His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Some intellectuals and theories speak of the role of individuals in history. Yet, the UAE’s experience presents a live example of the leader’s ability to bring about change and economic progress, as well as contribute to impressive achievements.

The experience of the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of the nation, impressed the world as his was a successful example of placing the country among the world’s top nations. He did everything to ensure a dignified and high quality life for his people and this is what is being pursued by the current leadership.

The experience of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, represents an unparalleled global model of development. First of all, it has never been easy to forge an exceptional experience and outpace successful development models as measured by many indices. Adding to that, it is not easy transform a country into a global business and financial hub alongside the world’s most prestigious financial centres within a short span.

Moreover, it is not a simple task to turn a country into a top destination sought by international organisations and businessmen, artists, the highly skilled and sports figures. Neither is it easy to build giant companies in the aviation, logistics and maritime industries capable of competing against prestigious companies on the global level.

It is not easy to develop a sophisticated infrastructure and be ranked among the top countries, challenging and swiftly overcoming all obstacles regionally and globally under a rock-solid leadership, which knows nothing is impossible.

Personally, I have closely witnessed 40 years of achievements, and it happened that I was very close to his experience, which is indeed a role model for many as an model for economic development. Inspired by our leadership, we have been taught that human capital is the country’s real fortune, and rational management of available resources, hard work and dedication are keys to success.

The leader represents the role model in faithfulness and the pursuit of rapid achievements in his race against time. The hard work in serving the nation begins from sunrise and lasts well after sunset. When you plan to leave after a long and tiring day, you really feel your country does deserve such great efforts. Yet, you see the lights are on in the leader’s office as he brings about more creative achievements.

This makes one wonder how the leader can have such a great willpower that can’t be matched. What great love does he have for the nation by which he has turned sand into gold thanks to his vision, dedication and faithfulness? At that point, you go back to your office, filled with enthusiasm to work more and take after your leader.

Once the achievements are done, we do note that Shaikh Mohammad feels overjoyed. In case of delays, the sound directives and firmness will break down all barriers and remove obstacles. This reminds us of Shaikh Mohammad’s saying: “Those who neglect will leave their place to others who are competent to make achievements. We have zero tolerance in this respect since the race against time is the toughest race that can only be won by the cavalier with vast experience and solid determination.”

Besides his leadership, Shaikh Mohammad is known for being kind-hearted and loving. He rewards hard workers and holds underperformers accountable. He is considerate, and eases the suffering of others and gives credit where credit is due. His spirit of kindness, caring and generosity makes him an exceptional leader whose name will go down in history... and written in golden letters too.

Shaikh Mohammad’s development experience will be of great benefit to learn from in the coming years. Generations will learn from this experience, which has been highlighted in the 50-year charter and its eight principles that will form a roadmap for the future

Our hats are off for Shaikh Mohammad. To whom we are extremely grateful and thankful. Words are not enough to give him the credit he deserves, but they are truthful in describing an exceptional leader who has created a sophisticated economy and presented a successful model to ensure high living standards, stability and the foundations for sustainable development.

Dr Mohammad Al Asoomi is a UAE economic expert and specialist in economic and social development in the UAE and the GCC countries.