Abu Dhabi: The sisterly state of United Arab Emirates (UAE) celebrated on Wednesday the 49th National Day.
Despite the challenges posed by coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in many parts of the world, the UAE succeeded in making major achievements across different sectors, as reported by Emirates News Agency (WAM).
The two sectors of space and energy come in the lead of strategic transformations after the launch of Al Amal probe and the announcement of the first Arab project for the exploration of the Moon.
This coincided with the official announcement that the UAE joined the nuclear energy club upon the start of operations at the nuclear reactor of the first station Baraka and commencement of production of environment-friendly electric power. In the meantime, new oil and gas fields were discovered.
The UAE converted Covid-19 challenge into an opportunity in which it enhanced its presence in the international arena through emergency medical assistance to more than 100 countries. Its successful handling of the pandemic constituted one of the world’s most prominent milestones by virtue of number of infections, thereby surpassing all countries and become the first state to have made such an achievement.
Meanwhile, the UAE forged ahead with its message of tolerance, calling for transforming the region and the world into an arena of stability and co-existence. This approach culminated in the signing of the peace treaty with Israel known as the Abraham Accord.
During 2020, the UAE consolidated its position among leading countries in exploring the space through the launch of Al Amal probe on July 20, thus joining the seven members of Mars Explorers.
In September, it launched the first environment safety satellite, Muzun Sat, the 11th it launched in the past 20 years, and later launched Rashid probe, 100% homegrown in terms of design and construction. This made the UAE the fourth country in the world that participate in exploring the moon for scientific purposes, after the United States, the defunct Soviet Union and China.
In October, the UAE unveiled a new satellite project, MBZ-Sat, the second biggest satellite developed and built by UAE engineers after Khalifasat.
Then, the UAE entered the age of production of electricity from nuclear power after the Emirates Nuclear Energy Establishment announced Nawah Energy Company’s success in concluding the stage that precedes the start of operation of the First Station nuclear reactor. This was followed by the completion of safe connection of the station with the State’s main electrical grid. Then, the first megawatt of environment-friendly electrical power began to be produced.
Thanks to this achievement, the UAE became the first Arab country and the 33rd globally to successfully develop nuclear power stations for the production of environment-friendly electricity.
The UAE also took the lead, for the fourth time in a row, among Middle East and North Africa, in the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2020 report, issued by World Competitiveness Center, Luzern, Switzerland. The report rated the UAE as the 9th country in the world in global competitiveness.
The UAE also ranked first in 23 other indices and took fifth place globally in 59 indices. It figured among the top 10 countries globally in 106 indices from a total of 338 indices handled by the report.
In July, the UAE endorsed a new federal government structure that reshuffled the ministerial setup that brought about a more graceful, flexible post-Covid-19 government that is more adaptable to conditions.
Economically, the UAE succeeded in bypassing the Covid-19 crisis and curbing its negative impacts, while at the same time maintaining its status as one of the best world economies and destinations that are more ideal for living and investing, thanks to the launch of a set of economic stimulation packages that helped all to adapt to change dictated by global pandemic circumstances.
Despite the slowdown witnessed by GCC and Middle East economies, the UAE banking sector maintained excellence during 2020. Total assets of the UAE banking rose to 3.25 trillion dirhams by the end of the third quarter this year, an increase of 5.4% compared to the corresponding period last year.
The year 2020 was also marked by the announcement of major discoveries in the oil and natural gas fields, thus enhancing energy security in the UAE.
Last February, the UAE announced the discovery of a new basin of natural gas in the area between Seeh al Sidaira (Abu Dhabi) and Jebel Ali (Dubai), with the reservoir estimated at 80 trillion of cubic feet—which edges closer to realizing full self-sufficiency in natural gas supplies.
In November, the UAE’s Supreme Petroleum Council announced new discoveries in non-conventional, extractable crude resources in land areas estimated at 22 billion cubic barrels. It also declared a 2 billion-barrel increase in conventional oil reserves in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. –ONA