Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was born in1918 in Alain; he is the first president of the UAE. He was named after his grandfather, Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan ("Zayed the Great"), who ruled the emirate from 1855 to 1909. Zayed was obsessed of knowledge and history of the peninsula, as he loved poetry which was so close to his wisdom. He lived in the desert, where he acquired courage and learned horsemanship.
He was raised for the first years of his life in Al Ain, where he lived its desert environment which was reflected on his personality. He was characterized by forbearance, insightfulness, wisdom and patience.
As a leading personality, who understands the tribal rules and traditions, Sheikh Zayed works diligently to settle tribal disputes taking place between parties. Through his insightful vision and wisdom, Zayed realized that conflicting tribes will be held back by the struggle for existence unless the surrounding circumstances are altered. His wisdom was materialized during the talks and negotiations to settle the disputes over the border area of Al Buraimi adjacent to Oman. As a result of his insight and perception, Zayed won the admiration and respect of all parties. When Zayed became the governor of Alain in 1946, he was able to find sophisticated solutions for the scarcity of the water sources confronting the harsh desert environment with relentlessness regardless of lack of financial support. In his endeavors to develop Al Ain, Zayed built the Al Nahyan School in 1959. He also constructed the first commercial market, and the first hospital in Al Ain. He was concerned with road construction and he established the first network of paved roads and streets. The most difficult decision taken by Zayed at that time was a decree aiming to make the water sources available for all the citizens of Alain in order to be used for irrigation and other purpose.
Some Significant Dates:
- 1946 Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan became the Ruler of Al Ain city.
- 6. August.1966: Sheikh Zayed became the ruler of Abu Dhabi.
- 2. December.1971: Sheikh Zayed was elected as President of the UAE.
The founder of the UAE:
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan is the founder of United Arab Emirates. Initially, he concluded an agreement to establish a federation between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Shortly afterwards a federation of seven Emirates was established.
Sheikh Zayed passed away on the 2. November.2004 to be succeeded by his son Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan as the president of the UAE and the ruler of Abu Dhabi. The mausoleum of the late Sheikh Zayed is located in the vicinity of the north side of the Great Mosque.