Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid has completed 50 years in serving the nation. His leadership journey began on November 1, 1968, when he was appointed head of Dubai Police and Public Security. Image Credit: GN Archives

Any discussion on civilisations is rendered null and void if you do not refer to the exceptional leaders who develop the values, principles, and visions that drive these civilisations.

The Greek civilisation introduced us to men of learning such as Aristotle, Plato and Socrates, among others, who paved the intellectual and scientific path. When we mention the ancient Chinese civilisation, our minds are immediately drawn to Confucius, the teacher and philosopher whose views shaped a code of conduct for an entire nation. Egyptian civilisation and history cannot be discussed without highlighting leaders such as Menes, Ramesses II, and Mohammad Ali Pasha, founder of modern Egypt. Equally noteworthy is the Islamic Golden Age, the era in the history of Islam during which Muslims such as Haroun Al Rashid, Al Ma’mun, Ibn Sina, Mohammad Bin MusaāAl Khwarizmi, and Ibn Rushd, became pioneers of global advancement in fields of science and math.

In modern history, great nations, such as the United States, have been founded by eminent leaders, including Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Winston Churchill, in addition to receiving acclaim as an architect of modern Great Britain is considered a legend in his own right.

Civilisations are not built merely through establishing awe-inspiring buildings, skyscrapers, cities, or developments. They are structured with the support of the wise and visionary leaders who stand behind these edifices. Civilisations are complex societies characterised by urban development and social stratification with a clear vision and message to boost the prosperity and stability of humankind. Civilisations are a framework of values, principles, and theology, and the people that work relentlessly to implement this framework form the backbone of these civilisations.

Today, we need to draw upon and reinforce the thoughts the UAE’s founders, including the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the late Shaikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, as well as its current crop of leaders, including President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, among others. The future generation needs role models, and if we don’t provide them with eminent figures to look up to, the world will present them with role models that do not represent our nation, its ethos or our values.

Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid and his example in leadership development as a trailblazer who set new benchmarks of excellence for the whole region, have changed how the world views us and proved to hundreds
of millions of people that we are capable of achieving miracles.

- Mohammad Bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future

The region’s future generations need to learn from successful leaders, and we need to share our successful experiences, so that they don’t draw inspiration from the wrong models or acquire skills alien to the Arab world. Notably, leaders also need great examples to influence them to make the best decisions for our environment.

We Emiratis are humble people, we don’t like to show off, but in today’s world, if you don’t talk about your achievements and leadership, others will speak on your behalf. We must ensure genuine national efforts in instilling and reinforcing the intellectual Emirati leadership model as an integral part of modern Arab.

Nowadays, Mahatma Gandhi represents India’s soft power, Mao Zedong is the face of modern China, Nelson Mandela embodies South Africa, and America dominates the world in terms of the power and influence it wields — through leadership, administration, innovation, arts, sports and media.

What our region needs the most today are leaders with proven leadership skills, because millions of youth will follow in their footsteps.

In the UAE today, we have the most important and successful development experience in the Arab world, with leaders of the class of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, a key pillar in the foundation of our modern nation. For decades, the Mohammad Bin Rashid experience has become an intellectual leadership model, based on a consistent approach that does not follow established standards, but sets its own. It is our duty to share that vision and wisdom with others.

We are used to reading books about management and effective leadership of administrators, intellectuals and theorists, only to be surprised that their writing simply encompasses theories and ideas or their ambitions. Their experience and vision, most often, do not reflect the course of development in their countries that is often slow.

Why do we learn from them without trying to transfer our experience to them, especially since we have experience in leadership that in recent decades has become a model that the whole world is talking about?

We have wealth here, the greatest resource in the Arab world, the leadership of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, a wealth that we need to preserve, develop and most importantly, pass on to neighbouring countries.

Yes, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid and his example in leadership development as a trailblazer who set new benchmarks of excellence for the whole region, have changed how the world views us and proved to hundreds of millions of people that we are capable of achieving miracles.

It is our duty to the new generations to teach them about the legacy of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid, who makes history every day. We need to underscore the achievements of our leadership that transformed the desert into a global city of the future in just a few short years. It is an achievement that should be taught in universities, and written about for research purposes in the government. It is an Arab Emirati school of knowledge worth sharing with the world.