate governance, trade openness, quality of life and entrepreneurship.
"We have successfully weathered the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic and restored normalcy while observing full compliance with preventive measures in place.
"Thanks to this enviable track record of achievements, we're ushering in the next 50 years of our history with a comprehensive, long-term and well-thought-out strategic vision, based on meticulous pursuance of excellence to secure a brighter future for future generations, who, by the time they will be celebrating our Centennial 2071, will see their nation amongst the best in the world thanks to a sustainable and vibrant economy."
Pursuit of peace
Sheikh Khalifa said the UAE would work closely with its Middle East neighbours to bolster stability and security across the region and support diplomatic efforts around the world.
"Strengthening co-operation among GCC states at the political, economic, social and security levels will remain a top Emirati priority. Within this context, we will continue to stand by our fraternal GCC states in the face of all threats to their stability, unity, and territorial integrity.
"We reiterate that Gulf security is integrated and inseparable. Strengthening the pillars of stability in our region is a collective responsibility that requires intensifying strategic co-ordination among all the GCC states to achieve the aspirations of our peoples for a secure and prosperous future as has been the case during the past 50 years.
"Our diplomacy will remain active and vibrant, catalysing partnerships with major, emerging and developing nations to promote a culture of tolerance, controlling conflicts, confronting climate change, investing in Sustainable Development Goals, combatting hunger, disease and poverty, and providing humanitarian and development aid, which is an integral part of our country's glorious journey and its moral obligations."
Sheikh Khalifa spoke of his pride at the role played by Emiratis in all sections of society – from the Armed Forces defending the country to those working in government departments to drive progress.
"We are proud of our government teams who've succeeded across 50 years to translate the rules laid down by our Founding Fathers into tangible services and resilient infrastructures," he said.
"We take pride in our Armed Forces and their valiant commanders and soldiers, and our security and police services. They have been leaving no stone unturned to live up to their responsibility in protecting our homeland. We are proud of all UAE residents, and their vital contributions to development and nation building."