The documentary about the History of Abu Dhabi put a great emphasis on the role Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan played in the establishment and the development of the United Arab Emirates. When the narrator stated that Zayed was born in old Arabia and would die in the new, he was right. When Zayed was born, there was no United Arab Emirates; instead, there was the Trucial States. When he was first appointed the governor of Abu Dhabi’s Eastern Region, that area was very poor and struggled with the outbreaks of diseases. However, Zayed managed to support and develop this region as well as contribute to a long period of stability under his rule (Embassy of the United Arab Emirates).
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Learning more about whom Zayed was and what he managed to accomplish in life gives a better understanding of why the narrator called him “the richest man in the world” and the “undisputed boss” (“Documentary About the History of Abu Dhabi UAE”). It is evident that Zayed was very rich because of the country’s wealth; however, he can also be called rich because of the good-natured spirit, the desire to help others, as well as the goal of building a thriving country that will become the center of the global economy. Furthermore, Zayed had always been dedicated to his desert roots, despite building the most modernized and wealthy cities (Joffe). He showed devotion to his religion and dedication to his family, while still managing to balance between his dreams of creating a prosperous nation and being a good leader for his people as the “men’s man” (“Documentary About the History of Abu Dhabi UAE”). He really was the undisputed boss who attracted many followers with his good nature when ruling the country according to strict but fair laws.
Lessons Learned from the Documentary
The documentary taught me a lot about how the United Arab Emirates became what they are today. Tremendous progress was shown in the course of the film. For example, when in the 40s and 50s the tribes had no idea about what wages were, it was shown that as the country started getting richer in the 60’s, the workers began protesting about their rights. This shows how rapidly the country developed; people that had previously been living in tribes were not prepared for such quick changes. In some way, the documentary presented the true birth of a powerful and wealthy nation and stressed the importance of roots, culture, and heritage.
As Sheikh Zayed became the president of the new country of the United Arab Emirates, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company was created (Morton), signifying a start to developing a completely new and modern country in a desert. The documentary showed that even the most powerful global communities and cultures were once just small tribes that managed to grow and evolve. What was interesting to see is that the UAE was successful in preserving its heritage and remaining loyal to its traditions despite industrialization and the influence of the Western political and economic stakeholders. A very big part of this can be attributed to the deeds of Sheikh Zayed, who wanted to preserve peace in the region through persuasion and negotiations (Killgore), cooperated with foreign businesses to move the country forward, and, most importantly, treated his people as equal.
“Documentary About the History of Abu Dhabi UAE.” YouTube, uploaded by Tariq Riaz, Web.
Embassy of the United Arab Emirates. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founder of the UAE. 2015. Web.
Joffe, Lawrence. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. 2004. Web.
Killgore, Andrew. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (1918 – 2004). 2005. Web.
Morton, Michael Quentin. “The Abu Dhabi Oil Discoveries.” GeoExPro 8.3(2011): 6-11. Print.