All signs point to a golden year of celebrations as the UAE marks its foundation half a century ago.
Abu Dhabi buildings were lit up and road signs carried messages of support as the countdown to the 50th anniversary began.
President Sheikh Khalifa on Tuesday declared 2021 to be the Year of the 50th. This officially starts on April 6 and will last until March 31, 2022.
The announcement was coupled with the declaration of year-long initiatives, activities and grand celebrations.
Twelve months of festivities were launched in style, as landmark buildings such as Capital Gate and Khalifa University were emblazoned with the Year of the 50th slogan.
"Year of the 50th represents a historic defining moment in our journey that started immediately after the declaration of the UAE’s union in 1971," Sheikh Khalifa said.
"It’s an acknowledgement of the resolute will and strong determination our Founding Fathers had while building up their nation.
"It also comes in recognition of the sincere efforts made by our citizens for our nation to be what we are seeing today as one of the best growing and fastest developing countries in the world."