By Sam Bridge
Dubai ruler, Abu Dhabi crown prince announce 2020 as year to begin preparations for the next 50 years
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, on Saturday announced 2020 to be the year of preparations for the next 50 years.
Declared "2020: Towards the next 50," next year will witness the biggest national strategy to prepare for the coming 50 years on the federal and local level as the country approaches its Golden Jubilee in 2021, state news agency WAM reported.
Sheikh Mohammed issued directives to form two committees. The 50-year Development Plan committee, chaired by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, is tasked with involving all segments of the society in shaping life in the UAE for the next 50 years.
It will draw a new economic map for the UAE and develop "exceptional projects and policies" to make giant leaps in the national economy.
It will also work on cementing the soft power of the UAE and establishing media systems to share the country’s new story with the world, bringing economic and social returns that protect its gains and enhance opportunities in the new economy.
Among the committee’s other responsibilities is developing vital sectors including health, education, housing, transport and food security across the country to increase future readiness.
The committee will also develop a comprehensive vision of the UAE society in the next 50 years that adapts demographics, family life and cultural identity to a rapidly-changing world.
The second committee, the Golden Jubilee Celebrations committee, will be chaired by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, with his deputy Sheikha Mariam bint Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
It will be tasked with overseeing all Golden Jubilee celebrations involving the private sector and involving embassies across the country.
The committee’s responsibilities also involve setting mechanisms to coordinate events and activities on a federal and local level.
In a series of tweets, Sheikh Mohammed said: "The UAE approaches its Golden Jubilee in 2021, a new milestone that celebrates 50 years of our young country and begins the journey to the next 50 years. Preparations for our new journey start next year. Together, we welcome 2020: Towards the next 50."
He added: "Today, we announce 2020: Towards the next 50. We shall develop our plans and projects and reinvent new ideas. 50 years ago, the founding fathers shaped our life today, and next year, we will shape the coming five decades for the future generations.
"In 2020, we will work on making giants leaps in our economy, education, infrastructure, health, and media to share the UAE’s new story with the world. Together, we will build the Emirates of the future in 2020 with the winning spirit of the union, a spirit that strives for progress. Our development journey has no end.
"Together, we will build the Emirates of the future in 2020 with the winning spirit of the union, a spirit that strives for progress. Our development journey has no end... We want 2020, the year before our Golden Jubilee, to be reminiscent of 1970 when a new journey was being drafted for this nation."
The Abu Dhabi crown prince added: "With the willpower and unity of our people, we will work tirelessly to achieve our goal in making the UAE among the best countries in the world by the UAE centennial in 2071.
"In 2020, we will coordinate efforts, deploy possible resources and strengths and deepen our community partnerships to lay the foundations of a significant phase in the journey of our development. We will draft a new chapter in our economic, social and rapid development race."
He said the top priority of the national work within the next 50 years will be placed on investing in talents and capabilities.