President Sheikh Mohamed has set out his vision for his country, urging all people of the UAE to seize the opportunities before them to prosper.
The head of state stressed that hard work, dedication and innovation would continue the strong growth the Emirates has seen in recent years.
In a broadcast on Wednesday evening, he said that empowering the nation's people was the top priority for its leaders. Sustainability, transparency, sovereignty and security are also crucial, he stressed.
He said: “Today, the UAE economy is thriving and continues to grow at an impressive rate. We are blessed with many resources, especially our high-skilled human capital.”
He said that, as leaders, “our primary goal is the UAE and its people”.
Sheikh Mohamed's speech came two months after the Supreme Council elected him President, following the death of Sheikh Khalifa.
On other key topics, he said:
— the UAE will continue its policy of continuing to support peace and stability in the region and the wider world
— the country's sovereignty and security is fundamental to its leaders
— diversifying the economy is a fundamental necessity that will build on existing progress
— he stressed the value of human capital and the pursuit of science and technology
— the UAE would be a friend to those in need, delivering support and humanitarian aid “regardless of race or religion”
— the contributions of the 200 nationalities who call the UAE their second home are much valued
Sheikh Mohamed's speech in full:
“Peace, mercy, and blessings be upon you all.
“Dear brothers and sisters, A few weeks ago, we lost our leader, our father, a wise and valued teacher who was loved by everyone. Yet we accept fate and this loss with patience and faith in God’s will. May God bless his soul.
“Sheikh Khalifa, may his soul rest in peace, walked alongside the Founding Father Sheikh Zayed, God rest his soul, throughout the UAE’s development, and bore the nation’s trust after his father’s passing with sincerity and wisdom. He fulfilled his mission for his people, leaving an enduring legacy of generosity through his deeds in the region and around the world.
“Today, we see our nation ranked among the most advanced nations globally, as well as being one of the best places to live and work.
“This was the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed and our founding fathers, and we thank God for this blessing. We will continue to follow their wise approach, drawing inspiration from their unfaltering leadership. Our history, identity, and cultural heritage will form an essential part of our plans for the future.
“I thank my brothers, the Members of the Federal Supreme Council, who have vested in me a great responsibility. I pray to Almighty God to help me carry it out.
“The deep connection that exists between us and our people, an unbreakable fellowship, and the rallying of our people around us will be, as it has always been, the source of our strength and the pride of our nation.
“I extend my gratitude to the leaders of countries around the world who expressed their condolences and sincere sympathies towards the UAE and its people at our time of loss.
Our people are our priority
“The people of the UAE, and striving to empower them, has always been and continues to be our nation’s top priority. Ensuring our people have everything they need to live fulfilled, comfortable, and happy lives, remains the basis of all our future plans.
“Dear brothers, we are fortunate to have a nation of such people, who, before and after the union, and even through difficult times, have proven their spirit and determination to overcome the toughest challenges. Our pride in our people is infinite.
“Equally, we deeply appreciate the valued role of our residents who consider this country their second home. And their continued contributions in building and developing the UAE since its union.
Sovereignty and security
“The sovereignty and security of the UAE will remain a foundational principle that we will abide with, and we will not tolerate anything that could affect it. We extend the hand of friendship to all countries that share our values of peaceful coexistence and mutual respect, to achieve progress and prosperity.
“Brothers and sisters, thanks to Almighty God and to the great leadership of my brother Khalifa, may God rest his soul, as well as that of the union’s founder, Sheikh Zayed, today the UAE has an advanced, sustainable and integrated ecosystem that has become an inspiration for people in the region around the world. We will ensure it continues to develop, thanks the efforts of our people, and those who have chosen to call the UAE home.
Economy on strong footing
“Today, the UAE economy is thriving and continues to grow at an impressive rate. We are blessed with many resources, especially our high-skilled human capital, as the UAE possesses a distinguished wealth of young manpower. In addition, more than 200 nationalities are actively participating in the growth and development of our economy.
“Brothers and sisters, further diversifying our economy is a key strategic focus of our future plans. It is therefore necessary to accelerate economic development efforts to continue building a leading global economy, to enhance our competitiveness, and to achieve the highest global rankings.
Science, technology and private sector growth crucial
“Our priorities also include further strengthening our people’s capabilities in science and technology, and develop it further to benefit all economic areas and the society. The role of the private sector is pivotal and it must be further activated through constant collaboration and diverse opportunities to increase its contribution to the growth of the economy.
“Since its establishment, the UAE has built robust relations with countries around the world, based on solid foundations of openness and constructive co-operation. This has gained our nation a reputation regionally and internationally, by the efforts of our young men and women in the UAE and abroad, who we are very proud of.
New partnerships and friends
“During the next chapter, we will build on our reputation by establishing strategic partnerships with various countries. Continuing Sheikh Zayed’s approach, we will work to strengthen our role among the world’s leading countries by providing humanitarian aid, and by continuing to extend a helping hand to communities in need around the world, irrespective of religion or race.
“We will also continue to consolidate our nation’s position as a reliable energy provider, and support global energy security as a fundamental driver of global economic growth and development.
Peace and respect
“The UAE’s policy will continue to champion peace and stability in our region and the wider world, supporting others and advocating for wisdom and co-operation for the good of mankind. We will continue our work to strengthen co-operation and enable positive, respectful dialogue between countries to achieve stability and prosperity for all.
“Brothers and sisters, the UAE has secured a great number of exceptional achievements, particularly as a young country. But our ambitions are far greater, and it is imperative that we continue to strive to surpass our current success. Our responsibility is to secure a bright future for our youth, and achieving that depends on the work and effort we put in today.
Foundations to build on
“The Founding Father, may God have mercy upon him, laid solid foundations for this country, and today we will redouble our efforts to maintain the UAE’s status and elevate its achievements. Our primary goal is the UAE and its people.
“Our hope in God is great and so is our confidence in a bright future for our country, our people, and the path ahead. We pray to God Almighty to help us and to be the guardian of our success.
“May God rest the soul of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, grant him eternal peace, and grant our country glory, safety, and blessings.”