UAE statesman diesSheikh Zaid was an Arab leader to emulate [Archives:2004/788/Reportage]

November 8 2004
Late Sheikh Zaid Bin Sultan Al Nahayan
Late Sheikh Zaid Bin Sultan Al Nahayan
The Arab Tower in the city of Dubai at sunset
The Arab Tower in the city of Dubai at sunset
Yasser Mohammed Al-Mayyasi
The United Arab Emirates bade farewell on Tuesday November 2 to their leader and founder, Sheikh Zaid Bin Sultan Al Nahayan who passed away at the age of 86.
Sheikh Zaid, the fourth son of Sultan Bin Zaid Al Nahayan who ruled the Emirate of Abu Dhabi during the period 1922-1926, is highly respected as the best Arab leader in terms of developmental achievements that made the UAE occupy great prestige among countries around the world.
Sheikh Zaid started sitting on the throne of Abu Dhabi Emirate in 1966 after being a ruler for the city of Al Ain and the Western Area in 1946. His rule of Abu Dhabi achieved developmental moves and in 1968 he stepped up his efforts and unified the dispersed Emirates.
After a series of conventions and meetings with the rulers of Such Emirates, he reached the declaration of the unity of the UAE on December 2 1971 as well as his being sworn in a president of the state.
He started a journey full of bless and prudence and since then Sheikh Zaid made the UAE jump upward in different areas. He has made it a sample of rapid growth in a waste desert.
When Sheikh Zaid started ruling the nation, he faced hard tasks represented in several dimensions, among which is building up the legislations and the constitutional institutions.
Numerous events interfered with the developmental progress in the UAE but the will and insistence of the leadership was the reason for achieving success and overcoming difficulties.
From the desert itself, Sheihk Zaid learned economics and the affairs of life in a climate providing him a hopeful vision. When he became a ruler, his qualities led to his success. He made himself a mirror and example of productivity and unity as well as the sustainable interaction with his subjects fulfilling their desires. Zaid's philosophy stems from the fact that building up the country relies on building up the citizen who is the source of the development process and the pivot of advancement.
Hence, his policy worked for the provision of schools and institutions of higher education, and cultural, professional and health centers that created a well-bred generation who in turn loyally serves his homeland.
From the educational revolution, the awakening of the UAE occasioned to witness the graduation of the physician, the engineer, the accountant, the lawyer, the police and army recruit. Anybody who knew the UAE three decades ago and still knows it today will inevitably perceive the huge difference of the current progress in the country which was not more than piles of sand, coasts and dispersed clay houses.
Anyone needs to know today the amount of awakening and development should have a glance at figures of the economic indicators. For instance, in 1972, the national income was UAE dirham 4.7 billion, but has now reached UAE diham 254,620. The UAE dirham equals US $ 3.5. The average per-capita income comes at dirham 623,000 and this exceeds from 2001 onwards.
The great achievements of the UAE in different fields were also realized in the industrial and economic areas.
As a result, the foreign investments were attracted to the country, activating the role of tourism as well as welcoming businessmen to establish institutions and invest in the country with the passage of years, particularly in the Dubai free zone.
Sheiikh Zaid proved able to extend aids to different Arab countries including Yemen, which lavishly received support in various fields of which we me
– From 1972 to 1974 he gave aids to Yemen in establishing national radio and Ttelevision in Yemen.
– In September 1976 he attended the ceremony staged on the occasion of lying down the foundation stone for Sana'a- Marib highway, whose cost exceeded the YR 187 million at the expense of the UAE.
– In April 1982, the UAE offered an urgent assistance worth of $ 3million to alleviate the damage of floods and torrents that surged over Yemen.
– In April 1993, the UAE donated with $10 million for assisting the nation of Bosnia.
– In October 2003, Sheikh Zaid donated with UAE dirham 30 million for the victims of al-Aqsa Intifada.