This evening we were at dinner with a friend of mine who is a General Manager in one of the leading resorts and one of our agents who is an Indian national resident in Dubai, at Dhonmaniku beside Viyafaariveringe Miskiiy and diagonally opposite to Munavvaru campaing office. We did not, however discuss religion or politics.
One of the discussion topics that was quite interesting was that of Dubai. We were told that the secret behind Dubai was the attitude and foresight of the leader of the emirate. And reminded that Dubai is the only emirate in the United Arab Emirates that did not have oil.
He did believed in creating new challenges and opportunities for his emirate and his people. He had been in defacto charge of Dubai’s direction and fast paced development for at least a decade when he became leader of the emirate in 2006. He has a big heart and last year announced plans to give USD10bn to set up an educational foundation in the Middle East.
Sheikh Mohammed is said to move around by himself without an entourage of body guards to protect him from his people. It was said that once he gave a surprise visit to a municipal office and saw that his people had to bend down to talk to officials inside “protected” by glass barriers and reachable only by a small hole in it. He is said to have asked the municipal officials why they were sitting behind the glass. And he was told that it was for protection from the people. He is said to have asked, “Why do you need protection from the people who pay you to serve them?” He was very unhappy and asked to have the glass walls brought down and made the people to be able to talk to the civil servants in an environment of equals.
The bottomline of the discussion was that Dubai is what it is today and what it will be tomorrow, simply because the leaders (the rulers) can work together to bake the cake rather than fighting for a piece of the cake before its even made. You can make sense of the reality if you just look around.
Sheikh Mohammed declared in 2001: “We must ease the lives of people and businesses interacting with the government and contribute in establishing Dubai as a leading economic hub”
Dhonmaniku is a superb restaurant and they serve fine Thai food.