His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, opened a groundbreaking summit in Dubai in February, on his vision for the UAE.
HH Sheikh Mohammed opened the two-day Government Summit by stressing the importance of service to the community and striving for excellence. "Our aim is to guarantee prosperity for our people, create jobs and open new doors for opportunity."
He said, "Authority is to serve the people, not control them. Our forefathers wanted to improve the quality of life for us."
In his two-and-a-half-hour speech, which included a rare interactive Q&A session, Sheikh Mohammed, outlined his plans for the future; improving government services, guaranteeing prosperity of the UAE and recognising the changing dynamics of the world – and the region.
The Dubai Ruler addressed questions raised by the audience and shared his views on a wide range of topics, including how to stay competitive, and the need to stay focused on being “number one”.
He said, "Becoming number one is not impossible – the word impossible doesn't exist in our dictionary."
He added that the priorities of the President, Sheikh Khalifa were “the Emirati citizen first, second and third. I am confident of our ability to be the best government globally as per our Vision 2021.”
He also laid emphasis on education, empowerment and Emiratisation saying they are the core strategies of the UAE’s growth. He said that Emiratisation is the priority of the nation this year, and called upon the private sector, which has benefited from operating in the country, to support the nationalisation goals.
Sheikh Mohammed also gave a glimpse into his personal life – highlighting the need to be positive and shared his passion for sports and poetry.
Staying positive is important to accomplish goals, he said, adding that he has achieved only seven to 10 per cent of his vision for the nation.
He said that it is important to take risks, as challenges are a fact of life. "You cannot stay idle simply because there are risks involved. Ever since I took a leadership role, I have encountered several challenges. But I never gave up and I never bowed to them."
The summit, which showcased the achievements of the government and identified areas for development, was the first of its kind in the region. It attracted an audience of 2,500 including 150 international experts from more than 30 countries.