On the occasion of the UAE's 49th National Day, the leaders have praised citizens and residents for being united in solidarity and laid out their goals for the next 50 years.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said December 2 will remain the nation's most cherished day wherein wisdom, principles and noble goals triumphed.
In a statement to 'Nation Shield,' the UAE Armed Forces magazine, His Highness said: "It is the day when our Founding Fathers embodied the quintessential Emirati values of dignity and steadfastness and represented the sense of belonging and national identity."
"We look to the future with confidence and hope, armed with our vision, our experience, and our achievements in the field of human development and urbanisation, realising that our successes in the past decades were achieved with effort, hard work and determination. In the next five decades, we will need to double this effort, increase production and enhance capabilities, as the ambition is greater, challenges are tougher, competition is more intense, and the transformations around us are faster and deeper."
Sheikh Mohammed highlighted how 2020 was "an exceptional year", and applauded the entire nation and its frontline heroes for being resilient in the fight against COVID-19, and helping to design the "Emirati model".
Apart from setting the bar for being "first country in the world where COVID-19 tests have exceeded the population count," the UAE has also "reached our targets for monitoring infections and recoveries" and "succeeded in securing the food and medicine needs of our community".
Sheikh Mohammed also praised the people for adapting quickly to the changes posed by the pandemic, in terms of digital transformation of office spaces.
"Thus, our work continued as usual, sometimes at a faster pace, while moving ahead to implement the... preparation for the next fifty years," he said.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has affirmed that the UAE’s 49th National Day marks a milestone in its history during which it stands with pride and full of determination to continue its progress and achievements across various fields.
In his statement, His Highness said: "As we enter the 50th year of our young country and our unique union experience, we are stronger, self-confident and more capable and determined to achieve our goals during the next 50 years, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
"We are well-placed to realise our ambition of making the UAE the best country in the world by its 100th anniversary, relying on the strong foundations laid down by our founding leaders and the major successes that we have achieved over the past decades."
Sheikh Mohamed also applauded the efforts of the people and frontline workers in curbing the spread of COVID-19.
His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, said the UAE, while marking 49 years of its union this year, "treats all its nationals and residents alike, forging ahead with a proven track record of achievements that have been possible thanks to the Founding Fathers who instilled the noble values of unity, dedication and giving among our people. This helps the journey of an evergreen pursuit of success and happiness."
His Highness Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ajman, said the UAE has made great historical achievements and continues to strengthen its stature in all areas.
In a statement to Nation Shield, Sheikh Humaid said, "On the 2nd of December 1971, the Emirati people were on a date with a brighter tomorrow, as that day opened the prospects for a promising future, prosperity and happiness for the UAE community.
"Today, we stand in appreciation for what we have achieved with the grace of Allah and thanks to the wise leadership that transformed the dream of the Union into a tangible achievement."
The UAE has attained its prominent stature among the world nations by following the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, highlighted His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah, while His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu'alla, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Umm Al Qaiwain, said the UAE is now racing to deliver on its goals and achieve global leadership as per the highest international standards.
His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, stressed that the UAE is a model of solidarity among siblings who have been united under the Union Flag to secure the greatest amount of good for their people.
Dubai Crown Prince His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said the vision of the UAE’s leadership that blended the love of the nation with patriotism, have turned the idiom of "union is strength" into a reality that we reap its fruits nowadays.
In a statement to Nation Shield, Sheikh Hamdan said the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan saw at the time that the union was the right way to confront the challenges that faced the region back then; which led to laying the foundation for an ambitious nation.
Sheikh Hamdan said the "founding fathers have put on the world map an ambitious nation that would be a partner in building the future... and today, their ambitions have become a reality, as the UAE today is one of the fastest-growing nation in the world".