A close friend, a hero to Emiratis, President Nelson Mandela
was looked up to with great admiration by all in the United Arab Emirates
for his courage and strength to build union and peace for the people of South Africa
In 1998, founder and first president of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan welcomed Mr. Mandela to the#UAE, honoring him with the Zayed Medal for his life-time achievements. Mr. Mandela was gracious enough to present opening remarks at the 19th annual GCC Summit held in Abu Dhabi at that time.