Dubai: A gardener who has worked for 34 years at Dubai Municipality has been honoured for his service track record at the Dubai Government Excellence Programme Awards.
Atiq Ur Rehman Noor Khan, 53, said he is punctual at work and has “never taken a frivolous day off.”
He was among several “unknown soldiers” honoured during Tuesday’s awards ceremony at Dubai World Trade Centre.
The awards were facilitated by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to acknowledge the performance of government workers and departments.
“I’ve had no quarrels and I respect my seniors, and they respect me. I do my duty with focus, getting up at 5am and coming home after 2pm daily,” Khan said.
“I’m deeply humbled by this award. I’ve received small awards before, but nothing like this. My family — a daughter who is in college and a wife who is a school teacher —are so glad too.”
Khan, in the UAE since 1979, said Dubai has transformed beyond recognition during his decades of service.
“Back in the day, the only really green places where Safa Park and what is today Airport Road. Building’s were few and far in between, and there were many sandy patches. Today even the road interchanges have beautiful greenery,” he said.
Khan admitted feeling a little nervous ahead of the awards. “There are so many people here today — top officials and ordinary workers too. This is what I like about Dubai — you work hard and you will be rewarded one way or the other, sooner or later.”