40 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE OF UNITED ARAB EMIRATES- A MODEL COUNTRY

November 21, 2011 at 5:31 pm

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE AND ACHIEVEMENTS by Professor Anton Caragea PhD, MA, FINS

United Arab Emirates are celebrating the 40-th anniversary of independence and is having a lot of things to be proud of.

In only 40 years United Arab Emirates had registered an impressive economic growth, a huge development in infrastructure and is now among the most developed country in the world. But the impressive development is not only contained to economic development or standard of living but also is based on a concerted effort in building a civil society and a strong democracy.

Among news successes of UAE we must count: involvement of women’s in all political and governmental sectors, the equality of payment and treatment between men’s and woman’s and an inclusive political project that offers a strong voice to Federal National Council- the UAE Parliament in all country affairs. When 40 years ago Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan announced this visionary experiment uniting 7 emirates along a geopolitical destiny who would believe in such a glorious destiny. What was the secret of this astonishing experience?

The vision of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was an enduring one and based on the popular consensus and a geopolitical destiny appreciates prof.dr.Anton Caragea 

A visionary leadership.

One of the secrets of United Arab Emirates astonishing development is a shared vision that unifies along time the leaders and the peoples. Never in these 40 years was this contact and shared vision between leaders and peoples severed. This bond, this mutual trust and cooperation that allows leaders of UAE to build in full confidence of the people approval is one of the secrets of this solid construction of United Arab Emirates.

The vision of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was an enduring one and based on this popular consensus and a geopolitical destiny. United Arab Emirates succeeded thanks to this vision to exploit in the benefit of the people the large reserves of gas and oil building a modern country and not spend it on military adventure as other states has done. Also the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan vision enabled UAE to build a modern education and health system , one of the best in the region from a country with virtually no hospital and school only 40 years ago. The importance of education in UAE construction must not be overlooked, if today we have a successful experience of democracy building and open society this is based on sustained educational investment that offered to UAE citizens a vision of the world.

Finally the vision of late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan is brilliantly continued by the President of UAE H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan efforts in constructing Abu Dhabi and UAE as a success story. The new vision includes the solar energy exploitation, the green energy revolution, constructing the first ever green city: Masdar and building UAE as a society of XXI century. In Dubai H.H. Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President of UAE also constructed a visionary project of attracting tourism and financial markets in an economic construction based on efficiency and rapid development. If one of the secrets of UAE success story is a continuous visionary and people connected leadership , we must also look at the history of this development and the geopolitical destiny of United Arab Emirates.

The vision of late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan is brilliantly continued by the President of UAE H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan say`s prof.dr.Anton Caragea

UAE a country with a geopolitical destiny

In 1968 Great Britain announced his intention to evacuate the former Trucial states , as the Golf states area where known at that time. This decision spell problems for the region, in north the Iran of the Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi was looking forward for this moment to assert his authority on all the banks of the Golf , tacking under control the Golf and the vital energy supply line of this space.

No other formula was acceptable; any of the adjacent country that will have take under control the area will also enjoy a monopoly over the trade and energy route of the region. From the emirate of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan understood this geopolitical game and acted bravely. In 1971 uniting 7 emirates he proclaimed the United Arab Emirates (the initial plan included also Bahrain and Qatar but the negotiation has failed and only 7 emirates join Sheikh Zayed plan) an alliance destined to keep free the trade and energy supply area of the Golf . How difficult will be this task was clear from the first moment when the Shah of Iran send his army and occupied 3 island of the coast of the UAE. Despite this tense moment UAE survived and oil exploitation boosted the area.

An economic model under pressure?

Today controversial financial news are arriving from all over the world regarding financial crisis and difficulties but United Arab Emirates seems to have found the way out of the crisis into a new time of development and successes and this because we must never forget the strong fundaments of the UAE economy.

First off all UAE are enjoying a reserve of oil and gas lasting for at list 100 years from now, offering a steady income of more than 50 billion euro annually .This numbers could be misleading, the common perception is that UAE is depending on oil and gas but this perception is false, more than 64% of the GDP is offered by non-oil sectors. Long before the crisis hit the UAE decided to develop the non oil sectors like trade, finance, real estate, manufacturing and this sector survived to economic crisis offering to UAE the status of a country non-depending on natural reserves exports. Today UAE are enjoying in a crisis year a steady growth, investments are continuing to come and a massive financial reserve makes a stable currency and a low inflation economy.

This economic model is not under question, UAE are still on growth and on geopolitical climate of the region investing here is still a wise move.

H.H. Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President of UAE also constructed a visionary project of attracting tourism and financial markets to UAE economy

Energy revolution.

This economic model could not be understood if we not see the UAE participation in a new energy revolution. Rich in oil and gas UAE is not forgetting that this wealth will eventually ceased to exist or will become to expensive to exploit or to ecological detrimental, so they choose to invest in solar energy. With 365 day a year with clear sky the UAE could not only suffices his one energy demands but also be a world suppliers of green energy and technology. Investing in projects like Masdar City, a city that will supply 100% percent of the necessary energy from green sources UAE is proving that there is life after fossil energy. Investing in this energy of the future not only will assure UAE energy demand but also will be an important part of the economic growth , already in Germany an important solar plant property of UAE is launching a bid to make green energy for European Union.

Gulf Cooperation Council – a body with a geopolitical mission.

In 1971 Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan already wanted an inclusive state, but this option could not be put into life at that time . Today this vision is alive by the creation of Golf Cooperation Council ( GCC) uniting the Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia , Qatar and Oman. Today GCC is assuring the survival of the mission of keeping open for trade and energy supplies the waters of the Golf . The efficacy of GCC was proven in the Iraq-Iran war in the eighties and in Iraq –West tension after the 1991 Gulf War.

United Arab Emirates not only constructed a powerful and modern navy able to keep open the waters and make safe the supplies but also became the symbol of a strong allied of the western democracy , capable to support democracy building mission, peace keeping activities and investing in reconstruction projects in war torn countries. Sheikh Khalifa bin Sultan Al Nahyan (the son of deceased Sheikh Zayed and the continuator of his vision) declared that the geopolitical mission of UAE is to promote a unity of the Golf area and his example is an example of hope: unity is a conviction and a belief.

Now after 40 year from the UAE independence proclamation, in what it was at that time a small city: Abu Dhabi, the world is having a positive model. A powerful economy, a unity of 7 emirates without tensions or conflicts, a political balanced system of federal states and of unify governments, a balance of democracy, efficiency, respect for Islam and open society in a delicate area.

We have an example of a Golf state that is building a future society and we have the proof that oil is not necessary a curse (as many can believe) if we can build on it and we not make it the only reason for life. Oil is just a mean to an end.

United Arab Emirates are just teaching us this lesson.

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