|During a detailed presentation on the country's achievements that earned the audience's applause|
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates - Monday, February 10th 2014 [ME NewsWire]
Lieutenant General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, stated that the United Arab Emirates has been blessed with extraordinary leaders throughout the stages of its history. They have been path-breaking leaders, who have toiled diligently to instill hope in the heart of the country’s people. "It all began with the founding father, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, God bless his soul, and his brothers, builders of the Union, down to the existing generation of seasoned leaders, led by a worthy successor, with the support of his brethren, their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates,” he said.
These remarks on the features of valuable leadership were made by His Highness Sheikh Saif, at the second annual UAE Government Summit that kicked off at the Jumeirah Hotel in Dubai, on Monday. The summit is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and attended by a number of sheikhs, ministers, and dignitaries.
His Highness Sheikh Saif expressed his heartfelt happiness and thanks for being chosen to address this prestigious summit for the second time. He also extended his thanks to the generous patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and his extraordinary efforts to enhance government performance, locally, regionally and internationally, to serve the best interests of people worldwide.
During the event, His Highness Sheikh Saif announced the winners of the top four positions for the Best Smart Phones Applications Award, which was launched by the Ministry of Interior, in response to the directives set by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, sponsor of the event. As many as 16 academic entities had applied for the award with a total of 23 projects. Sheikh Saif congratulated the winners, lauding their unique participation. Winners were as follows: the Higher Colleges of Technology, Dubai Men’s College for its project Biladi (My Country) application; the HCT-Al Ain Men's College's for its project for people with disabilities; the Police College- Abu Dhabi for its Smart Gate Application project; and the Sheikh Khalifa University for its MoI services application project.
Commenting on the results, His Highness Sheikh Saif said: "The independent selection committee was happily surprised by the significant turnout of young Emiratis who submitted profound, well thought-out and unique projects that were at par with prestigious international consulting firms. This award has fostered competitiveness among students towards community service. This is proof to the smart vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who envisioned and launched the smart applications award.” His Highness Sheikh Saif stressed that these projects will be implemented soon.
Roots and considerations
Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, began his video presentation with the photograph of a little Emirati girl riding a camel and drinking water from a jug. The photograph dates back to the 50’s in the mid-20th century. His Highness said that the girl’s father has affectionately prepared a comfortable camel saddle for his child, gave her water, and endeavored to ensure her safety and security. He noted that this image is a true testament to how the UAE government is presently catering to the needs of its citizens, residents and visitors, wherever they are. Sheikh Saif added: "I will not just shed light on leadership and excellence in services delivery; I will commend the leadership in implanting the right values in individuals who provide these services. We used to talk about leaders and skilled managers; today, we speak of exceptional leadership and the characteristics of the exceptional leader to drive excellence.”
His Highness Sheikh Saif referred in this regard to the legacy of the UAE’s exceptional past leaders, who ruled wisely and devoted their efforts to support development. This has enabled them to build a modern pioneering state, which provides its people with security, stability, prosperity and happiness, while warding off economic crisis and challenges faced by other parts of the world, in a bid to curtail any negative impacts on the country’s growing renaissance.
Figures and indicators
His Highness Sheikh Saif highlighted the consequences of the political and economic crisis on world economies in the past five and a half years, pointing out that the UAE has managed to overcome these tough times and make unparalleled achievements, thanks to its exceptional leadership. HH explained that companies worldwide lost 13 million jobs between 2008-2012, which caused millions of families to lose income and face security, social and health consequences. He mentioned that as many as 43 million people lack food in Europe, and that some 120 million face the risk of poverty. HH continued: "In this time, the UAE has made multiple local and international achievements. It has succeeded in launching three satellites, secured a number of prestigious events such as the Formula 1 Grand prix, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Conference, IDEX, GITEX, ISNR and the previous edition of the Government Summit, in addition to winning the bid to host the EXPO 2020 and other remarkable achievements.” H.H stressed that these accomplishments were a result of well thought-out plans, programs, strategies and unstinting efforts guided by exceptional leaders in all areas of work, which foster teamwork.
Sheikh Saif said: "The achievements made were not only financial, and were reflected in the public satisfaction. According to a report published by Columbia University's Earth Institute, the United Arab Emirates ranked first among the Arab countries and the 14th happiest country in the world. We have also managed to secure a competitive position in terms of security, with the UAE ranking first in the world for the absence of organized crime; up from the 23rd position five years ago.”
Adding further, he said: "Despite all economic crises, foreign investments in the UAE increased by 40% between 2008 and 2012, with traveler numbers through its airports up by 113%, while most world economies faced economic downturn and a decline in tourism. While major aviation companies were forced to shut down, the UAE airlines were booming and foraying into more markets. The UAE Government endeavored to achieve full satisfaction of the public, after securing general satisfaction, based on studies and standards set by service entities to measure the public’s satisfaction for the services they receive. Results were promising. This prompted us to place people’s satisfaction as a top priority, and worked to achieve it.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Shaikh Saif Al Zayed Al Nahyan noted that the UAE has become a benchmark thanks to its exceptional leaders. This made me expand on the characteristics that earned those leaders international reputation. "I have realized that honesty, transparency, wisdom and moderation of the late Sheikh Zayed, combined with persistence and unstinting efforts to build a country from scratch, are the main characteristics of the founding fathers. Our new generation of leaders have cherished and followed this legacy with high efficiency.”
Sheikh Saif referred to the wise vision of His Highness, the President of the UAE and his diligent efforts to harness all available resources to cater to his people’s needs. He said: "Last year, His Highness received a phone call from a citizen complaining of ambulance delays in remote areas of the country. His Highness instructed the relevant entities to minimize response time with every possible means, and approved the relevant budget. Less than a year later, there were 30 ambulance stations servicing most regions, along with two helicopters for emergency cases. 20 of these centers will be operational as of the end of this month. This was followed by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa’s National Emergency Medical Response Program, and the directives of His Highness Mohammed bin Rashid to achieve this vision and enable the UAE citizens to take action. A training academy was established in collaboration with Harvard University; graduates will soon be able to serve the nation.”
Shaikh Saif continued: "The UAE leaders have been known for their accuracy and precision. Our founding father has always encouraged people to put words into action, show vision and perception. His Highness the President has followed this path and adopted these characteristics, as he launches his initiatives with confidence and transparency before the whole world, and sets a clear timeline to achieve his visions.”
Shaikh Saif recalled the vision of the UAE founding father upon his visit to the United Kingdom, when he expressed to his companions his dream to turn the UAE into a modern country. "Today, skeptics were proved wrong. Today, thanks to his vision and insistence, we are at the forefront of advanced nations around the world, in terms of modern infrastructure, stability and prosperity,” Shaikh Saif added.
Between the Ruler and his subjects
Lt. General H.H Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior elaborated on the unique relationship between rulers and leaders and the public. "The family-like relations between rulers and their people are based on love, appreciation, and respect. They fosters clear, transparent and open interaction, with no hidden agendas or double standards of any kind. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai has said: Whenever we seek to meet the needs of people, the President has already done that.” H.H Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan highlighted the brain storming efforts launched by H.H UAE Vice President, in addition to the extensive inspection tours carried out by General HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces across the UAE. He also stressed the leaders and rulers’ keenness to participate in the different societal events, and to provide everyone with the opportunity to take part in decision making, planning, and execution.
H.H Sheikh Saif bin Zayed also praised the efforts made by his brother Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, on the follow-up of the various noble community-based initiatives.
"When some parties tried to advocate foreign agendas that go against the nation’s interests, the good people of this nation stood up firmly against them, and renewed their allegiance to the UAE and its leader, Sheikh Khalifa,” he continued.
Creating the Role Model
H.H Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan emphasized that the country’s leaders have spared no effort to be role models for their people. He pointed to the Founding Father H.H Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s decision to send his eldest son to the Egyptian frontline in 1973 during the conflict, as an example of how he sought to prepare his son for leadership: "Egypt is very dear to the heart of the UAE and its people,” he said.
H.H Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan took the opportunity to extend the heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the UAE Armed Forces, as they honorably represent the UAE people in crisis and war-stricken areas. He lauded their humane efforts to a provide assistance and support to the oppressed and relief to the distressed.
In conclusion, H.H Sheikh Saif bin Zayed urged Emiratis to be exceptional, and to constantly seek excellence, just like their leaders. He said: "When each and every individual in the UAE is exceptional, fathers, mothers, teachers and media people, following in the footsteps of the father of the Emirati family himself, we will definitely have an exceptional society. Every member of society has the opportunity to reach to the top.”
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The Arabic-language text of this announcement is the official, authoritative version. Translations are provided as an accommodation only, and should be cross-referenced with the Arabic-language text, which is the only version of the text intended to have legal effect.
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