The UAE and the ITU signed an agreement to designate one of the main halls of the ITU building in Geneva, Switzerland, in the name of late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The agreement was signed by H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, Director General of the General Authority for Regulating the Telecommunications Sector, and Mr. Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), on the sidelines of the 2018 Plenipotentiary Conference hosted by the UAE in Dubai from October 29 to November 16.
This agreement coincides with UAE’s celebration of Year of Zayed, and is in recognition of the outstanding role played by the great late in supporting and developing ICT. Through his insightful future outlook, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan has established a strong foundation for this sector, believing that telecommunications services are the backbone of UAE's development and its growth.
In this occasion, H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, said: “Zayed has had a leading role in supporting the country's telecom sector, building on his early bet in the importance of this sector in promoting the development process. This initiative is in recognition of what the founder of our union has made in this area. We are proud that the ITU has adopted the name of Sheikh Zayed for one of the main halls of its new headquarters in Geneva, which reflects the position of our nation in the global arena, in general, and the ICT society, in particular.”
H.E added: “Those who learn about the decisions of late Sheikh Zayed and his relevant sayings are aware of the great emphasis he had placed on the telecommunications sector. He had always emphasized the importance of developing this field in a way that allows us to communicate better internally and externally, and keeps us abreast of the latest scientific, economic and social developments in the world.”
H.E the Secretary General of the ITU , Houlin Zhao said “Today, ITU is proud of the UAE’s decision to sponsor one of the main conference rooms in the Union’s new home. ITU is grateful for the UAE’s and TRA’s steadfast commitment to our mission. The agreement we are signing today embodies this commitment and the cooperation between ITU and the UAE. This new conference room will embody the identity and spirit of the UAE. The new headquarters building will be a showcase for ITU and the entire UN family.”
The hall will present the statements of late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan on the importance of developing telecommunications, through displays, and posters in the hall and around its entrances
The late Sheikh Zayed had his indelible mark on the telecommunications sector. With the announcement of the Union in 1971, there were a number of companies and organizations that work in unison in the field of telecommunications, first of which was the Dubai Telephone Company which began its services in 1960, and then a number of companies working in the areas of telephony and telegraph were established in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah.
On the basis of his particular interest in the telecommunications sector at the time, Sheikh Zayed decided to look into a method that would give a strong momentum to the sector. In 1976, he issued a decree to merge all telephone and telegraph companies under one umbrella, the Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat).
In the era of late Sheikh Zayed, in 1999, the UAE government launched Dubai Internet City as the first of its kind in the region, and the project quickly established itself as a platform for technology companies in the region as a whole.
Actors in UAE's ICT sector recognize that this move was the real breakthrough towards the major leaps achieved, which led the UAE today to occupy a leading and pioneering position in the global communications map, including its positive interaction with the international telecommunications sector through the ITU.