YOUR HIGHNESS Sheikh Muhammad bin Rashid, excuse us if we make you bear the responsibility of burdening our governments and leaders with attempts to catch up with initiatives and tremendous ideas, through which you wrote the history of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by describing it as the development pioneer and a future country of the region that is living in the past.
You did not sit and wait for the outcome of analyses on the future to decide about your prospects. You created your tomorrow through your work today, with endless incentives for every generation that satisfies each other.
Indeed, excuse us because when you personally presented the idea of Dubai as a future ideal city, we laughed along with the leaders of the region and other officials as we thought it was an impossible dream and an unnecessary risk.
Certainly, what Dubai, together with the rest of the UAE, has achieved in the last several decades amazes everyone as they surpassed all expectations. Here we are, the Sheikh announced the last day for Dubai to export the final batch of its oil barrels after 50 years, whereas our government does not even have a vision for a few years.
Dubai has reduced its dependence on oil by 30 percent or lesser. You laid down a plan to diversify income sources and such efforts have started paying off abundantly. The GCC countries continue to drown in their search for instant solutions to rationalize expenditures and look into the oil price decline.
Your Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid … now that Dubai has become a development model worthy of emulation, here is the fourth edition of the World Government Summit taking place in Dubai; bringing together about 3,000 officials from 125 countries.
All of these officials are gathering in Dubai to look into various prospects, form a new cooperation model between the government and private sector, and present a futuristic vision for governments to overcome numerous common challenges.
This means we anticipate new series of despair which will affect many governments and officials in this region due to their failure to catch up with you, Your Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid. Unfortunately, the words of our leaders are not more than statements for consumption purposes; whereas you, Dubai and the UAE, act first and then talk.
Millions of people go to Abu Dhabi, Dubai and other areas in the Emirates every year. They reside there and implement projects; roaming in a country that was just a hot desert with lots of flies a few decades ago, but today, it transformed into the ‘Mecca’ of knowledge, innovation, development, economy of tomorrow, and even recreation.
Your Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid … throughout the past years, we have been following up your works and projects; and every time, we were amazed by things that have not crossed our minds.
Indeed, we have become weak and old in attempting to catch up with your ideas, because the UAE is rapidly moving with a futuristic energy towards its tomorrow which is drawn with the mentality that works in accordance with the adage, “Build when cannons reverberate and sell when you hear the songs of peace.”
You are building at a time everyone around you is panicking about their present, because they haven’t prepared their future the way you have done.
Excuse us once again because we did not take the Emirates’ dream, the present we are living in, seriously; we kindly wish you slow down so that we can catch up with you. We kindly wish you slow down so that our government can learn from your experience, perhaps to compensate for what it has missed.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times