Superlative infrastructure may have defined the rise of the UAE in the last few decades, but it’s the country’s unswerving focus on becoming a knowledge economy that will help it fulfil its global leadership role over the decades to come. While making the UAE a hub of education, the government has flung open doors of endless possibilities by launching the space programme. The country’s aspirations of conquering the final frontier of growth are backed strategically and resourcefully by federal budget allocations. Of the Dh180 million approved by the UAE Cabinet for federal budget spending over the next three years, 59 per cent is to be directed towards education, healthcare, and social and community development. The federal budgets have always been a guiding document of the future the leadership envisages for the nation. In 2008-10, infrastructure spending was at the core of government spending. The latest budget is aimed at strengthening the UAE’s soft power and making it first among equals in sectors that have long been dominated by the West. The new law to regulate space programme, foster investment, boost research and partnership will help advance the country. The leadership realises that growth in the future will be driven by a passionate workforce, a healthy mix of nationals and expatriates. It has been liberal in opening up to the world further. The slew of changes announced to the sponsorship system, new regulations for businesses, longer duration investor visas, supporting families by announcing a freeze in tuition fee hikes, and many such measures will help realise its plans. All this will take the emirates to new heights.