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As UAE celebrated its 52nd Union Day on Saturday, its president His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nayhan said the country wants to “foster a spirit of ambition in our country’s youth so they may leave their mark on our nation”.

In a post on social media platform X, he said the country has achieved significant accomplishments over the years and is heading towards a future that is brighter, more hopeful and more prosperous.

December 2 marks the day that the rulers of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Al-Ain, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain agreed to unite as one country. Later in February 1972, Ras Al Khaimah decided to join and become the seventh Emirate.

As the country hosts the climate change COP28 conference in Dubai, Sheikh Al Nayhan said this underscores the country’s credibility both regionally and globally and the prominent role it plays in global issues.

He said the country’s aspirations for 2024 are to pursue innovation with its people at the forefront of progress, and that education will be its mainstay in the pursuit of progress.

“Our place in the future will be determined by education,” he added.

Meanwhile, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Second Deputy Ruler of Dubai, said UAE Union Day “is an occasion to uphold cherished traditions by reaffirming loyalty to the homeland and its visionary leadership that is committed to the nation’s development, stability and the well-being of its citizens.”

In a statement issued by the Dubai government on Friday, he said the UAE celebrates its Union Day amidst unparalleled achievements and as a notable example of innovation and strategic planning globally.

Official Union Day celebrations will be held at Expo City, where COP28 is being held. It will feature “innovative technologies and breathtaking projections” and will be broadcast live on local TV channels.

Pakistan’s former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif congratulated Sheikh Al Nayhan and UAE’s citizens on the occasion.

Posting on X, he said “the enduring bond between two brotherly nations goes beyond diplomacy, reflecting the camaradie that forms the foundation of their robust friendship and symbolizes a treasured connection for many Pakistanis, much like a second home”.

Pakistanis are among the top expat groups in the country, and also among the top nationalities that visit the UAE every year.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s caretaker prime minister Anwaar-ul-Haq-Kakar is currently in Dubai attending COP28.

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