Late UAE leader Sheikh Zayed with falcon
Source: Yulia Armani

The President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has declared 2018 the Year of Zayed.

2018 will mark the 100th birth anniversary of the country's late founding father, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who passed away in 2004.

This week’s announcement also coincides with the anniversary of Sheikh Zayed’s Accession Day - the day he assumed leadership in Abu Dhabi on August 6, 1966.

Consistent with the values of the late Shaikh, the Year of Zayed's aim is to encourage the involvement of people of all ages, nationalities, faiths, and backgrounds in everything UAE related, both locally and internationally.

The Year of Zayed will also highlight the role of the late leader in establishing the UAE Federation and his local, regional and global achievements.

Here are 14 quotes from the great late leader, Baba Zayed, as he is locally known, that will make you proud to be living in the UAE:

1. On priorities...

"Arab oil can never be dearer than Arab blood." 

2. Past, present and future

"He who does not know his past cannot make the best of his present and future, for it is from the past that we learn." 

3. On leadership...

"The Ruler should not have any barrier which separates him from his people." 

4. On female empowerment...

"Islam affords women their rightful status, and encourages them to work in all sectors, as long as they are afforded appropriate respect." 

5. On work ethics and impact on society...

"It is my duty as the leader of the young people of this country to encourage them to work and to exert themselves in order to raise their own standards and to be of service to the country. The individual who is healthy and of a sound mind and body but who does not work commits a crime against himself and society.” 

6. The media

"The Press has the duty as well as the right to criticise. We welcome constructive criticism." 

UAE flag and sunset

7. Unity, stability and hopes

"Past years have emphasized the importance of unity as a vital necessity for providing a better life to the people, for ensuring stability in the country and for realizing the hopes and aspirations of our people."

8. We are ready to listen

"Our system of government is based on our religion and this is what our people want. Should they seek alternatives, we are ready to listen to them. We are all in the same boat, and they are both captain and crew.” 

Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan

9. On the real wealth of a nation...

"Wealth is not money. Wealth lies in men. This is where true power lies, the power we value. This is what has convinced us to direct all our resources to build the individual, and to use the wealth which God has provided us in the service of the nation."

10. On being prepared for change...

"Situations change from time to time. A friend may become an enemy and an enemy a friend. Life is inconsistent and ever changing. So are health and weather. We must, therefore, be prepared for the unexpected changes coming our way."

11. The real spirit behind the progress

"No matter how many buildings, foundations, schools and hospitals we build, or how many bridges we raise, all these are material entities. The real spirit behind the progress is the human spirit, the able man with his intellect and capabilities."

12. On history...

"History is a continuous chain of events. The present is only an extension of the past.”

13. On democracy

"I am not imposing change on anyone. That is tyranny. All of us have our opinions, and these opinions can change. Sometimes we put all opinions together and then extract from them a single point of view. This is our democracy.” 

14. On tolerance and respect...

“To treat every person, no matter what his creed or race, as a special soul, is a mark of Islam.”