HomeFifty-one success stories celebrating five decades of UAE innovation
Economy Middle East
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Fifty-one success stories celebrating five decades of UAE innovation

The UAE was founded on December 2, 1971, becoming a federation after a British decision in early 1968 to withdraw from its involvement and treaty in the Trucial States, the name the UAE was formerly known as.

At the time, influential UAE rulers, mainly the late former President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi and the late former Vice-President Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum of Dubai, began planning, organizing and developing the UAE from a predominantly coastal and desert landscape to the hyper-modern country it is today.

Previously characterized by a low-rise topography, the UAE rose mightily from humble beginnings around pearl fishing and trade to become a highly diversified economy enjoying top global status as a hub for tourism, retail, technology, and finance, adorned with a contemporary and unique high-rise architecture.

Today, the UAE is ranked first globally in 23 indicators in vital sectors that include telecommunications, health, and residency, and amongst the top five countries in 59 indicators.

Dubai is now the fourth-most-visited city in the world and tourists spend more in the emirate compared to any other destination. The city welcomed about 8.1 million international visitors in the first seven months of 2022, compared to 7.28 million visitors in the whole of 2021. Abu Dhabi is also the third-fastest-growing city in the world and tops the Middle East with a 19.8-percent growth rate.

This not happening by chance. The 51 success stories below are a celebration of the UAE’s five decades of innovation, representing a culmination of achievements that bring to light some of the most exquisite economic features, global positioning, and unique attributes that distinguish the country from any other on the planet.