Today is the UAE’s 42nd Birthday. Of course the people and the land existing before 1971, but 42 years ago today documents were signed in Union House in Dubai marking the birth of the modern United Arab Emirates.
In just four short decades the UAE has moved from being a desert hamlet to the business hub of the region. The man chosen to be the UAE’s first President, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nayhan, left a legacy of ambition. There are stories to be heard of his vision and generosity and his image still adorns the windows and doors of cars as the population of the country celebrates National Day 2013. The optimism and will to succeed of His Highness is what makes him legend in the UAE, and it is these traits that drive the UAE forward a decade after his passing.
Dubai has just won the rights to host Expo 2020, an event that the UAE predicts will generate AED25 billion for the economy. But, if you had been in Dubai at any time since the Emirate announced its plans to contest, you may have assumed the competition had already been won.
Such is the belief of the people here, UAE national and expat alike, that what should have been called Expo 2020, was in most cases called Dubai Expo 2020 (unofficially of course). Anyone scrolling through the pages and streams of social media websites would have seen a ‘when’ mentality, as opposed to ‘if’. This is what makes the UAE special. This is what makes a country with a population of less than ten million appear to be one five times its size.
It is the ambition and belief instilled in to the very fabric of society that makes the country what it is.
Below is a picture of myself and my colleague Julie, standing by a banner we unveiled at the recent Links Sundowner event at The Madinat Jumeirah. Of course, we didn’t unveil the banner until the announcement of the win had been made. But we made the banner in advance. There was never any suggestion that it wouldn’t be used.
The Links Group believes in the UAE, and we thank it for affording us a safe and secure place to live and do business. Happy Birthday UAE, and congratulations again for Dubai Expo 2020.