Exclusive: The future of the UAE, according to Mohammed bin Rashid
The United Arab Emirates' goal is to achieve the Number 1 rank on all global indices, according to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
This is "an unwavering strategic goal and rank that we are keen to accomplish," said His Highness giving his 'inside perspective' in thebusiness year: Dubai 2013 magazine.
Global Trade Hub
Sheikh Mohammed pointed out that the UAE enjoys a "distinguished geographical location" at the centre of the world.
"We have chosen to strategically invest in building sustainable infrastructure that would establish our country as the main gate for trade in the region and beyond.
"Today, we feel proud of our world-class and highly-ranked sea and air ports, which have strongly positioned the UAE as a main hub for trade and travel worldwide," His Highness said.
Another goal set for the nation by Sheikh Mohammed is for the UAE to be the world leader in family tourism.
"The UAE [has] fulfilled all necessary requirements, especially those catering to family tourism, which we seek to lead globally."
He said the UAE possesses the necessary constituents to attract tourism. "We gave this vital sector significant attention; especially in the light of emerging global trends such as the growth of the middle class in the Far East region and the remarkable increase in its travel budgets."
Sheikh Mohammed pointed out that the emergence of China as one of the new tourism exporting countries will definitely have an impact on the global tourism industry.
"Scrupulously monitoring and measuring these fast-paced changes, we are prepared to handle their global implications.
"Our reliable and state-of-the-art infrastructure underlines our capability to meet the growing demand for our country as the preferred tourist destination in the Middle East," His Highness said.
Sheikh Mohammed explained that since the early stages of the country's development journey, the leadership has been very keen to pursue the diversification of our national economy.
"The improvement of all economic sectors was emphasised, and global trends were closely monitored to identify opportunities that we could utilise towards achieving desired progress.
"Determined to create a healthy, inviting environment attractive to investment and supportive of the private sector, we embarked on setting a comprehensive and solid framework for our relations with the local and international business community based on the principle of partnership toward success."
Sheikh Mohammed said he has no doubt that the fast changing global political, economic and cultural trends have a greater and deeper impact on the future of nations.
"Economic growth has become chiefly dependent on the extent of a nation's pursuit of those trends, the level of flexibility in handling their implications, and the necessary actions take to cope with them.
"Our country has shown the utmost flexibility in coping with surrounding variables.
"Due to its precise goal-bound economic strategies and solid policies, the UAE has achieved outstanding progress on global economic indices," he said while explaining that "progress was obtained through strong emphasis on the human factor, which is the foundation of the development system that enables the UAE to achieve its goal of ranking Number 1 on all global indices.
"Under the leadership and directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, our country recently ranked 19th overall on the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), which was a five-rank improvement compared to 2012 - an achievement we are proud of and that gives us an incentive to work harder to obtain further progress and top the world in this and other indices," Sheikh Mohammed said.
Sheikh Mohammed pointed out that since inception of the UAE four decades ago, the country has exemplified the true definition of success and rightfully claimed stature as a symbol of growth and prosperity.
"Perhaps the UAE's barren desert climate gave birth to unequivocal will and an unparalleled purpose to overcome every challenge it encountered.
"Hence, it remarkably transformed itself in a very short period of time into a beacon of success and development in the region."
Building a Better Future
Sheikh Mohammed said he looks to the future with hope and faith.
"We have placed our trust in the capabilities of our citizens and their ability to achieve further success in various sectors, equipping them with all the necessary tools to sail into new horizons and build a better future for the coming generations.
"We shall continue to invest in developing our human resources, updating our legal and regulatory frameworks,
upgrading and further strengthen our infrastructure, and pursuing new levels of development and seeking to further establish ourselves as key partners in forming the future of humanity," Sheikh Mohammed concluded.
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