Conference to debate UAE national identity




A two-day meeting to promote the UAE’s national identity, history and culture will be held next week.United Arab Emirates: National Identity Conference will be opened by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The forum will take place at the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi from April 15 to 16. The event will provide a forum for high-level government and private sector representatives to discuss some of the issues relating to national identity and provide recommendations on ways to enhance it.

More than 1,000 invitations have been sent to representatives of all federal ministries and members of the National Federal Council and UAE local departments plus chief executive officers and senior management of large international corporations in the country.

The conference will start with an opening ceremony followed by a speech by Sheikh Mohammed, who has given strong personal support to the event.

The meeting will also be attended by General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, who will lead a session on national identity and leadership at the end of day one.
The President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler of Abu Dhabi, has announced that 2008 is National Identity Year in the UAE.

The mega event is being hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development.“The ministry aims to reinforce national efforts to protect and promote national identity,” said Culture Minister Abdul Rehman bin Mohammed Al Owais.
“The conference provides a forum to address the challenges facing national identity and establish ways to promote it.”Afra Al Saberi, the ministry’s Human Resources Manager, said: “Leading figures in the UAE will come together to highlight factors that weaken national identity in the Emirates and to develop solutions to preserve and strengthen national identity for the future.”
A wide range of topics relating to national identity and culture in the UAE will be discussed at the conference. The programme consists of seven individual sessions addressing the important issues of education, the experience of democracy, Arabic language, sports achievement, media, history and heritage.

High-calibre speakers will provide insights into each topic before opening the floor to questions.Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, will share his thoughts on the UAE and the international community, and Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, CEO of Mashreq, will outline the role of the Federal National Council in enhancing national identity.

Each session will be followed by an interactive workshop during which speakers and guests will find solutions and create recommendations to overcome some of the pressing issues surrounding identity and culture in the UAE today.