x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

School of Leadership founded by Dubai Ruler will be fruitful for decades, says son

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s initiative to build the Dubai Internet City reflects his vision in making the UAE a pioneer and a leader in the knowledge-based economy, laying a strong foundation for the future

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s creation of the Dubai Internet City was inspired by the lessons he gleaned from the founding of the UAE. Wam
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s creation of the Dubai Internet City was inspired by the lessons he gleaned from the founding of the UAE. Wam

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s initiative to build the Dubai Internet City reflects his vision in making the UAE a pioneer and a leader in the knowledge-based economy, laying a strong foundation for the future

It was God’s will that my siblings and I were granted the opportunity to learn from a leader whose vision dazzled the world, who grasped matters of the greatest weight, who saw beyond the present and who took the initiative.

That leader is my father, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who celebrated a decade of leadership this week.

Ten years are many for those who count the days, but for those who count achievements, they are very few. An inspiring leader who loves his homeland and his people, his limitless ambitions increase the hope for a bountiful and prosperous future to be enjoyed by all those who live in the UAE.

The School of Leadership founded by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid will undoubtedly bear great fruit for decades to come.

Today, I wish to touch on one pillar among the many that make up this School of Leadership, namely the importance His Highness places on the youth and his confidence in the young.

One evening a few years ago, as we sat with our father at dinner, he asked me about the impact of technology on people’s lives and how we can use it to achieve happiness and comfort.

I was still quite young then, and the information revolution was still in its infancy. As the world stood on the threshold of a new era, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid saw that technology – particularly in communications and information – would change the world as we knew it.

My father asked me to drop by his office early the next morning – he always starts his day early – to discuss a matter of great importance, one he described as unconventional but which would play a significant role in changing the economy of Dubai, the UAE and perhaps that of the entire region.

I spent a restless night thinking about this project and the responsibility that came with it. His Highness was testing me, but I felt reassured because a leader is thorough in assessing those he calls to duty.

The following morning, I went to my father’s office as instructed. There, he revealed the Dubai Internet City project, one he wished would take the UAE into the era of the knowledge-based economy.

That expression was new in the Arab world, indeed only freshly coined in the West.

Sheikh Mohammed was keen on making our nation a pioneer and leader in this field. He grasped the implications of technology on our lives, particularly at an economic level.

I, too, take great pride in the success we have achieved with Dubai Internet City, that cornerstone established by Sheikh Mohammed in the development of a strong knowledge-based economy, which competes with the strongest in the world and teaches lessons in economic leadership.

The man behind the creation of this technological fortress was inspired by lessons he gleaned as he witnessed the founding of the UAE.

I am filled with happiness when I wander through the halls of Dubai Internet City and witness this growth that has not ceased since its launch. More than 1,500 international and regional companies have chosen Dubai as their partner in their journey to the future.

Internet City is a platform from which Dubai launches into a broader horizon of success and excellence.

Those are two terms from Dubai’s glossary, marking its path towards development, during a decade in which achievements doubled and its ambition grew with the strong support, determination and sincerity of a leader who dedicated himself to the service of his country and devoted his time to think about everything that can benefit his country and its people, to reach the heights and stay “number one”.

Today, thanks to this vision, we persevere in our journey of work and development, guided by the ambitions and hopes that that vision carries as we move from laying the foundations of a knowledge-based economy to establishing a Global Smart City; from the establishment of “e-government” functions to the era of “smart government”.

Greater things, big hopes and grand ambitions are still to come as we renew our covenant with Sheikh Mohammed, the leader of the renaissance.

We promise to persevere, to discover more opportunities and to elevate our nation to the highest ranks of happiness and prosperity. We promise to always be worthy of the great responsibilities towards our country and its people, as entrusted to us by His Highness.

Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai