I spent my free time over the past few weeks looking through my school photo albums.
Although my parents took countless photos to document my youth, some of my favourite snapshots were taken during the UAE’s National Day celebrations at school.
Surrounded by smiling classmates dressed up in colourful traditional dresses, what I enjoyed most about every National Day celebration is how we always had more things to celebrate every year. My classmates and I would look back at the UAE’s achievements over the past year and wonder what we would be celebrating next.
I consider myself lucky growing up during a time when the UAE underwent massive developments. I witnessed our country break records, achieve milestones and watched as it literally took off to explore the universe.
I grew up in a country that doesn’t believe in the word “impossible”. Instead, it is a country that embodies the question: “Why not?”
Last Thursday, we celebrated the UAE’s Golden Jubilee. For the past 50 years, the UAE has not only developed into one of the safest and most technologically advanced countries, but it has also become an oasis of hope and prosperity, especially for entrepreneurs and people with various talents.
The Jubilee celebrations inspired me to think about the words that best describe the Emirates. For me they are: “A visionary country”.
Our Founding Fathers’ vision, the determination to pursue every goal for our nation and people, inspired many to follow suit and embody that attitude in their personal and professional lives.
Having a vision isn’t only important when developing a country, it is equally important when it comes to running a business.
The UAE’s vision to strive for excellence – to not rest on one's laurels and continuously aim higher – is a reminder to business owners to dare to dream bigger and not stop once they have achieved their goals.
The UAE’s vision encourages us to continuously push our potential and explore what we can achieve next. After all, how far can we go if we never dared to fly?
As we look back at the UAE’s past achievements, we realise we can go further in our business journey if our team is driven by our vision and if that vision becomes an integral part of our company’s culture.
Even though the UAE is an oil-rich country, our leaders often state that people are its most precious wealth. You can start by telling your team about your vision, why it’s important and how they can help you to achieve that and be part of the story.
Invest in your teams and create an environment that encourages them to grow. Involve your team members, listen to their feedback and encourage innovation. Together with our teams, we can go further and achieve our goals.
Our vision should also evolve with time. The UAE is already working towards its Centennial 2071 plan; a reminder that the success stories we witness today are the result of years of dedication and perseverance.
Set your ultimate goal and break it down into multiple minor goals. That way, you can work more strategically and not feel burnt out.
As we embark on the next 50 years, I hope that more of us take the time to think about our visions for our businesses.
What effect can we have in this world? And how can our team be a part of this story?
If the past 50 years have proved anything, it is that nothing is impossible. If we aim for the stars, we can reach them and if the UAE can turn a desert nation into a thriving global hub, then we can achieve anything. We just need that vision to drive us.
Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati writer and communications consultant based in Abu Dhabi. Twitter: @manar_alhinai