DUBAI, 2 December 2021 – The UAE’s official National Day ceremony took place on the Stage of Nations at Expo 2020 Dubai’s Al Wasl Plaza on Thursday, in the presence of His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner General, Expo 2020 Dubai, Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai, ambassadors, consuls and commissioner generals of participating countries as well as crowds of visitors.
As announced by the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, 2021 is known as ‘The Year of the 50th’. Commemorating 50 years since the founding of the UAE in 1971, it is a moment to reflect on the remarkable journey of its ‘Early Dreamers’ as the nation looks to the next 50 years with the same bold ambition.
UAE National Day is celebrated every year to commemorate 2 December 1971 when the UAE declared independence as a sovereign nation following the efforts of UAE Founding Father, the late His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, to unite the emirates.
His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan made an official speech to mark the day and said: “Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, it is with great pride that I address and embrace my fellow Commissioner Generals on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the United Arab Emirates.
I am thankful that you have joined us on this momentous journey, and honoured to stand among you at this special moment in the story of our nation, a story in which you have each played a significant part.
Together we are peers, and partners, and pioneers in overcoming shared adversity to deliver on our solemn commitment to a World Exposition that offers hope and optimism for all.
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, the United Arab Emirates has never wavered in the fulfilment of that promise, nor the honouring of its founding principles, prominent among them the values of tolerance and openness, the preservation of rights and the enshrining of human dignity for all.
Our philosophy is that good neighbourliness is the basis of genuine stability, from which growth and development will necessarily flow. Our globalised present and increasingly interconnected future means that you are all our neighbour, a prospect that inspires us as we launch towards another half-century of peaceful, reliable, and invaluable cooperation and collaboration.
Thank you for your friendship and your commitment. Today we are 192 nations standing tall, and together, not just in celebration of the UAE, but of the values for which it stands, and in which we all share. Thank you.”
Thursday’s ceremony included the raising of the flag and the singing of the national anthem by a school choir. A traditional Al Azi poetry performance was recited by Al Wasmi to mark the special day.