The UAE's Mother of the Nation, Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, said celebrating National Day brought back precious memories of the Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed.
Sheikha Fatima, who is also chairwoman of the General Women's Union and president of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, said Sheikh Zayed and the other Rulers established a country that had wowed the world.
She also paid tribute to the contribution of Emirati women and said women's empowerment was an important part of the UAE's strategy, Wam reported.
"As we end a federal year full of hard work, giving, achievements and cultural gains at local, regional and international levels, we will enter a new year while reinforcing our efforts, promoting co-operation, uniting our visions and committing to our values that led to the success of our beloved country," said Sheikha Fatima, who was the wife of Sheikh Zayed.
"We will aim to spread our values, preserve our heritage and achieve the highest levels of sustainable development."
Sheikha Fatima expressed her pride in the achievements of Emirati women. Sheikh Zayed always believed in the role of women in the community since the establishment of the country in 1971.
She said the country’s leadership followed the same approach, enabling Emirati women to become innovators, pioneers and overachievers.
"We directed the General Women’s Union to draft a national strategy to support future women’s empowerment plans, in line with the announcement of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid [Vice President and Ruler of Dubai] and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed [Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces] that 2020 will be the year of preparations for the next 50 years," she said.
She also highlighted outstanding achievements by Emirati women. There are nine female ministers in the UAE Cabinet managing key portfolios such as advanced sciences, youth affairs, community development, culture, public education, international co-operation and food and water security.
Women's representation in the Federal National Council also increased to 50 per cent of members and there are 19,153 women working in the federal government.
The UAE has been marking its 49th birthday while ensuring the safety of everyone because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Buildings lit up with the UAE flag, while traditional firework displays can be watched online.