Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid hits out at lack of leadership in Arab world

The Vice President and Ruler of Dubai voices his dissatisfaction at a 'management crisis' in the region

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - March 30, 2019: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum looks happy as Cross Counter ridden by William Buick wins the Dubai Gold Cup during the Dubai World Cup. Saturday the 30th of March 2019 at Meydan Racecourse, Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said the Arab world was facing a "management crisis" and requires leaders capable of harnessing the potential of the region.

The UAE Vice President and Ruler of Dubai hit out at the lack of quality in positions of management in a post published to his 9.69 million Twitter followers.

Under the title, "Life has taught me", Sheikh Mohammed insisted Arab nations had an abundance of resources at their disposal.

But he said the Arab world lacked decision-makers to guide its pool of talent and help to build great nations.

"There is no energy crisis, or education crisis, or health crisis in our Arab region. We have a management crisis," he said.

"We are a people who own great resources and have great competencies but we lack ones who will manage the resources and qualifications to build a great nation."

It is not the first time that Sheikh Mohammed has set his sights on those in management roles in the region.

Last summer, he also criticised the culture of mismanagement in parts of the Arab world, saying there were too many politicians and too few administrators.

Sheikh Mohammed also said that his biggest challenge was finding non-narcissistic leaders, who put the success of others above their own.

"The most difficult mission I have faced is finding leaders who lack narcissism and provide for others. They are a few," he said.

Sheikh Mohammed also drew thousands of comments when he posted that the best accomplishment was to change the lives of others.

“If your concern is yourself, then you are small," he said. "If your concern is another, then you are bigger than many people."

He quoted a verse from the Quran referring to Prophet Ibrahim as “a nation”, meaning he was a leader with all the good and righteous qualities.

Sheikh Mohammed has taken a tough stance on management failings in the UAE, including within government bodies.

Last July, he took a dim view of the results of an employee satisfaction survey of government workers, describing them as unacceptably low.

The study showed employees in five government offices had relatively low job satisfaction.

Sheikh Mohammed said that, while some showed satisfaction was as high as 93 per cent, only 60 per cent of employees at five offices said they were satisfied at their workplace.

“These percentages are unacceptable,” he said on Twitter. “Employee satisfaction is key to customer satisfaction.

"We are giving the managers of these bodies six months to change the working environment. The government’s most valuable capital is its employees.”

In 2016, he visited the Land Department and Department of Economic Development for a spot check at the start of the working day – only to find that no one had turned up for work.

The next day, in response, he ordered nine senior officials at Dubai Municipality to retire.

In his latest autobiography, My Story: 50 Stories in 50 years, Sheikh Mohammed wrote of the dangers of being driven by a thirst for power rather than a desire to serve others.

"The worst things to affect a human being are vanity, megalomania, the belief in one's own power and his dependence on his limited mortal strength," Sheikh Mohammed wrote in the book, published this year.

"We work, but success is from Allah; we move, but the Almighty guides us; we serve our people with sincerity, but God grants us success based on our intentions. Guidance is from Allah, care is from Allah and protection is from Allah."