Year of Zayed

Eliza Scarborough   |   23 - 12 - 2017

To Commemorate a Centennial Milestone, the UAE will Dedicate 2018 to its Founding Father.

Following the Year of Reading in 2016 and Year of Giving in 2017, the President of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan will commemorate Sheikh Zayed’s 100th birthday in 2018 with the Year of Zayed. The year will be focused on instilling and highlighting the principles and values that were advocated by the late founding father.


‘The Year of Zayed is a great national occasion when we will proudly share memories of the life of the Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his gift to us of deeply rooted values, principles and traditions that have become part of our Emirati identity,’ said His Highness Sheikh Khalifa.


Featuring a series of events and initiatives in the UAE and internationally, the Year of Zayed has been designed to commemorate the memory of the late Sheikh Zayed, and highlight his impact and legacy, and promote the values that he displayed throughout his life in creative and interactive ways.




Educate and create greater awareness of the life and achievements of the late Sheikh Zayed among local, regional, and international audiences.

Raise the profile of the late Sheikh Zayed to that of one of the world’s greatest leaders and most inspirational figures.

Reinforce the status of the late Sheikh Zayed as an eternal source of national pride and a powerful symbol of the UAE around the world.

Celebrate and honour the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed through projects and initiatives that are consistent with his vision and values.

To be held under four main themes of Wisdom, Respect, Sustainability and Human Development, and consistent with the values of the late Sheikh Zayed, it is intended that the Year of Zayed will involve people of all ages, nationalities, faiths, and backgrounds in the UAE and internationally, to educate about the life and achievements of Sheikh Zayed.



By virtue of his words, actions, foresight and judgment, Sheikh Zayed was widely recognised as a wise and visionary leader and an inspirational man. He not only imagined a better future for his people, but also had the wisdom and determination to make that ambitious vision a reality against all odds. As the UAE’s President, he made many wise decisions that would support the country’s social development, economic strength, and national security well into the future.


Throughout his life, Sheikh Zayed treated people with the utmost respect regardless of nationality, gender, status, or religion. As the UAE’s President, he advocated strongly for the rights of women, highly valued the role of expatriates in the building of the UAE, and ultimately created the vibrant, diverse, and cosmopolitan society that the UAE remains today.


From an early age, Sheikh Zayed had already established a deep personal connection with the desert and sea ecologies of Abu Dhabi and an innate understanding of the inherent value and fragility of the natural environment. His lifelong commitment to sustainability became a hallmark of his Presidency that continues to shape the positive and constructive approach of the UAE to meeting the world’s greatest environmental challenges.


Sheikh Zayed believed that investing in people’s welfare, knowledge and capabilities would produce the greatest dividends for individuals, families, and society. As a leader, he authorised significant investments in healthcare and education facilities and other essential infrastructure in the UAE that rapidly transformed the country’s social and economic outcomes and the quality of life enjoyed by its people. A global humanitarian, he also provided significant financial and in-kind assistance to a diverse range of people and countries in need around the world.



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