The construction phase in the development story of the UAE, began with the wisdom, patience, loyalty and generosity of the founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan last year on the occasion of country’s 40th National Day paid rich tributes to the founding fathers and stressed that the achievements the UAE has made had catapulted the country into the ranks of advanced nations, thanks to the sincere and tireless efforts spearheaded by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his fellow founding fathers, who toiled in silence to initiate a march whose aims fit with our genuine national values and principles.
Sheikh Khalifa said “This Union that is with us today in terms of political achievement and socio-economic reality was neither a gift or a grant nor an easy achievement. Rather, it was the fruit of a good tree planted by our fathers who dreamed of the idea with hope, took care of it with their dedication to raise the flag of the Union as high as they could and strengthened its pillars. They are really the spirit of the Union; from their life and history, generations will draw lessons and will continue to carry the responsibility under the eyes of a glorious nation that takes pride in its past, its giving present and promising future”.
The federal march then continued with the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa, who launched, with his wise vision and inimitable leadership experience, the empowerment stage in all political, economic, social, scientific and cultural fields.
On another occasion Sheikh Khalifa, at the opening of the Second Ordinary Session of the 15th Legislative Chapter of the Federal National Council on November 6, this year, stressed: “The convening of the new session of the Council coincides with the dedicated efforts of our citizens in the march of achieving the UAE Vision 2021 fortified with determination and design, and inspired by the legacy of our fathers and grandfathers, and relying on a comprehensive program for national action and integrated strategic plan of the Federal Government.” Noting that the role of the FNC had already developed since the launching of a gradualist programme of political empowerment in 2005, particularly since the holding of a second round of elections for the Council’s members in 2011, the President told the FNC: “Your membership in this Council is a great trust and responsibility. Governance here belongs to those who have bestowed their trust on you”. “So be solicitous to maintain your eligibility to have received this trust and be committed to the interests of the country and the citizens.” Members must work, he said, to protect the bonds that link all segments of UAE society, “In our quest to entrench the culture of consultation and participation in decision-making, as well as to emphasize the importance of individual opinions in formulating the opinion of the society.” UNIQUE MODEL FOR NATIONAL COHESION The 40th National Day celebrations last year, embodied the slogan (Spirit of the Union) and established values of loyalty and mutual love between the leadership and the people. Meanwhile, the 41st National day adds deeper dimension and proves that the outstanding Federal march is no longer a pioneering experiment only in unity, but has become a unique model in the national cohesion and positive interaction binding UAE’s leadership and its citizens and unite them in order to build a bright future.
While attending the meeting of the Federal Supreme Council of the Rulers of Emirates on December 2nd, 2011, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa, and Their Highnesses, Members of Supreme Council, Rulers of Emirates, reiterated that the achievements scored by the UAE over the last 40 years were fruits of the strenuous and sincere work by Emiratis. “The contribution of UAE people to building their country will always be highly appreciated”.
Their Highnesses, Members of Supreme Council also welcomed the decree issued by the UAE President on establishment of the “Head of State Merit Award,” adding that this initiative will have a very positive impact regarding honouring of all who work and contribute to the nation-building.
They paid tributes to the founding fathers who had shouldered the historic responsibilities to build the Union, stressing that the role of those founders and others who had worked with them “represents a national role model to current and coming generations”.
Sheikh Khalifa highlighted “Our State, is classified today as one of the best states, in terms of the efficiency of services and public policies and in terms of the government credibility towards the community, and counted among the most stable and secured countries”.
EMBODYING THE SPIRIT OF THE UNION On the occasion of the 40th national day celebrations, Sheikh Khalifa, on November 30, 2011, issued a number of decrees within the framework of his keenness to achieve welfare of the citizens and help them get their ambitions in a stable and comfortable life.
He issued a decree to increase salaries of all federal government employees with effect from January 2012.
In the framework of his concern and interest to provide a better life to his citizens, Sheikh Khalifa ordered the establishment of a fund with a capital of AED 10 billion to examine and address the loans of citizens with limited income and settling their personal loans in coordination with the Central Bank and creditor banks in the state.
He also ordered an increase of 20 percent of the allocation of social benefits to some cases that receive subsidies from the Ministry of Social Affairs.
The President also issued an order to the ministries, government departments and competent authorities to treat children of Emirati women married to foreigners equally like citizens. It also granted the sons of Emirati women, the right to apply for the UAE nationality at the age of 18.
Another decree was issued to allocate 2,500 residential plots to citizens in the emirate of Abu Dhabi in the framework of his keenness to provide adequate housing for citizens and to achieve social stability and a secure future for themselves and their families.
Sheikh Khalifa issued another federal decree establishing an annual award, entitled “Head of State’s Merit Award” in the form of a medal and financial reward and is aimed at supporting the spirit of the Union, values of giving and national cohesion by honoring loyal people with outstanding and creative contributions that will enhance the country’s stature at all local, regional and international levels.
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