The themes of the Year of Zayed include the following values:
By virtue of his words, actions, foresight and judgment, Sheikh Zayed was widely recognized as a wise and visionary leader and an inspirational man. He not only imagined a better future for his people, but also had the wisdom and determination to make that ambitious vision a reality against all odds. As the UAE's President, he made many wise decisions that would support the country’s social development, economic strength and national security well into the future.
Throughout his life, Sheikh Zayed treated people with the utmost respect regardless of nationality, gender, status or religion. As the UAE's President, he advocated strongly for the rights of women, highly valued the role of expatriates in the building of the UAE, and ultimately created the vibrant, diverse and cosmopolitan society that the UAE remains today.
From an early age, Sheikh Zayed had already established a deep personal connection with the desert and sea ecologies of Abu Dhabi and an innate understanding of the inherent value and fragility of the natural environment. His lifelong commitment to sustainability became a hallmark of his Presidency that continues to shape the positive and constructive approach of the UAE to meeting the world’s greatest environmental challenges.
Sheikh Zayed believed that investing in people’s welfare, knowledge and capabilities would produce the greatest dividends for individuals, families and society. As a leader, he authorized significant investments in healthcare and education facilities and other essential infrastructure in the UAE that rapidly transformed the country’s social and economic outcomes and the quality of life enjoyed by its people. A global humanitarian, he also provided significant financial and in-kind assistance to a diverse range of people and countries in need around the world.