Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, has stressed that the ministry's celebration of the International Workers' Day, which falls on 1st of May each year, is a recognition of the role that labourers played in the comprehensive development being experienced by the UAE, led by its wise leadership.
He added that observing this event boosts the workers' status in the society, and further sheds light on their rights, which are protected by the government.
Sheikh Nahyan said the theme, "Emirates of Zayed Gathers Us," evokes values and legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, who had during his lifetime sponsored and supported the labourers, and hence became the international symbol of compassion and generosity.
He added that the UAE and its leadership are still on the track chalked out by Sheikh Zayed to support the workers to promote the communal cohesion advocated by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Sheikh Nahyan praised the role of partners of the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development in sponsoring such a large event.
Sheikh Nahyan's remarks came as the ministry organised Labour Day activities at seven different locations in Abu Dhabi under the theme: "Emirates of Zayed Gathers Us." The sessions were attended by over 10, 000 workers.
He said, "We meet today as a mark of love for Emirates of philanthropic Zayed, which brings us together in the framework of unity, fraternity, solidarity and co-existence." He also expressed his satisfaction at being among the UAE workers who had come from different countries "to stay among us in the UAE. We are proud of their contribution to the nation building and progress."
The UAE minister paid rich tribute to the labourers, citing their loyalty and dedication towards building the UAE. He pledged his full support to this essential category of the society.
For his part, Mohan Jashanmal, Chairman of the Indian Professional Business Group, said the UAE passed through different stages, characterised by several kinds of success until it reached the knowledge economy stage, thanks to the shrewd vision of the late Sheikh Zayed and follow up by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Other dignitaries expressed their pride in the values of tolerance and co-existence that prevail in the UAE.
The workers who represent various nationalities expressed their satisfaction at participating in the events graced by four ministers and other senior officials.
Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance, Saqr bin Ghubash Saeed Ghubash, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development, Afra Al Saberi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, and a number of Arab and foreign ambassadors, senior local and federal officials and representatives of expatriate residents were present.
Sheikh Nahyan unveiled the memorial plaque presented to him by the workers in recognition of the UAE and its leadership.
The ceremony included cultural and assorted contests and offering of prizes to encourage participants to develop their knowledge and cultural abilities. There was a session to detect workers who have talents in singing, diction and acting. They were given a chance to present them on the stage. There were also health education programmes and medical and preventive check-ups, as well as cultural performances, including a film highlighting the UAE's past, present, and the various development phases it has witnessed.
The programmes also included presentation of popular and traditional dishes from various countries. Gifts were distributed to workers at their headquarters on Yas Island and seven locations in the industrial zones.