Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, has spoken about how early life lessons taught him to never give up on his dreams.
In an inspirational message on social media , Sheikh Mohammed recalled friends laughing as he tried to build sandcastles on the water in his younger years.
He said he now brings those same friends to marvel at the emirate's Palm Islands - comprising the Palm Jumeirah, Deira Islands and the Palm Jebel Ali.
While the flowing waters may have washed away those formative creations, firm foundations have been laid for a brighter future in the years since.
Sheikh Mohammed said perseverance was key to the continued rise of Dubai.
"In our younger years we played on the seashore," said Sheikh Mohammed in a video shared with his 6.2 million followers on Instagram.
"My friends were building sandcastles on the beach. They laughed at me as I tried to build sandcastles on the water.
"I now take them to see the Palm Islands."
It was more than 20 years ago that work began on Palm Jumeirah, one of the few structures that can be seen from space with the naked eye.
The UAE is taking important strides towards its next half century of prosperity, having ended 2021 by marking its Golden Jubilee.
Sheikh Mohammed said it was vital the country continued to work as one to build on its remarkable achievements.
"We must have a clear and unified vision for the future," he said.
"We must persevere to ensure further development, in order to combat poverty and ignorance."
In a poem published on New Year's Eve, Sheikh Mohammed said 2022 would prove to be a year of "distinction and precedence".
In the poem, Sheikh Mohammed wrote about looking forward to the UAE's next 50 years with “determination and creativity and skill".
He said the Emirates will continue to contribute to the fields of education, production, trade and culture and that he sees the country moving forward on “a path that unites us with strength".