FUJAIRAH, 17th September, 2023 (WAM) - Tomorrow, the UAE celebrates the 49th anniversary of the day on which H.H. Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah, assumed the rule of the Emirate of Fujairah.
The transformation that Fujairah has undergone since then is evident to all those who live in an Emirate that has become a destination for visitors and seekers of beauty, and a significant, modern economic hub within the United Arab Emirates.
H.H. Sheikh Hamad has always believed that human capital is the cornerstone of building and development. Driven by his unwavering belief in development, he has been and still supporting the youth and their projects to help them achieve their dreams. His Highness implemented social, economic, and cultural plans that transformed the emirate into a major hub for large-scale investment projects, making September 18th a remarkable day in the UAE's and Fujairah's history.
Sheikh Hamad was born on 23rd September 1948 in the Emirate of Fujairah. In 1969, the late father Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad Al Sharqi issued Emiri Decree No. 5 appointing H.H. Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi as Crown Prince and Chief of Police and Security in Fujairah. Since then, he started the journey of giving and work after spending years in education abroad where he got in-sight on the latest global civilisations.
Sheikh Hamad served as Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries in the Union's first Cabinet formation of the UAE Federal Government, on 9th December, 1971, and Crown Prince of Fujairah.
The Ruler of Fujairah started his development march in Fujairah since his appointment as Crown Prince in 1969. He focused on attracting foreign investments and supporting the agriculture, tourism, economy and education sectors.
Since that time, Fujairah began taking rapid steps on the journey to development and prosperity, and it had witnessed its peak after His Highness assumed the rule of the emirate.
H.H. further issued an Emiri Decree to establish the Fujairah Petroleum Industries Zone (FOIZ) in April, 2011. Since its establishment, FOIZ has enhanced navigation, the oil sector, oil and gas industries, and the establishment of oil-related economic and logistics projects. Today, Fujairah Port is the second largest bunkering hub in the world.
This had a major impact on the establishment of new projects, the increase in job opportunities, and the emergence of modern factories that benefited from the stat-of-the-art infrastructure that was created in Fujairah.
In 2012, H.H. Sheikh Hamad announced the project of oil export operations through the Abu Dhabi-Fujairah pipeline, in an important strategic step that reflects his vision to boost economic development. His Highness is also following the stages of work on the "Etihad Rail" project, which passes through the Emirate of Fujairah, and ensures providing all forms of support to help with the completion of the UAE's largest land transport project, as a new global achievement for the country in the field of supply, transport and logistics services.
His Highness the Ruler of Fujairah has represented the United Arab Emirates at many Islamic, Arab, and international summits and conferences. In 1991, he represented the UAE at the Sixth Islamic Summit in Dakar, Senegal, which was dedicated to the Holy City of Al Quds and the consolidation of harmony and unity among Islamic countries. In 2000, he represented the UAE at the Ninth Islamic Summit, which affirmed the solidarity of the Islamic peoples with the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people in order to restore their rights.
On the Arab level, His Highness Sheikh Hamad has represented the UAE at several Arab summits, such as the Tunisia Summit in 2004, during which the Arabs reaffirmed their commitment to reform and support for the Palestinian cause. In 2005, he participated in the Arab Summit in Algeria, during which Arab leaders affirmed their commitment to the Arab Peace Initiative and respect for the unity and sovereignty of Iraq.
His Highness's participation in Arab summits continued, including those held in Doha in 2009, Kuwait in 2014, Egypt in 2015, and Nouakchott in 2016. He also had a prominent and active participation in the The first EU-Arab League summit in Egypt in 2019, which was the first of its kind between the Arab League and the European Union.
Before that, His Highness participated in several international summits and conferences, including the Millennium Summit in New York, the largest gathering of heads of state and governments, in 2000. During the summit, he delivered a speech in which he shed light on the UAE's strategic positions on various global affairs. His Highness also represented the UAE at the Interfaith Dialogue Confab in New York in 2008, and the World Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa in 2002.
His Highness Sheikh Hamad's most recent participation was in the Fifth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries, which was held in Qatar in 2023.
His Highness the Ruler of Fujairah displays keen interest in sports that stems from a realisation of its importance and the extent of its impact as a lifestyle in people's lives. His Highness has always supported sports clubs and encouraged athletes to train and participate in local, regional and international competitions and championships. In recent years, the sports sector in the Emirate of Fujairah has achieved remarkable qualitative leaps, and recorded global achievements and advanced positions achieved by Fujairah's athletes in tournaments. Fujairah's reputation has grown internationally in the field of organising international championships for various types of sports, including bodybuilding championships, mental sports, and the international marine championships organised by the Fujairah Marine Sports Club. His Highness has also supported the Fujairah Sports Club since its establishment, and in 2019 His Highness ordered the construction of the Dibba Al-Fujairah Sports Club Stadium at a cost of AED100 million.
The Emirate of Fujairah also achieved several records thanks to the support of His Highness the Ruler of Fujairah to organise Martial Arts tournaments, and to hold its global competitions in Fujairah throughout the year. These tournaments are organised and supervised by the Fujairah Martial Arts Club, which serves as a global platform for the participation of international sports clubs and teams and to attract athletes from around the world to compete in Fujairah.
In 2021, H.H. Sheikh Hamad issued a decree establishing the "Fujairah Government Excellence Programme" based on his belief in the importance of developing performance in government institutions, and moving to an advanced level in improving the competencies of its employees, by establishing strategic partnerships between local departments and the private sector regionally and globally.
The health and medical care sector has always been on the list of priorities to advance the standard of living in Fujairah. His Highness followed the development of medical services in the Emirate of Fujairah, and the establishment of hospitals that attracted the best medical cadres of different nationalities and provided their services to citizens and residents. Over the years, His Highness the Ruler of Fujairah visited hospitals, met with workers in medical institutions, and directed the provision of medical care equipment and supplies and their periodical upgrade. During the COVID-19 pandemic that swept the world, His Highness carefully followed the repercussions of the pandemic and the requirements to control it, and directed the recruitment of medical and technical cadres to contain the pandemic and preserve the safety of community members in cooperation with health institutions in the UAE. Under the patronage of His Highness, a number of examination and health care centres were opened to contain the fallout. With the support of His Highness, development projects in the health sector in Fujairah included the new expansion project in Fujairah Hospital, where new departments were established containing the best advanced medical devices to provide better health services to the community.
Visitors to Fujairah today will discover that forty-nine years of hard work have transformed this quiet emirate into a modern and developed city, while still preserving its authentic Arab identity. This is the result of a journey of giving and sincere and dedicated work for the higher good of the land and its people, led by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi. With sincere dedication, Sheikh Hamad completed the journey of the Founding Father, continuing to pursue the path of giving so that the new generations can complete the noble journey of development.
Fujairah, a gem of the United Arab Emirates, continues to shine brightly between the Arabian Sea and towering mountains. It is a place of history and the future, a guiding light for generations to come.