Leaders of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) dedicated 2020 to planning the nation’s strategy for the next five decades. In December 2020, the UAE’s 49th National Day celebration highlighted the ‘2020: Towards the Next 50” initiative. This national strategy honored the final year of preparation before the nation’s ‘Golden Jubilee’ in December 2021. It also called on government officials and citizens to organize Golden Jubilee celebrations and help shape life in the Emirates for future generations.
The Golden Jubilee of the Union will mark the UAE’s 50th anniversary and introduce a comprehensive development plan for the region. This new journey will ultimately guide the UAE to accomplish its Centennial Plan, to become the best country in the world by its 100th anniversary in 2071.
Introducing Vision 2021
In honor of the UAE’s long-anticipated Golden Jubilee, Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched Vision 2021 in 2010. For over a decade, this initiative aimed to establish the UAE among the best countries in the world by its 50th birthday. Vision 2021 was founded on the following principles:
- United in Responsibility
- United in Destiny
- United in Knowledge
- United in Prosperity
The UAE’s 2021 agenda includes expanding world-class healthcare, first-rate education, emergency and disaster response, economic exchange, sustainable development and inclusivity across the globe.
As a first-hand witness to the UAE’s founding, Sheikh Mohammed has experienced the young nation’s growth and progress from the very beginning. Speaking to his future vision, he stated, “I lived through the formation of the union in 1970 and will oversee the formation of the next five decades in 2020. We want 2020, the year before our golden jubilee, to be reminiscent of 1970 when a new journey was being drafted for this nation.”
UAE-US Relations Align with Vision 2021
Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba and the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC have worked side by side with the United States (US) to help achieve Vision 2021 and other shared interests. Together, the two countries have made global history on several occasions including the US-UAE 123 Agreement, the first Special Olympics World Games in the MENA region, their joint response to the coronavirus pandemic and the UAE-Israel Abraham Accords.
In addition, the UAE collaborated with US educational institutions to launch the Arab world’s first-ever interplanetary space probe in June 2020. Formerly known as the Emirates Mars Mission, the ‘Hope’ probe is expected to kick off the Jubilee year upon reaching the Red Planet’s orbit in early 2021.
This space mission will accomplish one of many key milestones set forth by the UAE in the upcoming year. In this endeavor, the region has already organized several groundbreaking initiatives including the first-ever World Expo in the Middle East region, the construction of the Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi and relief efforts following COVID-19.
Looking ahead to the next fifty years, Ambassador Al Otaiba and the Embassy staff will continue to work with the US government to promote Sheikh Zayed’s founding values, while addressing 21st-century challenges and creating new opportunities for people of all races, backgrounds and abilities.