The UAE National Day is celebrated yearly on December 2nd to commemorate the unification of six Emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Sharjah, and Umm Al Quwain. The seventh emirate, Ras Al Khaimah, joined a few weeks later.
Brief History of the UAE
Before the discovery of a wealth of natural resources (oil and natural gas) within the UAE’s land and sea, the UAE’s economy depended on pearl diving, fishing, and agriculture. Today, the nation has become a leading centre for innovation and change in the Middle East and the world. It has also successfully diversified its economy and invested in renewable energy sources.
Similarly, decades ago, healthcare was limited, and the provision of its services was lacking. With intensified government efforts, the UAE currently maintains highly developed and advanced medical centres, clinics, and modern hospitals across the nation. This has contributed to significantly decreasing infant mortality rates and increasing life expectancy.
In parallel to its economic and financial growth, the UAE has witnessed exemplary educational development and progress. The UAE has continuously prioritised education and offered free primary, secondary, and higher education to its nationals and has steadily attracted world-class educational institutions that have set up campuses across the nation.
Source: Crown Prince Court
Many leading and reputable universities in the UAE have risen up swiftly within international rankings. Khalifa University, United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), and University of Sharjah have all ranked among the top 500 universities in Times Higher Education’s (THE) 2022 World University Rankings. Regionally, Khalifa University and UAEU occupied 6th and 7th place, respectively (THE Arab University Rankings). It’s also worth noting that UAEU has scored the highest female to male ratio worldwide in this year’s rankings.
Source: Times Higher Education
Interesting Facts About the UAE
In addition to its prominence across various industries and its advancements in different fields, the UAE is a culturally rich nation. Below are some exciting facts that you might not have known about the UAE.
- – The UAE’s national symbol is a falcon. [Falconry is a 5000-year-old, truly popular sport in the UAE which uses trained falcons for hunting other wild animals].
- – The UAE has a literacy rate of 93%.
- – Women make up about 70% of all university graduates.
- – More than 12 million tourists visit the UAE every year.
- – Women occupy around two-thirds of government jobs.
- – The Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, which hosts the iconic Louvre Abu Dhabi, has two sand beaches “which protect critically endangered Hawksbill turtles”.
- – Masdar City in Abu Dhabi is the first zero-carbon, zero-waste, car-free city in the world.
- – UAE residents come from as many as 200 different countries.
- – The first Middle Eastern country to ever host the FIFA Club World Cup Tournament was the UAE.
- – The UAE’s first female minister was appointed in 2004.
- – UNESCO named Sharjah the “Cultural Capital of the Arab World” in 1998.
Source: UAE Embassy
UAE National Day Becomes International Day of Future
The 50th National Day marks 50 years of achievements and progress in the UAE. On this occasion, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has announced December 2 to be the International Day of Future. This day would serve as a reminder and an invitation for the world to anticipate, welcome, and proactively prepare for the future, especially by working towards achieving sustainable development.
Selecting December 2nd to be the date of the International Day of Future came as a token of recognition for the UAE’s efforts towards creating and imagining the future throughout the past 50 years. The decision was made unanimously during the 41st session of the UNESCO’s General Conference in Paris. This announcement highlights the UAE’s position and role as a model of progress, attracting skill and talent to contribute to the future of humanity.
In terms of future preparedness and innovation, the UAE has excelled on more than one level. One such success can be attributed to its Minister for Advanced Sciences, Sarah Al Amiri, who was the lead scientist for the Hope spacecraft launched to orbit Mars. Read more in this issue of TIME Magazine about how Al Amiri led a predominantly female team of scientists to success.
Also admirable is the comprehensive way in which the UAE responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially the schools. Follow the detailed leadership experiences of three UAE-based principals during the early months of the pandemic here.
A sense of pride, joy, and cheerfulness is sweeping the nation’s seven emirates this National Day as all sectors take part in celebrating the 50th year. From countless ceremonial events to mega-discounts and offers across different industries, everyone – young or old – will be commemorating the union of the seven emirates this coming week.
1. Expo 2020 Dubai will be running numerous dazzling events and musical performances across various pavilions from the 1st of December until the 4th.
Source: Arab News
2. The Golden Jubilee celebrations will take place in Hatta, where live theatrical performances will tell the story of the UAE’s history. The celebrations will be open to the public for nine consecutive days from December 4th until December 12th.
Source: UAE National Day Website
3. Emirates Airlines are offering a box or set of delicious chocolates made by award-winning local chocolatier and packaged with designs from local artists to everyone flying from Dubai on the 2nd of December. More National Day treats will be available at the Emirates lounge.
4. Dubai Jewellery Group is celebrating by creating 50 hours of non-stop deals across 100 outlets. Discounts on diamond jewellery, promotions on gold items, and other jewellery gifts that shoppers can win.
5. Carrefour is launching its biggest National Day Campaign to date! The retailer will be giving away Dh2.5 million to over 5,000 shoppers. Moreover, Carrefour will serve free flag-coloured ice cream to countless neighbourhoods across different emirates.
Source: Khaleej Times
6. Zendy, proudly founded in the UAE, will also be extending discounted plans to UAE-based users on this special occasion. From December 2nd until December 6th, knowledge enthusiasts in the UAE will be able to sign up to Zendy Plus monthly plan for as little as 50 AED and subscribe to the yearly plan for no more than 500 AED.
Visit www.zendy.io and use the code UAE50 to earn your National Day discount!