How the peaceful Gulf state became one of the dominant economies in the world in under half a century
Here in the United Arab Emirates 2018 was the Year of Zayed, 12 months of commemoration to celebrate a century since the birth of the founder of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
In many ways this was a year of reflection (and perhaps a little awe) at the incredible speed of change that has seen this peaceful Gulf state grow to become one of the dominant economies in the Middle East (and indeed the world) in under half a century.
Managing this growth has required a firm hand on the tiller, leadership and trust. Millions of people have, in different ways, contributed to it through hard work, ingenuity, originality of thought and sheer bloody-mindedness. People come and go, but many leave their mark and stay on, making UAE their home.
Such is the diversity here – with over 200 different nationalities living side by side – that it is no coincidence that 2019 is the Year of Tolerance. It is, of course, pretty easy to be tolerant of your own kind. The challenge comes when cultural differences, working practices and attitudes are vastly different. UAE’s mix of religions, ethnicities and cultures has had coalesce to create this booming hub – and will need to stay together in the years ahead.