x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Crown Prince throws open court to public

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed meets the Rulers of the other emirates, and spends time listening to the needs and requests of "his sons".

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, meets with Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, at the Falaj al Mu'alla Palace in Sharjah.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, meets with Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, at the Falaj al Mu'alla Palace in Sharjah.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, rounded off the third day of his Northern Emirates tour by meeting Emirati members of the public at his court in Al Dhaid.

The event capped a busy few days for Sheikh Mohammed, who has used the tour to meet the leaders of the other emirates and many of their subjects.

He has been receiving Emiratis from across the country, many of whom have been brought in on buses, to show his support for them and has said nothing will stop the country's leadership from caring about their issues and welfare.

"A dad is meeting his sons," said Musabah Al Ketbi, an FNC member from Sharjah who joined Sheikh Mohammed for lunch yesterday at Mohamed Sultan Al Ketbi's house in Al Dhaid. "He has come to meet the sons of his country."

Mr Al Ketbi said the Crown Prince had his arms open to all and listened to everyone's requests.

"Sheikh Mohammed met with disabled people, the young, and specifically the elderly," he said.

Mr Al Ketbi said residents in the area shared the excitement at meeting the "down to earth" leader.

"We are used to this since Sheikh Zayed," he said. "He used to always follow up with his people."

Sheikh Mohammed's tour comes almost a year to the day after a similar visit prompted large-scale job creation and infrastructure projects.

Earlier yesterday in Al Dhaid, the Crown Prince met Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Ruler of Dubai and Vice President. He also met Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed, Ruler of Fujairah, yesterday morning.

On Wednesday he met fishermen in the Al Mairid district of Ras Al Khaimah and stressed the important role their profession played in the socio-economic development of the country.

The fishermen took the opportunity to tell the Crown Prince of their needs and said his support, and that of President Sheikh Khalifa, had encouraged them to continue in their jobs.

Sheikh Mohammed joined Sheikh Saud bin Saqr, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, in a visit to the Zayed Heritage Village. The two royals were given a guided tour by the founder of the village, Said Laha Al Shehhi, who created the attraction at his own expense in 2005.

"Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed greeted every one of the capacity 1,200 local guests while talking and discussing their concerns and issues," said Mr Al Shehhi.

He expressed gratitude for the visit and said he had taken the opportunity "to discuss Emirati heritage and history" with Sheikh Mohammed.

Also on Wednesday, the Crown Prince met Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid, Ruler of Ajman, while on Tuesday, he met Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed, Ruler of Sharjah, and Sheikh Saud bin Rashid, Ruler of Umm Al Quwain.

Sheikh Mohammed conducted a similar tour of the region last February, primarily to check on living conditions.

A few days after his visit, it was reported by the state news agency Wam that the President had asked him to "make the needs of the citizens the highest priority of the Government", as well as to "inspect the level of services provided to citizens by governmental departments".

Two months later, the Ministry of Economy announced job creation and infrastructure projects would follow.

tsubaihi@thenational.ae

osalem@thenational.ae