In 2008, an interview was conducted by CBS with our ruler in Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum as part of the 60-minute show to showcase Dubai and what it has done.
Dubai was at its’ peak and you know what happens when anything, or anyone for that matter, is constantly successful in a short period of time; they get subjected to hatred and spews of negativity. A simple reason for this is that people and/or countries/nations are jealous; “Why did Dubai get there so fast when it took us decades or a century or however many years?” It’s visionary leaders and the will to be different and take risks. If you don’t take a risk, then you have not lived.
The interviewer asked Sheikh Mohammed, “why do you want the tallest building and the biggest this, etc.?” to which Sheikh Mohammed responded by saying two words: “Why not?” This famous question back to the interviewer from Sheikh Mohammed sent a positive ripple effect across the city of Dubai where everyone responded to anything negative from anyone with “Why not?”
The same can be said for the entire UAE. Our rulers want us to have it all today and not 50 years from today. We are blessed to have oil but from that we have diversified our economy. We are blessed to have excellent geographical proximity whereby we could enhance our trade missions and increase tourism, and knowing that we took to building trade ports and infrastructure to support it all. The world today is more connected than it ever was and we’ve constantly strived to learn and better ourselves. We’ve secured competitive advantages in different sectors so that we can grasp and maintain leadership stake as well as share knowledge on a global level.
In the world today, no one can work or even live in a silo; integration is what will help us and keep us on the wave of success.
Who would have though that in just under half a century we could have managed to grow cities out of deserts, match our GDP with the developed world and produce many firsts where others were too afraid to take risks because they felt they have taken all the risks and got too comfortable.
Our nation is a young one and so are our people. We are energetic, committed, dedicated, and most of all motivated. Good is just not good enough. We strive to be and stay on top of the game at all times. If anyone were to go around now and ask anyone living here what it means to live here, you would hear words like “melting pot”, “diversified”, “future” and many more positive things.
It’s been over a year now where we’ve expressed our intent and now are bidding to host the World Expo 2020 in Dubai. Inaugurated in London back in 1851, World Expos are considered the trademark of events where nations through their pavilions connect with the greatest of minds and businesses as well as explore cultural, social, economic and technological strengths. World Expos are held every five years for a period of six months and attract millions of visitors. The World Expo has never been held in the Middle East, Africa and South East Asia in the history of the event.
The UAE has selected the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” for its bid for Expo 2020 and will further explore subthemes that cover issues of “Sustainability” by looking into intelligent sources of energy and water; “Mobility” by exploring new systems of logistics and transportation, and “Opportunity” by delving into new paths to economic development.
This is what we have been working towards. No one can contest that work, development and growth of the UAE has not prepared it to host World Expo 2020.
Going back to Dubai; a city with over 200 nationalities, is tolerant of all religions, welcomed over 50 million passengers through the Dubai International Airport in 2012 and one of the most innovative cities in the world where great minds come to meet through various conferences to exchange ideas, learn from one another and develop new plans to meet the future needs of its’ people and the world.
My Dubai is just what I have described and with 8 million others, we support and can’t wait to have the World Expo 2020 come to Dubai. I grew up here and I can guarantee you that in no other globalized and developed city in the world will you find people who will tell you, we not only saw history being made, we actually worked on making that history. We don’t have to read it in our history books, we can tell the history to our children and our childrens’ children because we are being equipped with the tools to build our city and our nation by making history day by day.
So, support our bid and come on down to Dubai to see for yourself what we’re talking about. We’ve always been a global city with welcoming arms and we will continue to always be one.
The post is also published on Aida AlBusaidi’s blog (http://aidaalb.posterous.com/)
Aida has more than a decade experience in the communications, and mastering ceremonies field, she worked in private and public sectors, and now heads the Stakeholder Communications in Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing in Dubai. Aida was a columnist in few of the local newspapers, a TV co-host of a community talk show, and cofounded with friends a community platform: “Promise Of A Generation”.
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