On Monday we are proud to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the accession of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid as Ruler of Dubai. He is a remarkable leader not only nationally, but also regionally and globally.
Under Sheikh Mohammed, the emirate has developed rapidly and witnessed a sustained economic boom, despite the global economic crisis of 2008. He has helped position the emirate – and the nation at large – for the future by strengthening the non-oil economy. Construction, travel, tourism and retail; all have blossomed under his stewardship.
Sheikh Mohammed provides an inspiration for the young and old alike. He always aims to come first in everything he does, and he demands the best from his people. Last year, he encouraged citizens and residents to be more innovative and to think long-term. He has always wanted Dubai, and the UAE, to compete on a global level and to be active in international events. As Vice-President, Sheikh Mohammed helped establish and build the country's global reputation "for doing the seemingly impossible", as Khalaf Al Habtoor, the chairman of Al Habtoor Group, writes on our opinion pages today.
It is a tribute to the hard work of Sheikh Mohammed and everyone in Dubai that, today, the “brand” of Dubai and the UAE is strong and well-known. Across the Middle East, the UAE is consistently ranked as the place young Arabs wish to live and wish their countries to emulate. Across the world, the city and the country are places that people want to travel to, work in and build a life in. It is not an exaggeration to say that, under Sheikh Mohammed’s watch, Dubai has joined the ranks of London and New York as a city with name recognition.
Such remarkable development has come about because of a focus not only on tangible infrastructure, such as roads and buildings, but also on intangibles such as education, research and development. The city’s rapid rise over the past 10 years has put it on a solid footing, for now and for the future.
We join the President, Sheikh Khalifa, in congratulating this great leader “for all that you have offered the UAE, Arab and Islamic nations, and for the entire world”. We also know that Sheikh Mohammed will further surpass our expectations over the decades to come.