Today, December 2, 2007 marks 36 years since the four other Emirates agreed to join into a union of six Emirates called the United Arab Emirates. The seventh Emirate, Ras Al-Khaimah joined later in 1972.
The country may be only 36 years young but much has been done here that it makes many other older countries wonder how they do it here. The federation, the fruit of the historic work done by Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his brothers the Rulers of the Emirates has always been cited as the most successful unity experiment in the Arab world.
The National Day is celebrated every year except in the year 2004 when Shaikh Zayed died and the whole country grieved for days. It is because of him that there is an equal education system for both men and women and the UAE enjoying an unparalleled economic growth, which has made the country a shining example in this region and the subject of admiration and analysis around the world.
It is a non-working holiday today and people in Dubai and the whole of UAE celebrate National Day with pride saying everything the great Shaikh had envisioned and spent every moment of his life is starting to realise. Today is another opportunity to pledge that the people (including foreign residents who make up more than 80% of the population) will ensure this great country shall only go forward, just as Shaikh Zayed urged us to do.