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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 October 2018

Helping Emiratis is the Bin Ham way

Sheikh Dr Mohammed Musallam bin Ham has followed in his family's footsteps, serving citizens of the UAE for three generations.
Sheikh Dr Mohammed Musallem bin Ham (Abu Dhabi) speaks during a FNC meeting. Fatima Al Marzooqi / The National
Sheikh Dr Mohammed Musallem bin Ham (Abu Dhabi) speaks during a FNC meeting. Fatima Al Marzooqi / The National

ABU DHABI // As a Federal National Council member, helping Emiratis and passing their voice to the leadership is part of this man’s family’s legacy.

Sheikh Dr Mohammed Musallam bin Ham, son of Sheikh Musallam of Awamer tribe, has been equipping himself from a young age for the day he could serve his country.

As a child, Dr bin Ham, now vice president of the Bin Ham Group, would accompany his father and grandfather, listening as Emiratis requested their help.

His grandfather, Salem, born in 1925, was often found accompanying Sheikh Zayed, who eventually became the father of the country.

Sheikh Salem’s role in society started before the formation of the state. He was one of the first to help ensure Abu Dhabi’s security. At a time when the region suffered political and security tensions, he helped put an end to street bandits and other organised crime.

Even after the UAE was established, the Sheikh’s role did not stop. Upon orders from Sheikh Zayed, he helped reconcile tribes and ended their disputes.

Later he become a member of the first advisory council in the UAE. As his majlis was always open, so was his son’s and now his grandson’s.

“Before joining the council, me and my father have tried to serve others through our majlis,” Dr bin Ham said. “We always try to do what we can. This is something small to repay our beloved country.”

In the council, Dr bin Ham has so far asked six questions to the Government and passed on three recommendations to the Cabinet, including a request to tighten security at the country’s borders to ensure illegal and fake goods would not enter.

“No doubt I am happy that I became a member of the FNC,” he said. “I feel like I have done my part of returning the favour. I am ready to serve in any field, not just the FNC. The FNC is just one place you can serve; there are many other places you can serve in as well.”

Dr bin Ham said he has focused on working to amend laws “for the nationals’ best interest”, focusing on education and health issues.

He said he was greatly satisfied by the complete transparency of the council and the solidarity of its members.

“Yes, there was a struggle to balance between work outside and inside,” he said. “Sometimes I would feel that I would just about manage to balance the two. I was surprised by the amount of work in the council.”

As a Sheikh of Awamer tribe, Dr bin Ham has a number of outside obligations, including attending wedding ceremonies and other social events.

“If the people voted for me again, I would be happy to return to the FNC. I am ready,” he said.

Today, the name bin Ham has become a well-known local and international brand for many services.

“Bin Ham has done a lot to serve the country’s economy,” he said. “In infrastructure, in health and even parks. Also in tourism, we have opened a number of hotels. This is all for the economy. We have contributed in culture, as well, with a number of publications on the country and the wise leadership.”

osalem@thenational.ae