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It is time to look into the future with confidence and optimism: Mohammed bin Rashid

posted on 02/12/2013: 1993 views



His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai has reaffirmed the keenness of the UAE leadership, government and people for economic and cultural openness and contribution to the peace and amity among peoples of the world.

In his speech to mark the 42nd anniversary of the UAE National Day, published by 'Dira'a Al Watan' magazine, Sheikh Mohammed highlighted the achievements made by the UAE in 2013 including, among others, the accelerated pace of economic growth.

He paid homage to the forefathers who preserved this land by standing firm against all challenges and by defying the harsh environment, scarce resources and difficult living conditions and congratulated His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the country, who is leading the Emirates through the avenues of advancement and who is giving the federation an impetus to grow stronger.

"This year," he noted, "The UAE made the largest progress ever made in the fields of global competitiveness, according to reports by the United Nations and other international organisations concerned with comprehensive development, modernity, stability, prosperity and happiness." Spelling out some of many achievements the UAE has made, Sheikh Mohammed said, 'Our country has made achievements in all domains. Our economy continues to flourish, registering the highest growth rates in the region and counted among the best performing in the world. The government's budget for 2011-13, made a big success, leading to marked improvements in the use of resources and development of government performance. The three-year 2013-16 budget, with a 15 percent increase, was issued and half of its expenses have been allocated for social benefits to citizens and human development programmes, being the main pillar for the government's policies, plans, strategies and initiatives.

'The success of our country was not a product of mere chance, but as a result of the leadership's vision, planning and keen interest in serving the country and its citizens. It is a result of continuous interaction among different generations and the unique relation of trust and allegiance between the people and their leader. It is a result of self-development, knowledge and the ability to adapt to changes. Our success is complemented by our optimistic forward looking, yearning for excellence, encouraging innovation and believing that failure is just another experience in life and a good lesson for the next attempt.

'As much proud as we are, we are not going to be intoxicated by these successes. They are in fact, an alarm for us to continue shouldering our responsibilities and a call for us to rally our efforts and to move on with our task of achieving further progress to our country,' he added.

Sheikh Mohammed said, 'It is time to look into the future with confidence and optimism. We stand on a solid ground. Our people are enjoying the fruits of the development process and becoming an essential part of it. Our country is enjoying respect and making a strong presence in international arenas and becoming an icon for determination for success.' The Vice President noted that just a few days before celebrating the 42nd National Day anniversary, all these indices culminated in the resounding win as the country was announced winner of the Expo 2020 hosting bid, following an arduous 2-year journey of competition with internationally-renowned cities.

'As His Highness Sheikh Khalifa affirmed, our joy in the UAE was doubled by the win as it coincides with the celebrations of the 42nd National Day. This success was the culmination of a series of successes and great achievements the UAE has been incessantly making since its establishment 42 years ago to remain in the lead in all fields.

'We have a lot to accomplish and we have no excuse for any delays or poor performance. We have what it takes to achieve as we are blessed with rich resources, capabilities, expertise, positive energy, thirst for knowledge, dedication and above all, the leadership's unlimited support,' Sheikh Mohammed emphasised.

The future, he continued to say, is for everyone, but only those who heed its call, speak its language and explore its directions, will be able to get a fair share of it. 'Future knows no waiting, delay or procrastination. Therefore, our only choice in the UAE is to put future at the hearts of our plans. We should make the future by competing for a place in it.

'We speak the same language of the future and we are ready for its challenges, without ignoring challenges of the present.' Farther afield, Sheikh Mohamed said, "We closely monitor the developments in the region and the world and do what we can to enhance regional security and stability and in supporting peoples' right for the determination of their future. We help fraternal countries with their development plans.'

Below is the full text of Sheikh Mohammed's speech: Fellow countrymen, We salute our beloved country as we celebrate the 42nd anniversary of the federation and beginning of the march for progress and prosperity.

On this day, we remember the founders of the modern UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, his companion the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum and their brothers the rulers, who all met on 2nd December 1971, armed with their deep belief and keenness on their country and people's interests and eventually, witnessing the birth of the United Arab Emirates and the onset of the country's renaissance.

We also pay homage to our forefathers who preserved this land by standing firm against all challenges and by defying harsh environment, scarce resources and difficult living conditions.

I salute and congratulate my brother, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of our country, who is leading us through the avenues of advancement and who is giving our federation an impetus to grow stronger.

I also congratulate my brothers, Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, and my brother H.H. General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Fellow citizens, As we see off an eventful federal year, we welcome a new year united in our effort and resolute on our vision to maintain security and stability and to continue our sustainable development drive to achieve prosperity and progress and to preserve our traditions, heritage and identity.

Men and women of the UAE; it is time to look into the future with confidence and optimism. We stand on solid ground. Our people are enjoying the fruits of development process and becoming an essential part of it. Our country is enjoying respect and making a strong presence in international arenas and becoming an icon for determination for success.

Our country has made achievements in all domains. Our economy continues to flourish, registering the highest growth rates in the region and is counted among the best performing in the world. The government's budget for the three-year 2011-13 made a big success, leading to marked improvements in the use of resources and development of government performance. The three-year 2013-16 budget, with a 15 percent increase, was issued and half of its expenses have been allocated for social benefits to citizens and human development programmes, being the main pillar for the government's policies, plans, strategies and initiatives.

This year, our country made the largest progress ever made in the fields of global competitiveness, according to reports by the United Nations and other international organisations concerned with comprehensive development, modernity, stability, prosperity and happiness.

According to the Global Competitiveness Report for 2013-2014, the UAE advanced five positions in the total competitiveness of its economy in one year, from 24th last year to the 19th this year.

The UAE also gained advanced positions worldwide in many indices as it came 1st worldwide in quality of roads, absence of organised crime and containment of the effects of inflation, 2nd worldwide in foreign direct investment and technology transfer, 3rd worldwide in citizens' trust in political leaders and 4th worldwide in efficiency of its markets.

Additionally, the UAE came 3rd worldwide in the index of government purchases of advanced technology, 4th worldwide in quality of infrastructure, 2nd worldwide in the low effect of crime on business sector and 3rd worldwide in the infrastructure of its air transport.

Just a few days before celebrating our 42nd National Day anniversary, all these indices culminated in a resounding win as our country was announced winner of the Expo 2020 hosting bid, following an 2-year arduous journey of competition with internationally-renowned cities.

As His Highness Sheikh Khalifa affirmed, our joy in the UAE was doubled by the win as it coincides with the celebrations of the 42nd National Day. This success was the culmination of a series of successes and great achievements the UAE has been incessantly making since its establishment 42 years ago to remain in the lead in all fields.

Fellow citizens, The success of our country was not a product of mere chance, but as a result of leadership's vision, planning and keen interest in serving the country and its citizens. It is a result of continuous interaction among different generations and the unique relation of trust and allegiance between the people and their leader. It is a result of self-development, knowledge and the ability to adapt to changes. Our success is complemented by our optimistic forward looking, yearning for excellence, encouraging innovation and believing that failure is just another experience in life and a good lesson for the next attempt.

As proud as we are, we are not going to be intoxicated by these successes. They are in fact, an alarm for us to continue shouldering our responsibilities and a call for us to rally our efforts and to move on with our task of achieving further progress to our country.

Fellow citizens, You are well aware that your government is marching ahead, inspired by the National Action Programme initiated by His Highness the President in 2005 and our UAE Vision 2021.

Our government will keep its promise of driving change, building team-work, and empowering Emiratis to realize their ambitions.

We have a lot to accomplish and we have no excuse for any delays or poor performance. We have what it takes to achieve as we are blessed with rich resources, capabilities, expertise, positive energy, thirst for knowledge, dedication and above all, the leadership's unlimited support.

I said it once and I say it again: that every peak we reach overlooks the next. This is the recipe for success and advancement. One's success is not only for them, but against them as well and the more successful you are, the more responsible you become. Sustaining success requires development and success brings with it new challenges of how to keep pace with changes because knowledge is on the rise and every day, there are new inventions, applications and solutions in agriculture, industry, medicine, engineering, telecommunications and other services.

We have never feared challenges, no matter of what kind they are and how quickly they are posed. Our hands have never been tied before any challenge. We addressed them and we confronted them, knowing that they are usually accompanied by opportunities. Our duty is to contain challenges and make use of the opportunities. I am confident that we are capable of doing this by the grace of Allah and thanks to our experience in building an exemplary country in terms of comprehensive development, political empowerment and economic and social development.

Fellow citizens, The future is for everyone, but only those who heed its call, speak its language and explore its directions, will be able to get a fair share of it. Future knows no waiting, delay or procrastination. Therefore, our only choice in the UAE is to put the future at the hearts of our plans. We should make the future by competing for a place in it.

Going by this, we launched the Smart Government initiative, whereby government services will be delivered via mobile phones and other advanced technology tools as part of a vision to provide services to clients where ever they are and at any time.



The modern telecommunication technology is infused into a palm-sized device that has become one of life's necessities, especially for the younger generations. It is now a trusted device for doing business and performing government and private transactions and is greatly impacting the lifestyle and sources of living for the people and the work of telecommunication companies, media, banks, commerce, services, logistics, aviation and tourism. It has also impacted governmental services, infrastructure, education and human resources planning.

This development creates a challenge before governments, private sectors and societies in general. Those who want to be part of smart future should adapt to its needs. We in the UAE prepared for the adaptation process early. The government organised a major workshop on the timely implementation of smart government. Leading this strategic process, the government is expecting the private sector to actively engage by developing its techniques and by providing training to employees of that sector. It also expect the media to play a role in spreading culture and concepts of smart government.

Transformation into a smart government is essential for sustaining our economic growth, enhancing our human resources, improving excellence in government performance and continuing the climb to the top of the global competitiveness index.

After pioneering the e-government fields, we will be the pioneers in the smart era, with all concerned getting busy, strategies being carved out, plans made, timelines drawn and government entities racing against time to complete building infrastructure for smart technology, training employees and developing contents.

Fellow citizens, We speak the same language of the future and we are ready for its challenges, without ignoring the challenges of the present.

At the top of these challenges is developing education at all levels. There are huge efforts being made in this field and satisfactory results are achieved. The educational performance indices improved significantly, leading the country to move up in global rankings. We are determined to achieve our objectives in education development because it is the main pillar in the nations' progress with its positive outcomes to cope with the rapid changes and with the smart future we mentioned here.

We are also moving with enhancing healthcare services in terms of quality and extent. We are keen on maintaining world-class standards for our healthcare facilities.

We made tremendous achievements in providing houses to citizens. Yet, we look forward to doing better. Thanks to the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme, to His Highness the President's initiatives, and to the housing schemes at the local levels, we will realise our ambition of granting houses to all illegible applicants in a period shorter than 3 years from application date.



Additionally, we are working on updating our legislations as part of our keenness to bolster law and justice by providing a new umbrella for simplifying litigation and speeding up commercial and general dispute settlement processes.

We are also aware of different types of challenges, some of which come with risks to our national interests. I mean the challenges resulting from the tense situation in the region, the transitional difficulties faced by some Arab countries, the diminishing role of the Arab regional order and the volatile international situation, all reflecting on the regional security and preventing world powers and international community from taking their roles in resolving chronic issues like the Palestinian cause and the developments in Syria.

We closely monitor the developments in the region and the world and do what we can to enhance regional security and stability and in supporting peoples' right for determination of their future. We help fraternal countries with their development plans.

While closely following up developments, we prepare for the worst, relying on our capabilities, our principles, our unity, our loyalty to the leaders and our keenness for the security and stability of our country.

Fellow citizens, As we celebrate the 42nd anniversary of our National Day, I thank Allah for the peace, security and success of the UAE and pray that He will give us the strength to continue serving our country and our people. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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