Within the space of five decades, the United Arab Emirates and, especially, its largest city, Dubai, have become global economic hubs.
But how was all this achieved? The newly-published memoir of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Prime Minister and Vice President of the UAE, and the ruler of the Emirate of Dubai, sheds new light on the remarkable transformation.
In My Story: 50 Memories from Fifty Years of Service, out now through Explorer Group Ltd, Sheikh Mohammed reveals how his nation’s triumphs can be attributed to a forward-thinking vision shared by its leaders, including his father Sheikh Rashid and its first president, the “Father of the Nation”, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, to actively pursue economic success even when the naysayers thought it impossible.
Sheikh Mohammed inherited his father’s determination, and set out to prove that Dubai could be an international tourist destination as well as a central point for businesses across the Middle East. He oversaw the development of Dubai International Airport, using the UK’s Heathrow Airport as a template, and launched Emirates Airline to transport people to and from the city. Once they had arrived, they could enjoy the state-of-the-art visitor and entertainment facilities, as well as new shopping malls, that had sprung up.
Businesses, meanwhile, were attracted to Dubai thanks to the realisation of hugely ambitious infrastructure projects for the city including Jebel Ali Port and the Dubai World Trade Centre, as well as a first-of-its-kind free zone where companies had receive customs exemptions for all goods they import.
Today, the port is home to more than 7,000 companies with an annual commercial transaction totalling more than $87billion, while 16 million visitors come to Dubai each year.
Growth Business has featured an in-depth review of My Story that provides more details about the Sheikh’s guiding principles in turning Dubai into one of the world’s principle go-to destinations. You can read it HERE.