x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Stability, security and caring leaders … who needs cold weather?

Emirati uses National Day to count his and his children’s blessings.

Mohammad Al Kamali, at home in Mirdif, says residents of the UAE are left wanting for nothing. Razan Alzayani / The National
Mohammad Al Kamali, at home in Mirdif, says residents of the UAE are left wanting for nothing. Razan Alzayani / The National

"The only things you won't find in the UAE are cold weather and natural greenery," says Mohammad Al Kamali.

But the events and marketing employee is quick to add, with some pride, that residents are not left wanting for anything else.

"See how many visitors come from other countries in the Gulf, Europe and the United States."

Among the many factors he lists as reasons for his appreciation of life in the UAE, the Dubai native points to security and stability as two of the most important.

"I look at the situation of unstable countries in the region and say, 'Alhamdulillah, we are not like them'. Even if we have different ideas, we don't need to go to the streets to talk about it."

Mohammad, 37, adds that even if people wanted to go against the Government here, it would not be to their benefit.

"It is hard to imagine things being better than they are right now."

Weathering the global recession was crucial to the country's continuing stability, he says.

"Because of the wisdom of our leaders we didn't suffer as much. Yes, some projects slowed down but they didn't take our jobs away or even reduce our salaries."

Another key factor was the down-to-earth attitude and availability of the Rulers.

"One of the things you are not going to see anywhere else is your leaders sitting at the next table or walking by themselves," Mohammad says.

He says a former manager of his was shocked to see Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, walking in the Burjuman Mall without any guards.

"The reasons our leaders feel just as safe as we do is because they have done everything in their power to satisfy us."

Many of the leaders visit people around the nation, he says, sometimes at the citizen's request.

"A sick girl asked to see one of the Rulers and he went all the way to her," Mohammad says.

He also regards the UAE as a great country for Emiratis to start their own businesses, and for its education policies.

"I know in Kuwait if you are a government employee they won't give you a business permit, but here I could start one," says Mohammad, who works for the Abu Dhabi Educational Council.

"You have to pay for education in a lot of countries and here, from the moment we are born until we graduate from college, we get it for free."

Emiratisation, he says, has also benefited nationals and brought citizens' unemployment down, although he does not agree with the policy completely.

"It is good and bad, but we are such a small minority and have so many expatriates.

"Companies that are obligated to hire locals usually go for quantity and not quality."

The idea of a multicultural society living in harmony also creates an enjoyable environment.

"We all live under one roof in peace because very few Emiratis see themselves as superior," Mohammad says. "And the reason for that is our Rulers don't feel superior."

The father of five is now passing on his love for the UAE to his children.

"I try to tell them the story of the UAE and show them pictures of the country and leaders of the past, Mohammad says.

"Now they say Baba Zayed and Baba Khalifa," referring to the late President Sheikh Zayed and his son, the President Sheikh Khalifa, as their father.

"My wish for the future of my children is that the UAE does not change; that it always stays as peaceful and harmonious as it is now."

talsubaihi@thenational.ae