His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, declared that the Ghaf tree is the theme for the Year of Tolerance 2019.
Sheikh Mohammad on his official Twitter account stated that forbearance is a global value and the Ghaf, which is UAE’s national tree, is the source of life and solidity or firmness in the middle of the desert. Under the shadow of the tree, their ancestors used to assemble in order to talk about their daily lives. Hence, in the year of tolerance, they are committed to take it as a motto to remain under the shadow of tolerance as well as harmony.
Ghaf trees are a strong breed and it can endure harsh, dry conditions in the dunes by dropping roots that goes very deep into the earth in order to reach out to the water aquifers which the ordinary plants can’t have access.
In 2008, it was announced that the national tree of the UAE is Ghaf. It is not only for sustainability as it consumes less water and also for its capability to sustain in desert ecosystems. The tree has many cultural uses. For instance, during the shortage of food, the pea-like pods offer sustenance. Also, the bark of the tree can be used to make flour. The tree was responsible for bringing the community closer.
The Supreme National Committee of the ‘Year of Tolerance’, headed by His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, stated that the ghaf tree was chosen as a major element of the logo as it carries a great importance as one of the genuine national trees in the nation.
The committee stated that the ghaf depicts a great cultural value in the UAE and is connected with the identity and heritage of the nation.