year of zayed

Timeless legacy of Founding Father lives on in Year of Zayed

At the heart of UAE’s spectacular achievements lie the guiding values and vision of Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan

21:00 January 27, 2018
Shaikh Zayed

Abu Dhabi: The best way to celebrate the Year of Zayed is by spreading the Founding Father’s glorious human and cultural legacy via all the people and organisations of the UAE, to continue his inspirational and noble values, and instill these ideals in new generations, officials told Gulf News.

“Shaikh Zayed’s goodness, compassion, humanitarianism and countless charity projects extended far beyond just his home nation, they were felt all over the globe. More than 13 years after his death, we are still stumbling on Shaikh Zayed’s charity works in every corner of the world,” Hamad Salem Bin Kardous Al Ameri, Director General of the Zayed Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, said.

Al Ameri added set up by founding Father, the Zayed Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation has changed lives of millions of people around the world, and in the Year of Zayed, it continues to expand its global reach by helping others in as many countries as possible, as well as look after expatriates living and working in the UAE.

Declaring 2018 as the Year of Zayed, President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said during the year the people of the UAE will be encouraged to uphold the “noble values instilled in them by the late Shaikh Zayed, including those of wisdom, respect, determination, loyalty, a sense of belonging to the nation, and a willingness to make sacrifices at whatever cost”.

Relief material being unloaded from two UAE aid planes that landed at Damascus airport following Shaikh Zayed’s orders to deliver aid to victims of the Zeyzoun Dam collapse. Photo: WAM/Gulf News Archives

Since its establishment in 1992 by the late President Shaikh Zayed, the Zayed Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation has built hospitals, schools, universities and houses, and funded projects including vaccine programmes, in more than a 100 countries.

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In 25 years, the foundation has spent more than one billion abroad and just as much inside the UAE. “Every year the foundation increases its presence in countries around the world,” Al Ameri said.

Al Ameri added now more than ever, in the Year of Zayed  which is dedicated to giving, people of the UAE are reminded of the importance of humanitarian work and the culture of giving, as the core lessons learnt from the late Ruler.

This year marks 100 years since the birth of Shaikh Zayed – the Founding Father who united the emirates and took his nation to new heights of progress and prosperity.

Successful and modern state

The UAE is widely recognised today as a successful modern state that, starting from scratch just five decades ago, has managed to establish the foundations of a prosperous and advanced society. At the heart of its spectacular achievements that allowed the country to assume a position of preeminence regionally and internationally lies the vision of one man – Shaikh Zayed.

Future generations will be living in a world that is very different from that to which we are accustomed. It is essential that we prepare ourselves and our children for that new world.

 - Shaikh Zayed


Shaikh Zayed set the foundations of modern development across all sectors in the UAE. His generosity is experienced not only in the UAE and the Gulf region, but also throughout the Arab world and internationally, with contributions and initiatives that continue to reflect his unerring skill as a modern leader, who gained the respect of so many people around world.

Shaikh Khalifa said the late Shaikh Zayed was able to lay down solid foundations for a strong, united nation that balanced the requirements for modernity while preserving the cultural and social heritage of the UAE. 

“The Year of Zayed is a great national occasion when we will proudly share memories of the life of the Founding Father, Shaikh 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.”

Emirates Red Crescent officials distribute relief material to Somalis under the Shaikh Zayed humanitarian aid programme. Photo: WAM/Gulf News Archives

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said Shaikh Zayed has instilled in us the willpower and determination to challenge and achieve the impossible. This is why we are always convinced that we are capable of being pioneers and to become one of the best countries in the world. He inspired us to see his way to the future, to follow in his footsteps with confidence and insight, and to consolidate the gains and achievements.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said “to celebrate the Year of Zayed in the best way possible, we must ensure that the glorious journey is continued, sharing the human and cultural heritage with all the people of the UAE, to carry forward its noble legacy and values, and inspire future generations.”

2018 marks 100 years since the birth of Shaikh Zayed

Year of Zayed

The ‘Year of Zayed’ will highlight the role of the UAE’s founding father in establishing the UAE Federation, and his local, regional and international achievements.

 The Year of Zayed is a call to all UAE’s people to uphold the noble values instilled in them by Shaikh Zayed, including wisdom, respect, determination, loyalty, a sense of belonging to the nation, and a willingness to make sacrifices at whatever cost.
The year will be marked as a period of enabling achievements, initiatives, events and programmes by people and organisations that reflect the great personality of Shaikh Zayed, highlighting his pioneering role, his vision and his sound leadership.