2017 will be a year of abundance and generous giving for the UAE and its citizens, while seeking to make a better future for citizens and government work, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, promised today, as he chaired the Cabinet's first meeting of the year at Union House, or Dar Al Etihad, where the country’s founding fathers had gathered 45 years ago to establish one united country.
"Union House is a place of giving where the journey of generous giving began. From it, we start a year of generous giving. The founder of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, made a difference in our lives. Today, we continue to walk in his footsteps. The union of the United Arab Emirates is a firm truth that we boast to the entire world. It is a source of pride. We fondly cherish it in our hearts and minds, while instilling it in the minds of the new generation, so as to keep our flag fluttering high, God willing," he said at the meeting.
With strong resolve and firmness, the UAE continues its efforts to make a better future for its State, serve its citizens and enhance government work in all sectors, he said.
"With a vision inspired by the approach pursued by the founding fathers, we seek to achieve our limitless aspirations under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan," he said, while urging Cabinet members to build on the legacy left behind by the country's founder, who "established generous giving as a value in our society."
Expressing pride in Etihad Museum, built next to Union House, he said, "Four years ago in this place, we issued directives to commemorate the union and its makers. Today, we have a reliable historical reference."
Sheikh Mohammed further called upon the ministers and all people to visit Union House, and noted that the Ministry of Education, in particular, should bring school students to visit the museum to learn about the journey of the founding fathers and the creation of the UAE.
"The edifice inspires positive energy, driving us to work as one team based on one vision for the same goals. We have a few years ahead to achieve our National Agenda to serve the nation and citizens. Union House is a national edifice and a school that teaches people today, and future generations, about the journey of building the UAE. It offers a rich national repertoire of knowledge. It inspires our future," Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said.
Spreading over 26,000 square metres, Etihad Museum was built to tell the full story of the establishment of the UAE in 1971.
It is located adjacent to Union House, where the declaration was announced to establish the independent state of the United Arab Emirates. Its inauguration coincided with the 45th UAE National Day on 2nd December.
During the meeting today, the Cabinet approved the closing accounts of the General Pension and Social Security Authority for 2015, and its budget for the 2017 fiscal year.
Later, the ministers and senior officials visited Etihad Museum.
Those who attended the Cabinet meeting included General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, and Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.