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Sheikh Hamdan thanks Dubai for taking up fitness challenge

Dubai’s Crown Prince has thanked the participants of the Dubai Fitness Challenge, which ended on November 28. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum took to Twitter to post his message of thanks.

He said the 30-day challenge seeks to transform Dubai into the most active city in the world.

He highlighted the efforts of two participants in particular:

> Ghani Souleyman, a Togolese national, who ran an ultramarathon (45km) daily for 30 days; and

> Paolo Mangolinan, a Filipino national, who swam a marathon distance (10km) every day for 30 days.

The socially distanced edition of the fitness challenge this year hosted over 200 virtual sessions and 2,000 classes across 150 locations.

The annual event, launched in 2017 by Sheikh Hamdan, sees residents commit to 30 minutes of daily activity for 30 days.

According to a newsletter from the organisers of the challenge, the event saw 1.5 million participants and 100 per cent schools participation.

Over 100,000 people turned up for the Dubai Run on November 27 that saw the city transform into a running track.

The Dubai Ride on November 20, which converted the Sheikh Zayed Road into a cycling track, saw over 20,000 partipants.

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Hamilton tests positive for Covid-19, to miss Sakhir GP

By missing Sakhir, the penultimate race on the calendar, Hamilton will not be able to match the record for the most wins in a single season

Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for Covid-19 and will miss the upcoming Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain, the sport’s governing body, the FIA, said on Tuesday.

Briton Hamilton, who has already wrapped up his seventh world title and picked up his 11th win of the season at Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix, was isolating with mild symptoms but otherwise fit and well, his Mercedes team said in a statement.

“Lewis was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time, the last of which was on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit…,” the Brackley-based team said.

“However, he woke up on Monday morning with mild symptoms and was informed at the same time that a contact prior to arrival in Bahrain had subsequently tested positive.

“Lewis therefore took a further test and returned a positive result. This has since been confirmed by a retest.”

By missing Sakhir, the penultimate race on the calendar, Hamilton will not be able to match the record for the most wins in a single season. Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel share that mark with 13 wins — Schumacher from 18 races in 2004 and Vettel from 19 in 2013.

The season will end with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina track on Dec. 13. It is unclear whether Hamilton will take part.

Mercedes said they would announce a replacement driver for the Sakhir race in due course.

Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne, who races for the Mercedes Formula E team and had been scheduled to fly to Bahrain even before Hamilton’s positive result, and Mexican Esteban Gutierrez are the team’s reserve drivers.

They also have Briton George Russell, who races for Williams, on their books.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said in October that every precaution was being taken to shield Hamilton and team mate Valtteri Bottas from the pandemic, with internal debriefs and engineering meetings also taking place via video call.

Hamilton, 35, has been staying in his motorhome at most circuits.

Formula One has seen a clutch of high-profile Covid-19 cases, with Red Bull sporting director Jonathan Wheatley testing positive last week and missing the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Williams team last month said it had registered a number of positive Covid-19 cases including acting team principal Simon Roberts, who missed the Turkish Grand Prix.

Racing Point have had both their drivers, Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll, as well as team owner Lawrence Stroll test positive.

Formula One embarked on a shortened 17-race season in July after a positive test for a McLaren employee forced the cancellation of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in March.

The sport has put strict rules in place to try to keep the novel coronavirus at bay. Personnel cannot access the paddock without a negative result and are tested every five days. Teams also do their own tests.

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World economy back to pre-Covid level in 2021: OECD

The world economy will bounce back to its pre-pandemic levels by the end of next year, a global watchdog predicted Tuesday, though that recovery will be uneven across the countries and big risks remain.

In a wide-ranging report on the economy, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said that progress on coronavirus vaccines means that the outlook has improved for the first time since the pandemic began.

“The road ahead is brighter, but challenging,” wrote Laurence Boone, chief economist at the OECD, in the report.

It predicts the global economy will shrink about 4.2 per cent this year and rebound by the same rate in 2021 before growing 3.7 per cent the following year.

China, which has brought its virus infections under control better than many major economies, will account for a big part of that economic recovery, while Europe, Japan and the U.S. will lag, the OECD said.

The organisation, which advises countries on economic policy, said that governments should continue to support people who have been hit hardest by the pandemic and the restrictions on public life and businesses.

It recommends investing public money in areas that deliver long-term benefits like health care, education, reducing inequality and fighting climate change. Global cooperation is sorely needed to maximize the impact of government efforts to bring the economy back to health.

“International cooperation has faltered in recent years, just when it was needed more than ever,” Boone said.

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UAE reports 1,289 Covid cases, 768 recoveries, 4 deaths

Nearly 17 million Covid-19 tests have been carried out in the country.

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Tuesday reported 1,289 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 768 recoveries and four deaths.

As many as new 129,900 Covid-19 tests were carried out, taking the total number of tests conducted to 16.85 million.

Total number of cases in UAE stand at 170,149, while recoveries are 155,667. Death tol stands at 576 as of December 1.

The total number of active cases in the country are 13,906.

UAE remembers frontliners who died battling pandemic

On Commemoration Day (November 30), the leadership and people came together to recognise and remember the fallen frontline heroes who have sacrificed their lives to provide a better future for people in the country.

“In what has been an unprecedented year, this is a day for us all to reflect and remember our nation’s frontline professionals who worked tirelessly to protect us all from coronavirus and made the ultimate sacrifice,” Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Frontline Heroes Office said in a statement issued today.

The office revealed the names of frontliners who sacrificed their lives as they battled Covid-19.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on Monday called the families of the heroes who passed away while battling to contain the coronavirus pandemic on the frontline.

During the phone conversations, Sheikh Mohamed expressed thanks and appreciation for the great role the fallen heroes played and the dedication they demonstrated while working to combat the pandemic. He said the Emirati community will never forget their sacrifices.

“We are very proud of our heroes who lived with us and were part of our social fabric. They worked hard to protect our health and to ensure our safety during difficult times,” he said.

Sheikh Mohamed added that the people of the UAE cherish their heroes, Emiratis and residents alike, look up to them as role models and value their sacrifices.

“The UAE will never forget the sacrifices made by Dr Sudhir Rambhau Washimkar, nurse Lezly Orione, Anvar Ali, Ahmed Al Sebaei, Dr. Bassam Bernieh and other heroes who sacrificed their lives to protect our loved ones. The families of the heroes of humanity are part of our society and the UAE will always support and stand by them.”

Covid-19 vaccine for families of martyrs

The Martyrs’ Families’ Affairs Office (MFAO) at the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court launched a campaign to vaccinate the families of martyrs with the coronavirus vaccine, in cooperation with the Department of Health-Abu Dhabi. The MFAO also launched the campaign #UAEisproudofyou that engaged all segments of society in activities and events to express appreciation and pride for the martyrs’ sacrifices. The campaign featured events and activities that targeted various societal segments. Programmes tailored for students saw them draw portraits that reflected the martyrs’ sacrifices.

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National Day: ‘UAE’s development is unmatched globally’

Leader lauds UAE’s achievement during a pandemic; lauds Israel peace accord.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has affirmed that the UAE’s 49th National Day marks a milestone in its history during which it stands with pride and full of determination to continue its progress and achievements across various fields.

In his statement on the occasion of the UAE’s 49th National Day, Sheikh Mohamed said that the country’s achievements have never stopped despite challenges along the way, which confirms that the UAE’s development experience is exceptional and unmatched worldwide.

“As we enter the 50th year of our young country and our unique union experience, we are stronger, self-confident and more capable and determined to achieve our goals during the next 50 years, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. We are well-placed to realise our ambition of making the UAE the best country in the world by its 100th anniversary, relying on the strong foundations laid down by our founding leaders and the major successes that we have achieved over the past decades,” His Highness Sheikh Mohamed said.

He added, “We also rely on our children, their efforts and love for their homeland, our authentic positive values, the latest applications of modern science and technology, active involvement in the process of human development, and our constant aspiration towards the future, and dynamic partnerships with other countries in the interest of development, peace and stability for all.

“This year, the UAE, along with the rest of the world, has faced the severe challenges posed by Covid-19. By the grace of God and the sincere efforts of our frontline teams, the team spirit among our institutions, the awareness of our people, our preparedness and advanced technological infrastructure, the UAE has been able to provide an effective humanitarian model to tackle the pandemic and manage its repercussions. The UAE has accorded the highest priority to people’s health and safety because people are the focus of our development project, and the compass according to which all our plans and strategies proceed. Our approach has won praise and admiration from international institutions.”

Sheikh Mohamed said that despite the adverse effect of the pandemic on global supply chains, especially food and medicine, the UAE has succeeded in providing all its food and medical supplies through local production and emergency plans, its own expertise in dealing with crises, its proactive preparations and its forward thinking. It has also been helped by its constructive partnerships with friendly countries, which has earned it respect and appreciation at the regional and global levels.

The UAE has demonstrated its bright human face since the pandemic first began by providing unconditional support to countries and communities in need of assistance, regardless of their religion, sect, race, ethnicity or geographical location, and through its repeated calls for international solidarity to tackle COVID-19.

Sheikh Mohamed added, “The UAE has also actively participated in international scientific and research efforts aimed at finding treatments and vaccines for the virus, and has cooperated with other countries to achieve this goal. It has called for these treatments and vaccines to be provided to everyone without exception out of its belief in the unity of human destiny, dating back to the time of Sheikh Zayed, may God have mercy on him.

“The UAE government, under the leadership of my brother, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has – thanks to his insightful vision – been proactive in developing strategies for dealing with the post-COVID-19 phase on scientific grounds, through informed dialogue and by involving experts and specialists. The UAE believes that this crisis will pass, and what is important is to not only tackle it effectively, but also have the ability to deal with the situation once the pandemic is over.

“Despite the difficulties posed by Covid-19, the UAE did not allow the problems to slow its march, undermine its determination, or limit its ambitions. Rather, it motivated us to take on the challenge, use our full potential and delve into our long history of facing up to challenges.”

Sheikh Mohamed stated that the launch of the Hope Probe to Mars – the first Arab and Islamic interplanetary mission and the start of the production of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes from the Barakah nuclear power plants, which made the UAE the first Arab country to produce nuclear energy for development purposes, represent two exceptional moments in the history of the UAE and the Arab world, where the UAE’s powerful will has manifested in its most wonderful form.

“The determination to launch the probe and start the production of peaceful nuclear energy on the pre-determined date despite the raging COVID-19 proved that our ambitions would not be stopped by any obstacle and that the UAE always delivers on its promise, no matter the challenge,” he said.

His Highness continued, “During 2020, the UAE opened a wide door to peace, development, stability and hope in a Middle East fraught with tensions and conflicts, through the peace agreement it signed with Israel under the auspices of the United States of America. Thus, the UAE affirmed its courage in making major, historical decisions when it comes to its principles, what it believes in, and what is consistent with its firm approach to calling for peace, tolerance and coexistence among different nations and people regardless of differences of religion, race and sect.”

The UAE’s stance towards regional and international issues will always be to adopt responsible positions that call for peace, reject interference in the internal affairs of other states, respect international law, support people’s interests and aspirations, and address the global threats facing humanity, he noted.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said, “The UAE is firmly opposed to extremism, violence and terrorism, regardless of its source, nature, or the forces behind it, and rejects hate speech that harms relations between peoples, civilisations and cultures and affects opportunities for coexistence among them. All this has earned the UAE the respect and appreciation of the world, made it a voice for wisdom and moderation, and strengthened its soft power, presence and influence on the regional and international arenas.

“The UAE has been working sincerely to find stable settlements for the crises afflicting the Arab region and the Middle East, in cooperation with its brothers, partners and friends. The UAE has always stood by dialogue and diplomatic means as a way to deal with such crises, because it believes this is the only way to end them and stop the bloodshed and waste of resources, and resolve all conflicts and problems that plague the world.”

He concluded by saying that, “What we have accomplished so far since the birth of this country calls for immense pride. I am confident that our pride will double in what we will achieve in the coming years because we will never stop moving forward towards the first place in all fields, with an ambition built on our strong will and a dream based on planning and action. May this anniversary bring the UAE and its people more goodness, pride, unity and stability now and in the years to come.”

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National Day: ‘We are on track to making UAE the best country’

Leader lauds UAE’s achievements during Covid-19 pandemic and Israel peace accord.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has affirmed that the UAE’s 49th National Day marks a milestone in its history during which it stands with pride and full of determination to continue its progress and achievements across various fields.

In his statement on the occasion of the UAE’s 49th National Day, Sheikh Mohamed said that the country’s achievements have never stopped despite challenges along the way, which confirms that the UAE’s development experience is exceptional and unmatched worldwide.

“As we enter the 50th year of our young country and our unique union experience, we are stronger, self-confident and more capable and determined to achieve our goals during the next 50 years, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. We are well-placed to realise our ambition of making the UAE the best country in the world by its 100th anniversary, relying on the strong foundations laid down by our founding leaders and the major successes that we have achieved over the past decades,” His Highness Sheikh Mohamed said.

He added, “We also rely on our children, their efforts and love for their homeland, our authentic positive values, the latest applications of modern science and technology, active involvement in the process of human development, and our constant aspiration towards the future, and dynamic partnerships with other countries in the interest of development, peace and stability for all.

“This year, the UAE, along with the rest of the world, has faced the severe challenges posed by Covid-19. By the grace of God and the sincere efforts of our frontline teams, the team spirit among our institutions, the awareness of our people, our preparedness and advanced technological infrastructure, the UAE has been able to provide an effective humanitarian model to tackle the pandemic and manage its repercussions. The UAE has accorded the highest priority to people’s health and safety because people are the focus of our development project, and the compass according to which all our plans and strategies proceed. Our approach has won praise and admiration from international institutions.”

Sheikh Mohamed said that despite the adverse effect of the pandemic on global supply chains, especially food and medicine, the UAE has succeeded in providing all its food and medical supplies through local production and emergency plans, its own expertise in dealing with crises, its proactive preparations and its forward thinking. It has also been helped by its constructive partnerships with friendly countries, which has earned it respect and appreciation at the regional and global levels.

The UAE has demonstrated its bright human face since the pandemic first began by providing unconditional support to countries and communities in need of assistance, regardless of their religion, sect, race, ethnicity or geographical location, and through its repeated calls for international solidarity to tackle COVID-19.

Sheikh Mohamed added, “The UAE has also actively participated in international scientific and research efforts aimed at finding treatments and vaccines for the virus, and has cooperated with other countries to achieve this goal. It has called for these treatments and vaccines to be provided to everyone without exception out of its belief in the unity of human destiny, dating back to the time of Sheikh Zayed, may God have mercy on him.

“The UAE government, under the leadership of my brother, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has – thanks to his insightful vision – been proactive in developing strategies for dealing with the post-COVID-19 phase on scientific grounds, through informed dialogue and by involving experts and specialists. The UAE believes that this crisis will pass, and what is important is to not only tackle it effectively, but also have the ability to deal with the situation once the pandemic is over.

“Despite the difficulties posed by Covid-19, the UAE did not allow the problems to slow its march, undermine its determination, or limit its ambitions. Rather, it motivated us to take on the challenge, use our full potential and delve into our long history of facing up to challenges.”

Sheikh Mohamed stated that the launch of the Hope Probe to Mars – the first Arab and Islamic interplanetary mission and the start of the production of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes from the Barakah nuclear power plants, which made the UAE the first Arab country to produce nuclear energy for development purposes, represent two exceptional moments in the history of the UAE and the Arab world, where the UAE’s powerful will has manifested in its most wonderful form.

“The determination to launch the probe and start the production of peaceful nuclear energy on the pre-determined date despite the raging COVID-19 proved that our ambitions would not be stopped by any obstacle and that the UAE always delivers on its promise, no matter the challenge,” he said.

His Highness continued, “During 2020, the UAE opened a wide door to peace, development, stability and hope in a Middle East fraught with tensions and conflicts, through the peace agreement it signed with Israel under the auspices of the United States of America. Thus, the UAE affirmed its courage in making major, historical decisions when it comes to its principles, what it believes in, and what is consistent with its firm approach to calling for peace, tolerance and coexistence among different nations and people regardless of differences of religion, race and sect.”

The UAE’s stance towards regional and international issues will always be to adopt responsible positions that call for peace, reject interference in the internal affairs of other states, respect international law, support people’s interests and aspirations, and address the global threats facing humanity, he noted.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said, “The UAE is firmly opposed to extremism, violence and terrorism, regardless of its source, nature, or the forces behind it, and rejects hate speech that harms relations between peoples, civilisations and cultures and affects opportunities for coexistence among them. All this has earned the UAE the respect and appreciation of the world, made it a voice for wisdom and moderation, and strengthened its soft power, presence and influence on the regional and international arenas.

“The UAE has been working sincerely to find stable settlements for the crises afflicting the Arab region and the Middle East, in cooperation with its brothers, partners and friends. The UAE has always stood by dialogue and diplomatic means as a way to deal with such crises, because it believes this is the only way to end them and stop the bloodshed and waste of resources, and resolve all conflicts and problems that plague the world.”

He concluded by saying that, “What we have accomplished so far since the birth of this country calls for immense pride. I am confident that our pride will double in what we will achieve in the coming years because we will never stop moving forward towards the first place in all fields, with an ambition built on our strong will and a dream based on planning and action. May this anniversary bring the UAE and its people more goodness, pride, unity and stability now and in the years to come.”

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UAE National Day: Yacht parade to hoist flag in middle of the sea

A special National Day yacht parade kicked off from the Dubai Marina, with around 20 yachts, water bikes and fly boards decked up in the UAE colours.

The fleet embarked on a two-hour cruise around 11.45am and will take the UAE flag and patriotic spirit to several key Dubai landmarks.

The fleet will assemble in a circular formation as the flag is hoisted in the middle of the sea. Spectators will be able to witness the flag rising off the Dubai shore.

Those onboard the yachts will have spectacular views of Dubai from the sea as they celebrate the UAE’s 49th National Day.

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National Day: ‘UAE weathers challenges of 2020’

VP lauds UAE’s response to Covid pandemic, talks about country’s progress in the coming years.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said that December 2 will remain the nation’s most cherished day wherein wisdom, principles and noble goals triumphed. “It is the day when our Founding Fathers embodied the quintessential Emirati values of dignity and steadfastness and represented the sense of belonging and national identity.”

In a statement to ‘Nation Shield,’ the UAE Armed Forces magazine, on the UAE’s 49th National Day, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said, ”We look to the future with confidence and hope, armed with our vision, our experience, and our achievements in the field of human development and urbanisation, realising that our successes in the past decades were achieved with effort, hard work and determination. In the next five decades, we will need to double this effort, increase production and enhance capabilities, as the ambition is greater, challenges are tougher, competition is more intense, and the transformations around us are faster and deeper.”

Following is the full text of his statement on the occasion:

“In the Name of Allah Almighty, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

Honourable citizens, Peace be upon you all! I congratulate you on the occasion of our country’s 49th National Day. I extend my greetings to my brother, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan; His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and to my brothers, Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates.

Today, as the spirit of the Union prevails across the nation, we proudly remember our father and our icon, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his lifetime friend, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, and their brothers, the late Rulers of the Emirates.

The legacy of our fathers will always live among us as long as there is life on this land. It lives in us and encourages us to be ambitious and optimistic, motivating us to accomplish more achievements, therefore strengthening our perseverance to face challenges.

Citizens of our country: 2020 has been an exceptional year, as it was rife with surprises, mysteries and challenges. During this year, anxiety, fear and surprise united nearly 7.7 billion people around the world in an unprecedented common destiny. An unknown virus killed some 1.4 million people and infected over 60 million, and this number is accelerating. This virus has negatively affected the global economy, restricted travel and aviation, and paralysed food, medicine and goods supply chains, as well as disrupted the work of governments, markets and companies, and led to curfews and lockdowns everywhere around the globe.

This year has been a test for countries, the capabilities of governments, the efficiency of their institutions and procedures, and the level of their readiness to face pandemics and disasters, and their repercussions.

I thank Allah Almighty for the stellar success of our nation during this difficult test, as well as for the excellent performance of our government and institutions, and our readiness to face pandemics and disasters in a way that has been recognised by the entire world and its specialist organisations.

This success is not a mere coincidence or luck, but rather the outcome of our Emirati model that foresaw the future and developed appropriate strategies and plans to get the nation ready for emergencies and worst-case scenarios. Our Emirati model will ensure the efficiency and flexibility of our institutions and their ability to make the right decisions at the right time.

The performance of our government and people has enabled us to meet the threat posed by the pandemic. Our community responded aptly to the preventive measures and our institutions fought hard against the virus, supported by our advanced health infrastructure, with its facilities, equipment and medical cadres who contained the pandemic and limited its spread, enabling our country to be the first in the world where COVID-19 tests have exceeded the population count. We have also reached our targets for monitoring infections and recoveries.

The pandemic has forced many countries to reassess their healthcare systems. However, in the UAE we have implemented the necessary initiatives to support our health system, whose efficiency and competence we trust.

We are proud of our healthcare system, which is ranked first in the world in seven health indexes, including its healthcare coverage, lack of health problems and national early detection programmes.

Also, we have succeeded in securing the food and medicine needs of our community, increased our strategic reserves of these two staple commodities, and established a sustainable food system. Three years ago, we created the Ministry of Food Security and established the Emirates Council for Food Security. Our objective was to achieve food self-sufficiency, and we sought to double our agricultural production.

We also established the National System for Sustainable Agriculture to serve this vital sector and provide technological solutions to meet its needs. We’ve also sought to strengthen our advanced food industries, in which we invested over AED62 billion.

Citizens of our nation: The pandemic has changed people’s life patterns and their ways of work; however, we have managed to easily adapt to the new patterns in a timely manner. The government established a teleworking system, which has been successfully implemented. This success expanded to the educational institutions and private sector corporations, thanks to three factors: i) the government’s efficiency, flexibility and the competence of its cadres, and their ability to make decisive, timely decisions; ii) the government’s digital transformation, which has been carried out for nearly two decades, which was then developed for use in smart governments, and iii) the country’s advanced digital infrastructure.

Thus, our work continued as usual, sometimes at a faster pace, while moving ahead to implement the programs of the year of preparation for the next fifty years. We restructured the government in a manner that achieves timely decision-making and maximises the ability to keep pace with the changes and seize the opportunities that accompany them, in order to enhance the achievements and gains in our country.

We also proceeded to implement our strategic projects, according to set timetables, including the successful operation of the first peaceful nuclear energy reactor at Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant. Both the Hope Probe and the mini satellite MeznSat were launched into space. We also inaugurated the Mohammed bin Rashid Medical Research Institute, the UAE’s first independent biomedical research centre, with a vision to prepare the next generation of researchers to develop effective vaccines against pandemics and conduct research on common diseases in our country.

Neither the pandemic nor the global economic stagnation has affected our approach to extending a helping hand to less fortunate countries and supporting their efforts to confront the pandemic. Our country has also provided medical and relief aid to more than 100 countries. During our participation in the virtual G20 summit, we affirmed the UAE’s full commitment to back every effort aimed at supporting human interests, wherever they are, and helping humanity to usher in a new phase, filled with hope, after eliminating the pandemic that’s impeded global development efforts.

We also emphasised that collective action is the best way to overcome the current challenges and tackle their negative repercussions. We called for unifying our resolve and will to empower societies, especially the underprivileged, to weather these challenges in order to pursue development and meet the essential needs that guarantee the simplest forms of life for human beings.

Our common global issues, such as empowering women, providing health care, climate change, offering low-cost education, and facing issues of food and water security, cannot be addressed without acting collectively and determinedly under the collective will of the international community.

Citizens of our country: We’ve learned from our fathers and from our experiences that adopting new ideas and methods of working is not a difficult thing, but the difficulty always lies in relinquishing old ideas and routine management. People usually suffice themselves with what they already know and practise, and are afraid of trying new things. Our confidence in our people, and the confidence of our people in their leadership, are the most important factors in overcoming this difficulty. With a gradual approach, we succeeded in reconciling our traditions with the requirements of development and modernisation. This success has been reinforced by our remarkable and tangible achievements in all walks of life, so keeping up with the new and harnessing it to serve development and progress has become an integral part of our work and thinking, and a constant component in the culture of our society. This is one of the secrets of our growing self-strength, our excellence in government performance, our progress in diversifying the economy, developing services, improving education, and achieving gender balance.

This mutual trust between our people and their leadership, the consolidation of the culture of change and development, and keeping pace with the new in our society, will open the doors in the next 50 years, and will enable our young men and women and our young generations to deliver on our vision of the UAE Centennial Plan 2071, for our country to be in the first ranks of the world’s most advanced and prosperous countries.

In less than a month, 2021 will commence, and we are approaching our 50th National Day. We want 2021 to witness a major breakthrough for the next 50 years. We want our country to be the most distinguished and offer the best in terms of quality of life. We will continue to prepare all sectors for the post-oil era, by building a true knowledge-based, innovation-driven economy, investing in qualitative minds and competencies, promoting the system of the civilised values of tolerance, openness, coexistence and acceptance, preserving our national heritage, authentic customs and traditions, and global competition for leadership, and building strong foundations to sustain this development for future generations.

In this context, the 50-year Development Plan Committee and the specialist teams continue to work round the clock. The community, the private sector, and everyone who has an idea to participate in designing the future have joined them, reaffirming the solid approach of participation, long cherished in our country since its establishment.

This blessed national effort has achieved the vision of all of our vital sectors, and has contributed to the enactment of relevant legislation, including laws that support development and strengthen its engines, boost the economy, open doors to new economic sectors, develop a business-friendly environment, stimulate direct investment, encourage innovation and attract talented minds in vital areas, focused on advanced science and technology, as well as research and development, R&D.

Citizens of our country: The progress our country has made makes us happy and fills us with feelings of pride and contentment, but it is not enough for us because we want similar progress for our Arab brothers. Every success achieved in any Arab country represents an added force for the benefit of the entire Arab world. Since the establishment of our state, we have been seeking the paths of goodness for our nation. We have always been part of the Arab consensus, and we have always sought to close Arab ranks, and we took the initiative to help all those whose capabilities fell short of meeting the development needs of their countries. Towards that end, we launched initiatives after initiatives to empower Arab youth, in terms of knowledge, science, administration and culture.

We’ve also placed our acquired experience at the disposal of our Arab brothers, and we will continue to seek the advancement of our Arab world, for we stem from it and it is from us. And if the many common denominators among our Arab countries are not sufficient to deepen cooperation between Arab countries, then geography alone calls for the highest levels of integration and coordination, and affirms our common destiny, security and stability.

In spite of the daunting problems and challenges facing the Arab World, and the deterioration of the situation in Arab countries, the opportunities for revival and reform are always available for those who possess a consciousness and will, and perhaps the huge and costly turmoil experienced by some countries has reached its end. While it has left tremendous losses in lives and property, deep wounds in souls, it also created valuable lessons which will speed up the processes of reconstruction and healing, if well understood.

Our Arab world needs to think through the perspective of language and data for use in the third decade of the twenty-first century, to comprehend the political, economic and value changes that have swept our world in recent years, to foresee the future and to recognise the engines of development in it, and to be completely certain that the old means and old patterns of work and thinking will not produce new results. Rather, they will reproduce the old systems, most of which are neither good nor build sustainable development, nor aid in achieving peace, security or stability.

Likewise, it is no longer acceptable to blame others, or external conspiracies and interventions, for failure. For centuries, the Middle East region has been the focus of the attention of major powers, and this interest deepened and its affects increased after World War I, making security and stability in the region part of international security and stability concerns.

This situation has weighed heavily on the countries of the region, and placed two options before them: Either invest in this international interest in a way that advances their development and enhances their security, or let its influences and competitions control the contexts of events, their unfolding developments, and the means of managing them.

It is true that the international situation is now characterised by uncertainty, and that the global order – represented by the United Nations – needs more effectiveness, and that the competition that prevails on relations between major countries is reflected in our region and complicates its issues and disputes. Therefore, it is difficult to address and find solutions to them. But it is also true that this situation is not a justification for the region to remain in a state of waiting for global developments; nor is it a justification to stand idly and fail to seriously address the region’s issues and its chronic problems, especially since most of them are concealed behind the people’s rights to development, stability and dignified living.

We in the UAE neither carelessly wait, nor stand idly. If we had waited, we would not have established our union, would not have achieved development, would not have built our brilliant Emirati model, would not have succeeded in strengthening our own sources of strength, and would not have propelled our country to its prestigious, effective and respected position in the world.

We work, initiate, strive, and foresee the future, and adopt strategic planning, and we do not start something without conducting a thorough study after assessing all possibilities.

This has enabled us to effectively contribute to combating extremism and terrorism, thwarting schemes to change Yemen’s identity and its belonging to the Arab world, and building channels of dialogue between cultures, and launching the Human Fraternity Document, with the participation of the top religious references in Islam and Christianity. And when we concluded the Abraham Accords, we provided our region with a valuable opportunity to break through the stalemate, move stagnant waters, and chart paths that lead to peace, security, coexistence and devotion to development.

The accord halted annexation of lands of our Palestinian brothers, and reminded the world of their just cause, after they were absent from events and developments, and opened a horizon for them towards their legitimate rights in their independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Citizens of our country: On our National Day, I greet with you the officers and soldiers of our armed forces, our security organs and civil protection agencies, and renew my pride in their vital role in safeguarding the freedom, independence, sovereignty, security and stability of our homeland, and my appreciation for their sacrifices, loyalty to the covenant and oath, and their embodiment of the values and principles of our homeland and our people.

Our armed forces have shown competence and courage in all the missions they have been assigned to, and have achieved victories and professional performances in the land of brotherly Yemen; they have contributed to the liberation of most of its lands. They carried out a strategic redeployment after successfully performing their mission and contributing to the rebuilding of the legitimate Yemeni forces. Yemen has been the focus of attention and care of our state since its inception, and will remain so. Our state continues its contributions to the humanitarian efforts to support the Yemeni people, rebuild their infrastructure, and to continue to participate in international efforts seeking a peaceful solution that puts an end to Yemeni conflicts and divisions.

We also extend a warm greeting to our white army and its battalions of doctors, nurses, technicians and administrators, who have shown sincerity and dedication, have taken risks and advanced their ranks to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and treat the patients. Our health workers have presented new heroes to our country. Their model – nurse Asma Al Shehhi – took the initiative to halt her study leave, left her infant and worked 12 hours a day.

In our homeland, there are thousands of men and women like Asma. They are in all worksites, achieving and innovating, and developing their capabilities, knowledge and skills. They are our most inexhaustible wealth, and our heroes who spare no effort for the sake of the advancement of their homeland and the well-being and happiness of their citizens.

Citizens of our country: The second of December will remain our dearest and most cherished day. It is the day when wisdom, principles and noble goals triumphed. It is the day when our Founding Fathers embodied the strength, dignity, virtues and qualities of the Emirati people. It is the day that culminated in the struggle, steadfastness and success of our ancestors in preserving our land.

Tomorrow, our Union will enter 50th year of its long journey. We look to the future with confidence and hope, armed with our vision, our experience, and our achievements in terms of human development and urbanisation, realising that our successes in the past decades were achieved with effort, hard work and determination. In the next five decades, we will need to double this effort, increase production and enhance capabilities, as the ambition is greater, the challenge is more difficult, the competition is more intense, and the transformations around us are faster and deeper.

I promise you, at the beginning of the 50th year of our Union, that the next 50 years will be more glorious and splendid. And as our vision has expanded, our experience accumulated and deepened, and our ability to face challenges, and keep abreast of changes and plans for the future doubled, you will remain our most cherished assets.

Many happy returns of this blissful National Day and may Allah bless and keep you safe each hour of every day.”

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National Day: ‘Looking to future with optimism is the Emirati way’

President pays tribute to nation’s frontliners in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has called on the people of the UAE to look to the future with optimism and contribute with ideas and visions that will help the country achieve further progress across all sectors.

On the occasion of the UAE’s 49th National Day, Sheikh Khalifa, in a statement to Nation Shield, the UAE Armed Forces magazine, said that while the nation prepares to celebrate its Golden Jubilee in 2021, the nation’s sons and daughters should be ready to welcome the next 50 years with future visions “that will prepare our country for more development across all sectors, so that by year 2071, the UAE will become the first in the world in global indicators for well-being, happiness and quality of life.”

“Looking to the future with optimism, anticipating its horizons, and pre-planning its paths is an authentic Emirati approach,” he added.

Paying tribute to frontline workers

The President also paid tribute to the nation’s frontline workers in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. He said, “We extend our deepest appreciation to the dedicated workers; for a crisis well managed, for a decisive handling of the pandemic, for the preservation of the nation’s security, for the protection of its economy, for safeguarding the wellbeing of its community, and for ensuring the continuity of the educational process.”

Addressing the nation’s citizens, His Highness said, “I, and on behalf of my brothers, Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and the Rulers of the Emirates, deeply congratulate you as you welcome the new year with great optimism, a year that will conclude with the Golden Jubilee of the declaration of our Union; while preparing at the same time to welcome the next 50 years with future visions that will ready our country for more development across all sectors. Therefore, by year 2071, the UAE will become the first in the world in global indicators for well-being, happiness and quality of life.

“Looking to the future with optimism, anticipating its horizons, and pre-planning its paths is an authentic Emirati approach for which the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan laid the foundations with his brothers, the Founding Fathers,” he added.

President Khalifa expressed pride in the achievements of the UAE as it celebrates the 49th anniversary of its establishment, saying the country serves as a “model” for progress and sustainable development and sets an example with its values of tolerance, coexistence, openness and rejection of hatred; as well as for the justice, equality, security, well-being and prosperity it provides to its citizens.

His Highness stressed that building the future is paramount and that creating a successful future requires a clear vision, an early anticipation of opportunities and challenges, and the courage in decision-making.

As part of “our project for designing the next 50 years, some of the decisions we took included the renaming of ministries, merging some, and creating new ones,” he explained, in addition to appointing state ministers to focus on areas of utmost importance for the future; which include government development, scientific research, advanced technology and artificial intelligence, smart systems and the digital economy.

Other areas, the President said, the country is focusing on developing the applications that support remote work, renewable energy, food security, women empowerment and youth protection, as well as nurturing a future generation of qualified Emiratis, and attracting high-calibre foreign talent.

Nuclear energy production

Sheikh Khalifa said the country has taken “accelerated steps” in the fields of nuclear and renewable energy by operating the Barakah plant for the production of peaceful nuclear energy. Furthermore, the UAE has also secured a leading position in the space sector by launching Hope Probe to Mars, the President said, “as we also set out to build future frameworks for health, education, infrastructure, energy, transportation, services, and entrepreneurship.”

UAE’s effective Covid-19 response

On the UAE’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, His Highness said 2020 was an exceptional year that brought many challenges, most difficult of all was the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Yet, the UAE, through its strict precautionary measures and an effective national sterilisation programme, was successful at controlling the spread of the virus; and was able to offer medical care and protection to its citizens, residents and visitors alike.

His Highness said that despite the significant losses in life and finances, the pandemic has revealed “the efficiency of our healthcare system, how highly prepared our country is in the face of emergencies and crises, and confirmed the readiness of the country’s information and communication technology infrastructure,” which enabled the nation to move easily towards remote work and education.

“In this respect, we extend our deepest appreciation to the dedicated workers; for a crisis well managed, for a decisive confrontation of the pandemic, for the preservation of the nation’s security, for the protection of its economy, for safeguarding the wellbeing of its community, and for ensuring the sustainability of the educational process,” he said.

In regards to the country’s political development, President Khalifa said the UAE has “succeeded in making remarkable achievements” in people’s empowerment, raising the levels of participation and strengthening the role of the Federal National Council by increasing the representation of both women and youth.

“The UAE’s Political Empowerment Programme is a sustainable one that will remain guided by Emirati society and its virtues,” he said.

Resilient economy

On the country’s economic achievements, the President said those were reflected in a number of global competitiveness indicators that highlighted the “resilience of our economy and its high ability to confront economic shocks and fluctuations, as well as global challenges.”

This was made possible, His Highness added, thanks to an economy that boasts a number of components, most notably: a successful economic diversification policy, large investment assets, wide trade relations, diversified exports, and even more importantly, empowered individuals who are capable of giving and free to create ideas and enterprises.

On community welfare and stability, His Highness said, “We have succeeded in establishing a health care system of global standards, a high-level educational system, community development programmes, distinguished social care, nationwide housing projects, an integrated infrastructure, a sustainable environment… and other remarkable achievements that have enabled us and our people to successfully surpass the stage of empowering to begin creating the next 50 [years].”

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Want to work at Pakistan mission in UAE? Apply now

Consulate in Dubai announces vacancies for residents, candidates will have to apply online on or before December 17

Consulate-General of Pakistan in Dubai is looking for prospective candidates with local experience for different jobs.

Interested candidates should have a minimum of seven-year experience and can apply at https://pakistanconsulatedubai.com/vacancies on or before December 17.

The consulate intends to hire a telephone operator with a bachelor’s degree and at least seven years’ experience of customer service.

Another vacancy is for a data entry operator, and the candidate should have a bachelor’s degree with a typing speed of 40 words per minute.

There are also openings for the posts of translator and public relations officer (PRO). For both the posts, applicants should be holding a bachelor’s degree and an Arabic language course certificate.

The mission also needs a handyman/multi-task technician who can execute civil, electrical, plumbing work and networking.

In order to apply for the jobs, the candidates will have to fill an online form and submit their recent photo and scanned copies of passport, Emirates ID, qualification documents and updated resume.

The jobs are open for 1.6 million Pakistanis currently residing in the UAE.

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