UAE 47th National Day
UAE 47th National Day
  • Staff reporter Shin Whan-chul
  • 승인 2018.12.02 23:20
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-UAE envoys touches upon Dubai Expo 2020 & its ODA assistance
as some achievements of its UAE Government

Dubai Expo 2020 is one of the great achivements from the standpoint of Government of UAE and UAE has been one of biggest doners all over the world in terms of its ODA assistance to world’s underdeveloped countries during last 5 years.

Such facts were revealed by the speech of UAE Amb. Abdulla Saif to commemorate its 47th National Day through its diplomatic reception, held in a downtown hotel Seoul on last Nov. 30th evening.

Touching upon last March Korean President’s official visit to UAE this year, Saif said that during the summit, the two leaders agreed to upgrade the Korea-UAE strategic relationship into a “special strategic partnership.” The president and the crown prince acknowledged that the two countries have been engaged actively as strategic partners since 2009 across various areas of both the economy and industry, ever since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1980, according to the Blue House.

UAE Amb. Abdulla Saif (center) marking his country's 47th National Day while being surrounded by envoys from the Seoul Diplomatic Corps. including US Amb. H. Harris (second from right)

The two leaders agreed that bilateral cooperation should be expanded into such areas as diplomacy, defense, education, medicine and energy, too. To this end, the two leaders vowed to have in-depth discussions on pending issues by hosting regular dialogue channels, such as dialogue between diplomatic and defense vice-ministerial-level officials, talks between foreign ministers and a joint panel to discuss economic issues.

On behalf of the Government, MOCIE Minister Sung Yun-mo said Korean government sincerely hopes the two counterparts would head for the future-oriented partnerships in a time when UAE pursues its post-oil era, adding the two countries need to advance into the 3rd country’s nuclear plant market as UAE Barakah project achieves construction milestones.

Envoys from the Seoul Diplomatic Corps. marking UAE 47th National Day.
Envoys from the Seoul Diplomatic Corps. marking UAE 47th National Day.

Through last March’s official visit to UAE, President Moon Jae-in attended a ceremony to commemorate Barakah Unit 1, the first nuclear energy plant in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and also in the Middle East, and Korea’s first overseas nuclear power project, on March 26 during his official visit to Abu Dhabi.

The project includes four nuclear energy plants in the Barakah region of the UAE, around 270 km west of Abu Dhabi. The first completed unit will begin to load fuel and come into operation in May, according to MOCIE. The Barakah project, which will deliver a stable supply of electricity across the UAE, would further expand Korea-UAE bilateral cooperation into other fields of the energy industry, healthcare, semiconductors, science & technology, container terminals and even agriculture, said Sung.

On the other hand, UAE Amb. Abdulla Saif received the 2018 Top Amb. Award from the Korea Amb. Culture Friendship Association, an affiliate organization of the NDNnews ( & the Seoulcity magazine at the National Assembly Memorial Hall on last week.

UAE Amb. Abdulla Saif correponding to a group photo with defense attaches from each Embassies in Seoul.
UAE Amb. Abdulla Saif correponding to a group photo with defense attaches from each Embassies in Seoul.

The following is his award plague content. –Ed.

Reflecting mutual close partnerships that Korea is to the UAE the best cooperative partner in East Asia, and the UAE is to Korea the best cooperative partner in the Middle East, Your Excellency contributed not a little to the relations between the two countries including many agreements and MOU which have been signed between the UAE and the Republic of Korea in different areas covering health, public management, small and medium sized corporations, and defense among others during Your Excellency’s tenure of office.

Since being upgraded to Special Strategic Partnership, a move reflecting the high importance the two countries place to each other during Your Excellency’s tenure of office as UAE top envoy to the Republic of Korea, the bilateral cooperative ties have expanded in all fields such as security cooperation, health and medical treatment, sports, education, and culture in the recent years, intensifying existing cooperation in the areas of political affairs, economy and energy.

The following is a speech, delivered by UAE Amb. Abdulla Saif during UAE 47th National Day held in a downtown hotel Seoul on Nov. 30th.-Ed.

Unified National Day English Speech for UAE Ambassadors and Mission Heads on the 47th National Day of the UAE


These days mark the National Day celebrations as my country, the United Arab Emirates, strides forward with wisdom and perseverance, following in the footsteps of its founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, under the leadership of the President, HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his brothers their highnesses the members of the Federal Supreme Council, Rulers of all the emirates, and through the hands of its loyal daughters and sons, pillars of the country’s growth and development, attaining developmental, cultural, economic, political and social achievements.

On this occasion, I extend my congratulations to His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and their brothers, the Supreme Council of Rulers of the UAE and the Government and people of the UAE on this 47th National Day.

December 2nd of every year is an occasion for UAE nationals and residents alike, to express their pride in the country’s developmental and civilizational achievements.

The UAE's 47th National Day coincides with the centenary of the birth of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, as HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed dubbed 2018 to be the “Year of Zayed”. The late Sheikh Zayed was renowned for his wisdom and vision, his role and his policies in building the country, achieving development, strengthening its economy and national security, and leading it on the path towards a prosperous future.

The values ​​of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God have mercy on him, laid the foundations of modern cultural and developmental renaissance in the country. Inspired by these values, the wise leaders of the country took to building a bright future for the UAE, strengthening its position among the countries of the region and the world, an oasis of peace and political stability, economic and social development, and tolerance.

The UAE adopted an active approach to diplomacy, with a marked openness to the outside world, establishing an extensive network of relations with various countries around the world, essentially based on the respect for the principles and charters of the United Nations and the international community, foremost of which are democracy and human rights, and non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs. One of the most salient indicators of the success of UAE diplomacy is the strength of the UAE passport, which in recent years has achieved consecutive leaps. In 2018, it ranked third in the world according to the World Passport Index, reaching 163 countries visa-free.

At the national level, the late Sheikh Zayed believed that investing to ensure the well-being of the people and enhance their knowledge, skills and abilities would greatly benefit individuals, families and society. He wished to achieve progress in various fields such as health care facilities, educational facilities and other infrastructure in the United Arab Emirates. This in turn led to rapid and positive socio-economic changes. Sheikh Zayed’s generosity was not limited to his people: it extended to a large diversity of peoples around the world, alleviating their hardship and assisting them in meeting their needs.

The UAE has also championed the values ​​of tolerance and multiculturalism, rejecting discrimination and hatred by adopting nationwide programs in partnership with various local, regional and international bodies. Today, the UAE forges ahead, a model of tolerance and acceptance, with more than 200 nationalities living in harmony, chasing it as their second home. The law guarantees residents, similarly to nationals, enjoy the right to use the state's healthcare, educational, cultural and entertainment facilities without any discrimination.

The UAE is actively involved in the fight against extremism and terrorism, and a key element in the country’s determined efforts to ensure its national security and enhance international security. The UAE has accomplished important achievements in this regard, both through military participation in Islamic and international alliances and through the enactment of local laws to fight against terrorism and its causes. These include the Law against Discrimination and Hatred, the Federal Law establishing Hedayah, the International Center for Countering Violent Extremism, in addition to a decree – law that criminalises the slander of religions and their sanctities, to fight against various forms of discrimination, and reject hate speech. It aims to combat discrimination against individuals or groups based on religion, caste, doctrine, race, colour or ethnic origin

On the other hand, the vision of Sheikh Zayed, may he rest in peace, was founded on the need to build an integrated economy in successive consecutive times. It was brought to life as the country succeeded in building and developing a buzzing and prosperous business environment that is currently attractive for foreign direct investment. The UAE ranked first among Arab countries in 2017 for its ability to attract foreign direct investment. This established its position as a strategic trade hub that provides foreign investors access to regional markets, as well as the freedom to transfer funds and profits, in addition an effective judiciary system and legislation, neutral courts, laws and legislation that protects foreign capital, and low customs tariffs that range between 0 and 5 percent on all goods.

Dubai Expo 2020 is one of the most important achievements under way. The exhibition is an effective implementation of international cooperation policies and plays a central role in expanding and bolstering bilateral and multilateral relations. The exhibition is expected to host more than 200 participating countries. It will contribute to strengthening cultural understanding and nurturing cultural dialogue between nations, while changing the prevailing perceptions on the region. Dubai Expo 2020 will position the UAE as a cradle of emerging technology, an incubator for SMEs and entrepreneurs in the region.

The UAE’s achievements at the local level were not limited to the economic sector. The accomplishments of the people of the UAE, surnamed Zayed’s children (Eeyal Zayed), exceeded all expectations, going into the final frontier: space. In an unprecedented historic achievement, the UAE announced the successful launch of the UAE satellite KhalifaSat, the UAE's first full-scale UAE-made satellite, designed and built by Emirati engineers, in a move to establish a new phase in the field of space technologies in the country.


UAE is the world's first foreign aid donor

The vision of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may he rest in peace, was an inspiration for the foreign policy of the UAE, which committed itself to building bridges of friendship, work and cooperation with other nations. Today, the UAE continues to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which represent a road map or a specific path for building a better and more sustainable tomorrow for the world and future generations. The country continues to devote itself to addressing major global challenges, especially those related to poverty eradication, environmental protection, climate change, the establishment of justice and peace, supporting and promoting global progress.

Accordingly, the UAE has achieved qualitative growth across all areas. This reflected directly and clearly though several indicators, according to the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report, which covers numerous key areas such as quality of life, infrastructure, technology, and the adoption of business-friendly government policies. This comes to confirm that the country perseveres in its endeavors in accordance with the long-term approach of Sheikh Zayed to achieve stability and prosperity in the country, in the region and in the world at large.

For the fifth consecutive year, the UAE ranked first as the largest international donor of Official Development Aid (ODA) relative to gross national income (GNI). The country spent 1.31% of its GNI on foreign developmental aid in 2017, which is nearly twice the global target of 0.7% set by the United Nations as a global standard to measure the efforts of donor countries.

Donations made in 2017 amounted to a total ODA contribution of (US $ 5.26 billion), a year-on-year growth rate of 18.1% from 2016. Over 54 percent of the ODA was in the form of non-refundable grants to 147 countries (including 40 of the least developed countries) across the world,

The UAE continues to hold a leading position on the list of Official Development Aid (ODA) donors as a share of the Gross National Income (GNI), one of its many achievement on the international level and across various fields. These achievements are aligned with the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed, as the UAE perseveres in its mission to serve humanity and support friendly countries while achieving economic prosperity and countering the effects of crises and disasters. The country aims to make impactful positive and tangible contributions to achieve the ultimate goals for humanity: eradicate poverty eradication and attain sustainable development by 2030. The UAE has taken the lead in efforts to combat poverty and provide foreign assistance to the needy, including the most vulnerable.

On this historic occasion, I would like to commend the bilateral relations which join between our two friendly countries. These ties are based on the principles of cooperation and mutual respect and have reached the level of a special strategic partnership between the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Korea recently this year. The mutual visits of the leaders and officials of the two countries, and the ever-increasing levels of trade, economic and cultural exchange, are a powerful indicator which stands witness to the strength of bilateral relations in various fields. In the year 2017, the bilateral trade between our friendly countries reached 14.95 billion dollars and we have more than 200 Korean companies working in the UAE in all fields.


Thank you all for your presence and participation in our celebration, and we hope to see you and welcome you again in future occasions.

Thank you.



Staff reporter Shin Whan-chul

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