The Legacy Continues

ABU DHABI - The legacy of Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of the nation, was fondly remembered by UAE residents and people around the world, on his fourth death anniversary on Sunday.


Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Tue 4 Nov 2008, 12:44 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 7:17 PM

It is true, great men do not die as their achievements stand testimony to their grand vision, long after they are gone.

He was the people’s leader even before he became president of the UAE. He was ahead of his time.

Shaikh Zayed sought to build the country and his first priority was regarding human resources. It was a balanced principle based on sound objectives and dimensions.

Also, tributes were paid to the late president, an epitome of charity and generosity, through a book released on him, on Sunday.

The book titled ‘Zayed and the Emirates - Building of the Federation’ highlights the visionary leader’s various initiatives.

Shaikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Deputy Prime Minister, wrote in the preface: “The late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan always upheld the principles of benevolence and humanitarian work, and encouraged others all through his life to protect the values of human generosity.”

Shaikh Zayed’s leadership (1971-2004), transformed the UAE into a prosperous country.

During his era, the UAE became one of the countries with the highest standards of living.

Noticing the lack of proper medical services in the country, Shaikh Zayed, before he became president, invited two doctors - the couple Dr Marian and Dr Kennedy to set up a hospital in Al Ain in 1960.

Later he ordered the setting up of a central hospital in Abu Dhabi towards the end of the 60s.

The number of hospitals and health centres began to increase with 37 hospitals and 110 health centres being set up across the country.

Shaikh Zayed also launched ambitious housing programmes for his subjects.

The Ministry of Public Works launched a programme in 1973 that saw over 17,000 residential units coming up.

A further Dh72 billion was spent on the housing sector for another 42,000 houses and over 6,000 financial grants were offered to the UAE nationals.


ABU DHABI - His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan embarking on his fifth year as UAE President continues to inspire and guide the country’s economic renaissance as envisioned by his father, the charismatic leader and first president of the UAE, late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Unanimously elected as the President by the UAE’s Supreme Council on November 3, 2004, he continues on the path of development, scaling still greater heights.

State and economic initiatives

Shaikh Khalifa further continued the policy of liberal economic reforms that has already been widely acknowledged and recognized by reputed international multi-lateral agencies such as the World Trade Organisation and IMF.

Shaikh Khalifa’s broad initiatives for the new era in the UAE has been outlined in two visionary statements. The first is the key policy agenda of Abu Dhabi Government issued by the Abu Dhabi Executive Council for 2007/2008- which provides a comprehensive blueprint for the overall development of the UAE and the welfare of its nationals and residents.

The second was spelt out in his address to the Federal National Council (FNC) in the capital in February 2007. Shaikh Khalifa’s FNC address emphasised the federal government’s commitment to good governance and to further consolidate a political system based on consultation, justice and security.

He stressed on training young leaders and women.

Humanitarian Initiatives

Shaikh Khalifa, in a commendable humanitarian initiative, instructed the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Charity Foundation to immediately dispatch aid to earthquake victims in Balochistan.

The foundation was also directed to distribute food to 1.2 million people during the holy month of Ramadan this year. In 2007, Shaikh Khalifa also donated $10 million to the United Nations Humanitarian Committee for Refugees (UNHCR) for its various programmes aimed at helping the Iraqi refugees in Syria and elsewhere.

  • 1948 - Shaikh Khalifa, the eldest son of the late Shaikh Zayed, was born in Al Muajie Fort, Al Ain.
  • september 18, 1966 - At the age of 18, Shaikh Khalifa was named the ruler’s representative in the Eastern Province and president of the legal system
  • february 1, 1969 - Appointed Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and took command of the newly created army. Later elevated as the Abu Dhabi Prime Minister prior to the establishment of the federation.
  • december 1971 - Following the establishment of the Federation, Shaikh Khalifa was appointed as Deputy Prime Minister.
  • february 20, 1974 - He was appointed Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council.
  • may 1976 - Appointed Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. He also headed the Supreme Petroleum Council.
  • 1979 - Established the Khalifa Housing Fund to finance construction of residential and commercial buildings.
  • november 3, 2004 - Unanimously elected President of UAE by the Supreme Council.


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