UAE rulers are connecting with the people and winning hearts

Today, it’s not uncommon to spot images of UAE royals on social media reaching out to common men and women and hailing them for their extraordinary acts of courage and resilience



Published: Tue 2 Aug 2022, 11:26 PM

What does it mean to be royalty in the 21st century? In more ways than one, the UAE leadership has set a template for what it could — and should — look like (leadership being the key word). We are living at a time when leadership is tested. The world is not what it used to be — the pandemic and the response to it have defined the path nations would eventually take.

The UAE with its meticulous and swift inoculation programme emerged as a country that has its gaze fixed firmly on the future. What’s more? The country’s leadership has, during this time, made genuine efforts to reach out to citizens and residents to offer them reassurance. The voice of this leadership has been calm, collected but, above all, realistic, which has only helped them win hearts.

Today, it’s not uncommon to spot images of UAE royals on social media reaching out to common men and women and hailing them for their extraordinary acts of courage and resilience. Social media has played its part by serving as a site where one catches a more intimate glimpse of the visionary leaders.

If a year ago, President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan took everyone by surprise by calling Sharjah’s first female car mechanic, routine glimpses of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, interacting with young Emiratis can be found on social media.

And who can forget that particularly heartwarming moment when a young girl rushed to embrace His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at Expo 2020 Dubai.

And now, in his latest post on Instagram, Sheikh Hamdan has shared a photograph of him with Sheikh Mohamed and twins Sheikha and Rashid. The message is loud and clear — here is royalty that’s for the people.

What makes this messaging, these glimpses into royal lives important? It unpacks the layers of mystique and helps establish with digitally present masses. It feels reassuring because they establish a direct connect with people.

We also realise that other than being statesmen, they wear other hats in their private lives. It humanises them, makes them more relatable to us — ironically, at a time when it is alleged that social media paints a larger-than-life picture of its subjects. And as mentioned earlier, the messaging is realistic — the need to keep up with the future while maintaining a firm relationship with the values the country stands for is always emphasised. And for that reason alone, we look up to them.


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