UAE News Today : Breaking News

Sheikh Mohammed recalls the time ministers laughed at his idea of ​​turning Dubai into a tourist destination – News


Now, the emirate is among the world’s top destinations, ranking fourth in terms of tourism revenue.

Published: Saturday, October 7, 2023, 9:47 p.m.

Last update: Saturday, October 7, 2023, 10:13 p.m.

The ruler of Dubai has always believed in the emirate’s tourism potential, even in the 1980s, when many laughed at the idea.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, on Saturday shared a moving anecdote about how he garnered eyeballs when he opened the topic of developing the emirate and the Gulf as tourism. destination.

At the time he was a young minister in his 30s, he said. He was attending one of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) meetings, where ministers were discussing the seemingly endless crises and challenges in the region.

“I was the youngest person in the session and the most bored with the endless political chatter. I asked to speak and suggested to the ministers: ‘Why don’t we turn Gulf cities into global tourist destinations? Can we start in Dubai?’ ‘”

This bold suggestion caught the attention of senior ministers, but not in a positive way.

‘What will tourists find in Dubai?’

“All eyes turned to me,” Sheikh Mohammed said, adding: “Then there was a short silence that was interrupted by the laughter of one of the older foreign ministers.”

“He (senior foreign minister) said: What will tourists find in Dubai and our Gulf cities? The desert? Sand? Heat and humidity? The rest laughed,” Sheikh Mohammed continued.

Then, in a tone of seniority, the minister addressed Sheikh Mohammed: “Where is the cultural heritage, civilization and human history in Dubai so that people can visit it?”

Sheikh Mohammed, however, was unfazed and took it in stride.

He said: “I didn’t argue with him. But I felt sad because why can’t we make better use of our wealth? Why can’t we trust our youth? And can’t we try something different from what we know and are familiar with?

Four decades later

Four decades later, history has clearly vindicated Sheikh Mohammed.

The ruler of Dubai, who is credited with being the force behind the emirate’s transformation into one of the world’s leading cities, proudly shared the outcome of the latest report from the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

“The United Arab Emirates ranked fourth among the countries with the highest income from international tourism, with total income of 224 billion dirhams (61 billion dollars) last year alone, surpassing older countries such as France, Italy, Turkey and Germany in international tourism,” said Sheikh Mohammed. .

“Only the United States, Spain and the United Kingdom preceded us in the ranking,” he added.

Sheikh Mohammed poignantly continued: “I read the report and remembered my friend, the foreign minister.”

Sheikh Mohammed, who became ruler of Dubai in 2006, is now 74 years old. His unwavering faith in the youth then and now has never changed. He always believes that the future of the country is in the hands of the youth and training the next generation of leaders is one of his main priorities.


UAE News Today :

UAE News Today : Latest UAE News, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah & Middle East News : Get the latest updates & breaking headlines news from across the UAE including Dubai and Abu Dhabi UAE. Get the latest update on UAE, business, life style, UAE jobs, gold rate, Exchange rate, UAE holidays, Dubai police, RTA and prayer times from UAE's largest news.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button