On December 1, many in the UAE received a call from the number 1971, a number which coincides with the birth year of the country.
When we answered the call, it was a pre-recorded message from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.
People took screenshots of the call and posted happy messages on their social media channels. It was a wonderful, and a thoughtful surprise to receive a congratulatory message from Sheikh Mohammed on the UAE’s 47th National Day.
On the same day, it was also announced that the UAE’s passport ranked first on the Global Passport Index, making it the most powerful in the world, surpassing countries such as the United States, and the United Kingdom. The goal was achieved three years ahead of its deadline.
If someone told us five years ago about this achievement, we may not have believed how fast we would be able to realise that.
All of this luxury we enjoy today with our travels was made possible because of the hard work of Sheikh Abdulla Bin Zayed, UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and his dedicated team.
Though all seems great, it is certainly not nearly close to the end of achieving the milestones the leaders have in mind. The UAE is working towards other grand goals such as becoming the number one tourist destination in the world by 2025.
When someone asks me,what inspires me in my business, I always refer to the UAE. We live in a country where we are constantly motivated to be our best and to conduct our work in excellence. Nothing is too small, and no goal is unattainable.
The UAE’s continuous success story provides important lessons that businesses worldwide can benefit from:
Foster a culture of motivation
The UAE's leaders lead by example. They are hard workers, and most importantly acknowledge the achievements, and work for their citizens and residents. Achieving the passport goal in the UAE ahead of its designated deadline was not an easy task. While we were spending last summer with the company of our family and loved ones, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed was spending a lot of his time in the air, away from his family and country, working towards achieving this goal.
When you are running a business, you need to lead by example too. You need to create the culture that would allow your employees to create and make a difference. You cannot isolate yourself from that equation. You are your company. You are your business. What you do, and how you do it, will be reflected across your business. If you want your business to be number one, you need to create a culture where your team aims to be number one, where they are always inspired and motivated to do so.
Always aim for the stars
If the UAE’s story could teach us anything it is that nothing is impossible. Less than 50 years ago, many people in the world didn’t even hear about Dubai or Abu Dhabi, but now they are competing with cities such as London and New York. The UAE passport is number one in the world, and 200 nationalities are choosing to make this country their home.
Our founding father Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan realised this early on. Photos of him sketching his dreams in the sand are engraved in the memories of many Emiratis. He aimed for the stars, saw opportunities when people could not see past what was in front of them, and most importantly he realised his dreams, and that of his people.
Commitment should lead the way
Last but not least, in order to lead a successful business, you need to realise that commitment is the way to go. If you want to achieve that dream it is not going to happen if you put in one hour of work a week. It is not going to happen if you visit the idea from time to time. The only way you will realise your dreams is if you lived and breathed them, if you commit to them 100 per cent, day in, and day out.
Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati journalist and entrepreneur, who manages her marketing and communications firm in Abu Dhabi.