Photos: H.E. Ambassador Mahash Saeed Alhameli of the United Arab Emirates, Deputy Dean of the Arab Diplomatic Corps

7 December 2021

The UAE celebrated its Golden Jubilee on 2 December 2021. His Excellency

Mr. Mahash Saeed Alhameli, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the Republic of South Africa and the Deputy Dean of the Arab Diplomatic

Corps hosted the celebration at the UAE Embassy in Pretoria, in a physical and virtual setting. Honourable Minister Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Public Enterprises of the Republic of South Africa, H.E. Ambassador Mubarak bin Salem Al-Zakwani of Oman, the Dean of the Arab Diplomatic Corps, H.E. Ambassador Sultan Al-Angari of Saudi Arabia, H.E. Ambassador Tariq Al-Ansari of Qatar, H.E. Ambassador Ayman Mohammad Youssef Al-dsani of Kuwait and the various members of the diplomatic corps, among others, graced the auspicious occasion.

This year the UAE commemorated 50 years of independence with a showcase

of the UAE’s 50 key initiatives.

In his speech, H.E. Ambassador Alhameli described the 50th National Day

Celebration as “a historic day that marks the UAE’s key milestones or achievements” whose foundation the founder of the country, the late

Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (may his soul rest in peace), his

brothers and the rest of the founding fathers laid down. His Highness

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the State (may God

protect him) continues to walk in their wise shoes.

The policy of ostentation and cooperation that the United Arab Emirates has pursued since its birth is a sincere expression of the rational

foreign policy His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, President

of the State announced. It governs the State agencies in their pursuit of a renaissance and support for the Union.

Since its independence on 2 December 1971, the UAE has promoted security, peace and sustainable development in the Gulf region and in various parts of the world. It is a principled and fundamental approach that drives its foreign policy and whose foundations the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan laid. His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the State’s wise leadership continues to espouse the same.

Esteemed guests grace the auspicious occasion from Left to right H.E. Ambassador Tariq Al-Ansari of Qatar, H.E. Ambassador Mubarak bin Salem Al-Zakwani of Oman, Dean of the Arab Diplomatic Corps, H.E. Ambassador Mahash Saeed Alhameli of UAE, Deputy Dean of the Arab Diplomatic Corps, H.E. Ambassador Sultan Al-Angari of Saudi Arabia, H.E. Ambassador Ayman Mohammad Youssef Al-dsani of Kuwait

Following the example of his father, Sheikh Khalifa emphasizes, and

lives out this principle through the great UAE contributions in various

humanitarian, political and economic fora and initiatives. Islamic

teachings that emphasize tolerance, goodwill, love, respect, and care

for the neighbour inspire Emirati rulers in their thoughts, etiquette

and morals.

The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, established the first

building blocks of the country’s foreign policy thus:

“The foreign policy of the UAE aims to support Arab and Islamic causes

and interests, strengthen ties of friendship and cooperation with all

countries and peoples based on the United Nations Charter and international instruments and ideals.”

The UAE has achieved great success at the international level. The country’s prominent position in the Arab world and internationally serves as ample evidence, thanks to its noble values. It bases its

policies and positions on the principles of truth, justice and peace, out of the conviction that peace is an urgent need for all of humanity.

As far as mutual coexistence is concerned, the UAE hosts more than 200

nationalities from all over the world, living with dignity and in harmony. The UAE commits to a better future for humanity where everyone enjoys security, peace and stability. Pluralism and coexistence have become a global model for tolerance, happiness, prosperity, freedom and peace. The historical Human Brotherhood declaration that the UAE launched represents a global call for hope, and the revival of human values that encourage goodwill and love between East and West, and North and South.

Esteemed guests grace the auspicious occasion from Left to right H.E. Ambassador Tariq Al-Ansari of Qatar, H.E. Ambassador Mubarak bin Salem Al-Zakwani of Oman, Dean of the Arab Diplomatic Corps, H.E. Ambassador Mahash Saeed Alhameli of UAE, Deputy Dean of the Arab Diplomatic Corps,
H.E. Ambassador Sultan Al-Angari of Saudi Arabia, H.E. Ambassador Ayman Mohammad Youssef Al-dsani of Kuwait

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has

highlighted two themes from the Declaration. The first is the strengthening of partnerships on tolerance and coexistence in the region

and globally. Second is the continuation of strengthening of the UAE’s position as a centre for coexistence and tolerance, and its efforts to promote shared human principles and values. The UAE pins this on its belief that all religions encourage the practice of common human principles among all global societies and dialogue among all civilizations and cultures to achieve development and prosperity.

The Ministry maintains a watchful eye on the safety of UAE citizens abroad around the clock. It seeks to link them with their wise leaders through all its departments, embassies and consulates around the world in an effort to strengthen friendship and cooperation with other

countries, and to foster economic and cultural development and peace in the world.

The international community appreciates the UAE’s role in the spreading of peace. The United Nations General Assembly expressed this appreciation by electing the UAE to the Security Council for the period 2022-2023 on 11 June this year.

The election reflects the UAE’s successful diplomacy that it bases on spreading peace and love among all

peoples. This is the International community’s significant token of

international appreciation to the UAE.

Furthermore, in another gesture that reflects the depth of international

respect it enjoys and its prominent role in supporting human rights, the United Nations Human Rights Council elected the UAE to its membership for the period 2022-2024 last October.

The UAE also hosted a Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change “COP 28”, which is the most important and largest international conference on climate action; this is tantamount to a confirmation of the UAE’s leadership and the world’s appreciation for its efforts in climate sustainability. The UAE’s presidency of INTERPOL for four years as the first Arab country to chair the International Criminal Police Organization since its inception a century ago highlights the prestigious position and the growing confidence the UAE enjoys, thus making it a source of

inspiration for the rest of the world.

The role of women in Emirati diplomacy is cogent, as Emirati women have assumed a distinguished position in the field of diplomacy. They have contributed successfully to the establishment of the country’s wide network of relations and the strengthening of its regional and

international partnerships.

They have also played a significant role in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, especially during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, in enhancing the diplomatic approach the state adopted. This is dependent on cooperation with the rest of the world to extend a helping hand to the societies that need support and assistance.

This resides within the framework of consolidation and strengthening

international and multilateral cooperation in light of the unprecedented circumstances that the world is going through today. This is a natural progression of the policy of women empowerment.

The UAE celebrates its Golden jubilee in a context of unprecedented historical achievements that crown its golden jubilee and lay the ground work for an even more prosperous future.

The UAE’s achievements confirm its success in realizing its Vision 2021

“to be among the best countries in the world in terms of economic and social development by the advent of the golden jubilee of the Union.”

The 50th Anniversary is a milestone in the history of the UAE and serves

as a springboard towards its goal for the next fifty years “to be the best country in the world” on the centenary of the Union in 2071.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

(UNESCO) has adopted 2 December as the International Day for the future,

celebrated by the world in conjunction with the UAE National Day.

This is an invitation to the rest of the world to focus their interest on the

future and develop their capabilities in foresight, readiness and proactive policy-making, in an enabling manner to ensure sustainable development for future generations.

The UAE has become an indomitable global player and has gained influence

on regional and global levels. Today, the country plays a pivotal role on various issues due to its political and economic weight that has made it an active and proactive state. Ambassador Alhameli noted that the country would not have achieved the prestigious position without the wisdom, steadiness and patience that characterizes its foreign policy.

Only fifty years ago, the UAE was just trying to secure the world’s recognition as a nascent State.

“We have reached a stage where countries from different continents of

the world are seeking to build partnerships and alliances with our

country as a result of its reputation and prestigious position. This is confirmed by the large international presence in the UAE, where 130 Arab and foreign embassies are hosted in the capital Abu Dhabi,” he shared proudly.

He also paid tribute to the quality of bilateral relations that brings

together two friendly countries – UAE and SA, which are based on the principles of cooperation and mutual respect. He noted further that in recent years the relations have reached the level of strategic partnership between the two countries and peoples. The mutual visits of the leaders of the two countries, and the ever-increasing levels of trade, economic and cultural exchanges, are strong testimony to the salubriety of the bilateral relations in various fields.

The UAE praises the cooperation steps that the South African government

took since the dawn of freedom and democracy in the country; it believes

in its enormous growth potential. This is largely due to the rational and wise leadership of two late great leaders Nelson Mandela and Sheikh Sayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan both of whom the Ambassador honoured at the event.

Ambassador Alhameli concluded with the words of His Highness Sheikh

Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy

Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces:

  “We complete a phase full of exceptional achievements and start a new

phase full of extraordinary achievements. Our ambitions embrace the sky. The challenge is greater, and the competition is more intense, but our

will, our ambition and our spirit of challenge, are stronger. Our people

are the source of our strength, and we welcome talents and extend our hands with goodness, cooperation and peace for all countries and peoples of the world.”

In his speech, Honourable Minister Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Public

Enterprises of the Republic of South Africa said he felt honoured and

grateful to represent the Government and People of the Republic of South

Africa in solidarity with the Government and People of the United Arab

Emirates, as they celebrated and congratulated them on their 50th

National Day.

“We are honoured to celebrate the UAE’s early dreamers with you as you

proudly look back on your country’s achievements and embark on a new

journey with determination and enthusiasm,” he congratulated the UAE.

South Africa and the United Arab Emirates have developed excellent

bilateral political and economic relations, which have also recently been elevated to a strategic level, since the countries established formal diplomatic ties in 1994. The UAE is the main import partner of South African goods within the Gulf Cooperation Council, with many South African companies benefitting from opportunities in the UAE in a variety

of sectors. The two countries premised the partnership on the leveraging of both countries’ economic potential to create a better world.

The last two years have challenged all of humanity. The damage and suffering that COVID-19 has unleashed remains immeasurable and will continue in the years to come. It was, however, through the hardship that South Africa realized the true value of international partnerships and friendships. In this regard, the friendship and support that the UAE rendered to South are truly remarkable.

From the outset, the UAE Government and its people assisted South Africa with the donations of medical equipment, the repatriation of citizens under very difficult circumstances, and more importantly, continued to trade with South Africa. This is clearly visible in the bilateral trade figures for 2020,

which amounted to more than R45.5 billion.

Globally, the economic devastation poses a threat to billions of people.

Covid 19 has battered economies severely and South Africa is no

exception. In response to the devastation, President Ramaphosa launched the South African Reconstruction and Recovery Plan in October 2020, focusing on job creation through infrastructure development,

re-industrialization of the economy, acceleration of economic reforms,

investment and growth, fighting crime and corruption, and improving the

state’s capability to deliver.

“We look to our global partners to explore investment opportunities and

deepen trade relations with South Africa. These are crucial requirements

if we are to overcome our reconstruction and recovery challenges.

In this regard, we thank the UAE for these investments, including the R12.7

billion acquisition offer from Dubai Ports (DP) World’s acquisition of Imperial Logistics. We are confident that the UAE and South Africa will further intensify efforts to help stimulate and elevate trade and economic cooperation that will bolster our economic recovery efforts in

the medium and long term,” Minister Gordhan shared.

He took the opportunity to congratulate the leadership and people of the

United Arab Emirates on hosting the Expo2020. According to the Minister,

although the pandemic delayed it, the feedback from participating government departments and officials, Expo 2020 is exceeding all expectations. South Africa is taking full advantage of this very

important and influential platform to showcase itself. Next year

President Cyril Ramaphosa plans to visit the South African Pavilion in

Dubai on 28 March. Minister Gordhan emphasized that it is important to encourage increased people-to-people exchanges between the UAE and South Africa. The two countries can learn much from each other’s cultures and traditions.

The Minister concluded by expressing once again South Africa’s warmest

wishes to the entire leadership and the people of the United Arab Emirates. He also stressed that as the two peoples continue to walk down this growth and development path, they must do so guided by the wisdom and the undying spirit of the founding fathers in the persons of the late President Nelson Mandela and His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

On post-Pandemic Diplomacy, Ambition and Hope in the future, the United

Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

said that the UAE has always sought to build bridges and play a constructive role on both regional and global levels. Over the coming years, the UAE commits to the strengthening of this vision by continuing to play a positive role to improve cooperation, foster dialogue,

diplomacy and effective engagement.

The UAE will continue to support all efforts that contribute to this goal and stand by any initiative that facilitates development, peace and prosperity. It will also continue to strengthen political and economic strategic interests through effective diplomacy that supports stability and sustainable development, and reinforces collaboration and coexistence.

To demonstrate its belief in the voice of the Youth, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation allocated the Youth Council a permanent seat in its various committees and task forces in

the Ministry. They work to develop and foster the quality of life of the Youth and create a positive working environment in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Since its inception, the Youth Council of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation adopted the slogan “Diplomacy of the Future, Ambition and Hope.” Its vision is to prepare a promising generation of innovative young diplomats who contribute to the achievement of the vision and agenda of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and hence the National Youth Agenda.

Since its establishment, the Council has worked hard through its agenda

to improve the lives of young people by encouraging them to adopt healthy lifestyles, promoting good mental health and adopting positive thinking as a basic value. Furthermore, it has fostered the building of life skills, as well as honing and developing the skills, abilities and

competencies of the Emirati youth.

Finally, it has empowered young people to embrace their aspirations and hopes, and advance diplomatic work based on knowledge and innovation to achieve excellence in foreign policy.

“The perfect conclusion and a new beginning, the opening of Expo 2020

Dubai in October 2021 marked the conclusion of five decades of achievements as well as the kick-off of the next fifty years. Never before has an edition of an international event hosted so many countries and brought together so many cultures, to work together to achieve so much good for the many people. The world gathered in the UAE to chart the course of the future and work in unison to make a difference in the

quality of life for future generations,” The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation concluded.


⦁       April 2006: Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company is launched

⦁       June 2009: Abu Dhabi becomes home to the headquarters of the

International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

⦁       January 2010: World’s tallest tower, Burj Khalifa opens in Dubai

⦁       March 2013: Inauguration of Shams 1, the largest solar power plant in

Madinat Zayed

⦁       November 2013: The nation wins bid to host Expo 2020 in Dubai

⦁       July 2014: UAE Space Agency is established to supervise the Mars


⦁       October 2017: Launch of national strategy for Artificial Intelligence

⦁       February 2019: Pope Francis becomes first pope to visit the UAE and

signing of Human Fraternity document

⦁       September 2019: Hazzaa Al Mansoori becomes first Emirati to reach


⦁       July 2020: UAE joins space club with successful launch of the Hope

Probe from Japan

⦁       April 2021: Two new Emiratis are selected to be part of the UAE’s

astronaut corps, including the Arab world’s first female astronaut

⦁       September 2020: Signing of Abraham Accords, which marked the

commencement of bilateral relations between the UAE and Israel. The

Retirement Visa was launched, offering Dubai residents an easy and

hassle-free retirement option.

⦁       September 2021: Overhaul of new UAE visa reforms to confirm UAE’s

position as an ideal destination for work, investment, entrepreneurship

and education

⦁       November 2021: UAE enacts largest legal reform in its 50-year history.

For the past 50 years, the UAE has not only developed into one of the

safest and most technologically advanced countries in the world, but it

has also become an oasis of hope and prosperity for entrepreneurs and

people with various talents.

The Golden Jubilee celebration inspires everyone to think about the

words that best describe the Emirates – A visionary country where the Founding Fathers’ vision, the determination to pursue every goal for the nation and people holds sway.

The UAE’s vision to strive for excellence – not to rest on its laurels but continuously aim higher is a stark reminder to dare to dream bigger

and not stop once it has achieved initial goals.

The Diplomatic Informer
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