How Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed helped modernise Abu Dhabi

The UAE Capital has been ranked as the safest city for six years straight



by

Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Mon 16 May 2022, 6:30 PM

Last updated: Mon 16 May 2022, 10:25 PM

The President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has played an instrumental role in transforming Abu Dhabi into a modern metropolis providing the highest standards of living for citizens and residents alike.

The 61-year-old leader who succeeded his brother Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is expected to lead the Emirate to greater heights in the coming months and years.

For 18 years, Sheikh Mohamed was Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince, and during that time he helped his brother, late Sheikh Khalifa, modernise Abu Dhabi and transform the emirate into a highly developed society that took good care of the citizens and residents. They carried forward the legacy of the UAE’s founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in making the Emirate an ideal society where the welfare of residents took precedence.

Economic growth

Over the past two recent decades, Abu Dhabi has undergone a significant transformation and rapid economic growth. This is due to the vision of Sheikh Mohamed under the guidance of the late Sheikh Khalifa and the abundance of oil and natural gas reserves that the Emirate has. Abu Dhabi has grown to become a dynamic hub and major force on the global stage.

While harnessing its huge oil and gas resources prudently, Abu Dhabi has also been working hard to reduce its reliance on hydrocarbons and diversify the economy to generate new streams of growth. Investment in infrastructure, tourism, transport, health and education has been massive and is continuing in line with the government’s 2030 economic plan.

Tourism is also playing in integral role in Abu Dhabi’s economic development. Under Sheikh Mohamed, there have been major investment in new luxury resorts and business hotels and many are still underway. Abu Dhabi now has many interesting destinations and attractions to offer to visitors and residents, incuding a versatile landscape, thriving investment hub, and a friendly environment boasting one of the highest per capita incomes and one of the lowest crime rates in the world.

In 2018, Abu Dhabi approved a Dh50 billion development plan for the emirate. The aim of Ghadan 21 is to enhance the competitiveness of Abu Dhabi, based on four main components — business and investment, innovation, and lifestyle, society and knowledge.

Sport and culture

Sheikh Mohamed’s relentless efforts have also seen Abu Dhabi become a centre for world-class sporting events such as the Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship and the prestigious Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.

In addition, the city now houses the world’s largest concentration of premier cultural institutions, which include the Sheikh Zayed National Museum, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Louvre Abu Dhabi. The emirate is rich in natural wonders too. While the famous Liwa oasis in the south is home to some of the largest and most beautiful sand dunes in the world, the garden city of Al Ain nestled in the foothills of Jebel Hafeet is home to several heritage sites.

Abu Dhabi safest city in the world

The thrust on safety and security initiatives and Abu Dhabi Police’s professionalism and relentless efforts in ensuring peace and security has seen the UAE Capital rank as the safest city in the world for the sixth time.

With a safety index of 88.4, Abu Dhabi has reinforced its position as of January 2022, as a safe and secure place to live, work and invest.

While Abu Dhabi ranked ‘very low’ in terms of crime rate, fear of being mugged or robbed, and drug use, it scored ‘very high’ when it comes to feeling safe when walking alone on the streets at any time of the day or night.

Sheikh Mohamed’s wise leadership has seen security and safety take top priority to ensure the happiness of citizens, residents and visitors. This has directly led to rapid economic development of the emirate . It has also raised the level of tranquility in society and promoted tolerance among the different nationalities.

New reforms to family law

Under the leadership of Sheikh Mohamed and the guidance of Sheikh Khalifa, Abu Dhabi has cultivated a truly unique society, where traditional values are respected, while modern ideas are embraced with vigour to make for an inclusive society blessed with communal harmony, making the emirate a modern, nimble, and forward-looking society.

In February 2022, Abu Dhabi, issued an unprecedented civil marriage and divorce law which grants expats living in the emirate the freedom to enjoy civil family principles under secular legal framework for the first time in the region, instead of Sharia rules.

The law introduced progressive and liberal civil rights for the first time in the region by adopting secular concepts.

The new family law, which was implemented in Abu Dhabi, regulates personal status matters for foreigners, including civil marriage, no-fault divorce, joint child custody, and financial rights. It applies to all expats, non-residents and tourists, regardless of religion. This is as long as their home country does not apply Sharia law in family matters. Under the new civil marriage scheme, the secular law allows expats, tourists, and non-residents to marry in Abu Dhabi.

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