I woke up to amazing weather this morning wherein the weather induced mood drove me to memories that are unforgettable, remaining ever vivid and heartwarming. I recollected having landed in this country 30 years ago with the same spirit and positive energy as on today and recall my experiences during the last three decades with both positive and negative affectivity.
When I close my eyes and summon old memories; focus on the sights, thoughts, and feelings experienced during the last 30 years of my journey in the UAE with a positive mind all that I want is to express my gratitude to this great country - the UAE, a nation that overcomes the impossible and a source of inspiration for many being the land of opportunities.
I am fortunate to have had an opportunity to land in the UAE three decades ago, as a young budding professional having a keen-sighted vision to achieve great things in life, not knowing how or when the same can be achieved. During my practice as a medical practitioner in Naif Road Dubai and getting socially connected with the society on a daily basis, I explored more and more opportunities bestowed upon the expats by this great country.
I along with my colleagues used to walk in and around Jumeirah in leisure during those times in 1990’s where I admired the most incredible villas on either sides of the streets, and remember being amazed by the civil infrastructure that progressed day by day. I even dreamt of having a villa in this beautiful country and I am now proud that I am blessed with even more than one and much more, thereby the dream has thereby become a reality
The feelings, the thoughts, the visions are still the same compared to my olden days, however the drive to do more for society scaled new heights during my stay here in this country, and I only wish that my energy and passion stays on high to continue serving the nation for another 30 to 60 years if God permits. I assure on this occasion of the 52nd Union Day to contribute more to this country and society as I feel being a part of this country. Undoubtedly, all expat Indian residents of the UAE feel the same, as it is a second home for many including me. The duration of my residency in the UAE due to splendid opportunities and the messages from the great rulers of this country who always upheld unity in diversity, proving the nation to be people-centric through growth and progress.
It was always my dream to become a doctor, serve humanity, be humane, imbibe the ideology of great leaders and pioneer contributing something unique to the healthcare industry. However, to transform all these dreams to reality needed a stable platform and a land of opportunities. I am one among the fortunate people to land in this country and this land has given me the best possible opportunities to make things happen. The governmental sectors i.e. The Economic department , Municipalities , Chamber of Commerce, Health Authorities , Federal/Local Authorities-to name a few, all extended their support and co-operation in guiding, advising and paving the way for a successful business journey .
I was able to witness progressive developments in three major sectors. The first and foremost was the Dubai World Trade Centre which connected the world at large for business events and exhibitions promoting international trade relations. The highlight of World Trade Centre is that most of the calendar days are fully packed with events and conferences. These events and conferences paved a platform for facilitating and attracting investors around the globe.
Secondly, what I noticed was the expansion of Emirates Airlines from humble beginnings in the year 1985 to becoming one of the world's leading air carriers today. Indeed, with its high levels of service and wide range of destinations, the airline has grown its traffic consistently over the past 27 years. I noticed that the complimenting factor to bring in people to Dubai, the major contribution came from Emirates Airlines due to the high levels of service and comfort extended. The airline is currently operating in and around more than 200 countries, which inspired the people to travel and choose Dubai to be the preferred business destination.
While I was excited to witness the platform created by the World trade Centre facilitating investors to Dubai and the pivotal role played by Emirates Airlines offering quality services to people around the world making travel easy and comfortable, last but not the least, the remarkable role of the Department of Dubai Economic Development requires special mention. I had witnessed the progressive development of the Department of Dubai Economic Development decade by decade, creating investor friendly hassle-free options and thereby recognising the development, safety and security of investments, providing affordable entities which attracted more and more investors to this great country.
I am fortunate to having had the opportunity to participate in the Dubai Quality Award in the early 1990s, the most prestigious award for Government Excellence presided over by Mohamed Alabbar, then Director General of Department of Dubai Economic Development and the current Chairman of Emaar Properties.
I am proud to say that today the UAE stands tall among the most developed and forward-thinking nations of the world. In the current scenario when the world as a whole was juggling with the pandemic, sluggish economic growth and socio-economic crisis, the UAE continued to look ahead and finds solutions on significant challenges. The UAE ranks among the top 10 destinations with regards to the quality of life and services offered and is voted as one the best places on the planet for expats to live, work, and settle. The country enhances its attraction as a destination where individuals can build a good career and settle with their families for the longer haul, be it financial, professional, personal or a combination of all these traits.
The UAE has always upheld and recognised the hard work and dedication of individual and companies in building the country and its socio-cultural values, without any discrimination to religion, class, sector, creed etc. This added value and vigour in me to achieve and make it what I am today and having the privilege to receive the award from Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Co-existence for my Company’s contribution to the healthcare sector under the category of Health insurance organisation of the year in the Health Annual Awards 2023, and for my individual contributions to the healthcare industry to receive the Icon of the UAE Awards 2023 by India Today , from Shashi Tharoor, former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chairman of the Standing Committee.
I always felt this country to be appreciative and rewarding to the well-deserved, not only financially but also socially by showcasing the capabilities and achievements to the public. Thereby, investors while investing in this country have been given the highest levels of hope and assurance that their hard work and contribution would never go unnoticed, and is always welcomed positively attracting more investors to this nation.
Generosity towards people in need has always been a distinctive hallmark of the UAE’s foreign relations. In recent years, the UAE has topped global charts in terms of the amount of assistance given as a share of gross national income of any country in the world., With the majority of the world's countries, the UAE maintains substantial diplomatic and commercial connections.
The UAE has contributed substantial help to developing nations throughout the years, as well as being a major donor of emergency relief to regions impacted by conflict and natural disasters. The vision of the great rulers and the humanitarian approach to society and charitable programmes adopted by this country had all greatly influenced me, and I would consider this to be among the many reasons that influenced me to do charitable services across a broader spectrum.
Ranging from businesses to multinational companies, and from citizens to tourists, the nation is built on diversity, tolerance, safety, international relations etc. These values are reflected in everything that I experienced, more specifically from the strategies developed by the leaders to the way the nation’s economy prospers. I strongly believe these components makes UAE one of the best places on the planet to live, work, and visit.
I can say that we are all very fortunate to live in this great country, with a world Expo to explore, a country that reaches for the stars with the Hope mission to Mars and we can look forward to many more significant achievements and phenomenal growth.
On behalf of Fathima Healthcare Group and myself, I extend our warm congratulations to our leadership: President His Highness Shaikh Mohammad 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 their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, who are the guiding stars of this great nation. I salute this great nation for giving me an opportunity to fulfil my dreams in this country and thereby to contribute a part of my earnings towards social causes in my home country. I wish the UAE a Happy 52nd Union Day!
- The writer is Chairman, FMC Network UAE