04 January 2021

15 years of Sheikh Mohammed's leadership: A tribute to a visionary leader

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Everyone loves a visionary, a trailblazer, a newsmaker, an icon. And there’s no arguing that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, has exemplified all those things and more upon assuming this role on January 4, 2006.

In the 15 years since his accession, Sheikh Mohammed has come to personify what achieving the impossible looks like. From creating the principles of strategic planning in government to launching the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission to overseeing some of the biggest legislative reforms in the history of the UAE, he has — in large part — been responsible for putting a young and ‘tiny’ desert nation on the world map. In refusing to be anything but the best, he has forced the world to sit up and take notice of the young Arab country that is far ahead of its time — and still making extraordinary headlines.

At the start of 2020, Sheikh Mohammed had announced that the theme for the year would be to prepare for the next 50 years. The novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic brought many countries to its knees, but through visionary leadership and careful implementation of a stringent screening and testing programme, the UAE has continued undeterred in meeting its goals and is winning the contagion challenge. It’s quite telling that the Dubai ruler topped Twitter trends in 2020. His Twitter account — through which he regularly engages with his robust 10-million-strong followers — was not just a source of important information, but of inspiration. With a finger on the pulse of the next generation, the UAE Vice-President delighted fans by signing up on TikTok too last month. And his inaugural post on the platform perfectly encapsulated the very heart of his ethos: there’s no slowing down in the UAE. One only needs to look back at the last 15 years to see how much that maxim rings true — not to mention, the diverse sectors it encompasses in its bid to push the boundaries of excellence. Dubai’s investment in stunning landmarks — whether the iconic Burj Khalifa or the massive man-made Dubai Canal — continues to make the emirate a top draw for international travellers.In 2013, it had defeated rival bids to become the first Arab and Middle Eastern city to host the Expo in 2020 (now on track for October 2021).

In 2017, government entities were instructed to submit plans under the Dubai 10X initiative that would place the city as the world’s future capital in the next 10 years. The bar is no less in the area of philanthropy either, with the UAE easily superseding Sheikh Mohammed’s goal of 10 million meals for those in need last year. The Dubai ruler has proven himself the epitome of leadership over the past 15 years. Here’s to the next 15.

Source: Khaleej Times

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