“Fifty years ago, this was all just a dream,” read the UAE pavilion at Expo 2020. The powerful sentence resonated and stuck with millions of visitors, particularly those who have witnessed the country evolve from desert dust into a futuristic metropolis. Formed on December 2, 1971, in its 52 years of existence, the UAE has proven that virtually nothing is impossible if you hold a vision and grind towards it. From record-breaking skyscrapers and man-made islands to a thriving Space program, the UAE today shines as a symbol of resilience, innovation, and progress.
As the nation celebrates its 52nd National Day, it’s a fitting moment to reflect on the remarkable achievements that have defined the UAE’s journey.
Home to iconic structures like the Burj Khalifa, the Palm Jumeirah, the Museum of the Future, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, and many more, the UAE is committed to pushing the boundaries of architecture to create landmarks that capture global attention. The UAE was ranked first in the MENA region and 11th globally in the 2022 Quality Infrastructure for Sustainable Development Index by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and International Network and Quality Infrastructure.
GREEN ENERGY PROGRAM
In 2020, the UAE successfully launched the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, demonstrating the UAE’s dedication to sustainable development. As the first Arab nation to harness nuclear energy, the UAE sets an example for responsible practices in the region, mitigating environmental impact and ensuring energy security.
The UAE has also emerged as a significant global player in the solar energy market, ranking second in the world for per capita solar energy consumption, just behind Australia. The UAE aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, as outlined in its updated UAE Energy Strategy 2050, with an investment of between AED 150 billion and AED 200 billion by 2030 to meet energy demand while sustaining economic growth.
SPACE EXPLORATION MILESTONES
In 2020, the UAE made history with the ‘Hope Probe’ mission, successfully entering Mars’ orbit, marking the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission. On December 11, 2022, the UAE successfully launched its first lunar mission on a Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket. The ‘Rashid’ rover–which unfortunately failed to land on the moon–was the world’s most compact lunar rover and was built by a team of twelve Emirati engineers from the MBRSC.
Earlier this year, Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi returned to the UAE after a successful six-month-long space mission, becoming the first Arab astronaut to do so.
The UAE has made significant strides in healthcare, with a focus on providing world-class medical services. The establishment of the Dubai Healthcare City and the Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City in Abu Dhabi demonstrates a commitment to cutting-edge healthcare infrastructure. The nation’s proactive response to global health challenges, including the swift and effective curbing of the COVID-19 pandemic, showcases its resilience and preparedness to ensure the well-being of its citizens and residents.
SOCIAL & CULTURAL HARMONY
The UAE’s commitment to tolerance and inclusivity is reflected in its society’s rich tapestry. With over 200 nationalities coexisting harmoniously, the country has become a model for diversity, creating an environment where individuals from different backgrounds contribute to a vibrant and dynamic cultural landscape.