President Sheikh Khalifa declared 2021 to be the 'Year of the 50th', as the nation celebrates its milestone Golden Jubilee.
The Year of the 50th officially starts 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 will be 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, state news agency Wam reported.
The committee has members representing various federal and local departments.
Its activities have the following foundational pillars:
- Launching the Year 50 with a festive spirit that engages all those who consider the UAE their homeland
- Calling upon all UAE citizens to contemplate the values and achievements of the past in acknowledgement of the Founding Fathers
- Inspiring young people to have their vision about the ambitions of the next 50 years, while supporting them to make quality national achievements in furtherance of the March of Development, Progress and Prosperity
'Gearing up for the next journey'
Sheikh Khalifa said: "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.
"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."
Sheikh Khalifa said he valued the efforts made by foreign citizens who have shared with Emirati citizens the same journey and the efforts to build this young nation.
"Year of the 50th is an opportunity to contemplate the achievements made over 50 years at a time we are gearing up for the next journey," he said.
The programme includes a series of initiatives to celebrate the UAE's history, values and achievements as the nation moves towards its centennial in 2071.
In so doing, the nation will remain committed to building its future by relying on its young people and equipping them with all the skills they need to forge ahead with their plans for the future.
Sheikh Khalifa said: "We are living in a rapidly changing world. Amid this change, there are opportunities up for grabs to drive innovation and creativity.
"Therefore, we’ll have to double efforts to generate novel ideas, and quality initiatives to preserve our heritage and values and protect the cultural diversity of our society.
"As such, these initiatives should contribute to creating a better tomorrow with a brighter future for our nation."
The Golden Jubilee Committee was formed in December 2019 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.
In addition to governing the UAE's Golden Jubilee celebrations, developing a comprehensive preparation plan and forming teams to execute plans to mark the nation's 50th anniversary in 2021, the committee is working on a diverse agenda.
This is built on four strategic pillars that cover several development initiatives aimed at driving change through socio-economic and developmental policies for generations to come.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said: "A year to celebrate 50 years, which witnessed the fastest construction journey in the history of countries, the best development journey in the region and the most noble journey in human building.
"It is also a year of preparation for the next 50 years, full of goodness, deep in impact and exemplary in building hope for the region and the world."
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, said: "Today, as we launch the UAE Year Of the 50th, we can proudly look back on our achievements as we embark on a new journey with determination and enthusiasm.
"Everyone in the UAE has the chance to reach their full potential, and together we will continue to shape new frontiers."
For further information on the Year of the 50th, please visit the following link: www.UAEyearof.ae