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The Sheikh's vision (Part 1 of 2) - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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I could not wait for my copy of the new book by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum entitled ‘My Vision,’ to arrive so I bought it from Dubai’s airport. It was one of the few times that I would voluntarily purchase a book by any Arab official. Most of you know Dubai, despite that only a few people have visited this part of the Emirates in particular, which is popular throughout the region. Those who have visited the city do not need to read the book by its ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum, as a glimpse of the city of Dubai from its airport reveals Sheikh Mohammed’s philosophy and vision.

For those however, who want to know what is behind the bricks, replicated islands and floods of visitors who arrive from all over the world, they will have to read ‘My Vision.’ The book’s author is the developer of the new Arab society of Dubai that is home to the biggest share of activities and the least amount of laws. The book is not one of egocentrism and self-glorification like those of other Arab leaders. The book is also no fictional fantasy such as, ‘Get Out of Here, Curse You,’ by the former Iraqi President, Saddam Hussein. Sheikh Mohammed’s book is simply a personal, humane reflection with a large amount of positive charge and a projection of hope.

Sheikh Mohammed is a skilled buyer and seller in politics and development as he successfully sold his ideas to Arabs and foreigners alike. He realized that the whole world from Asia to the Americas is the limit for the small city of Dubai. The book is no revelation of secrets, but rather an implied correction of disillusioned myths, which claim that Dubai was established upon an oil boom or money laundering endeavors or that Dubai had exploited used the political and social defects of neighboring countries. The author’s vision is not a complicated one in fact it is based upon limitless aspirations and persistence to succeed. We must remember that Sheikh Mohammed is a man who believes that he cannot win the race that is based on the simple secret of sound administration.

Besides being an independent work project, Dubai is a haven for all those escaping regional dilemmas. Dubai is home to refugees, those escaping the bureaucracy of Arab states and others fleeing political oppression as well as those who are ambitious to fulfill their dreams. People in Dubai, especially those who may have heard the rumors that Dubai’s success can be explained by conspiracy theories might not understand that such success is based upon sound administration or established systems and that the absence of these two factors simply means failure.

Dubai was not established following an economic boost from oil reserves or the aid of donors. Dubai could have been Cairo, Damascus, Manama or Casablanca. The question is would these cities be able to purge themselves of bureaucracy and corruption? If they did, these cities would flourish with ideas, ambition, wealth and the high quality of life that Dubai is now enjoying. The truth is that these cities suffer from the lack of a good climate, skilled labor and open space upon which potential projects could be established.

If we were to further comment on the author of the book, we would simply thank Sheikh Mohammed him for the timing of the publication, after already establishing his Emirate rather than beforehand. We do not need books of advice or lectures, but rather we require a real model that we can observe and examine.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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