Just over a year ago, the United Arab Emirates announced its most ambitious project. By 2071, when the country will celebrate a century since its foundation, the UAE aims to be the best nation in the world. To this end, in addition to developing an important roadmap against climate change and offering a pioneering industry in technology and artificial intelligence, Abu Dhabi is already planning for the future by laying the foundations for the next stage, which it hopes will be "better, brighter and more dignified". And they are doing so with a wave of appointments that will mark the future of the country, starting with that of the capital's crown prince.
Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, has appointed his son, Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi. But he is not the only immediate family member to whom the President has decided to give a high-ranking position, as he has also appointed his brother, Mansour bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Vice-President of the Kingdom, a post he shares with the Ruler of Dubai, Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum. In addition, the Emirati president's two other brothers, Tahnoun bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and Hazza bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, will both be deputy governors of Abu Dhabi.
Mohammed bin Zayed's appointment of his son has not come as a surprise in the UAE. Khaled is considered one of the most qualified and they believe he should gradually take on more responsibility. Proof of this is that, at the age of 41, he is already a member of Abu Dhabi's Executive Council and chairman of the capital's Executive Office. He has also been in charge of overseeing some of the country's most recent development projects.
All these changes follow a line of development that has already begun with a reorganisation of the capital's two largest sovereign wealth funds. Emirates National Security Advisor Sheikh Tahnoun has been appointed as Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. The second largest fund, Mubadala, also has a new chairman, Manchester City owner Mansour bin Zayed, who replaces chairman Mohamed bin Zayed. The latter is interpreted as a show of delegation of trust that at the same time reflects the efforts of the leader of the United Arab Emirates to continue to grow and increase its influence at regional level with competition from Saudi Arabia, and also at global level.
Abu Dhabi is confident that it can become one of the most important countries on the international stage, which is why this new configuration of senior officials comes at a key moment. In just one month, it will be a year since the president took office, and he wants to reach the end of 2023 on an upward trend that he hopes will culminate in a successful COP28. The United Nations Climate Change Conference will take place in Dubai from late November to mid-December, representing a milestone for the UAE, which is clearly gaining confidence and recognition from the international community.
In addition, the UAE continues to make great strides in foreign trade. Last year, they achieved record growth rates, reaching a volume of over two trillion Emirati dirhams - just over 500 billion euros - representing an increase of 17% over the 2021 figures. This figure is an all-time record for the Emirates, which is looking upwards and hopes to break it again in 2023, a year in which Emirati progress can establish the country as a serious candidate for international leadership.