Every 2nd of December marks an important occasion for all the citizens and residents of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is on this historic day, 46 years ago, that the federation of seven emirates was founded.
In the spirit of this occasion, we asked educators, teachers, and students“Why they love the UAE?” and here’s what they had to say:
Aspen Heights British School, Abu Dhabi
1. Ms. Emma Shanahan, Principal
“Working with families is beneficial to everyone in a school community, and ultimately children’s learning is enhanced. It gives me such pleasure and pride to see families who have previously not been able to engage with their children’s education and have been unaware of their key role or how to support, enjoying being such active participants in their children’s education and the life of our school. As a school leader, I find families here in the UAE so receptive, enthusiastic and positive about building school communities.”
2. Ms. Shabnam Ranny, Teacher
“I love being able to openly practice my religion wherever I am (school, mall, gym etc) and that everyone is so respectful of people’s different religious beliefs. I’m pleased to be part of a community where Muslim women are highly valued and influential.”
3. Romeesa Ramzan, Student
“I love learning Arabic! And there are lots of trees that give us oxygen.”
4. Ms. Laura Miller, Head of Primary
“I love the UAE for many reasons. I have lived here for 9 years so I now call it my home. One of the main reasons is how safe it is here and how welcoming the people of the UAE are. I love the diversity, how multicultural it is, and how innovation is so important. I of course also love the weather, things to see and do, and the fantastic restaurants.”
Al Yasat Private School, Abu Dhabi
5. Dr. Jake Madden, Principal
“Besides the multilingual place we live in, what I love about the UAE is the vision and strategic planning provided by our leaders. As an educator, it’s exciting being an expat and helping to contribute to the vision.”
6. Ms. Manal Steitiyeh, Math & Science Teacher
“We love the UAE because it is the country where everyone is welcomed and treated with kindness and generosity. The rule of law, safety and security transformed UAE into a paradise. With its great leaders and their vision, the future is secured in a civilized, advanced, cultural and modern country.”
لماذا نحب الامارات؟
نحب دولة الامارات العربية المتحدة لانّها ترحب بالجميع على أرضها وتعاملهم بلطف وكرم. ان سيادة القانون والأمن والأمان حولت الامارات الى جنّة. كما أنه بفضل قادتها العظماء ورؤيتهم, المستقبل مضمون في بلد التطور والتقدم والثقافة والحداثة.
7. Shaikha Qasemi, Student
“Like the Earth and the rest of the stars and planets in this endless space they are embraced by their mighty mother the universe, I am also the fetus that is embraced in this womb of my own beloved universe that I call the UAE.”
8. Mr. Jamal James Joseph, Manager & Safety Officer
“I feel that the UAE is the safest, peaceful, multicultural haven for broad lifestyle, improved education and a place where we can realize our dreams to come true and achieve whatever we wish to become. ”
British International School Abu Dhabi
9. Ms. Sandra Burton, Admissions Manager
“When I was given the opportunity to relocate my family to Abu Dhabi I was excited for myself and my children to learn about the culture and people of the UAE. Emiratis are generous, kind and warm, they really understand the values of family, unity and this combined with glorious weather, a safe place to live I feel very fortunate for this opportunity.”
10. Mr. Andreas Zindilis, Teacher, Year 4 Year Leader
“The pride of the Emirati people is contagious. As is their generosity and hospitality to all of us visitors from varying religions and backgrounds. The weather gives us a lifestyle which we could only dream of, coming from the UK. It is a safe and loving place to bring up a family and as a teacher, it affords us the unique chance to teach and learn from children from all over the world.”
11. Summer Baggaley, Year 2 student
“I love the UAE because it’s my home and I feel very safe. I have friends that come from all over the world in my class at school and I love learning about all the different cultures.”
Canadian University of Dubai
12. Dr. Rami Al Khatib, Dean of Student Affairs
“We have an opportunity in the UAE unlike nowhere else. The opportunity to educate and to embed values of humanity and hope. These values luckily are entrenched in this great country’s society and is prevalent in its citizens and residents alike. We are extremely proud to be a part of this country’s great education landscape.”
13. Dr. Franziska Apprich, Professor
“The UAE is my home, my inspiration and the playground of innovation.”
14. Sara Gazioglu, MBA Student
“My heart belongs to the UAE. My parents come from Syria but I was born in the UAE. All my life is here, all my friends are here and I’m proud to be part of the UAE.”
15. Dr. Kandace Williams, Superintendent
“I love living in the UAE because it is innovative and has provided the right opportunity to bring a progressive school to Dubai. I love the rich tapestry of cultures and how they work together to create an exciting and vibrant place to live.”
16. Isey, Student
“I love the UAE because it has a desert and a sea —so it has a combination of weather. I have so many friends and it is close to everywhere.”
Curtin University Dubai
17. Mr. Daniel Adkins, CEO & Academic Partner
“ I love the UAE because I have never lived anywhere where I felt safer or more welcome as part of the global community. How can any place compete with a vibrant country with futuristic cities, fantastic leadership, and a community drawn from nearly every country on Earth?”
18. Dr. Madhavi Ayyagari, Academic Director
“I love the UAE because….
It’s the perfect blend of East and West!
It symbolizes the human spirit! How man can progress in the face of challenges like harsh weather and arid land.
It exemplifies leadership vision.. how a nation can be transformed in a short period of time
It’s a mini “globe” – home to over 200 nationalities
It’s a home to all…rich and poor, conservative and liberal, each one can have their own space and harmoniously co-exist
It is one of the safest places on earth”
19. Melvin & Kelvin Jayakumar, Students
“My brother and I are based in Al Ain and travel every day, five days a week to our University in Dubai. What we love most in the UAE is the fact that it is convenient and safe to travel between the Emirates.”
20. Hala Haytham, Student
“The UAE is like the black pearl of the Middle East which strives to provide stability, safety, equality and human rights. And that is why I love it.”
Institute of Management Technology, Dubai
21. Prof. Francois Therin, Director
“The UAE is a place which very easily accommodates the whole world. The vision of the leaders is very forward thinking. Where in the world do you have a Ministry of Artificial Intelligence and a Ministry of Happiness? The UAE is the place to be now and the place for the future.”
22. Mr. Burhan Dalal, Staff
“We love the UAE for its rich culture, freedom, jurisdiction, lifestyle, infrastructure, and administrative system. More than 205 nationalities residing in the UAE with complete harmony and peace, this makes the UAE the best place in the world to live. On the proud occasion of national day, I extend my heartiest wishes to everyone.”
23. Mr. Sriram Radhakrishnan, Student
“I love the UAE because of it is a place which accepts diversity and is ever changing. It provides ample amount of opportunities for students to learn and develop their skills. It is by far the safest and the best place to live.”
Kings’ School, Al Barsha
24. Mr. Brett Girven, Secondary Assistant Headteacher
“I love the UAE because it gives my children a chance to grow up in a global environment, safe and happy. whilst learning about other cultures, different peoples and different ways of seeing the world.”
Murdoch University, Dubai
25. Dr. James Trotter, Dean and Academic President
“I am only newly arrived in the UAE, but what I love already is the ubiquitous sense of optimism and the belief that even the impossible is possible with innovative thinking and hard work. This is a great place to be an educator.”
26. Mitchell Finlayson, Bachelor of Communication in Journalism student
“The reason I love the UAE so much because it is safe and there is so much to do around the country, at all times, both indoors and outdoors.”
27. Faaria Siraj, Bachelor of Media and Communication in Screen Production and Journalism Student
“I love the UAE because it is a diverse place that allows one the opportunity to grow in many ways. It not only has a cultural history, but it is also a place for the latest inventions and technology in order to build a sustainable future; it is a destination for innovators.”
Nibras International School, Dubai
28. Ms. Shaymaa Ismail, KG1 teacher
“It is a multicultural country where one can meet people from all over the world living in peace and harmony. Emirati people are kind and friendly; they treat everyone respectfully. Not only is it clean and safe, the country also provides lots of opportunities to experience new things.”
Reach British School, Abu Dhabi
29. Ms. Lisa Brown, Head of Primary
“Having only moved to the UAE 3 months ago from England, I am enjoying the cultural change, the warmth of the people and the warmth of the sun. I love that the UAE has so many sporting opportunities to experience, both playing and watching events. After a day at school, I like to work on reducing my golf handicap, something I couldn’t do during the cold evenings in England”.
Regent International School, Dubai
30. Ms. Tracy Piddock, Year 1 Teacher
“I love the UAE because it is such a cosmopolitan community and everyone is so accepting of other cultures.”
31. Lara, Student
“I like living in Dubai because it is on the top list in the world. Thus, making me feel very safe. I like living in Dubai because everything you see is peaceful and beautiful.”
The Royal Academy, Ajman
32. Ms. Saraswathy Rajesakaran, Principal
“The U.A.E is a textbook example of extraordinary leadership. The nation ranks high in many of the crucial measures of a progressive nation – safety and security, peace and happiness, tolerance and inclusiveness, health and hygiene, art and culture, education and employment, facilities and resources, and tourism and recreation. This cannot be achieved unless the nation is driven to achieve. I love the UAE for many reasons, but I bow down with deep admiration for its leadership. May the nation and its Rulers remain blessed forever.”
33. Ms. Chathuni Rupasinghe, Teacher
“People flock to U.A.E for many reasons such as employment, shopping, holidaying, entertainment etc. There is something for everyone here – the young, old, rich, not so rich, westerners, easterners, everyone. As an expat, I love living in the UAE with my family. Every weekend I am able to take my children to a different place for a different experience. The family-centred lifestyle of the Emirati people and the value systems of the nation always amazes me.”
34. Fatima Murshida, Student
“I am so glad I am growing up in this nation during my childhood years. The people of UAE are very generous and kind-hearted. The celebrations and festivities here are out of this world. I feel safe and secure here. I love its malls, beaches, water parks, and picnic spots. The facilities in the schools and the quality of education here in the UAE are amazing. My favorite country in the whole world!”
S P Jain School of Global Management
35. Prof. Arindam Banerjee, Assistant Professor, Finance Director, Student Recruitment
“Melting pot for global cultures and respect for every religion makes the UAE a unique country.”
36. Ms. Megna Kalvani, Senior Manager, Global Learning & Student Life
“I love the value and essence of multiculturalism in the UAE. Growing up in Dubai, I find that it is a lovely place where people can learn from each other, grow culturally intelligent, and spread happiness as individuals and communities.”
37. Ms. Farah Naaz, Academic Manager
“I love the UAE because I find it to be one of the safest and most secure places for women.”
University of Strathclyde Business School, UAE
38. Dr. Ronald Bradfield, Director
“I love the UAE for its vision to attract world-class educational institutions to the Emirates, and thereby provide its citizens with superb study options in-country. Just taking the case of Strathclyde, this has enabled over 1000 working professionals – both the UAE nationals and expats – to gain a top-ranked MBA without taking a break from their careers or traveling out of the UAE.”
39. Dr. Katerina Nicolopoulou, Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship
“I love the UAE because of its spirit of progress and development, as well as the cosmopolitan mindset which has been steadily growing in the recent years. The business environment in the UAE presented me with the opportunities to catalyze the transfer of knowledge between different countries, which in turn has created impact in terms of both the business community and society, as well as the entrepreneurial ecosystem here.”
40. Faaeza Al Katheeri, Exploration Manager at Al Dhafra Petroleum and MBA student
“What do I love about the UAE? It is as if you are asking me what I love about my mother! I was born in love with the UAE and for countless reasons. It is a dream country for anyone in this world because of its generous leadership, its people’s tolerance, the safe cities, beautiful beaches, and the golden sands. My love for the UAE grows deeply in my heart and will stay there forever, until the last moment of my life.”
Sunmarke School, Dubai
41. Ms. Claire Young, Teacher/Head of Sixth Form
“I love the UAE because of the opportunities it offers our young people. Innovation is at the forefront of education and no matter what career students want to follow there is a pathway to succeed.”
42. Mona Al Bostaji, Year 12 Student
“I love the UAE because it is so diverse and allows us to meet people from all over the world. It’s a central hub for people to stop meet, work and develop relationships with people.”
43. Sandra Maher, Year 12 Student
“I love the UAE because it offers a sense of freedom and respects all beliefs and cultures. Equality is a priority.”
Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai
44. Mr. Beat Sommer, Head of School
“I love the UAE because I highly appreciate having been given the opportunity to grow professionally in such a welcoming, diverse, and dynamic young country with its rich cultural heritage, driven by its innovative and visionary leaders and people.”
45. Mr. Brian Nolan, Deputy Head of Primary School
“I love the UAE because of its diversity. I have friends from all over the world who share their experiences with me.”
46. Arianna, Grade 8 Student
“Diversity is why I love Dubai. The most wanted quality in the world is gifted here in the UAE (Safety)!”
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Abu Dhabi: A nationwide initiative titled ‘Express your Love for UAE’ will be launched on Wednesday.
The initiative, which will include 45 expressions of love for the UAE, was conceptualised by the Khalifa Empowerment Programme for Students (Aqdar) to coincide with preparations for 45th National Day on December 2.
“This initiative embraces a new vision that aims to deepen effective communication across the many aspects of the UAE community, citizens and residents, providing them with the opportunity to express their sincere love and loyalty to the UAE,” said Col Dr Ebrahim Al Dabal, General Coordinator of Aqdar.
Infographic: "45 ways to ‘Express your Love for UAE"
Forty-five messages will be selected at the closing ceremony of the initiative, which will coincide with 45th National Day, and those 45 entities or people, from 45 different nationalities, who contributed them will be awarded.
Awards will be given for the most creative, impactful, heartfelt and symbolic expressions of love, whether represented through literary creations, poetry, street art and advertisements.
The award categories include an award for best participation from an embassy or organisations in the UAE, best participation from Emirati youth living abroad, best literature work, best cultural production, best Arab nation to express its love for the UAE and best street advertisement on the love of the UAE.
Emiratis living abroad can also participate and not miss out on the celebrations, as they can submit their expressions of love.
Al Dabal said that the goal of Aqdar’s initiative is to enable everyone — tourists, private and public sector employees and students — to demonstrate their love for the UAE’s leadership in their own unique way through a variety of mediums and to document and publish them.
People can participate through the initiative’s website, mobile phone application, participation boxes distributed across several locations in the country, as well as field visits.
Different activities will also be held across the UAE, with public and private schools and universities participation, as well as shopping malls.
A specially designed interactive globe will also highlight the humanitarian work and aid provided by the UAE, and will encourage participation of members of the community.
“We will be organising activities such as sports days, poetry forums and art gatherings. We will also be honouring the longest standing expatriates in the country for their loyalty and dedication,” Col Al Dabal said.
Adding that they aim to enhance communication channels between members of the community and various state institutions, and increase societal awareness of the humanitarian and developmental roles the UAE on both regional and international levels.
“The initiative is a message of love and peace, and an invitation to all citizens to show their patriotic feelings towards the UAE and its leadership,” he said.
Adding that it is also an extension and representation of Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s vision and approach, which is rooted in limitless love, loyalty and devotion to this great nation — a nation which is now synonymous with greatness, earning the respect of other nations with its pride and dignity.
The initiative will include 45 expressions of love for the UAE in celebration of 45th National Day.
44 ways are already outlined. For number 45, the initiative invites people to participate positively, and express their love for the UAE in their own style.
1 To sacrifice my life in allegiance to the Emirates and to protect the independence of its territory.
2 To defend the nation and make it a sacred duty within myself.
3 To respect the Emirates’ constitution, laws, culture and traditions.
4 To know the history of the UAE leaders and owe them my love and loyalty.
5 To learn from the UAE leaders how to develop civilisation, hope and happiness in the heart of the residents.
6 To learn the history of the UAE, its achievements and its role in the world, both past and present.
7 To learn how the UAE and its leaders love all the people in the world.
8 To be transparent and cooperative with all the different institutions of the country, in order to sustain security and stability.
9 To join national celebrations and spread the national spirit and belonging in myself and others
10 To speak the Arabic language, and master the local dialect and try to teach people who don’t speak it.
11 To refrain from spreading rumors and incorrect information through all media and social media platforms.
12 To only take information from verified sources.
13 To preserve the UAE’s resources and to work towards developing them.
14 To work on consolidating the UAE’s excellence and its role as a leading country.
15 To not tarnish the UAE’s reputation by negative behaviour abroad.
16 To not behave inappropriately or in a manner that troubles others and reflects negatively on the UAE’s image.
17 To not interfere in other people’s business or breach their privacy, and help promote the culture of peace that already exists in the UAE.
18 To preserve public property and public money, and advice others not to misuse them, and demonstrate that it is the duty of each citizen or resident to preserve them.
19 To use the internet and social media platforms positively safely and securely, in accordance with the law.
20 To respect my parents, honour them and to work towards their happiness, and love all the members of my family.
21 To respect my teachers, love my school, respect my colleagues, and strive to excel at my studies
22 To do voluntary work and help others to promote the UAE’s charitable and humanitarian spirit.
23 To be fully ready when the duty calls in times of disasters and distress.
24 To be proud of my country and to participate in its military and humanitarian efforts righto make the world a better place, and helping those in need.
25 To be proud of the nation protectors, and to instill in myself and others that being a soldier is an honor,a pride and a glory to all of us.
26 To help people with disabilities and offer them all kind of support, and consider them a crucial part of society.
27 To advise my friends on the dangers of bad habits; such as violence and abusing one another.
28 To advise my friends about the dangers of drugs, substance abuse and smoking.
29 To respect other people’s traditions and culture.
30 To be careful, and holding on and spreading the country’s religious and ideological views, and resist ideological and religious extremists.
31 To work on building a career that will serve my country.
32 To conserve water and electricity, and to support the UAE in developing the renewable energy industry.
33 To be conscious about the importance of savings and investments, and to be economically responsible in order to support the UAE’s economy.
34 To take pride of the UAE flag everywhere and work on lifting it wherever I was and invest in all the different events to enhance the position of the UAE flag
35 To protect the environment, and support recycling operations.
36 To know that my only duty and reference is my country, represented in the leadership of the nation and the laws in all of its specialisation.
37 To respect and cherish all my family members.
38 To positively engage in social media, in order to interact with different members of society.
39 To read and utilize my knowledge to serve the UAE.
40 To be sincere, dedicated and professional in my life.
41 To avoid any suspicious or unlawful gatherings.
42 To protect myself and my family, and not give away any information to a non--‐official entity.
43 To learn innovative and creative skills, that can benefit the UAE community.
44 To learn problem solving and decision making skills.
People can express their love for UAE through...
You can also follow the initiaive on social media (facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and by using the hashtag #LoveforUAE