The United Arab Emirates has achieved many important milestones in the legislative, health, economy, space and other key sectors during 2021, coinciding with the country’s special Golden Jubilee celebrations.
In the following report, the Emirates News Agency (WAM) is summing-up prominent achievements and decisions of the year.
Exceptional decisions and events
– President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan approved a wide-ranging reform of the country’s legal system. Over 40 laws are included in the changes, which together represent the largest legal reform in the nation’s 50-year history.
– Approving a new federal government cabinet and a new methodology for federal government work.
– The launch of Expo 2020 Dubai, with the participation of 192 countries.
Economy and business
– The UAE approved AED290 billion federal budget for five years until 2026.
– The launch of the Industrial Strategy “Operation 300bn” to empower and expand the industrial sector.
– The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) has expected growth of 2.1% in the overall real gross domestic product (GDP) in 2021 and 4.2% in 2022.
– The launch of the first international derivatives exchange in the world to trade futures contracts for Murban crude, produced by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).
– Launching the “Projects of the 50”, which constitutes a new cycle of strategic projects in the UAE for the next 50 years, and aims to establish a new phase of internal and external growth of the state in various economic sectors.
– The United Arab Emirates announced the commencement of the manufacturing of the “Hayat-Vax” COVID-19 vaccine in the country.
– UAE announced the opening of tourist visas to vaccinated people from all countries.
– Launching the world’s first mobile medical centre for civil aviation medical services.
– The UAE leads the world in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Climate change and energy
– The United Arab Emirates announced the “UAE Net-Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative”, a national drive to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
– The start of commercial operation of “Barakah”, as the first Arab peaceful nuclear power plant.
– The United Arab Emirates hosted the first Regional Climate Dialogue.
– The United Arab Emirates connected the second unit of the Barakah nuclear power plant to the national power grid.
– The UAE won the bid to host the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 28) in 2023, the world’s most important global climate conference.
– The Hope Probe successfully reached Mars.
– Announcing a mission to explore Venus and seven asteroids in the solar system.
– Announcing the names of the second batch of Emirati astronauts, including Noura Al Matrooshi, the first Arab female astronaut.
A global and international presence – The UAE has won a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council’s 2022-2023 term.
– The UAE won membership of the UN Human Rights Council for the third time.
– The UAE has joined the Central American Integration System (SICA).
– Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Managing Director and Group CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), was honoured with the ‘Energy Executive of the Year Award for 2021’ by Energy Intelligence.
– Razan Al Mubarak, Managing Director of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) and the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund (MBZ Fund), was elected President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
– The UAE candidate Major General Dr. Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi has won the presidency of the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) for a four-year term.
Resolutions and legislations
– Announcing the new working week system for the government sector and adopting working days from Monday to Friday.
– Announcing the “Fifty Principles” Document.
– Issuance of the law establishing the National Human Rights Institution (NHRI).
– The UAE announced an integrated path featuring regular, green and golden residency visas.
– Allowing granting the UAE citizenship to investors, specialised talents and professionals.
– Establishing Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security.
– Dubai government was announced as the first paperless government in the world.
– The UAE is first globally in 152 development, economic and social indicators in 2021.
– The UAE’s media identity ranks 11th globally.
– The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) unanimously adopted the UAE National Day, 2nd December, as World Futures Day.
– Abu Dhabi maintained the world’s top rankings in terms of security, safety and low crime rates.
– Launching the largest national programme with the aim of training and attracting 100,000 coders, establishing 1000 digital companies within 5 years.
– The opening of Ain Dubai, the world’s largest and tallest observation wheel.
– Remarkable success in organising the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) and Dubai Airshow.
– H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, released the first 17 volumes of the Historical Corpus of the Arabic Language – the first-of-its-kind project to chronicle 17 centuries of development in the Arabic language.
– Launching of the UAE’s National Strategy for the Cultural and Creative Industries to promote the growth of the cultural and creative industries sector and placing it among the top ten economic sectors in the country with the aim of contributing 5% of the national GDP.
– Dubai Culture and Arts Authority announced that it will grant cultural visas to 1,000 creators and artists from across the world in the upcoming phase.
– The Sharjah International Book Fair ranks the largest in the world in terms of buying and selling copyrights for 2021.
– The UAE has won the bid to host the 27th International Council of Museums (ICOM) General Conference 2025 under the theme ‘The Future of Museums in Rapidly Changing Communities’.
– Hosting the joint qualifiers for the first and seventh groups, qualifying for the World Cup and the Asian Cup.
– Abu Dhabi organises the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) and the World Aquatics Festival, with the participation of 1,100 players from 180 countries.
– The election of Mohammed bin Sulayem as the first non-European president of the International Automobile Federation (FIA).
– Abu Dhabi hosts the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship, with the participation of more than 2,000 players from 65 countries.
– Hosting the Asian Boxing Championship in Dubai.