Year of Tolerance: What does it mean?

BENOI NAIR|March 31, 2019

Every year marks a new chapter in the history of the UAE. As we bid adieu to the successful ‘Year of Zayed’, we embark on a new journey that sees the establishment of UAE as a global capital of ‘tolerance’ in the form of ‘Year of Tolerance 2019’.  

The United Arab Emirates today stands as a perfect example of tolerance and peaceful coexistence on a global scale, exemplified due to the embedded values of openness, acceptance and respect for religious and ethnic diversity. With an infinite commitment to protect the liberty of beliefs, UAE rejects discrimination, racism and many other negative sentiments.

H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE declared 2019 as the ‘Year of Tolerance’, which highlighted UAE as a global capital for tolerance. UAE, thanks to its legislative and policy-oriented goals, enhanced the role of the nation in imparting the values of peaceful co-existence locally, regionally and internationally.


As a response to the directives of H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a Supreme National Committee for Tolerance was established to celebrate 2019 as the Year of Tolerance.

Let’s explore the main FIVE pillars of Tolerance:


  • First, to deepen the values of tolerance and co-existence among cultures and peoples by concentrating on teaching the youth on the values of tolerance.


  • The Second pillar seeks to solidify the UAE as the global capital for tolerance, via a series of initiatives and projects specialized intolerance and dialogue between various cultures and civilizations.


  • Third, enacting multiple cultural programs and contributions to build tolerant communities.


  • As for the Fourth pillar, a focus on legislative and policy-oriented objectives that contribute to mandating cultural and religious tolerance, via dialogue.


  • Lastly, the Fifth pillar focuses on promoting tolerance and co-existence via targeted media initiatives and projects.




It began on a positive note –


UAE started the Year of Tolerance on an auspicious note as the nation made history by welcoming ‘Pope Francis’ the head of the Catholic Church, the first papal visit to the Arab Peninsula. The pope was joined by Dr Ahmad Al Tayyeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar Al Sharif, who together passed a ‘Human Fraternity Declaration’ that conveys a message of peaceful coexistence among different faiths of all over the world.


Highlights that marked the beginning of the Year of Tolerance:



·        Visit of Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church, on the first papal visit to the Arab peninsula.


·        Pope Francis and Dr Ahmad Al Tayyeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar Al Sharif, signed the Human Fraternity Declaration that promotes a message of peace and coexistence between followers of different faiths all over the world.


·        Renaming Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Mosque to Mary, Mother of Jesus Mosque.


·        Construction of the UAE’s first Hindu temple will be underway next year ahead of its projected opening in 2020.

·        Supreme National Committee for Tolerance was formed, tasked with fulfilling the pillars of Tolerance

·        Special Olympic games for the first time in the UAE

·        Sheikh Khalifa’s Directives as per which Women must occupy 50 per cent of the seats in the Federal National Council.

·        Educational institutions in the UAE to introduce programs that teach students about the value of embracing diversity




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Website last updated on 13-06-2024 11:35:55 AM

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