Today’s Google Doodle is titled “My UAE” and was the winner of many entries in Google’s Doodle 4 Google contest for the UAE’s 40th Independence Day. Each year Google invites primary and secondary school students from several countries to create original Doodles for their nation; previous winners of the contest include Bo Zhang for China, Amelia Abbott for New Zealand, Janelle San Juan for Australia, and Mai Dao Ngoc for Germany.
The United Arab Emirates, or UAE, gained their independence from Great Britain in 1971. The government of the UAE is made up of seven monarchical rulers, or emirs, who choose one of the monarchs to be the president of the federation of emirates; the constitution of the UAE provides for the union between these seven monarchs, but does not change the power of the monarchs over their individual territories.
Being in control of the sixth-largest oil reserve in the world, the UAE is fairly high on the Human Development Index, and is classified as a high-income developing economy by the IMF. This is evidenced in the high wealth rate of the capital, Abu Dhabi, and of the UAE’s largest city, Dubai. The nation has an open economy and one of the highest GDPs and per-capita income levels in the world.
Perhaps as a result of the strong economy in the UAE, education and health care in the country are extremely high in quality. In 1989, only 53.5% of the population was literate; due to government programs and increased emphasis on educational standards, that number jumped to an estimated 98.8% in 2009. In addition, the UAE is ranked fourth in the world for health care by the World Health Organization and has some of the highest healthcare standards in the Middle East, thus attracting many “medical tourists” who come to the UAE for specialized operations.
The Google Doodle today was designed by an Emirati student and is being displayed in the UAE for twenty-four hours in celebration of the UAE’s 40th national Independence Day (December 2, 2011.)