Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 27 May 2019

Sheikha Mariam: UAE traditions imperative to country's future

The daughter of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, addressed attendees on the final day of the World Government Summit in Dubai

Sheikha Maryam bint Mohamed bin Zayed shared this childhood picture of her with her father, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, during a talk at the World Government Summit. 
Sheikha Maryam bint Mohamed bin Zayed shared this childhood picture of her with her father, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, during a talk at the World Government Summit. 

The UAE's values and traditions are as important today as they were in the past, and they are "imperative" to the country's future, Sheikha Mariam bint Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has said.

Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai on Tuesday, the chair of the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation board of trustees and daughter of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, said that these traditions showed leaders how to lead and communities how to grow.

The traditions passed down through Bedouin culture, as taught by previous generations, provide a sound framework for developing communities that have impact, Sheikha Mariam said.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, tours a taster for the much-awaited Museum of the Future during the 2019 World Government Summit. Rashed Al Mansoori / Ministry of Presidential Affairs 
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, tours a taster for the much-awaited Museum of the Future during the 2019 World Government Summit. Rashed Al Mansoori / Ministry of Presidential Affairs 

"The collaborative principles of the majlis, the wisdom and lessons imparted through storytelling, the innovation, creativity and the Bedouin spirit of survival, all provide a blueprint for a prosperous future," she said.

"Leaders lead best when they empower their people, when they raise everyone up. It’s not about taking charge of others. It’s about taking responsibility for one another. That’s how Bedouins survived, that’s how communities grow. That’s what we teach our children today."

During the discussion, named Choosing the Future We Came From, she also shared a number of personal stories and lessons learnt from her father, her mother, Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, grandfather, founding President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, and grandmother, Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak.

"The vision of Sheikh Zayed has given us a national identity that we are proud of," she said.

"I encourage our youth to participate in these important cultural and traditional events, especially our national celebrations, and to share in these celebrations with their families and neighbours."

She also thanked President Sheikh Khalifa, her uncle, for his tireless efforts and commitment to investing in the people of the UAE.

The Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, which is based in Abu Dhabi, was founded by Sheikha Mariam and her siblings in 2010 to honour the community service their mother took part in.

With a mission to "invest in the future of the UAE by investing in its people", the foundation develops and supports initiatives across the arts, culture and heritage, as well the fields of early childhood development and health.

Sheikha Mariam said the values of the past fuel the success of the foundation.

"We established the foundation to embody the best of our past," she said, adding that the work they did was a responsibility not a "token of prestige".

"We practice honest and compassionate communication, decision-making that is inclusive of many perspectives, and we meet the future with fierce optimism that fuels our creativity."

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World Government Summit - in pictures

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The World Government Summit gathers global leaders in government and public policy, as well as well-known faces, to "shape the future of governments".

It concluded on Tuesday after three days of discussion and debate, with speakers this year including the president of the United Nations General Assembly, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, and Star Wars actor Harrison Ford.

Updated: February 13, 2019 08:33 AM

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