Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s Accession Day in the UAE Date in the current year: August 6, 2024

Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s Accession Day in the UAE Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s Accession Day is observed in the United Arab Emirates on August 6. It honors the Emir of Abu Dhabi and the first president of the UAE, who is considered the founding father of the country. Although it’s not a public holiday, it’s marked with various events and activities that take place across the country.

Zayed was born in 1918 to Sultan bin Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, the younger brother of the then-ruler of Abu Dhabi. In 1922, Zayed’s father killed his older brother to rule Abu Dhabi, but was himself killed by his younger brother only four years later. After his father’s death, Zayed was brought up in Al Ain, where he received only a basic education, since there were no modern schools in the vicinity. After that, the future ruler of Abu Dhabi spent several years living in the desert with Bedouins.

In 1946, Zayed’s older brother Shakbut, who had become the ruler of Abu Dhabi by that point, appointed Zayed as the governor of the Al Ain Region (then known as the Eastern Region) of Abu Dhabi. The region was very poor, but it eventually began to thrive under Zayed’s leadership. The governor paid special attention to construction and development of agriculture and trade.

In 1958, oil was discovered in Abu Dhabi. Its export began in 1962, and members of the ruling Al Nahyan family began to grow dissatisfied with the strategy of Sheikh Shakhbut, who preferred to keep the royalties from oil sales rather than invest them in the development of Abu Dhabi. Frustrated by the lack of progress, they deposed Shakhbut in a bloodless coup on August 6, 1966. Zayed, despite being the youngest brother, became the new ruler of Abu Dhabi with the unanimous support of the family.

At the time, Abu Dhabi and a number of other sheikhdoms in the region (collectively known as the Trucial States) were an informal British protectorate. However, in 1968, the United Kingdom suddenly announced its intention to dissolve the protection treaties with the Trucial States. Upon learning of this, Sheikh Zayed met with Sheikh Rashid of Dubai, and the two rulers agreed to form a federation consisting of the former Trucial States.

Negotiations between the rulers of the Trucial States lasted for three years. On December 1, 1971, the United Kingdom dissolved the protection treaties, and the next day, six of the seven Trucial States formed the United Arab Emirates (the seventh sheikhdom joined the federation the following year).

Zayed was elected as the first President of UAE to highlight his role in forming the federation, as well as the role of Abu Dhabi as the largest, most populous and thriving emirate. He was reappointed four more times and served until his death on November 2, 2004.

As president, Zayed oversaw the establishment of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Arab Economic Development and used the country’s oil revenues to build hospitals, schools and universities in order to give UAE citizens free access to quality healthcare and education. In 1999, he set up the Zayed Center for Coordination and Follow-Up as the think-tank of the Arab League.

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Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s Accession Day in the UAE, holidays in the UAE, observances in the UAE, first president of the UAE