Dubai will be the leader of the region next year

Crisis was a challenge; Dubai is back; UAE Government and people are happy with each other

Bloomberg Television broadcast an interview with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, during his latest visit to the US. His Highness spoke about his passion for sport, a love that he shares with his sons.

The interview focused on His Highness' manner of running Dubai and the steps undertaken by Dubai to overcome the consequences of the international financial crisis which left its impact on global economies including Dubai's.

The full interview: Shaikh Mohammed & Sheikh Hamdan talking to Bloomberg

The interview captured the attention of local, regional, and international media. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed stressed the strong relations between the people of the UAE and their leadership and government. He also described the pride of the people of the UAE in the wise leadership of UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the UAE government. Sheikh Mohammed also described the keenness of the wise leadership of the UAE to communicate positively and effectively with the people of UAE through various means.

The local, regional, and international media also highlighted the assurances made by Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai's recovery from this crisis and that he look at the crisis as a challenge.

The interview shed lights on how Sheikh Mohammed shares the responsibility of ruling with his son Dubai's Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and how Sheikh Hamdan learned from his father the importance of sharing the love and engaging with the people.

Margaret Brennan: We had a very unique opportunity this weekend to sit down with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai and alongside his son Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, where the two competed side by side in the Endurance competition as part of the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky. We spoke one day before the event, and discussed their leadership on the field of play, and how it carries over into the governing and one year since the debt crisis of Dubai first made news.

Margaret: What is the health of the Emirate now?
Sheikh Mohammed: Of course, you know this is challenging. We didn't create it (financial crisis), it happened in the world, it happened in America and in Europe, as you know. But we take it as a challenge. Life will be boring if there is no challenge you know, it's a challenge. We are back, of course we are back.

Margaret: Dubai is back you said?

Sheikh Mohammed: Yes.

Margaret: Has your vision changed at all for how you want to rule Dubai?

Sheikh Mohammed: Nothing has changed you know, nothing has changed. Meydan, finished in time; Burj Khalifa, finished in time, all the projects that were there, they're going ahead. The ones that are for the future, these might be delayed for six months or a year or something like that. But things (are going). Life goes on.

Margaret: What has it been like for you, Sheikh Hamdan, to watch this? I mean you are getting ready, you're talking about taking a leadership role now with this race, when you look at ruling and watching your father in the past year, what have you learned?

Sheikh Hamdan: I think it's a great opportunity to sit with my father, to see the decisions that he takes in this difficult time. It helps me a lot for the future, and I think it's important for me.

Sheikh Mohammed: We work together, you know, in these things we work together and he knew what I was going to do and I take his ideas because he is the Crown Prince, he has to be hands on.
Margaret: So when you rule together and make those decisions, is your vision for Dubai to still be a financial capital of the Middle East, to be a financial transit point between East and West?

Sheikh Mohammed: You talk about Dubai but we talk about the whole UAE. The whole UAE is a country you know, if we think about it, we do things in Abu Dhabi, we do things in Dubai, we do things in Sharjah. We complete each other.

Margaret: Has it changed for you at all in this past year?

Sheikh Hamdan: Well, no I just keep learning and learning from my father, and this is, as I told you before is a great opportunity to come and live this event together with my father.

Margaret: So, You started making some choices in terms of selecting economic advisors in the light of last in the past year, that's a big step to start taking? 
Sheikh Hamdan: Yes, we have a lot of changes and good changes. We know that Dubai is always a leader and I think it will be the leader of the region for the next year.

Margaret: You have a twitter account and you have a Facebook account; you are very communicative with the public. Is that a decision you made or have you hang on watching your father and decided you want to communicate more?

Sheikh Hamdan: I think communication between us and the people is the most important thing. Because there is a big gap these days between people and rulers. My father loves to be in contact with people, and loves to spend every possible time with his people and listens to them. This is really great for me to watch this. It brings hope for me and it shows that our leaders are not far from our people.

Margaret : During the last year, Dubai has been facing some difficulties, investors were demanding more information and transparency as well as details of what was happening, have you decided to share these details with the investors?

Sheikh Mohammed: I think that some media and newspapers have misunderstood us as we did not say anything; nevertheless, they wrote what they wanted; we have come back and answered them through examples on the ground.

Margaret: Do you think that the media began to better understand the market today?

Sheikh Mohammed: I think they now understand the situation better; they need information and we provide them with what they want; the situation is good.

Margaret: What is that you want to communicate right now to the investment community to the public? How do you charactrise Dubai?

Sheikh Mohammed: As Hamdan said, you should think positive, life is happy. Happiness is within yourself, it is not somewhere else to try to find it. There is no defined way for the happiness, what you are doing is happiness and Dubai and the UAE is happy with our President and with our people and our government. And we love our people and our people love us.

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