The UAE’s theme for the year 2020 has been announced and it has one foot in the future, with the other rooted firmly in history.
The official title of the theme is ‘2020: Towards the next 50.’ It recognises the march towards the UAE’s Golden Jubilee year in 2021, celebrating the past 50 years, and a vision of growth, prosperity and unity for ‘the next 50.’
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai Tweeted “I lived through the formation of the union in 1970 and I will oversee the formation of the next five decades in 2020. We established two committees to prepare a comprehensive 50-year development plan and oversee the Golden Jubilee celebrations.”
The first committee, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is tasked with building the framework for the 50-year plan. The second committee, chaired by H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, will set to work on preparations for the Golden Jubilee celebrations.
Sheikh Mohammed gave insights into what areas ‘The Next 50’ committee would focus on: “In 2020, we will work on making giants leaps in our economy, education, infrastructure, health, and media to share the UAE’s new story with the world.”
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan who co-authored the announcement said “With the willpower and unity of our people, we will work tirelessly to achieve our goal in making the UAE among the best countries in the world by the UAE centennial in 2071.”
So what can we expect from the next 50 years? The UAE has already indicated its aspirations of space travel, even as far as Mars. There are the ‘Smart City’ aspirations, including the implementation of AI in areas like transport, construction and policing. There are sustainability goals for a greener future. Huge world-first leisure and entertainment projects for residents and tourists.
The UAE is a young nation, but one with many great cultural and material works already under its belt. There is a prevailing sense that anything is possible in the next 50 years. As Sheikh Mohammed wisely proclaims “we are united by team, united by spirit, united towards a promising future.”