How Etihad Airways Is Celebrating 50 Years Of The UAE

As the UAE celebrates 50 years since its formation, flag carrier Etihad Airways has launched a year-long program to mark the occasion. The program will take place in three phases and see 50,000 prizes going up for grabs for travelers around the world. Let’s find out more.

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Etihad has some special plans to celebrate the 50th year of the UAE. Photo: Getty Images


2021 marks the 50th year since the establishment of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a significant milestone for the country. To celebrate this milestone, national airline Etihad has stepped up with its own program to reward residents and travelers. Starting from April 6th to 31st December, Etihad has a series of activities and prizes planned.

The program is split into three parts, focusing on the past (‘legacy of a nation’), present (‘values that unite’), and the future (‘hosting the world’). The first part will focus on uncovering stories from the country’s history, and the second on collaborating with creators to celebrate. The third (and most exciting for many) will be encouraging travelers to visit the UAE and experience the culture for themselves.

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Etihad’s three-phase program aims to highlight the history and future of the UAE. Photo: Getty Images

In a statement about the program, CEO Tony Douglas said,

“This year-long initiative demonstrates Etihad’s celebration of the past, and commitment to the next 50 years of this incredible country. As one of the UAE’s leading brands, Etihad is proud to bring the world to Abu Dhabi to be part of this celebration.”

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Another exciting part about the celebration is the 50,000 prizes up for grabs to UAE residents and visitors. While Etihad has not said what exactly they will be, examples include free flights, bonus Etihad Guest miles, discount vouchers for attractions in Abu Dhabi, and more. To sign up and know more about the prizes, you have to register here.

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With the UAE reopening for tourism, the 50th year celebrations could mark a boost in recovery for the travel industry. Photo: Etihad

Prizes will be awarded through 2021 so it’s important to sign up as early as possible. Tourism is an important part of the UAE economy, especially in cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and has been hit hard by the pandemic. However, the upcoming Expo 2020 in October and the 50th Year celebrations could help the industry make a recovery by attracting tourists once again.

Etihad’s challenging year

While the pandemic has undoubtedly hurt airlines around the world, it came at a particularly tough time for Etihad. The airline was already reeling from multi-billion dollar losses in the past few years and was hoping to turn itself around in 2020 and beyond. However, the pandemic put any such plans on hold, forcing the carrier to park up its fleet and trim its route map.

Unlike its rival and colleague Emirates, Etihad has been a bit more tepid with resumptions of routes. The airline already had a smaller route network than the other Middle East three, but COVID-19 could further shrink its reach. Moreover, Etihad also signaled that its flagship A380s may not be returning to the skies, another blow to its fleet. For now, the carrier is betting big that a summer recovery will revive its fortunes.

What do you think about Etihad’s 50th Year celebration plans? Let us know in the comments!