From left: Music composer Monty Sharma, Shri Neeraj Agrawal, singer Suchetha Satish and lyricist Shihab Ghanem pose for a picture with their newly released album 'Fifty Years' to celebrate His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and ruler of Dubai. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: An Arabic song applauding the contributions of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was dedicated as a birthday gift on the eve of his 70th birthday on Sunday.

The musical tribute is a joint project of eminent Emirati poet Dr Shihab Ganem, Suchetha Satish, a 13-year-old Indian student in Dubai who holds a record in singing in 102 languages, and award-winning Bollywood music director Monty Sharma.

The lyrics are from the poem Fifty Years, a tribute to the 50 years of public service of Shaikh Mohammad penned by Dr Shihab Ganem. When it was first published in an Arabic newspaper earlier this year, the poem had earned the appreciation of Shaikh Mohammad himself, Dr Ganem told Gulf News.

“He sent me his book [My Story: 50 Memories from 50 Years of Service] with his signature. He wrote – Thank you my brother, I hope you enjoy reading this book. Now, I hope he also appreciates the song because this is a new experience.”

He said the song is a shorter version of the poem which is a narration of Shaikh Mohammad as a great poet, a famous equestrian and most importantly a visionary leader who changed the modern face of Dubai and spearheaded the growth of the country.

Sharma said it is the first time that he composed an Arabic song and he used many Arabic musical instruments for it. “It is an honour for me to compose a song for Shaikh Mohammad. It makes me really proud to be a part of this project which took almost two months to complete.”

Satish said she considered the song a dedication to Shaikh Mohammad from the nearly 3.5 million-strong Indian community in the UAE.

“He is a visionary leader. To be able to dedicate a song to him is really wonderful. It is my dream to meet him,” said the grade nine student of The Indian High School in Dubai.

The musical tribute was released at the Indian Consulate in Dubai with the makers handing over two copies, one of which is to be handed over to His Highness’ office through the consulate.

The makers said it is their dream to meet and present it to Shaikh Mohammad in person.

The song is now available on YouTube under the titel “Fifty Glorious Years-A tribute to HH Sheikh Mohammed.”