UAE at Glance
HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan 6 May 1918 – 2 November 2004) was the founding father and the principal driving force behind the formation of the UAE, uniting seven emirates and becoming the Union’s first President a post which he held for a period of almost 33 years (1971 until his death in 2004). He was also the ruler of Abu Dhabi for more than 30 years (6 August 1966– 2 November 2004). He is commonly referred to in the UAE as the Father of the Nation.
Zayed oversaw the establishment of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Arab Economic Development; some of its oil riches were channeled to some forty less fortunate Islamic nations in Asia and Africa during the decades that followed.
Using the country’s enormous oil revenues, Zayed built institutions such as hospitals, schools and universities and made it possible for UAE citizens to enjoy free access to them. He was also known for making donations to the tune of millions [pounds sterling] for worthy causes around the Arab World as well as in the neighbouring countries and in the world at large.