DUBAI // It’s the end of the school holidays, you’ve packed the kids off on the school bus for the first time in weeks, and you think, “I’ll rest at home for an hour or two – no one at work will miss me.”
Bad idea. Sunday was also the day Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, chose for an unannounced visit to several government offices.
He arrived at the Land Department and Department of Economic Development for a spot check at the start of the working day – to find that no one had turned up for work.
Sheikh Mohammed stood in an empty workplace for a 14-second video that was posted online by the Dubai Media Office.
The video showed Sheikh Mohammed walking into a room with his portrait on the wall, and standing behind an empty desk.
Videos of the Ruler visiting the Dubai Municipality offices and the city’s international airport were also posted online.
Khalifa Sulaiman, director general of Dubai’s protocol and hospitality department, posted photos and videos online showing Sheikh Mohammed touring the airport and casually greeting people waiting to have their passports stamped.
Sunday’s spot visits showed “senior officials” were absent, Mr Sulaiman said.
Although none of the missing managers was identified, Sheikh Mohammed’s intention was clear.
“He certainly wanted to send a message,” said Mona Al Marri, director general of the Dubai Media Office.
“Timeliness starts at the top, and we won’t go after the employees when their bosses aren’t there.”