The Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has praised President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, saying that he is a unique international leader and a successful man who is loved by his people.
He said that the President has a different approach to leadership and a unique philosophy on leading countries and peoples in addition to a new approach of creating happiness for his people, since his philosophy and concept is the concept of a human being.
Sheikh Mohammed made his remarks in an article with the title "Thank You, Khalifa".
Sheikh Mohammed writes: " Seven years ago, immediately after assuming the office of the Vice- President and Prime Minister, I held several and continuous meetings with some officials in the federal Government, and assigned a work team to conduct a number of quick surveys on the most important needs of the citizens and the needs that we should meet in the work of the government.
"After I had a clear idea on what we need and what the citizens need from us, I paid a visit to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan one afternoon. He received me with his usual smile that all of us know: Anyone who met the President would know his smile. I presented to him the most important priorities in my work plan and the most important changes in the government as well as the most important future phases.
“He responded by saying that, with the blessings of Allah, we are one team. If you are short of anything, I will complete it. The needs of the citizens will be a priority for all of us.
“I know that Sheikh Khalifa has his own studies on various projects and follows up on the citizens' conditions, but l was surprised at his accuracy of his information when we started working in the field."
“He quoted an example saying that we used to receive complaints from Emirati fishermen in a remote area who needed a small fishing port. When we gave directions to meet the demand, we were surprised to see that the President's work team had already earmarked a budget and put it in their plans before we did. “
Sheikh Mohammed writes, "We asked for the number of citizens who were in need for rebuilding of their houses, and surprisingly we found the lists were ready in the Presidential court, and were being studied.
"We always follow the live broadcasts in which some citizen complaining of their unpaid bank loans, so l directed the work team to make a study on the issue with the concerned authorities. They told us that the President had asked them to make the same study and that staff in the Presidential court had told them that Sheikh Khalifa had allocated Dh10 billion for the issue.
"We announced 2013 as a year of Emiratisation, and surprisingly we found there was a similar project with the President to find jobs for 25,000 citizens," Sheikh Mohamed writes.
He adds that in 2010, he had several meetings with local governments in order to coordinate plans. Some Emiratis had some needs from the federal government especially in terms of the roads.
"We decided to conduct a survey, then I was told by HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, that the study was ready as per a request from the President on the infrastructure development in the UAE and that he would double the budget for these projects to the tune of Dh20 billion nationwide.
"The same has been repeated in the housing projects and new hospital projects and other projects.
“We used to discuss new government policies in order to arrange with the banks to support young people with small and medium projects. Then l was surprised when Sheikh Mansour said that Sheikh Khalifa will establish a fund for this purpose and will cover the whole country so as to develop the youth projects, with an investment of Dh2 billion."
"Today, I write this article not to commend the President but for history and as a testimony that when we rush to do something for the benefit of the citizens, we find the President has done it before us.
“I write this for leaders everywhere that the needs of the citizens can be met without much hue and cry. I write this so that the generations may know that Sheikh Khalifa, from the time he took up government responsibilities in the 1960s until today has never stopped meeting the needs of his people and solving their problems."
“Sheikh Khalifa covers expenses for the health care of citizens, pays off citizens' liabilities, follows up on housing programmes, pardons prisoners, honours expatriate residents and provides help for the underprivileged people, despite his pressing engagement with affairs of the country and its citizens, as he is one of those leaders who care greatly for the needs of other peoples.
“He is one of the leading international personalities who helps others and who has shown mercy to the poor, the homeless and the hungry. His big heart, sensitive feelings and humane qualities have made him a source of pride for all of us in the field of charitable work."
“When the wise man of the Arabs, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, decided to appoint Sheikh Khalifa as Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi in 1969, he was only 21. Sheikh Zayed's smart vision knew the characteristics of that calm young man, his foresightedness and his love to serve people.
“The philosophy and approach of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed is centred on the human being, since every human being has a value, every citizen has a priority, everyone deserves to live a dignified life, every woman deserves to achieve her ambitions, every patient deserves to have medical treatment, every family has the right to be housed, everyone deserves to take his rights, every needy person deserves help regardless of his place, work, gender or religion.
Sheikh Khalifa finds all this to be his responsibility, duty and a priority on his agenda.
“Khalifa is an international unique leader, different, successful and loved by his people.
“He works calmly, without noise and follows up closely and is a hard worker, which is based on great values in work, the values of loving his people, following up their conditions, he is loved by all, his high qualities and wisdom of his mind and far-sighted.
“Khalifa bin Zayed is a leader and a role model, we have assigned these days to thank him, I extend thanks to him on behalf of myself, every citizen, family, fisherman, teacher, engineer and doctor and other people. I extend thanks on behalf of thousands of people, who got jobs, thousands of patients who were paid their medical treatment expenses, needy people who were paid their debts and on behalf of the UAE which he gave his thoughts, time, life and efforts, until it reached global standards. I thank them and call everyone to thank him.”