The accession of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, as Ruler of Dubai was a milestone, Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, said yesterday.
The move consolidated the development of the emirate in the economic, health, construction, tourism, cultural, sporting and social fields.
Sheikh Maktoum, speaking on the third anniversary of Sheikh Mohammed's accession, said the high level of development achieved by Dubai was a direct result of Sheikh Mohammed's wise policies, which were intended to provide his people with everything necessary for a respectable and happy life.
"During Sheikh Mohammed's wise rule, Dubai has been transformed," Sheikh Maktoum added.
"The vitality and activity in the emirate has helped Dubai to develop into one of the world's most cosmopolitan cities.
"Along with the conspicuous urban landmarks that provide services and meet the needs of Dubai, the UAE, the Gulf and the world, the development of people remains the main pillar for the building of nations.
"So the comfort of nationals and the provision of the means to live respectably are the most important priorities that occupy Sheikh Mohammed."
Sheikh Mohammed's vision in this regard was summed up by his saying: "Government is not authority against people. It is an authority to serve the people. Therefore, the government's success is measured by the satisfaction of the people who deal with it."
A long-term vision for the future was one of Sheikh Mohammed's major strategic concerns as he strongly believed there was no way to have a rest or stop in the race to success and progress. Development did not happen by chance – it was the result of continuous efforts to serve the nation and nationals.
"Due to his wise directives dazzling development has occurred and we are keen to maintain this and consolidate it," added Sheikh Maktoum.
"The race is still continuing and progress is still our aim. We are still keen to consolidate what we have achieved to reach the vision drawn up by Sheikh Mohammed with the support and confidence of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler of Abu Dhabi.
Meanwhile, Abdulla Sultan Abdulla, Secretary-General of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said the wise vision of Sheikh Mohammed led to the diversification of the UAE economy.
The strategy helped create new economic sectors and expanded other economic activities, he said.
Abdulla congratulated Sheikh Mohammed on the occasion of the third anniversary of his accession as Ruler of Dubai.
Mark Beer, Chairman, British Business Group
The key attribute of Sheikh Mohammed is his capacity to apply lessons of the past to the evolving needs and demands of the local community. His Highness's sensitivity and heightened awareness to local and regional cultures is uniquely combined with his understanding and appreciation for the nation's need to keep pace with world development.
His Highness's greatest achievements have been establishing and implementing the strategic plans that will realise his vision of the long-term development and success of Dubai, the UAE and its people.
Darroch Crawford, Managing Director, Premier Inn Hotels
Sheikh Mohammed is a dynamic, visionary, and very hands-on leader. My perception is that he works very hard to ensure he is in touch with all economic, political and social dynamics of the country, which enables him to make informed and wise decisions. He has put in place a wonderful visionary strategic plan with sound investment in the necessary transportation and political infrastructure that will ensure its success. It is no surprise the response from both Dubai and the UAE to the current global economic crisis has been calm, considered and balanced.
Dr Salwa Hammami, Head of Research, Arqaam Capital
The fact that so much has been achieved in Dubai stands as testimony to the abilities of Sheikh Mohammed to remain closely attuned to the economic, business, finance, trade and economic needs of the emirate and the nation. Largely owing to his efforts to project a positive attitude to investors by offering low tax rates, few trade controls, and providing solid infrastructure, the UAE has managed to move up by 22 places in the latest World Bank's 'Doing Business' ranking, with Dubai trade recognised as a significant factor in the UAE's improved ranking.
Omar bin Sulaiman, Governor, Dubai International Financial Centre, and Vice-Chairman, Central Bank of the UAE
An astute statesman and a visionary leader, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum sets the pace and direction for growth and prosperity in Dubai, as well as the UAE. While being at the helm of economic progress of the country, he has effectively communicated his ideals and inspired each member of society to contribute to the UAE growth story; demonstrating that nothing is impossible.
The success story of the UAE under the leadership of The President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed has proved itself a role model for the aspiring nations around the globe.
The strategic vision of His Highness has led to the diversification of Dubai's economy with considerable success, regionally and internationally.
At the first sign of economic instability, His Highness led the federal government's proactive measures to ensure that growth and financial stability remain at the core of the country's economic and monetary policies.
Sheikh Mohammed's vision has been the real catalyst, enabling Dubai and the UAE to become a bridge between the East and the West.
Khalid Al Malik, Chief Executive, Tatweer
Sheikh Mohammed has directed the right authorities in Dubai to take the right steps to balance the economy. The Dubai Government has done a lot to reassure its people about the fundamentals of the Dubai economy.
Sheikh Mohammed's vision, planning and decision-making skills have always been exemplary and this has been responsible for all the growth that you see in Dubai. We believe the year 2009 will be a much better year than the latter half of 2008. He has taken enough and good steps to regulate the real estate market and create the right structure in the country. What we are experiencing here is not a local issue but one that is following global cues from a global crisis.
Ahmed bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, Dubai Multi Commodities Exchange
Sheikh Mohammed's shaping of Dubai into a truly enterprising global powerhouse is backed by his vision of creating a unified and economically sound nation that witnesses progress at various levels. To diversify the city of Dubai into a world-class business hub is a direct reflection of his determination to overcome challenges and turn every venture into a profitable initiative.
Most importantly, he is a truly exemplary leader with a rare ability to inspire the nation and make the people an inherent part of his dream.
Visionary projects implemented under his vision have catapulted Dubai on to the global centrestage, and positioned the emirate as one of the major cities of the world.
The multi award-winning Emirates airline that connects Dubai with more than 100 destinations; Dubai Ports World that has attained world-class acclaim as one of the top ports worldwide; the incredible offshore real estate development of Palm Jumeirah with its flagship hotel the Atlantis; as well as Burj Dubai, the tallest tower in the world – are just a few examples of his entrepreneurial and far-sighted approach.
The conceptualisation of a cluster economy, supported by a solid infrastructure in the areas of logistics, IT and transport, has attracted immense capital, business opportunities and talent into Dubai. With the current reduction in oil and property prices, and the emirate's robust infrastructure, new ventures wishing to target the huge consumer markets in the region will find Dubai their ideal destination of choice.
Hamad Buamim, Director-General, Dubai Chamber
Sheikh Mohammed inherited all the courage, foresight, determination and wisdom of his great father, the late Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who has been much attuned to the economic, business, finance, trade and economic needs of the emirate and the nation.
Sheikh Mohammed pursued the vision of his father to create a better society and improve the standard of living of his people. Sheikh Mohammed has changed Dubai to a cosmopolitan city, a commercial and financial hub of the Middle East, and a world centre capable of attracting foreign direct investment and the world's technologies and at the same time offering top-class services to the community.
Ahmad Sharaf, Chairman, Dubai Mercantile Exchange
Sheikh Mohammed's vision has been to create a globally recognised economic and financial hub, and the creation of the DME in itself is a tactical success towards that vision.
This is just one example of how His Highness combines his deep understanding of the drivers of business for the UAE economy, the mechanisms by which business can be furthered, with his knowledge of the oil industry and the international vision that has made Dubai a world-leading city.
I believe that His Highness' vision incorporates many strong checks and balances that will power the UAE through the global economic turmoil, leveraging the long-term initiatives already in place that will continue to provide sources of growth over the coming years.
Rajeev Reddy, Chairman and Managing Director, The Country Club Group
Sheikh Mohammed is a great visionary. It's his will and determination to do the impossible and also his wide global exposure that has led Dubai to its current position as one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. He is solely responsible for transforming Dubai from an oil-based economy to the fast-growing financial and service sector hub that it is today. He is a true leader who practises what he preaches. Dubai is one of the most investor-friendly states, and hence has drawn a lot of FDI. Besides, it also offers a peaceful and relatively trouble-free working and living environment.
Michel Noblet, Chief Executive, Hospitality Management Holdings
Sheikh Mohammed is a true visionary, a man who makes the impossible happen. Under his leadership, Dubai has witnessed tremendous economic growth over the past few years and hence offers increased trade, travel and investment opportunities.
The increased number of airlines coming into Dubai, addition of ultra-sophisticated aircraft to Emirates airline's existing fleet and massive expansion at the Dubai airport are all indications of the economic and infrastructural boom that the country is undergoing.
Michel Ayat, Chief Executive, Arabian Automobiles Company
Sheikh Mohammed is a visionary statesman with long-term strategic objectives. He is an excellent communicator with government officials, senior executives and the public at large, with outstanding skills in attracting and motivating the best people.
His Highness' foreign policy and engagement in all economic, social and sport activities all over the world made Dubai one of the fastest-growing and most exciting cities in the world.