Sheikh Zaid Al-Nahayyan

Sheikh Zaid – Emir Abu Dhabi (from 6.08.1966 to 2.eleven.2004) and the President of the UAE (from 2.12.1971 to 2.eleven.2004). During his reign, he turned Abu Dhabi from a small dusty town in a rich and blooming megalopolis, created the country of the UAE and was able to organize one of the few in the world "states for citizens and for the sake of citizens".

Sheikh Zayd entered the story as one of the world’s wistest leaders in the world who did not receive even basic school education. Possessing a solid character and principles, a deep understanding of the foundations of Islamic ethics, he became an example and legend in the Islamic world.

2018 declared in the UAE "Year of Sheikh Zaid" in honor of the 100th anniversary of his birth. During a trip to the Arab Emirates, each tourist hears his name many times. In this article, we will tell in detail about the identity, life and achievements of Sheikh Zaid.


The first amazing fact from the life of Sheikh Zaid – the exact date of his birth is not installed. Then the birth certificates were not issued in the UAE, the fact of this event was not documented. Already then came the date – May 6, 1918. This date is a dispute with historians, some even believe that Sheikh Zayd was born in 1916.

Sheikh Zaid became the fourth and youngest son Sheikh Sultan Ibn-Zaid Ibn-Khalifa al-Najiana. He received a name in honor of his grandfather – Sheikh Zaid Ibn-Khalifa, who was called "Zaid Great", ruled by the Emirate from 1855 to 1909.

His father climbed the throne in 1922, and in 1926 he was killed. Sheikh Sacre came to power, but in 1928 he was killed. The elder brother Sheikh Zaida went to the throne – Sheikh Shakbut. Theoretically, the chances of the throne at Sheikh Zaid was not.

Seeing this kill series, the mother of four sons of Salam Bint-Boutti al-Kubais took an oath with them never to use violence against a friend. They kept this oath.

As a child, Sheikh Zayd received minimal education: learned to read and write, learn the poems of the Quran and the basics of Islam. Since 1927, he lived in Al-Ain in the desert with Bedouins, taught their ways to survive in the harsh conditions of the Arabian Desert. It was the desert that formed the nature of the future president, brought up patience, strategic thinking and wisdom, for which he was called "Arabian Sage".

Governor of the East

In 1946, Sheikh Zaid was appointed Governor of the East Region of the Emirate Abu Dhabi (with the center of Al-Ain). This region was poorer the coast, often epidemics. Young Zaid showed himself very actively. He personally oversaw the development of the Irrigation system Falazh, conducted a reform of the water distribution system.

In 1952, small forces from Saudi Arabia under the command of the Ibn-Abdul al-Otaishan Turkis captured the Hamas village in the oasis of the boots. Sheikh Zayd did not have serious military forces for the fight, but did not give up in defending the territorial interests of Abu Dhabi.

Saudi Arabia wanted to develop an oil field at this location. Sheikh Zaid refused to bribe from the oil company Aramko (Saudi Arabia) in the amount of 30 million pounds.

Sheikh Zayah and his brother Sheikh Hazz performed in the Tribunal in Geneva and proved the facts of aggression. After the decision of the Tribunal in favor of Abu Dhabi, the UK’s forces beat the oasis by the boots by the Union of Omansky Scouts. Territorial dispute for oasis boots was completely resolved only in 1974.

The dispute for the oasis of the boots was a delicate not just a piece of desert, it was a struggle for oil. It was this conflict that showed what significance in the region has control over oil.

Emir Abu Dhabi

In 1958, Oil found in Abu Dhabi, in 1962 the first shipment took place. The ruling sheikh Shabut was in no hurry to spend oil money on the development of the country, he preferred to accumulate them.

The ruling family was dissatisfied with such a course, the ruler was decided to change. Sheikh Zaid who has already shown himself turned out to be the best contender for the throne, despite the fact that he was a younger son.

On August 7, 1966, the detachment of Omansky Skautov arrested Sheikh Shabuta and planted a plane to London. Sheikh Zaid was announced by the new Emir of Abu Dhabi. The bloodless coup was completely supported by the British, and Sheikh Zaid performed this mother to the oath – no violence.

After the acceleration of Sheikh Zayd began the active development of the Emirate. Started at home, schools, hospitals. Emirates invited specialists from different countries, paid very generously. Many foreigners then offered citizenship, but there were few people who wished.

The city of Abu Dhabi and Catushiro Takahashi

In 1966, Abu Dhabi was very small – only 40,000 people. Sheikh Zayd saw gigantic perspectives, wanted to make it a modern megalopolis.

For the planning of the city, he invited Japanese engineer Catushiro Takahashi. In Abu Dhabi, there was no Embassy of Japan, and Sheikh Zaid made an invitation through the embassy in Kuwait.

Catushiro Takahashi remembers:

I was called from the embassy in Kuwait and reported an invitation to work in Abu Dhabi. I called the airline Pan American Airlines, but they didn’t even imagine where Abu Dhabi is. They asked, maybe it is some kind of new city in the Caribbean Islands?

We met every day, shared the vision of the new Abu Dhabi. I could speak freely when our opinions diverged. Even once said Sheikh Zaid: "You hired me, because I have experience and education in this area, and you do not have. You should listen to me ". And it was in time when advisors spoke to the ruler only: "Yes, Your Majesty. You are right, Your Majesty!". I do not remember exactly those words that the sheikh told the Sheikh, but it was very dangerous in that feudal society.

However, Sheikh Zayd listened, studied, expanded his knowledge and horizons. He was a new generation politician. The results of their collaboration can be sophisticated, if you visit Abu Dhabi.

Education of the UEE

January 8-11, 1968 Foreign Minister Goronvi Roberts arrived in the Persian Bay. He informed the Emirs that the United Kingdom intends to leave the region. Emirates remained without protection next to very aggressive and large neighbors – Iran and Saudi Arabia.

February 18, 1968 Sheikh Zayd met with Sheikh Rashid Ibn-Said Al-Maktumom (the ruler of Dubai). They agreed to create a single state. The next three years of Sheikh Zayd used all his negotiators skills to convince the neighbors to join. Qatar and Bahrain refused.

December 2, 1971 Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Umm-El Kuwaine, Ajman and Fujaiir signed an agreement on the creation of the United Arab Emirates. In early 1972, Emirates Ras Al-Heima joined. International observers referred to the UAE will rapid decay, as there were serious disagreements between the Emirates. Sheikh Zaid with his talent negotiations became a link between Emirs, ghouls their conflicts.

In February 1972, the highest authority of the United Arab Emirates – Federal National Council. The history of the country of the UAE began. Sheikh Zaid became president of the UAE and remained in this position until his death in 2004.


Sheikh Zaid became famous as a person who can not only speak beautifully, but also to listen carefully as a sensible ruler.

Traditionally, in Arab countries there was a system of Majlis – open forums, where subjects can express their discontent, proposals or their vision of the situation to the ruler. But before Sheikh Zaid Majlis existed more "for the tick". Sheikh Zaid made marshlits with his full-fledged tool. He was not afraid to listen, agree or persecute.

Sheikh Zayd allowed private media, but on the terms of self-censors, when the media themselves are obliged to follow their publications. Open criticism of the ruler or ruling family is prohibited. Sheikh Zaid stood on the position that all internal contradictions should be solved in the Majlis.

Shayha Zaid looks

The views and ideology of Sheikh Zaid best reflect 14 of his famous quotes.

1. Arabic oil can not be more expensive than Arab blood.

2. Who does not know his past, can not create the best real and future. From the past we get lessons.

3. The ruler should not have a barrier separating him from subjects.

Sheikh Zaid Al-Nahayyan

4. Islam gives women their legal status and encourages them to work in all industries where they are relevant respect.

5. My duty as a ruler of young people in this country – to encourage them to work and manifest themselves to increase their standards and serve the country. If a healthy person with strong mind and body does not work, he commits a crime against himself and society.

6. The press has a duty and the right to criticize. We welcome constructive criticism.

7. All these years, we emphasized the need for unity as vital to ensure the best life of people, country stability and the exercise of the hopes of our people.

eight. Our government system is based on religion, we want our people. If people want alternatives, we are ready to listen. We are all in the same boat, we are the captain and team.

nine. Wealth is not money. Wealth in man. This is where the real strength we appreciate. It convinces us to direct resources for the construction of a person, to use the data by God wealth for the Nation Service.

ten. The situation is constantly changing. A friend can become an enemy, and the enemy is another. Life is inconsistent and changing like weather or well-being. We must be prepared for changes to us.

eleven. No matter how many buildings, schools and hospitals we build, or how many bridges are erected, all this material benefits. The present spirit stands behind progress – this is a spirit of a person with his mind and abilities.

12. History is a series of events. Real is a consequence of the past.

13. I do not impose anyone to change, it would be tyranny. Each of us has its own opinion, and these opinions can change. Sometimes we fold all the opinions together and we produce a single point of view. This is our democracy.

fourteen. We appeal to each person, regardless of race and faith, as a special soul, this is a sign of Islam.

These quotes cause different feelings from their reading people. Someone calls Sheikh Zaid by a hypocriser, someone frankly admire. But obviously he was a sensible and smart person.

Forbes magazine rated the condition of Sheikh Zaid $ 20 billion dollars. By the way, in the UAE, civil servants are not prohibited to have a business, but to use its position for its interests is strictly punishable by law.

Grand projects

Abu Dhabi In a few decades, grew out of a small village to modern megapolis. Skyscrapers Etihad Towers, ADNOC and others stand on the site of the huts of fishermen and pearl catches. Cornish Embankment takes thousands of tourists, Hotel Emirates Palace is striking luxury.

Gardening desert. Grand Draft Irrigation Soil and Trees Plant. On the island of Sir-Bani-yas, an ecological reserve of the UAE was created, where trees grow and rare animal species were preserved in wilderness, for example, Arabian Orix and Sand Gazelle. For this project Sheikh Zaid received from WWF Gold Panda award.

Great Sheikh Zaid Mosque. Its construction began with Sheikh Zayoid, and it ended after his death. He planned this place as a masterpiece of culture and spirituality in Abu Dhabi. Sheikh Zaid is buried next to this mosque.

And a huge number of projects for the construction of new residential neighborhoods, medical and educational centers, which he initiated or supported.

It was this man that did Abu Dhabi and the Arab Emirates of the second economy of the Middle East, the prosperous country for citizens and the sake of citizens. Education and medicine for UAE citizens are free, including services of foreign universities and hospitals. That’s just not the whole population of the UAE has citizenship, as read in our article "Population of the UAE".

Sheikh Zayd died on November 2, 2004 at the age of 86. He left behind the fully updated emirate Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates, in his honor there were hundreds of objects in different emirates and even the area in Cairo. He had 7 wives and 30 children. His memory is dedicated to the Sheikh Zaid Memorial in Abu Dhabi.

A pleasant visit to the UAE, and read our interesting articles about this country (Links below).

Sheikh Zaid Al-Nahayyan

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