The UAE has never stood still, never settled for second-best, never rested on its laurels, never been complacent nor merely adequate. It has a “can do” state of mind, not a “that’ll do” attitude. This philosophy has been re-affirmed in a letter from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Saturday to officials, ministers, Emiratis and UAE residents on the new season — when our students return to the classrooms and a page turns on the Hijri calendar.
The letter serves as an affirmation that the UAE government, in the words of Sheikh Mohammed, “is a government of achievers, not a government of lecturers … a team of accomplishers, not a team of preachers”, and he reminds officials, ministers and leaders that their rightful place is in the field. “We need to see them among students and teachers; in the markets among traders and investors,” he says. “We want to hear they are among farmers and at the ports of fishermen, with widows and mothers, senior citizens and with patients, in hospitals and among doctors and staff.”
When it comes to social media and its ability to detract, deter, be negative and in Sheikh Mohammed’s own words “cause chaos”, he offers stern rebuke. “The reputation of the UAE is a red line and not to be used by anyone who wants to get more followers,” he says. We couldn’t agree more. Far too many spend far too much time, wasting too much energy and frustrating the hard work of so many, by spreading misleading or simply wrong message. It needs to stop.
Similarly, Sheikh Mohammed reinforces the need all to listen to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and its management of our external affairs. “We will not allow a group of Twitter users to mess with Zayed’s legacy of credibility, love and respect for people. The good image of the UAE and the Emirati must remain as bright as Zayed wanted and built,” Sheikh Mohammed says.
He reinforces the policy of Emiratisation while also acknowledging that there are complaints and satisfaction ratings have declined. “We do hear it,” he says — a reminder that this is a nation with a transparent government.
We live in a prosperous and outgoing land, where there is a government determined to succeed. That’s certainly a message we should all heed.