The Ghaf tree was chosen as a symbol of the Year of Tolerance because of the great significance that the tree bears as an indigenous tree. It is associated with popular and environmental heritage. It is a symbol of the stability of the desert and a witness to old customs.
The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan has given the Ghaf tree a great importance and has issued laws and regulations prohibiting the cutting of the Ghaf tree throughout the state. The majority of the community practiced most of their social behavior under the trees of Ghaf, as it was a focal point for gathering and diversity.
This was seen as a manifestation of communication and solidarity, and tribal meetings were held to discuss matters of their lives. According to some historians many leaders took council under the Ghaf tree to receive their citizens and listen to their demands directly.