Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, has unveiled a plaque on the pedestrian bridge spanning the Dubai Water Canal, revealing its new name, ‘Tolerance Bridge’, in a ceremony attended by a number of officials, students and young citizens.
The bridge was named on the annual International Day for Tolerance which was celebrated on Thursday.
The ceremony was held after the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, announced the bridge’s new name, which reflects the UAE’s regional and global model for tolerance, harmony and coexistence, with residents from many different cultures and nations residing and working together.
Speaking on the occasion, Sheikh Nahyan said, "The UAE’s Leadership has established a consistent approach to making tolerance an integral part of our society. Since its inception, the UAE has attracted millions of people from around the world, who were drawn to its values that are based on coexistence, tolerance and cultural acceptance."
He continued, "We have more than 200 nationalities living and working in the UAE. At a time when hate speech, discrimination and non-acceptance of the other are spreading, we find value in otherness, appreciating the contributions made by different cultures and experiences that enrich us. The UAE will itself remain a bridge that connects people from around the world, and a center for tolerance, acceptance and togetherness."
Various cultural, artistic and community-based activities, events and programmes will take place throughout the year on ‘Tolerance Bridge’. It will also be a joyful and celebratory space, which will host singers and bands from around the world, invited to share their art. The bridge will be a place where acceptance, tolerance and understanding prevail, and symbolises connectivity between cultures and peoples.
The Dubai Water Canal was opened in November last year, and is one of Dubai’s most unique cultural landmarks, linking the Business Bay area with the Arabian Gulf, 3.2km in length, adding 6.4km to the waterfront.
In 2016, the UAE announced the creation of the world’s first Ministerial post of Tolerance and has adopted the National Programme for Tolerance.
In 2015, the UAE has enacted the Federal Law on Combating Discrimination and Hatred, and in 2016 the UAE also announced a number of initiatives to promote open dialogue, including the International Institute for Tolerance , Mohammed bin Rashid Tolerance Award, Tolerance Volunteer Association, the representatives of the Voice of Tolerance, Teacher’s Charter and a plethora of initiatives.
The country topped 1st on the Global Talent Competitiveness Index and 3rd on the National Culture Index for Tolerance and openness to the others, according to the 2016 IMD World Talent Report "Institute for Management Development" in Switzerland.