Page 13 - ANNUAL REPORT_2012

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11
UAEU Annual Report
The Federation to be known as the
United Arab Emirates (UAE) was formally
established on 2 December 1971. The
member emirates include Abu Dhabi,
Dubai, Sharjah, Umm al-Qaiwain,
Fujairah, Ajman and Ra’s al-Khaimah.
The prosperity, harmony and modern
development that characterizes the
United Arab Emirates, led today by
President HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed
Al Nahyan, also the Ruler of the Emirate
of Abu Dhabi, and his fellow-members
of the Supreme Council of Rulers of the
seven emirates, is due to a very great
extent to the role played by Sheikh
Zayed, both prior to the formation of the
Federation and in the nearly 33 years
that followed until his death in November
2004.
The City of Al Ain is an ancient city,
central to the cultural heritage of the UAE
and the birthplace of HH The President
Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. It
remains close to the heart of the royal
family and the people of UAE. For more
than 5,000 years, it has been a welcome
and a cool retreat from the surrounding
desert and coastal Emirates. Known as
the “Garden City of the Gulf�?, it is built
around nurturing oases irrigated by
ancient falaj water systems.
It is the second largest city in the Emirate
of Abu Dhabi and the fourth largest city
in the UAE and is located approximately
150 km inland from the capital Abu
Dhabi and the tourist city of Dubai. Al
Ain has the country›s highest number
of Emirati nationals and is developing as
a tourist destination with the dry desert
air making it a welcome retreat from the
coastal humidity of the larger cities.
Mother Nature has been generous
to the land-locked mountainous city.
Its attractions include Jebel Hafeet, a
1340-metre-high mountain, which
dominates the surrounding area. It is
popular to visit the mineral springs at its
base and to drive to the mountaintop at
sunset. Other places of interest include
the Al Ain Oasis in the city center, other
oases dotted around the area, offering
cool retreats in the middle of the summer
heat, Al Jahili Fort, the Camel Market,
many well-maintained parks, and a
heritage village, the Al Ain National
Museum, the Al Ain Palace Museum,
several restored forts and the Hili
Archaeological Park site dating back to
the Bronze Age.
Last year, the City of Al Ain joined
the prestigious list of UNESCO World
Heritage Sites for its rich cultural heritage
with the likes of the dome-shaped tombs
of Hafeet, the man-made water system of
Falaj, and the city’s lush oases.
A cultural retreat, Al Ain also hosts annual
events including the Al Ain Classical
Music Festival. The city is a popular tourist
destination with first class hotels, a golf
resort, shopping malls, restaurants, a wild-
life park, and a recently opened water-
adventure park.
“Plan Al Ain 2030�?, the Urban Structure
Framework Plan designed by Abu
Dhabi Urban Planning, will help Al Ain
evaluate and respond to current and
future development needs and will guide
further planning for new development.
It is projected that the city will grow
over the next 25 years and planning is
in place to accommodate population
growth without over-development,
depletion of ground water resources,
or encroachment on natural habitats or
heritage sites. This is essential to preserve
the city’s natural assets, which give Al Ain
its unique character.
United Arab Emirates
and Al Ain
Jan 21, 2013