ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - December 02, 2018: A general view of "This is Zayed, This is UAE' performance during the 47th UAE National Day celebrations, at Zayed Sports City.

( Mohamed Al Hammadi / Ministry of Presidential Affairs )
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. Mohamed Al Hammadi / Ministry of PresiShow more

Let the UAE be the role model of business owners

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.


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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.


Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★


Ali Kasheif, Salim Rashid, Khalifa Al Hammadi, Khalfan Mubarak, Ali Mabkhout, Omar Abdulrahman, Mohammed Al Attas, Abdullah Ramadan, Zayed Al Ameri (Al Jazira), Mohammed Al Shamsi, Hamdan Al Kamali, Mohammed Barghash, Khalil Al Hammadi (Al Wahda), Khalid Essa, Mohammed Shaker, Ahmed Barman, Bandar Al Ahbabi (Al Ain), Al Hassan Saleh, Majid Suroor (Sharjah) Walid Abbas, Ahmed Khalil (Shabab Al Ahli), Tariq Ahmed, Jasim Yaqoub (Al Nasr), Ali Saleh, Ali Salmeen (Al Wasl), Hassan Al Muharami (Baniyas) 


Director: Nayla Al Khaja

Starring: Jefferson Hall, Faten Ahmed, Noura Alabed, Saud Alzarooni

Rating: 3.5/5

Ready Player One
Dir: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Mark Rylance

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets

The flights
Emirates, Etihad and Malaysia Airlines all fly direct from the UAE to Kuala Lumpur and on to Penang from about Dh2,300 return, including taxes. 

Where to stay
In Kuala Lumpur, Element is a recently opened, futuristic hotel high up in a Norman Foster-designed skyscraper. Rooms cost from Dh400 per night, including taxes. Hotel Stripes, also in KL, is a great value design hotel, with an infinity rooftop pool. Rooms cost from Dh310, including taxes. 

In Penang, Ren i Tang is a boutique b&b in what was once an ancient Chinese Medicine Hall in the centre of Little India. Rooms cost from Dh220, including taxes.
23 Love Lane in Penang is a luxury boutique heritage hotel in a converted mansion, with private tropical gardens. Rooms cost from Dh400, including taxes. 
In Langkawi, Temple Tree is a unique architectural villa hotel consisting of antique houses from all across Malaysia. Rooms cost from Dh350, including taxes.


Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

The Roundup : No Way Out

Director: Lee Sang-yong
Stars: Don Lee, Lee Jun-hyuk, Munetaka Aoki
Rating: 3/5

Tips for used car buyers
  • Choose cars with GCC specifications
  • Get a service history for cars less than five years old
  • Don’t go cheap on the inspection
  • Check for oil leaks
  • Do a Google search on the standard problems for your car model
  • Do your due diligence. Get a transfer of ownership done at an official RTA centre
  • Check the vehicle’s condition. You don’t want to buy a car that’s a good deal but ends up costing you Dh10,000 in repairs every month
  • Validate warranty and service contracts with the relevant agency and and make sure they are valid when ownership is transferred
  • If you are planning to sell the car soon, buy one with a good resale value. The two most popular cars in the UAE are black or white in colour and other colours are harder to sell

Tarek Kabrit, chief executive of Seez, and Imad Hammad, chief executive and co-founder of CarSwitch.com

Company profile

Company: Zywa
Started: 2021
Founders: Nuha Hashem and Alok Kumar
Based: UAE
Industry: FinTech
Funding size: $3m
Company valuation: $30m

In-demand jobs and monthly salaries
  • Technology expert in robotics and automation: Dh20,000 to Dh40,000 
  • Energy engineer: Dh25,000 to Dh30,000 
  • Production engineer: Dh30,000 to Dh40,000 
  • Data-driven supply chain management professional: Dh30,000 to Dh50,000 
  • HR leader: Dh40,000 to Dh60,000 
  • Engineering leader: Dh30,000 to Dh55,000 
  • Project manager: Dh55,000 to Dh65,000 
  • Senior reservoir engineer: Dh40,000 to Dh55,000 
  • Senior drilling engineer: Dh38,000 to Dh46,000 
  • Senior process engineer: Dh28,000 to Dh38,000 
  • Senior maintenance engineer: Dh22,000 to Dh34,000 
  • Field engineer: Dh6,500 to Dh7,500
  • Field supervisor: Dh9,000 to Dh12,000
  • Field operator: Dh5,000 to Dh7,000

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