Dubai: Political tensions in the region are a challenge for Dubai’s businesses to embrace, not shy away from, according to High Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Speaking with CNN correspondent John Defterios in a rare interview, Shaikh Mohammad was asked if he was concerned about political uncertainty in the Middle East hurting Dubai’s business.

He confirmed that he felt okay about the city-state’s growth considering the circumstances, saying: “It is a challenge, it’s not uncertainty. It’s a challenge for us, and we must take it.”

The ruler of Dubai added that the emirate would continue “to fly” despite slower growth and low oil prices.

According to Shaikh Mohammad, the strategy for achieving this continued success was to “be ahead of anybody, and be faster...”

In the brief interview, which took place at the Dubai Air Show, he was also asked about declining passenger levels across the GCC amid increasing competition.

He responded: “Maybe you are right, but not with Emirates.”

“Always our planes are full,” Shaikh Mohammad added.

Passenger traffic at Dubai International was also booming, he said, noting that Dubai had a “lot of visitors.”

Finally, Shaikh Mohammad had a message for any airline that intended to replicate the model that Dubai has established with Emirates: They were “welcome” to, he said with a laugh.