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04 December 2023

Thank you, Khalifa: The nation salutes its hero

His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

By Vicky Kapur

As the United Arab Emirates celebrates the eighth anniversary of the Ruler of Dubai, he has asked the UAE to mark the anniversary by sending thanks to the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, has marked his accession day in the previous years to focus on different segments of the society who contribute to nation building and enhancing social harmony in the UAE. On previous accession days, Sheikh Mohammed has honoured mothers, orphans and the workers.

This year, he has asked the nation to thank the leader and national hero, the President of the UAE. On his Twitter page, Sheikh Mohammed told his almost 2.5 million followers that he wished to extend his appreciation to Sheikh Khalifa.

“We acknowledge that Khalifa bin Zayed indeed loves all his people,” he said. “He is a loving father and a careful provider to all, young and old. And he is close to everyone’s heart.”

The UAE continues today to enjoy a wise and far-sighted leadership in the person of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who has been deeply inspired by the leadership principles and values of his father, and is leading the country into a new era of progress and development unrivalled in the history of modern civilisation.

“Our goal is to turn the UAE into a regional hub for the global economy,” says His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE. And the country is indeed progressing on that path, already a global leader in the crucial economic sectors of trade and tourism, and regional power centre in banking and finance, among others.

His Highness Sheikh Khalifa’s public service spans the two historic stages of this great nation’s development. He was elected as the President of the United Arab Emirates on November 3, 2004, to succeed his father, the late HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, UAE President from 1971 to 2004, from whom, he has said, he learned “the need for patience and prudence in all things.”

Sheikh Khalifa was personally very close to the leadership of his late father, took inspiration from his example during his life-time, and acted as the main executive leader for his Government in the first stage of the foundation of the state.

The UAE is the second largest Gulf Arab economy, and among the fastest-growing economies in the world. Throughout the past 42 years, the UAE’s GDP has grown rapidly, increasing from Dh6.5bn in 1971 to an estimated Dh1.34 trillion in 2013, an increase of more than 206 times.

Since becoming UAE President, HH Sheikh Khalifa has presided over a major restructuring of both the Federal Government and the government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The appointment of a new Cabinet in February 2006, with Vice-President and Dubai Ruler HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum as Prime Minister, saw major changes in the portfolios.

The country’s economy is becoming progressively competitive, and the UAE is today ranked at No. 8 among the world’s most competitive nations, according to Switzerland’s International Institute of Management Development. Importantly, thanks to the prudent policies of its wise leadership, the country is has grown its wealth and is today counted among the richest 5 nations in the world in terms of GDP per capita.

HH Sheikh Khalifa has also undertaken extensive tours throughout the UAE to study the needs of the Emirates, during which he has given instructions for carrying out a number of projects related to housing, education and the social services.

HH Sheikh Khalifa assumed his posts as Ruler of Abu Dhabi and President of the United Arab Emirates in 2004 after many decades working closely with his father, HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of the Federation. Today, he continues his leadership role in a new stage of development for the UAE that is witnessing the empowerment of the nation and its establishment on the global scene as a major world player.

He has stated that his key objective as President of the UAE is to continue on the path laid down by his father, whose legacy, he says, “will continue to be the beacon guiding us into the future, a prosperous future where security and stability will reign.”

The nation salutes its hero and we pray that the country continues to progress under the wise leadership of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.