The 19th day of Ramadan marks an important occasion to commemorate the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the UAE's Founding Father, and his unwavering commitment to humanitarian work. Sheikh Zayed’s legacy of generosity and giving have become an integral part of Emirati culture and national identity.
He was a visionary leader who believed the true measure of society's progress and prosperity is not in material possessions, but in the wellbeing of its people. He understood that the path to a better future lies through selfless service and benevolence. Between 1971 and 2004, the UAE donated more than AED90 billion to 117 countries to help build mosques, hospitals, cultural centres, and other development projects.
The legacy of Sheikh Zayed's giving spirit lives on in his descendants, and through the UAE's many humanitarian and charity initiatives. The country’s leadership has continued to follow in his footsteps, channeling resources and efforts towards uplifting the lives of those in need, not only domestically, but around the world.
Today, the UAE is a significant contributor of humanitarian aid, providing vital assistance to people affected by conflicts and disasters worldwide. In 2020, the UAE was ranked the world's largest donor of development assistance relative to its gross domestic product, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The UAE's humanitarian and charitable efforts extend across education, healthcare, and infrastructure development.
One of the most notable initiatives launched by the UAE is the Emirates Red Crescent, which provides aid and support to people affected by natural disasters, conflicts, and crises. The non-profit organisation has a presence in more than 30 countries and has played a significant role in delivering humanitarian aid to millions of people around the globe.
Through various humanitarian initiatives, the UAE has not only provided crucial support to those in need but also demonstrated the importance of giving back to the community, while fostering a spirit of cross-cultural respect and mutual understanding. This sense of unified purpose had helped build a truly inclusive and connected society in the UAE, where more than 200 nationalities live together peacefully, side by side
The lessons of generosity, giving, and benevolence that we learn from Sheikh Zayed's legacy are timeless and essential. They remind us that true happiness and fulfillment come from serving others and making a positive impact. They teach us the importance of empathy, kindness, and compassion, and how these values can transform communities and societies.
As we mark Zayed Humanitarian Day, we honour and pay tribute to Sheikh Zayed's legacy by continuing to follow in his footsteps and channeling our efforts and resources towards serving others. The Founding Father’s legacy of selfless commitment to humanitarian action is teaching us to build a better world for everyone. By doing so, we pledge to continue building a brighter future for generations to come.