9 times Sheikh Mohammed used his Accession Day anniversary for good

Instead of hosting lavish celebrations or receptions, the Dubai Ruler uses the occasion to honour certain segments of society or exceptional people

By Web Desk

Published: Mon 3 Jan 2022, 4:59 PM

Last updated: Tue 4 Jan 2022, 2:17 PM

Today, January 4, marks the 16th year of the rule of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Instead of hosting lavish celebrations or receptions, the Dubai Ruler uses the occasion to honour certain segments of society or exceptional people. He also pens heartfelt letters to residents, detailing his journey and lessons he has learnt.

Over the years, he has dedicated the day to pay homage to workers, mothers and the UAE Armed Forces, among others.


For this year, he has announced a Dh100 million project that will search for 1,000 Arab pioneers in different fields. Here is a recap of all that he has announced over the past few years:

2021: On January 4 last year, Sheikh Mohammed wrote an open letter addressed to the people of the UAE. In the heartfelt letter, the UAE Vice-President recalled the challenges he faced and how he overcame them. It is filled with optimism and hope for the next phase of the UAE.

2020: On the 14th anniversary of his Accession Day, Sheikh Mohammed penned a letter, spelling out his vision for Dubai for the next 50 years. In it, he renewed his "pledge to continue advancing Dubai, serving justice and improving the quality of life for the current and future generations without delay or obstruction".

2018: Sheikh Mohammed used the Accession Day of 2018 to thank His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. Calling Sheikh Mohamed "the companion of my journey", the UAE Vice-President urged residents to offer their thanks "with a meaningful word, or an inspiring picture, or a good act".

2017: The Dubai Ruler used the 11th anniversary of his accession to create something that will define Emirati generosity for generations to come. The UAE Food Bank is a non-profit charitable organisation that distributes food to those in need while eliminating wastage. It collaborates with authorities and charities to create a comprehensive ecosystem to efficiently store, package and distribute excess fresh food from hotels, restaurants and supermarkets.

2015: Sheikh Mohammed marked the ninth year of his rule by thanking the UAE Armed Forces. A hashtag in Arabic, 'Guardians of the Nation', that he created went viral on social media, generating an average of over 1,000 videos a day.

2014: Sheikh Mohammed launched a social media campaign to express appreciation and gratitude to the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, whom he called "a man of efforts and initiatives, which touch us all."

2013: Sheikh Mohammed hailed labourers as "unsung heroes" and launched a 'Thank You' campaign to mark his seventh year of accession. He said true heroes are those workers at home, the gardener, or the person who sweeps the street outside. "We will tell them all, 'Thank you'."

2012: Sheikh Mohammed used the day to urge his millions of followers to thank their mothers and share a note of appreciation for them. Recalling fond memories of his own mother, he had tweeted then: "Most beautiful is the memory of the morning chats we used to have over breakfast, giving me such an energy to start my day."

2011: He dedicated the fifth anniversary of his accession as Dubai Ruler to highlight the plight of orphans. He urged residents to contribute to their cause. Sheikh Mohammed also met and spent quality time with a group of Emirati orphans as part of the celebrations.

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