UAE National Day: 13 Powerful quotes from UAE’s innovative leaders

UAE National day“Wealth is not money. Wealth lies in men. This is where true power lies, the power that we value.”

This powerful message by the UAE’s first president and founding father, Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan continues to remain a strong foundation upon which the country’s leaders and people have continued to build a nation and legacy of innovation, change and progress.

On December 2, 1971, one day after the expiration of the British-Trucial Sheikhdoms treaty, the separate sheikhdoms decided to form an independent union and create what came to be the United Arab Emirates. Forty-three years later, the country has blossomed to become one of the most innovative, rapidly growing countries in the world, building on its founders’ vision to focus on its “real wealth.”

Since its founding, the UAE’s numerous unprecedented achievements and global progress in just four decades have been remarkable and its leaders have no intention of slowing down.

With the recent announcement by the federal cabinet declaring 2015 the year of innovation in the UAE, the country’s leaders continue to put policy to practice, raise the bar and equip its youth with the necessary tools to create a nation brimming with ideas, ambition and creative solutions.

To celebrate the UAE’s 43rd National Day, here are some of our favorite quotes by some of the UAE’s innovative leaders:

1. Sheikh Zayed

“Future generations will be living in a world that is very different from that to which we are accustomed. It is essential that we prepare ourselves and our children for that new world.”

– The Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, First President of the United Arab Emirates and ‘Father of the Nation.’


World Economic Forum Summit on the Global Agenda 2008Everybody starts small. We all begin life as a single cell. Every business starts as one person with an idea. How fast you go, how far you get, is in your hands. The bigger your vision, the bigger your achievement will be. Will you stumble on the way? Perhaps, but we cannot let fear keep us small. We have to be brave to be big.”

H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Ruler of Dubai.

3. Sheikh Khalifa

“Human capital is the real wealth of this country, before and after oil…Serving the interests of citizens is the goal that we strive for every day. Building human resources is central to comprehensive social and economic development.”

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, the Emir of Abu Dhabi and the commander of Union Defense Force.

4. Sheikha Fatima“Education is a true measure of the progress made by states to attain success and excellence in the field of investment in human capital, including women. An educated human, man or woman, is the basis of civilisation and the axis of advancement and progress.”

H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood and Mother of the Nation.

5. 153-15-2006-961

“Change or you will be changed: leaders who neglect the good of their people will be forsaken. Leadership is a service, not a gateway to privilege.”

–  H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Ruler of Dubai.

6. 2008 Global Leadership Awards

“I am a firm believer that the true progress of a society or a nation can be determined by the way it treats women. Progressive thinking and economic prosperity are meaningless unless women are given the respect and honor they deserve; women should always be considered equal to their male counterparts. This is another area where the UAE is setting a fine example for regional countries. In the UAE today, women have proved their worth in every domain, be it medicine, engineering, media, sports, finance, or politics.”

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister for Foreign Trade and was former Minister of Economic and Planning of the United Arab Emirates.

7.Sheikh Mohammed1

“An easy life does not make men, nor does it build nations. Challenges make men, and it is these men who build nations.”

H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Ruler of Dubai.

8. Sheikha Jawaher

“It is a sad fact that although governments are quick to agree that humanitarian aid is a necessity in ensuring the wellbeing of our global community, the matter of funding this aid is often a thorny issue. To address this challenge I believe we need to start with the acceptance that we all carry a responsibility towards others, in greater or smaller measure. This might seem an abstract concept, but without a willingness to shoulder this responsibility, any solutions reached will at best be short term.”

Sheikha Jawaher Mohammed Al Qasimi, H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, Honorary Patron of Sharjah Businesswomen Council and the UNHCR’s first Eminent Advocate.

9. Sheikh+Nahyan+bin+Mubarak+Al+Nahyan+Wedding+o52S6Az0jIxl

“Each institution has its own criteria for admission, but every student will be entitled to a place in higher education. We believe the future of this country – the ability to sustain its development as well as maintain its security and standard of living – will depend on the quality of education we give our young people.”

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development.

10. 109918618

“I believe that the true value of life lies in work, diligence and innovation. After all, work is the essence of humanity.”

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Sultan Al Nahyan, United Arab Emirates minister of foreign affairs.

 11. Sheikh Rashid

“I am my father’s only son, my father is his father’s only son and we don’t consider ourselves as a royal family, we are tribal and part of the people.’ – H.H. Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, founding father and former ruler of Ajman.

12.  H.H._Sheikh_Mohammed_bin_Saud_bin_Saqr_Al_Qasimi,_Crown_Prince_of_Ras_Al_Khaimah_presiding_over_the_award_panel_(8268136566)

“My key values are based on the values of this emirate and the values of the UAE. You’ll not find them written in any book. They are in the people.”
Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi, Crown Prince of RAK.

13. Frankfurt Book Fair

“The great achievements accomplished by the UAE encourage us all to work harder, to preserve the gains and to entrench the Spirit of the Union, giving us confidence that we are on the path of leadership with a confident and clear vision.”

Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.




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