Sunday, 16 March 2008

Biggest ever UAE Yearbook released

Biggest ever UAE Yearbook released
(Wam)16 March 2008

ABU DHABI - The 2008 UAE Yearbook's Arabic edition is the most comprehensive yearbook ever published on the country. With 96 more pages than the 2007 edition, it is an up to date compendium of information covering a wide range of topics, from history to modern economic and social development.

The 464-page book has also been produced in a new more interactive page design that is aimed at helping readers find the most important information in the shortest possible time. The prime purpose of the annual publication is to cover events that occurred over the previous twelve months and it plays a valuable role in chronicling the UAE's rapid development.

Published in Arabic, English and French the UAE Yearbook also looks at present and future developments and its publishers chose the iconic shape of the planned Guggenheim Abu Dhabi for its front cover pictures. Maintaining a tradition established over ten years ago, the front cover flap contains a 'Cover Story' that explains the thinking behind the choice of cover image. The 2008 Yearbook's Cover Story states that, in the publisher's view, the announcement of the new Saadiyat Island Cultural District was one of the most significant initiatives in 'raising the global profile of the UAE'.

A Foreword to the 2008 UAE Yearbook, written by Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, draws attention to the wide range of initiatives being taken to raise the living standards and general economy of the UAE. In this regard he highlights the launching of the new National Strategy together with complimentary strategies set forth by Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Strengthening of the Federal National Council, enhancement of public-private partnerships, major infrastructure projects such as the Dolphin gas pipeline, Dubai Metro rail system, Khalifa Port, expansion of key airports and the construction of the world's largest airport, Al Maktoum International Airport, combine to make the past year one of tremendous advancement. Shaikh Abdullah also draws attention to the achievements in health, education, and social welfare. It was, he says, a great year for UAE sport with the country's football team winning the 2007 Gulf Football Cup and many individual sportsmen and women bringing home trophies from international events.

The sheer scale of some infrastructure and real estate projects has had a strong impact in terms of focussing worldwide attention on what the UAE is achieving. As the first new owners took up residence on the Jumeirah Palm and the world's tallest building, Durj Dubai, continued to climb skywards, other major development projects were announced throughout the Emirates. The 2008 Yearbook provides a valuable source of information that avoids the hype and presents the facts behind these impressive projects.

Meanwhile, 2008 itself began with a major international conference and exhibition devoted solely to to future energy. Coinciding with the announcement that the Government of Abu Dhabi is allocating 15 billion US dollars to develop alternative energy projects, Abu Dhabi in particular and the UAE in general has once again placed itself firmly on the world stage in a key area of research and development that will benefit not just its own people but the entire global community.

In the closing remarks of the Foreword to the book Shaikh Abdullah draws attention to the core strengths of the UAE and its people. "But however we plan for the future, and however grand our development projects may be, we have not forgotten who we are or where we came from. We in the Emirates are a people who retain strong cultural links with our past and who have huge respect for the leaders who have guided our nation's growth.It has been an exciting year and there are clearly even more exciting times to come. I believe this book gives a good sense of where we have come from and where we are going".

The 2008 Yearbook is distributed worldwide and is available under special request from the National Media Council. In addition the book may be purchased at UAE bookshops and digital versions are available free of charge, online, at

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