3 min read

From 1971 to 2021

Nestled deep amongst the vast dunes of the Arabian desert, boasting its spectacular infrastructure, the UAE stands as a symbol of progress and arguably one of the most significant success stories from the region.

What started out, 50 years ago, as a cluster of villages deeply rooted in pearl diving and the spice trade, an intrinsic part of the old Silk Road, has grown to become an enviable economic powerhouse.

Before the 1970s, the pearling trade was a primary source of revenue for many. However, with the discovery of ‘black gold’, the course of the nation’s fortune changed for good. The discovery of oil undoubtedly played a major role in the country’s economic growth, but it was the visionary wisdom of its leaders that served as the driving force in the nation’s economic transformation. 

The UAE was able to develop rapidly in a short period of time because it was founded on the basis of a progressive, forward-thinking philosophy. So much so that its leader, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, understood the importance of shifting the country away from its dependency on oil, and moved quickly to catalyse the development of a cluster-based economy. 

The UAE’s domestic economic diversification programme has seen a broad range of non-oil industries boom, such as finance, hospitality, and logistics. 

In its mission to create a business and investment environment that rivals the world’s best, the UAE developed financial centers like the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM): financial free zones now home to some of the world’s most prominent multinationals and most promising startups alike. 

While the UAE was busy building infrastructure and new industries at home, they were investing heavily abroad. The UAE’s investments overseas have been essential to the country’s economic development strategy, as the country seeks to diversify their asset base for future generations. This has led to the creation of a number of world-class investment institutions, such as: Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Mubadala and Investment Corporation of Dubai, just to name a few.

Over the past two decades, the country has taken steps to create an “ecosystem” that fosters innovation by investing significant resources in economic and social development, transforming its economy into a modern, open and competitive landscape.

This year commemorates the 50th anniversary of the UAE’s founding in 1971. It celebrates the nation’s extraordinary evolution since its founding, pushing boundaries through its exceptional leadership, business vision, and drive for successful transformation. This vision now inspires a whole new generation of builders, innovators and investors and we look forward to the promising future that lies ahead.

Therefore, to celebrate the 50th UAE National Day that will mark its Golden Jubilee, and under the official theme of “Spirit of the Union,” we have launched our UAE-Backed Companies Theme as a token of support and appreciation to the country’s glorious past, flourishing present, and innovative future.

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Iman Haider
3 min read