LEAD BY EX­AM­PLE

His High­ness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Coun­cil Mem­ber and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah

Arabian Business English - - SPECIAL -

THANK YOU LADIES AND gen­tle­men, distin­guished guests, and thank you to

Ara­bian Busi­ness for this award of Vi­sion­ary Leader of the Year. I ac­cept this award not just for my­self, but for two im­por­tant groups of peo­ple: the peo­ple I am priv­i­leged to lead, and the peo­ple who have in­spired me. First and fore­most, I con­sider my­self for­tu­nate to be lead­ing so many tal­ented, hard-work­ing and com­mit­ted in­di­vid­u­als.

In ad­di­tion to the Emi­rati peo­ple, Ras Al Khaimah is also home to all races and re­li­gions – peo­ple who are help­ing to make this one of the great­est places in the world. This award is re­ally for the won­der­ful peo­ple of Ras Al Khaimah and the UAE.

An­drew [Neil] was telling me ear­lier he had never ac­tu­ally been to Ras Al Khaimah. Well An­drew, I’d like to in­vite you. But you will need to spend more than one night to truly un­der­stand who we are, where we have come from and where we are go­ing.

Ras Al Khaimah, as I’m sure you are aware, has changed sig­nif­i­cantly in a short pe­riod of time. His­tor­i­cally, we were known as sea­far­ers and traders. Then we be­came a place of in­dus­try, with rocks, ceram­ics, ports and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals. And while we are still pro­vid­ing the raw ma­te­ri­als for the re­gion’s big­gest projects, we have diver­si­fied our econ­omy fur­ther. We are now home to start-ups, auto man­u­fac­tur­ers, tourist at­tractions, res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ments and much more.

But we are not go­ing to stop there. We see great po­ten­tial and prom­ise in our grow­ing tourism sec­tor. Fif­teen years ago we had only one five-star ho­tel but to­day we have many. In just five years we have dou­bled our tourist num­bers, as we had half a mil­lion vis­i­tors in 2013 and this year we ex­pect to ex­ceed one mil­lion. By 2025, we aim to have three mil­lion vis­i­tors.

Just as im­por­tant is the fact that tourism makes up five per­cent of our to­tal GDP. Go­ing for­ward we ex­pect that it will ac­count for ten per­cent by 2025, which will help to fur­ther en­hance the growth of our lo­cal econ­omy.

At a time when coun­tries across the re­gion are look­ing to move away from an oil-based econ­omy, you’ll find Ras Al Khaimah has had a di­verse econ­omy for a long time – be­cause we didn’t have oil to be­gin with!

Ul­ti­mately, I be­lieve that our true wealth is in our peo­ple, our hu­man cap­i­tal. We, the Emi­rati peo­ple, are a hum­ble, gen­er­ous and in­tel­li­gent peo­ple with a true com­mu­nity spirit. Some peo­ple you meet in this world want to achieve things in their life­time. But what’s more im­por­tant is to make a mark for gen­er­a­tions to come – and that’s what I seek to achieve. While my time on this earth is fi­nite, Ras Al Khaimah’s suc­cess should be end­less.

But how do we achieve this? I think it be­gins by tan­gi­bly im­prov­ing the lives of the peo­ple and build­ing stronger in­sti­tu­tions, from gov­ern­ment de­part­ments and ser­vices, to schools, uni­ver­si­ties, hos­pi­tals. We need to rein­vent and reengi­neer our­selves to en­sure pros­per­ity. We need to make sure our cul­ture and val­ues that have en­abled older gen­er­a­tions to sur­vive and pros­per are in­stilled in fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

Cul­ture and tra­di­tions are val­ues that we need to keep, as they man­date us to learn and live in peace. Our val­ues and tra­di­tions have taught us tol­er­ance. They

“Our fu­ture suc­cess will be very much down to the hard work and suc­cess of those who came be­fore us. They too have in­spired me so much” “I be­lieve that our true wealth is in our peo­ple, our hu­man cap­i­tal. We, the Emi­rati peo­ple, are a hum­ble, gen­er­ous and in­tel­li­gent peo­ple with a true com­mu­nity spirit”

are time­less doc­trines for us, es­pe­cially in the age of glob­al­i­sa­tion. I be­lieve it is just as im­por­tant that we in­tro­duce the world to these val­ues.

But our fu­ture suc­cess will be very much down to the hard work and suc­cess of those who came be­fore us. They too have in­spired me so much.

I was very moved by the video tribute from my son, Sheikh Ahmed. It re­minded me of my own fa­ther, Sheikh Saqr, and what I learned from him.

Yes, I stud­ied hard at school, but my fa­ther helped me re­alise that knowl­edge without wis­dom is a waste. And wis­dom without courage is cow­ardice.

So I stud­ied harder, ob­served my el­ders, my peers and learned. Yes, I made some mis­takes along the way – we all do. But the key is to learn from these mis­takes, to be­come smarter, bet­ter and wiser. As my fa­ther once told me: “Never let fear be your worst en­emy, never let it stop you from do­ing what you want to do. Never let ar­ro­gance stop you from learn­ing from oth­ers. Never let hu­mil­ity stop you from trust­ing your­self.”

Like many of us in the UAE, I of­ten feel lucky to have had two fa­thers: not just my own, but the late Sheikh Zayed, the fa­ther of the UAE. It is es­pe­cially true in this, the Year of Zayed. He had a unique abil­ity to see what was needed to grow his peo­ple, and then how to im­ple­ment it.

As he once said: “Wealth is not money. Wealth lies in men. This is where true power lies, the power we value. This is what has con­vinced us to di­rect all our re­sources to build the in­di­vid­ual, and to use the wealth which God has pro­vided us in the ser­vice of the na­tion.” And that is what I strive each day to do.

How­ever, no mat­ter how much wealth or re­sources a na­tion has, it can­not suc­ceed without fi­nan­cial pru­dence. A leader I greatly ad­mired was the former Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Mar­garet Thatcher. Sit­ting with her when she vis­ited Ras Al Khaimah, she once ex­plained how she ran her house­hold with great fi­nan­cial pru­dence – and how she had ap­plied the same con­cept when it came to run­ning the coun­try, which was re­ally just a big­ger home.

She said, and I quote: “A house­wife needs to man­age her house­hold and en­sure ev­ery­thing is run­ning well. And I take the same stance with run­ning a coun­try; it’s a big­ger house but the same checks and bal­ances need to be in place to en­sure smooth op­er­a­tion.”

I would like to con­clude by ac­knowl­edg­ing and thank­ing the lead­er­ship of the UAE, who have cre­ated a safe and pros­per­ous home for many. Without their vi­sion, this coun­try would not be the great coun­try it is to­day.

Thank you.

“I would like to con­clude by ac­knowl­edg­ing and thank­ing the lead­er­ship of the UAE, who have cre­ated a safe and pros­per­ous home for many”

RAK’s econ­omy has grown 200 per­cent over the past decade thanks to the wise lead­er­ship of Sheikh Saud. He re­ceived the award from ITP Me­dia Group CEO Ali Akawi

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