Today, the UAE marks its 48th National Day with huge celebrations fit for a country that defines modernization and advancement. 

Over the past decades, unprecedented accomplishments have transformed the Gulf nation into a global city that's now known for being a major hub for business and futuristic endeavors. 

Here's a walk through the country in 20 images that capture its rise to the top: 

1. The Abu Dhabi Corniche in 1949

Source: AGDA

2. Dubai Harbor in 1950

Source: AGDA

Up until the early 1960s, Dubai and several other UAE cities consisted of small clusters of settlements built near creeks. 

3. Dubai airport in 1960

Source: Vintag

There were some major advancements happening in the early years after 1960 but the process of modernizing the UAE officially began a few years later. 

4. Aerial shot of Abu Dhabi's Corniche in 1969

Source: AGDA

In the mid-1960s, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum started building Dubai's settlements into a city; a process that has continued ever since. 

5. A view of the Dubai Creek in the 1970s

Source: The National

By the 1970s, the transformation of Dubai's Creek and its evolution as a city had become evident. 

6. A 70s Abu Dhabi souk on record

Source: Pinterest

Abu Dhabi was following right in Dubai's footsteps at the time. 

7. Jumairah Mosque being built in 1977

Source: Whatson

The 70s and 80s marked a period of continuous construction and urban planning that eventually led to the rise of the UAE's cities in the 90s. 

8. Deira's clocktower roundabout in a 1981 commercial

Source: YouTube

Roads and highways were slowly beginning to increase in number. 

9. Burj Al Arab under construction in the 90s

The rise of Burj Al Arab marked a new era of grant construction and architectural ventures in the UAE. 

10. Sheikh Zayed road in the 90s

Source: Insydo

This was a time when the country's iconic route consisted of four lanes and was rarely packed with traffic, a stark comparison to how things are today. 

11. Jebel Ali Free Zone in 2003

Moving into the 2000s saw the largest expansion in the country's bid to modernize its emirates. 

12. The rise of the skyscrapers in 2007

Source: Ron Walker

With that came the rise of skyscrapers and high-rise buildings that now populate the country. 

13. Dubai metro launched in 2009

In 2009, Dubai's public transportation system welcomed the launch of the emirate's metro. In the 10 years since it began to operate, it has proved to be one of the most efficient and advanced in the region. 

14. View from Burj Khalifa in 2011

Source: Flickr

A new decade always means a new set of advancements and accomplishments in the UAE. New museums, more buildings, larger roads, and remarkable landmarks are always being developed. 

15. The iconic Palm Jumeirah in 2015

A major tourist attraction and a symbol of how far Dubai has come. 

16. Dubai by 2017

An ever-expanding global hub for people from around the world, the UAE and more specifically Dubai have become synonymous with transformation. 

Over the past few years, it built up an incredible business district and an internet city that are both successfully supporting entrepreneurs from all around the world. 

The country has also been advancing ahead of its regional counterparts when it comes to Artificial Intelligence and technology, introducing driverless taxis and cars, and focusing on the digital revolution. 

17. Sheikh Zayed Mosque in 2017

The country is now home to tens of historic landmarks that have been built within the last 20 years. 

These include the iconic Sheikh Zayed Mosque which annually attracts millions of visitors. 

18. The city and its palm island captured from space in 2017

Currently, the UAE has its eyes set on space and saw the launch of its first astronaut, Hazza Al Mansouri, into space earlier this year. 

In 2014, the country officially established a Space Agency and set an ambitious goal of launching a probe to Mars. Two years later, the Gulf state and NASA signed a deal to work together to reach the Red Planet. 

In 2016, the country set up the Emirates Mars Mission which plans to send an unmanned spacecraft to explore Mars in 2020. The journey is expected to take seven months. 

One year later, the UAE announced its plans to build the first-ever city on Mars ... in about 100 years. The Mars 2117 project is part of a 100-year national program that focuses on spearheading scientific breakthroughs like the renowned Mars Mission.

19. Dubai Frame is the country's latest landmark

The UAE continues to build landmarks that have become tourist hotspots and these include its latest one, Dubai Frame. 

20. Ain Dubai is now under construction

This sums up the UAE, a country that never stops building, developing, and working towards the future. 

Happy National Day, UAE!