Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

All Emiratis have to share the burden of building the nation

A relevant question to ask at this time of the year is: how did I contribute to this country in the last 365 days?

Our beloved UAE has turned 42. The streets, buildings and cars have been embellished with the flag colour: red, green, white and black. Giggles, laughter and joy have filled the air.

Last year, before the UAE National Day celebration commenced, nationals and expatriates received an SMS message of greetings from Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid, the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, congratulating them on the occasion. As an Emirati, I was overwhelmed with joy and honour when I read the name of the sender. I wonder, how much happiness a non-Emirati received through that single message from Sheikh Mohammed.

In a recent interview, an Indian man who witnessed the growth of the UAE said: “In India, we don’t even get a glimpse of our government, but in the UAE, the leader can be found sitting with multiple nationalities.”

Year on year, we are reminded of the profound changes this country underwent and the many milestones it has achieved in a short period of time. One question I ask myself at this time of the year is: how did I contribute to this country in the last 365 days? How can I ever repay the debt to our national leaders? 

While the Arab Spring left many youth devastated and unemployed, leaving few opportunities to connect with their communities, our government on the other hand is on a constant mission to elevate the youth up to a higher position.

It is incredibly overwhelming how the Emiratisation programme is getting tougher. The Federal National Council (FNC) is pushing harder to make Emiratisation a law rather than a policy.

The government has set up a programme to increase salaries in the private sector to reduce the unemployment rate. Instead of criticising our leaders’ lenience and pampering, Emiratis need to participate in their country’s diversification plans, regardless of the industry or sector.

No doubt, many Emiratis do not have to sweat to find a job, and without asking or urging, food is always served on our plates. Every time I read that many Emiratis do not find jobs in the private sector appealing, I am bewildered. How are we going to hold managerial positions and lead this country?

Working hours and salary vary from public to private, but such factors shouldn’t put off Emiratis from engaging in both sectors. We are provided with proper education, training and skills development, but what is required of Emiratis is the intellectual capacity.

I can’t think of another government that is meticulous in providing all possible means of comfort, progress and property to its people. If we work extra hours and exhaust ourselves, we are only benefiting ourselves plus safeguarding the future generation.

Emiratis should not overlook the many contributions by expatriates – from infrastructure to health care.

When our country was still a desert, people of other nations spent the time and effort to build it. Today, many of us are enjoying the product of that effort.

If we were to witness the growth of this country from scratch, we would be scattered in all sectors for the love of this country. In any company, Emiratis should not feel belittled to learn from people of other nationalities who have a better understanding of life and have experience, skills and qualifications.

One lesson I learnt from the late founding father, Sheikh Zayed, is to have a long-term vision. Some Emiratis I spoke to have the vision of being in the highest position in a well-known company. Such vision could certainly be achieved, but only through patience, maturity, perseverance, skills and knowledge.

The role of a manager or director is to make decisions and make others work efficiently, but if the former lacks proper strategy and planning, the younger staff will not be able to reach their potential. One of the most important resources in any economy is the people.

While our leaders are working hard to give citizens what they aspire for, let Emiratis also stand up and share the responsibility of carrying the leadership burden on their shoulder for the betterment of their country.

aalhameli@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Ali Benflis, opposition leader and main rival to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika speaks to the press after casting his vote in the presidential elections at a polling station in Algiers on. Former prime minister Benflis ran against Bouteflika in 2004 but lost heavily, charging the vote was rigged 10 years ago and has said fraud will be his ‘main adversary’ during the election. Patrick Baz / AFP Photo

Best photography from around the world, April 17

The National View's photo editors pick the best images of the day from around the world.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

Video: Local reactions to a national fishing ban

A federal fishing ban has been imposed by the UAE federal government, but local authorities are taking diiferent approaches to implementing the ban. Two fishermen tell two very different sides of the story. Produced by Paul O'Driscoll

 Walter Zenga is one win away from claiming silverware for the first time in the UAE. Karim Jaafar / AFP

Walter Zenga seeks early retribution at Al Jazira in Arabian Gulf Cup final

A victory over Al Ahli in the Arabian Gulf Cup final will help prove the Italian has turned around the fortunes of the capital club.

 The new Bentley GT Speed convertible on display at a press event of the New York International Auto Show. Jason Szenes / EPA

In pictures: Hot cars at New York International Auto Show

With more than 1 million visitors annually, the New York International Auto Show is one of the most important shows for the US car industry. Here are some of the vehicles to be shown in this year’s edition.

 The cast of Fast & Furious 7, including Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel, centre, on set at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Fast & Furious 7 filming in full swing at Emirates Palace

Filming for Fast & Furious 7 has started and we have the first photos of the cast and crew on set at Emirates Palace hotel this morning. Visitors staying at Emirates Palace say they have been kept away from certain areas in the grounds.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National