Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of the United Arab Emirates was born in 1918 in Abu Dhabi. Sheikh Sulthan bin Zayed ruled Abu Dhabi from 1922-1926 and Al Nahyan was the youngest of the four sons. Later he moved with his family from Abu Dhabi to Al Ain. It was here he received his religious education and learned the principles of Islam and studied the Holy Quran. Sheikh was interested in falconry and was fond of hunting and engaged in traditional sports like camel and horse race.
Sheikh Zayed was given the reign of the Eastern Area of Abu Dhabi called Al Ain in 1946. That was a turning point in bringing out a ruler in him. As a ruler of Al Ain he engrossed himself in developing and modernizing the villages of the area.
Sheikh Zayed became the ruler of Abu Dhabi in the year 1966. He started working and developing the emirate with great visionary enthusiasm. As a result new schools, hospitals and roads came up. His farsightedness and political sense can be understood from his decision of extending hands to the other neighboring emirate states of the Arabian Gulf to form the United Arab Emirates. This happened when Britain announced its decision to withdraw from the region.
The formal announcement came on December 2nd, Sheikh Zayed and the rulers of the six neighboring emirates formally declared the United Arab Emirates and it was a dream come true.
From the day one of its establishment, Sheikh Zayed ardently worked with his brothers and rulers of the emirates in modernizing the country and making it a most developed and thriving nations in the region. With the revenue received from oil, he wisely utilized it in raising the standard of living of the citizens and residents of UAE. People of the country received better quality of life. People from the country and other countries appreciated Sheikh Zayed’s political wisdom and rational views. In respect to his views and involvement he received tremendous regional and international recognition.
Sheikh Zayed demise occurred on November 2nd 2004. He still lingers in the mind of the people and the world leaders for his foresight about the country and his role in building the UAE to the present level.