Without trying be unduly flattering or exaggerating let’s talk about some of the high points of the period when HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum took on the mantle of Crown Prince of Dubai:
The development and massive growth in both, infrastructure and real estate.
Diversification of the economy away from a rapidly depleting oil supply
Development of the Government, including the establishment of an e-government in all local departments, which saw a leap into the technological future of Government.
Supporting the dream of local Dubai-based companies of becoming truly international and enabling them to compete with their overseas counterparts in business.
Wider distribution of wealth by setting up the DFM and Joint Stock companies, which allowed smaller businesses to participate in the growth of the economy. This improved the income of nationals and allowed residents to be part of the success story.
Making Dubai a hub of attraction for top Arab brains and experts who want to better themselves and enjoy Dubai’s increasingly opulent lifestyle.
This was achieved not only because of HH Sheikh Mohammed’s driving ambition but also because he set us ever higher goals to achieve. Dubai has been a flourishing emirate since the 1960’s and could have followed a gradual progress like any other developing country, but Sheikh Mohammed achieved his objective by continuously raising his expectations from both UAE citizens and expatriates.
Much has been achieved but the march of progress goes on with the help of careful planning, a good knowledge of the history and a strong vision of the future.
The recent death of HH Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum has burdened HH Sheikh Mohammed with additional duties but we know him to be an exceptional man and that he is at his best when things get tough.
As a young man, he was instrumental in establishing the UAE along with the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum. Since then, he has served as an example, constantly following up on political, economic and social issues because, for him, the interests of the nation come first.
HH Sheikh Mohammed has managed to change many of our basic concepts about how the Arab world is run. His truly exceptional skill in leadership is critical in the continual success he has achieved for himself and for all of us living here.
Among his many fine traits, fairness stands out; fairness in his judgment, in his vision and in his relationship with his society and its citizens. He is without doubt the right man to make the difficult decisions on the nation’s future. He is a man who believes in himself, and in his wisdom and justice and communicates it to his people. The experience of many years has helped to make those qualities more mature, ensuring that the country is in the right hands.
As we overcome our grief over the untimely death of our great leader HH Sheikh Maktoum, HH Sheikh Mohammed will inspire us to keep our lines tight in the march towards the glorious future of our nation.
We are positive that his new role as Ruler of the Emirate, Vice President of the UAE and Prime Minister will definitely invigorate the Federal Authorities which are being ably led by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
We are confident that our nation will continue to pursue all its objectives with the help of the Almighty. Under Sheikh Mohammed’s leadership, side by side with the President, our country will continue its balanced and wise foreign policy.
That policy has given our homeland a uniquely independent and moderate position; and consequently, many disputes from all over our Arab world are being referred to us for a solution, further enhancing our international status.
Our topmost priority is in caring for and giving attention to UAE Nationals whose grandfathers gave a lot to the country, and to the issues of their Arab homeland.
Here in our home, the UAE, we are wholly content with the promising modern direction of HH Sheikh Mohammed’s economic aspirations which have formed a new theory based on harmony and coordination between the capabilities of both the country and the citizen. This made our economy surpass economies that have significantly better natural resources.
In my mind, I think that the greatest success Sheikh Mohammed has achieved is in moulding Emirati society into a loving and caring unit that is spurred on by a feeling that it belongs to a great nation.
Finally, I would like to say, proudly, that we stand behind our great leader, following his example, inspired by his leadership and vision to create a model country and an economy that matches the best in the world.