Top UAE news stories of 2022

File photo

The ARN News Centre looks back at some of the biggest stories out of the UAE in 2022.

Sheikh Mohamed appointed UAE President

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was elected the UAE's President unanimously by the Federal Supreme Council on May 14, a day after the death of his brother Sheikh Khalifa.

He has served as Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council since 2004 and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi until 2022. He also served as Chief of Staff of the UAE Armed Forces from 1993 to 2005 before assuming the role of Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Before embarking upon official duties, Sheikh Mohamed trained at UK's illustrious military academy HMA Sandhurst, which he graduated from in 1979. Following in the footsteps of the late Sheikh Zayed and the late Sheikh Khalifa, Sheikh Mohamed prioritises investments in infrastructure and regional security as enablers of the well-being of people.

Sheikh Mohamed

UAE introduces host of new visas

The UAE's advanced visa and entry permit system came into force in October, providing more flexibility and greater benefits.

The regulations that the government first announced in April aim to make the UAE a more attractive place to live, work and invest in. The new rules expand the eligibility criteria for certain visas while offering new entry permits and residence visas with simplified procedures.

The amendments include an easier visa system for job-seekers, an expansion of the Golden Visa programme, and the doubling of time visitors can spend in the country from 30 to 60 days. In addition, parents will be able to sponsor their sons until the age of 25, while skilled workers, freelancers, investors and the self-employed will be able to apply for five-year green visas.

UAE VISA

Several Emirates ban single-use plastic bags

The UAE has set itself an ambitious target to ban single-use plastics and plastic bags throughout the country. It's part of efforts by the authorities to protect the environment, reduce plastic pollution and work towards a sustainable blue economy.

Carrier bags will have to be biodegradable, multi-use or made of paper or woven cloth. Several emirates have already put measures in place to implement the directives. These include Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Um al Quwain.

The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi is implementing measures to reduce demand for about 16 single-use plastic products, including cups, stirrers, lids and cutlery. In addition, it aims to phase out single-use styrofoam cups, plates and food containers by 2024.

Plastic bag

UAE's first analog astronaut completes an 8-month mission

The UAE scored a milestone this year after the country's first analog astronaut completed an eight-month isolation mission. Saleh Al Ameri took part in the space programme in Moscow, where he conducted 70 experiments to study the long-term effects of isolation on humans.

Analog missions play a significant role in spaceflight research as they simulate space-like conditions on Earth. The mission, called Sirius 21, involved 240 days of scientific experiments that required 12-hour shifts.

Al Ameri's experiments included simulating the operation of a space robot and reducing stress in isolation. He also conducted virtual reality experiments, such as launching a vehicle and securing its docking with the International Space Station.

The SIRIUS-21 mission crew worked in a sealed capsule and gained insights into team dynamics during long space flights.

analog mission mbrsc istock dottedhippo

The UAE Central Bank released new banknotes

New polymer notes for the five and 10 Dirham notes were issued as more durable and sustainable than traditional cotton paper notes.

The five Dirham note is the same brown/orange colour with images of the Ajman Fort on the front. While the new 10 Dirham note is still green, with the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque on one side.

The violet 50 Dirham note was released in 2021 to mark the UAE's 50th anniversary. While in 2022, a special 1,000 Dirham note was released to celebrate the country's 51st national day.

dirham notes

Dubai's Museum of the Future opens to the public

Dubai's Museum of the Future opened its doors to the world in February after nine years in the making. An auspicious date was chosen for the occasion: the 22nd of the 2nd, 2022.

It's designed to serve as an incubator for innovative ideas, technology, and future projects, a place of tolerance where varied cultural, philosophical, social and spiritual outlooks are welcome.

Seven floors of exhibition space showcase futuristic concepts, services, and products. But even before it opened, National Geographic listed it as one of the 14 most beautiful museums in the world for its astounding architecture and technological innovations.

The building has an instantly recognisable shape, with a futuristic stainless steel façade illuminated by glazed Arabic calligraphy.

Museum of the future WAM

Dubai and Abu Dhabi restaurants get Michelin stars

The world of fine dining received a major accolade in 2022 with the release of the first-ever Michelin Guide for Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Both cities were honoured with gastronomy's highest form of recognition, demonstrating the UAE's melting pot of cuisine, culture and talent.

The Epicurean honour was first unveiled in June across 69 restaurants in Dubai, covering 21 cuisines and awarding 14 restaurants a Bib Gourmand, nine restaurants a Michelin Star, and two restaurants two Michelin Stars.

Five months later, the prestigious guide was given to the UAE capital, marking the 41st destination covered by the Guide globally. A total of 42 restaurants made it into the Capital's guide, with three winning one Michelin star and a special new category - green stars- to recognise sustainable focus.

LOWE restaurant made history when they became the very first on record to receive one. The guide highlights the region's excellent homegrown establishments, like 3 Fils and Tresind Studio, showcasing the region as an authentic culinary destination for foodies and gourmands worldwide.

Michelin stars - generic image

Expo City Dubai unveiled plans for the future

After the success of Expo 2020, Dubai is developing the original site into a sustainable city. The first phase of Expo City Dubai opened in September, just five months after the end of the six-month spectacular.

Expo 2002 received global acclaim and saw more than 24 million visits. After Expo finished, work began on turning the original site into a permanent feature. This is now taking shape with four pavilions and a host of other attractions available to visit.

These include the Surreal Water Feature and Garden in the Sky, a rotating observation tower and a park. These were among the most popular attractions during the six-month-long Expo event.

expo city dubai

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