Year of Tolerance
On 15 December 2018, the late H. H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed declared 2019 as the Year of Tolerance. The announcement aims to highlight the UAE as a global capital for tolerance and its approach, since its establishment, to be a bridge of communication between peoples of different cultures in a respectful environment that rejects extremism and emphasises on the acceptance of the other.
The Year of Tolerance will focus on five main pillars:
- to deepen the values of tolerance and co-existence among cultures by teaching the youth the values of tolerance
- to solidify the UAE as the global capital for tolerance through a series of initiatives, projects and dialogues between various cultures and civilisations
- to implement multiple cultural programmes and make contributions to build tolerant communities
- to focus on legislative and policy-oriented objectives that contribute to mandating cultural and religious tolerance via dialogue
- to promote tolerance through targeted media initiatives and projects.
Read the Year of Tolerance brand guidelines (PDF, 11.8 MB).
In November 2017, H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid named the pedestrian bridge over the Dubai Canal as the Tolerance Bridge. The announcement was made on the 22nd International Day of Tolerance. The naming reflects tolerance as a fundamental value in the UAE community where people from over 200 nationalities live in harmony without racism, discrimination or intolerance.
Mariam Umm Eisa Mosque
Tolerance is a virtue and an intrinsic part of the Islamic culture. It is observed at all levels: individual, organisational and national. With more than 200 nationalities living peacefully and successfully in the UAE, the UAE society has been an undisputed example of being a tolerant and inclusive country. Now, the Federal Government is keen to promote acceptance and understanding as core values of the society.
As a practical application of the principle of tolerance, H. H. Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, ordered renaming the Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Mosque in Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, to 'Mariam, Umm Eisa’ — Arabic for ‘Mary, the mother of Jesus’.
Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence
The post of the Minister of State for Tolerance was first introduced in 2016 when H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice-President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai announced structural changes to the 12th Cabinet, reinforcing the UAE's commitment to eradicate ideological, cultural and religious bigotry in the society. Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi was the first the Minister of State for Tolerance.
In the Cabinet reshuffle of 2017, His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan was appointed as Cabinet member and the Minister of Tolerance in the UAE.
Read Sheikh Mohammed's speech on Why Ministers for Happiness, Tolerance, Youth and the Future?
In the cabinet reshuffle in July 2020, the Ministry of Tolerance was changed to Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence. His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan is a Cabinet member and the Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence. Read about the new structure of the UAE Government.
Updated on 18 May 2022