Dubai: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, paid a surprise visit to the Gold Souq in Deira and used none other than the abra to get there.
On Monday evening, Sheikh Mohammed and his entourage surprised visitors in the old part of Dubai as he travelled across the Creek to inspect shops at the touristic site in Deira.
The video quickly became viral on UAE social networking sites as residents were curious to see the Ruler of Dubai visiting one of the most famous landmarks in the emirate.
The traditional half-boat, half-raft is the most popular mode of transportation for cruising around the Dubai Creek, and offers passengers a spectacular view of the 14-kilometre stretch which divides Deira and Bur Dubai.
Regulated by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), passengers are charged Dh1 for each trip on the motorised abra.
The visit to Deira’s Gold Souq was made merely two days after Sheikh Mohammed issued a six-point message to officials and ministers called “Letter of the New Season”, which was posted on his official Twitter page.
In his message, Sheikh Mohammed also warned officials that their rightful place is not at conferences or lecture halls, but out in the field with residents and citizens alike.
“"The right place for officials, ministers and leaders is the field. We need to see them amongst students and teachers; in the markets among traders and investors. "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,” said Sheikh Mohammed in his letter.
"We want to see them there and hear them from there, not in conference rooms or forums that have increased and consumed resources and energies. We are a government of achievements, not a government of lectures. We are a team of accomplishers not a team of preachers.”