Today, December 2, is the ‘National Day’ in the United Arab Emirates, and there is a carnival-like atmosphere in the federal emirates of the UAE. The day marks the official nationalisation from the British Protectorate Treaties which ended on December 1, 1971.
All over the seven emirates, there is a prevalent sense of pride in being free and financially superior to most rich nations, if not all. There is crackling fireworks, light shows, car rallies on solid, smooth roads, traditional and modern-day dance shows are most of the activities people in the region indulge in.
This day is an occasion for each emirate to take stock of things and analyse with satisfaction seeing how far each has come. The Arabian Peninsula nation, settled mainly along the Persian Gulf, was formed from 7 sheikhdoms – Abu Dhabi, the capital city, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. Each emirate is governed by an absolute monarchy, something that has kept the society generally free from any crime and public excesses, thereby ensuring a generally peaceful living.
UAE has been criticized for its human rights record, too, something that the heads of State are beginning to look into. The existence of the Sharia Law in their legal system has also called for criticism which needs healthy debate.
On the other side, Dubai has been an inspirational city, incomparable in its beauty and unapologetic about its wealth. The west bows down, as does the rest of the world, to the city that is only one part of a whole – the UAE.
From being a British-protectorate region to becoming the center of global attraction, the United Arab Emirates is today enjoying much-deserved acclaim as a place to be in.
On reflection, the first President of the UAE is responsible for the prosperity of the region. He oversaw the development of the Emirates and steered oil revenues into healthcare, education and infrastructure.