There are keystone documents and seminal times in the history of people and places that together mark a milestone moment — and Saturday in Dubai was one such occasion. His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, issued its eight governing principles — in effect, Dubai’s own Magna Carta — tenets that had been in place for more than two centuries but are now formalised and codified for the benefit and betterment of all.
“We have summarised these principles … to ensure the well-being of our people, the sustained progress of our nation, and the welfare of our future generations,” Shaikh Mohammad said in introducing the document, calling on future rulers and all those in any position of responsibility to abide by them.
First and foremost, there is recognition that the federal union takes precedence and that Dubai is an integral part of that bond makes up our great nation. It makes clear that the two are indivisible and that the interests of the UAE are those of Dubai, are intertwined, inseparable and united for the betterment of this nation. Secondly, no one person is above the rule of law. It is a pivotal recognition that our system of justice is the framework for our nation, that it works on the rule of law, and that those laws apply to all regardless of colour, creed, class or stature. And the second principle makes it clear too that begins with the Ruling Family and extends to all, promising swift due process.
Thirdly, the principles recognise Dubai’s position as a politically neutral, business-friendly global hub creating economic opportunities. And it recognises the unique social make-up of Dubai, where people from every corner of the globe live in social harmony for the betterment of all.
Dubai too is a land that recognises people of talent and embraces educational systems that nurture talent. And fundamentally, Dubai is engaged with future generations to ensure that these principles will endure and that we hold this place and the planet in stewardship for generations to come.Together, the eight principles create a framework for political and social rights, laying out the tenets of government in a transparent and egalitarian manner, a contract for good governance that embraces all and places justice and equality at the centre of Dubai’s actions. This document is indeed significant. No other such open accord exists nor has been codified across the Middle East — and these principles are wide-ranging, deep rooted and will hold all in good stead in the coming centuries.