Tribute by Arif Mubarak, CEO, Dubai Asset Management
As the Year of Zayed draws to a close, there are numerous lessons to be recounted, lasting memories to be refreshed, and most importantly, an enduring legacy to be kept alive.
While we have extensively documented the achievements of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, shared anecdotes, and paid homage to the Founding Father of the Nation, it has been particularly heartwarming to witness the outpouring of love and dedication for Sheikh Zayed that has spanned borders, nationalities and ideologies: a true testimony to the tremendous impact this great leader has made on the fabric of our nation, and the region as a whole.
For those not fortunate to have met him or lived in the UAE during his rule, all you have to do is look around – the nation reflects the man.
A great and beloved leader, he displayed exceptional humility at all times, and his ability to rally the support and dedication of his people was admirable. People gravitated towards him, and he would respond in equal measure, with utmost care and respect.
While being firmly rooted in the traditions and heritage of this land, he had an immense reservoir for tolerance, open-mindedness and respect for all others. The United Arab Emirates of today, in essence, is the embodiment of Sheikh Zayed, and stands as a symbol of unity in the Arab world.
You can see his reflection in everything, from the changes he introduced, to the process of development he led, which was nothing short of a cultural and economic revolution. The farsightedness of his statesmanship is evident across the spectrum, be it in our foreign policies, the gender equality measures, or the culture of philanthropy embedded in all of us.
We have to look to the future and not the past to really understand the timeless relevance of his vision and the untiring effort he put into ensuring that the UAE has a prominent place, not just in the GCC but on the global stage.
Most headline events of our country can be attributed to him. Foremost were his efforts, in accordance with the other Emirates rulers, in consolidating the Trucial States into a nation, bringing together all the homogeneous ingredients such as a common purpose, common language, and common culture to form an entity called the UAE. A nation that has since demonstrated a stratospheric record of achievements and prosperity, enabling it to be counted among the most dynamic countries in the world in record time.
From our successful space programme, hosting the World Expo in 2020, and being named the Most Generous Country in the World, to the most recent ruling that raises the representation of Emirati women in the Federal National Council to 50 per cent, and formally ratifying the Paris Climate Agreement – there is no doubt that his legacy successfully lives on.
As one who has lived through his leadership, the onus is on us to ensure that his vision and achievements continue to inspire future generations. And it is this very same embodiment of his values that have distilled into the value systems of our children, our schools, our businesses, and leadership.
Source: Arabian Business Vol. 19 Issue 47 I December 23 – January 5, 2019