Vice-President pens heartfelt article about the qualities of the President
His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, praised the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Tuesday, describing him as a “unique international leader and a successful man, who is loved by his people”.
He said the President has “a different approach to leadership” and a unique philosophy on leading the country. The President has a new approach to creating happiness for his people, “since his philosophy is based on the concept of a human being”.
Shaikh Mohammed made these remarks in an article titled ‘Thank You, Khalifa’.
He wrote: “Seven years ago, immediately after assuming the office of the Vice President and Prime Minister, I held several meetings with officials in the federal Government, and assigned a work team to conduct a number of quick surveys on the most important needs of the citizens and the needs that we should meet in the work of the government.
“After I had a clear idea on what we needed and what the citizens needed from us, I paid a visit to the President one afternoon. He received me with his usual smile that all of us are familiar with; any one who has met with the President would know his smile. I presented to him the most important priorities in my work plan, the most important changes that needed to be made in the government, and the most important future phases.”
Shaikh Mohammed said the President responded by saying that with the blessings of Allah, “we are one team”.
“If you are short of anything, I will complete it. The needs of the citizens will be a priority for all of us,” Shaikh Mohammed quoted Shaikh Khalifa as saying.
“I know Shaikh Khalifa has his own research on various projects and follows up on the citizens’ conditions, but I was surprised at the accuracy of his information when we started working in the field,” Shaikh Mohammed wrote.
He illustrated this with an example, saying that they received complaints from Emirati fishermen in a remote area, who needed a small fishing port. When directions were issued to meet the demand, he was surprised to see that the President’s work team had already earmarked a budget and put it in their plans before they did.
“We asked for the number of citizens who were in need of rebuilding their houses, and surprisingly we found the lists were ready in the Presidential court, and were being studied.
“We always follow the live broadcasts about citizens’ complaints regarding unpaid bank loans and I directed the work team to make a study on the issue with the authorities concerned. They told us that the President had asked them to make the same study and that the staff in the Presidential court had told them that Shaikh Khalifa had allocated Dh10 billion for the same,” Shaikh Mohammed wrote.
When Shaikh Mohammed announced 2013 as a year of Emiratisation, to his surprise, he found there was a similar project with the President to find jobs for 25,000 citizens.
In 2010, he had several meetings with local governments to coordinate plans. Some Emiratis expressed the need for roads in certain areas, he said.
“We decided to conduct a survey. I was told by Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, that the study was ready as per a request from the President on the infrastructure development in the UAE, and that he would double the budget for these projects to the tune of Dh20 billion nationwide.
“The same was repeated in the housing project, new hospital project and other projects. We discussed new government policies with the banks to support young people with small and medium projects. I was surprised when Shaikh Mansour said that Shaikh Khalifa would establish a fund for this purpose and will cover the whole country so as to develop the projects of the youth, with an investment of Dh2 billion.”
A testimony to the President’s farsightedness
“Today, I write this article not to commend the President but as a testimony to the fact that when we rush to do something for the benefit of the citizens, we find the President has done it before us. I write this to tell leaders everywhere that the needs of the citizens can be met without much hue and cry. I write this so that many generations may know that Shaikh Khalifa, from the time he took up government responsibilities in the 1960s until today, has never stopped meeting the needs of his people and solving their problems.”
Shaikh Khalifa covers expenses of the health care of citizens, pays off citizens’ liabilities, follows up on housing programmes, pardons prisoners, honours expatriate residents and provides help for the underprivileged people, despite his pressing engagement with affairs of the country and its citizens. He is, Shaikh Mohammed said, one of those leaders who care greatly about the needs of other peoples.
“He is a leading international personality who helps others, shows mercy to the poor, the homeless and the hungry. His big heart, sensitive feelings and humane qualities have made him a source of pride for all of us in the field of charitable work.
“When the wise man of the Arabs, the late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan, decided to appoint Shaikh Khalifa as the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi in 1969, he was only 21. Shaikh Zayed understood the characteristics of that calm young man, his foresightedness and his love to serve people,” Shaikh Mohammed wrote.
For Shaikh Khalifa, every citizen is a priority, everyone deserves to live a dignified life, every woman deserves to achieve her ambitions, every patient deserves to receive medical treatment, every family has the right to be housed, every needy person deserves help, regardless of his place, work, gender or religion. Shaikh Khalifa finds all this to be his responsibility and duty, and is a priority on his agenda, Shaikh Mohammed wrote.
“Khalifa is an international unique leader — successful and loved by his people. He works calmly, follows up closely and is a hard worker. He is a leader and a role model.
“I extend thanks to him on behalf of myself, every citizen, family, fisherman, teacher, engineer and doctor and other people. I extend thanks on behalf of thousands of people, who got jobs; thousands of patients, whose medical expenses he bore; and many needy people, whose debts he paid. I thank him on behalf of the UAE, to which he gave his thoughts, time, life and efforts, until it reached global standards. I thank him and call upon everyone to thank him,” he concluded.