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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 October 2018

Sheikh Saif: Tackling of Dubai hotel fire an example of UAE’s ‘integrated doctrine’

Sheikh Saif told the summit on Monday that the fire at The Address Downtown Dubai hotel on New Year’s Eve was a good example of that doctrine, and that if the Government was well prepared future outcomes would be managed successfully.
Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, during the World Government Summit in Dubai. Satish Kumar / The National
Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, during the World Government Summit in Dubai. Satish Kumar / The National

DUBAI // Preparation and the Government’s “integrated doctrine” are key to shaping the UAE’s future, says Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior.

Sheikh Saif told the summit on Monday that the fire at The Address Downtown Dubai hotel on New Year’s Eve was a good example of that doctrine, and that if the Government was well prepared future outcomes would be managed successfully.

“Otherwise they will be adverse,” said Sheikh Saif.

“The start of shaping the future of that incident did not start in 2015. It goes back to 2003, when we had a fire that was mismanaged. Response should take place in the past, not in the present.”

With 1.5 million people in the vicinity that night, Sheikh Saif said cooperation between the Government and society helped to avoid more serious damage.

“Three days after the incident, we were able to communicate with the people through social media to discern their assessment of the incident,” he said. “We wanted to improve our performance, services and the UAE’s standard of living.

“The result is that the satisfaction percentage was 98 per cent from Emiratis and non-nationals residing here.”

He also compared the incident to the crisis in Yemen.

“We had a fire here and we also had a fire in Yemen,” Sheikh Saif said. “Failing to intervene with the hotel fire incident with more than 700 guests would have been a disaster and the fire would have spread to neighbouring buildings.

“Had we not intervened in Yemen, the fire would have spilt over into adjacent countries and our own houses. And as we were successful in extinguishing The Address fire, we will be successful in extinguishing the fire in Yemen.”

The UAE has set up 13 police stations, six power plants, 19 health centres and 69 schools in Yemen, he said. “This is the UAE agenda in Yemen,” Sheikh Saif said.

“We went to Yemen to restore hope and give back rights to its people. The doctrine of the state should be one that gathers rather than divides, constructs rather than destroys, and this is the integrated doctrine of the Emiratis.”

He commended the families of those who have died while fulfilling their national duty.

“I believe it is the highest role model for integration, especially the mother of a martyr,” Sheikh Saif said.

“She asks for his brother to replace his sibling who fell in battle to defend what is right. This is integrated doctrine.”

cmalek@thenational.ae