The UAE leadership is known for being forward-thinking, insightful and being open to new and radical ideas.
From being the first country in the world to have a minister for artificial intelligence to posting open calls for prominent position, UAE leaders have made important decisions in unconventional ways.
On Sunday, the UAE Vice-President invited applications from Emiratis to become the country's Minister of Youth. In 2016, a similar call to universities had resulted in the country appointing Shamma Al Mazrui as the Minister of State for Youth Affairs when she was just 22, making her the youngest minister in the world.
An avid social media user, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai has been at the forefront of issuing open calls, launching public platforms and writing personal letters- all in an effort to ensure that everything in the country runs seamlessly.
Team KT looks at 7 times when Sheikh Mohammed went the extra mile to listen to the public, find best talents, thank people and share impactful messages:
In 2020, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the 'Designing the Next 50' project to involve the public in shaping the future of the UAE.
The digital platform was launched to gather ideas from citizens and residents on shaping the UAE's next 50 years in various sectors including health, education, economy and environment.
Public and private entities were asked to use interactive tools including remote meetings, surveys and discussion sessions to receive feedback from the public.
In 2017, Sheikh Mohammed posted an open call on social media for a “job vacancy” to all Arabs in the Arab nation between the ages of 5 to 95. Promising a 'reward' of Dh1 million, the vacancy was for people who were “experienced in dealing with people”, had experience in “in humanitarian, volunteering or charity work” and believed “in the abilities of people around” them.
The post kickstarted the Arab Hope Makers campaign, which is currently the largest initiative of its kind to honour individuals and institutions in the Arab world with philanthropic efforts that seek to improve lives.
An open letter by Sheikh Mohammed set the ball rolling on emiratisation in 2019. Posted on his social media platforms, the letter was directed at government officials, ministers and residents of the UAE.
Putting forth six important messages, he addressed several issues including foreign policy, local economy and the importance of government performance. In it, he wrote ‘Providing jobs for Emiratis was and will remain our top priority.” He also reminded government employees that “the government exists to serve people” and encouraged them to deal with people’s demands. “Any entity that fears to face people is an institution that has lost confidence in itself,” he said.
In July this year, Sheikh Mohammed acknowledged the exceptional academic performance of high school graduates in the country and underscored their crucial role in shaping the future of the UAE in a heartwarming note on social media
The note came just days after he personally called and congratulated Yasmin Mahmoud Abdullah Mohamed Ali, a student from Al Rashidiya Girls' Secondary School, for securing the prestigious first place in the elite track at the national level.
Penned when he completed 15 years as the Head of the UAE Government in 2021, Sheikh Mohammed recalled the challenges he faced and how he overcame them. Addressing the people of the country as his “brothers and sisters”, he explained how when the federal government launched the UAE Vision 2021 wanting to be the best country in the world, people were skeptical.
“Some questioned the feasibility of launching a strategy and goals spanning 12 years. But today, we see the results as a reality that our people are living in today,” he wrote. He addressed other topics such as the strength of the UAE passport, importance of investing in reforms and the lessons learnt in 15 years. He signed off the letter with the words “your brother Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum".
In 2021, Sheikh Mohammed posted a video message on his social media channels addressing investors and talented individuals from around the world. Announcing the launch of a global media economic campaign, he wrote “Our roots are Arab, our ambitions are global.”
The video was part of a series of initiatives the UAE launched to promote itself as a destination of choice for work, investment, entrepreneurship, education and life.
Four Dubai residents, whose video of saving a pregnant cat as she fell from a second-floor balcony, received generous cash prizes from the Dubai Ruler in 2021. Hailing them as ‘unsung heroes', Sheikh Mohammed praised their quick thinking, sending out the message that every life is valuable in this country.
Prior to handing over the cash, he had posted the video on social media saying he was “proud and happy to see such acts of kindness in our beautiful city” and asking for the public’s help in identifying the men.
The integration of algorithms and real-world data resulted in watercolour-style artworks that depict iconic Emirati landmarks and symbols to honour sustainability within the nation
These babies were born at the stroke of midnight across the UAE as the country marked its National Day
Besides the cool greeting, Google also tells the world a bit about the story of the Emirates and why this day is important for the country
Kawkab Mohsin's super-sized paintings catch eyes of visitors during National Day celebrations at Rashid Centre for People of Determination
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The seven emirates were separate states and roads weren’t tarred, but hardened for vehicles to ply on
Authorities have made the announcement as residents plan to celebrate the last long weekend of the year