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2020 - Towards the next 50

Updated: October 12, 2021
 By Pri

With 2019 soon coming to an end, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi jointly announced the theme for 2020 on December 14, 2019, as ‘2020: Towards the Next 50’.

The UAE has been setting a yearly theme for the last five years and this year will be the sixth year. The theme makes the federal, local, private and the citizens of UAE work towards achieving the goal for that year.

What is ‘2020: Towards the next 50’?

As announced by the Vice President of UAE on Twitter, the UAE will complete 50 years of its Union in 2021 and hence will start preparing for the next 50 years in the year 2020 itself and make 2020 a turning point in the history of UAE.

What is UAE’s plan for2020: Towards the next 50’?

As a plan for ‘2020: Towards the next 50’ and to chalk out the development plan for the country, two cabinet committees have been formed; one of which will focus on a thorough development plan for the next 50 years while the other committee will focus on the grand celebrations that will take place in 2021 to mark the country’s 50th anniversary. The aim of forming these committees is also to draw out the biggest and largest strategy for the next 50 years for UAE on both federal and local levels.

The committee that will focus on the development strategy for the next 50 years of UAE will be headed by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs. The Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi will act as the deputy to the chairman. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan will head the second committee.

What are the responsibilities of the two cabinet committees?

Cabinet 1: Drawing the development plan of the next 50 years

A development plan will be made for the next 50 years- a comprehensive strategy to plan and develop the government administrative system with the idea of making UAE the most flexible as well as an adaptive government to align with the future changes. The responsibilities include:

  • To involve all segments of society to shape life in UAE for the next 50 years
  • Develop and draw a new economic map for the country which will help develop extraordinary projects to make leaps in the economy
  • Establishment of media systems that share the story and growth of UAE with the world, which will, in turn, bring social and economic returns to the country and get further opportunities.
  • Development of all sectors which include but are not limited to health, education, housing and food security across the country.
  • Foster the values of productivity and passion for a progressive nation- to prepare the new generation for challenges and aspirations of the country in the next 50 years.
  • Develop a vision for the UAE society to adapt to the constantly changing world.

Cabinet 2: Celebrations in 50th year in UAE in 2021

The second committee has been formed to organize the golden jubilee of the UAE in 2021, to plan and form teams to organize events and activities. The responsibilities of the Cabinet are:

  • To involve all segments of society to prepare for the 50-year celebrations.
  • Develop plans to reinforce the global outreach and impact of the celebrations
  • Involve the public as well as the private sector to prepare and execute the celebrations
  • Involve the embassies across UAE to prepare and execute the celebrations and promote the global image of UAE
  • Develop a strategy to manage events at the local and federal level

What does 2020 mean for UAE?

The UAE's 50th year marks a major milestone that calls for renewing the country's development model.

Institutional efforts across the country will be coordinated and innovative expertise, talents, and capabilities harnessed in designing new systems for the next 50 years. A social vision will be created to ensure the involvement of all society segments in shaping the country to be the most advanced land that embraces the highest quality of life across the world. People of the country would contribute to deploy resources and put all efforts to lay the foundation of new development in the social and economic world race.

What were the themes for the previous years?

The UAE has been setting a yearly theme for the last five years and this year will be the sixth year. The theme makes the federal, local, private and the citizens of UAE work towards achieving the goal for that year.

2015- Year of Innovation

2015 was declared as the Year of Innovation and a new National Innovation Strategy was announced with the aim of becoming one among the most innovative nations in the world within a 7-year period by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, on October 19, 2014.

On November 30, 2014, the UAE Federal Cabinet of Ministers met and declared 2015 as the Year of Innovation- with a plan to make the UAE a world innovative leader.

2016- Year of Reading

President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan declared 2016 as the Year of Reading. The aim was to create a generation of book lovers and consolidate the country’s position as a global capital for knowledge and culture.

2017- Year of Giving

The President of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, announced in December 2016 that 2017 would be celebrated as the Year of Giving. The inspiration for 2017- Year of Giving was the truly giving nature of the founder of the nation, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. UAE Nationals and all residents of UAE to date believe in the power of giving and it is preserved in our policies and leadership. There is an assurance to help those less fortunate, to offer help whenever we can. The year 2017 will preserve this legacy and remind us how important is the value of giving.

2018- Year of Zayed

2018 was declared as the Year of Zayed to mark the 100 years of the founding father of UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nayhan.

The year was not only about remembering all that Sheikh Zayed did to form the UAE of today, but it was also, like with the Year of Giving, meant instilling his values across the society and the people.

2019- Year of Tolerance

H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed declared 2019 as the Year of Tolerance on December 15, 2018. The announcement was made one day after the news that Pope Francis will visit Abu Dhabi in February, a sign that UAE is tolerant of all religions and cultures. The announcement was made to highlight and show UAE as an exemplary example of a tolerant nation, bridging the communication gap between different cultures and build an environment where people accept each other as they are.

As Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed believes, 2020 would be the "turning point" in the UAE's history.

About The Author


Pri is a true believer in the Rule of Three - she lives between Dubai, Bombay and Washington DC, speaks three languages and has 3 kids under 3. She graduated from Connecticut College and has a Masters Degree from New York University. Pri is a licensed Dubai tour guide, travel blogger, art aficionado, foodie and curious to check out all things new in her city. Pri has been part of the Free Tours By Foot team since 2015 and loves to make customized itineraries for her guests.
Updated: October 12th, 2021
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