Dubai to be twice as prosperous in three years
Q: Your Highness, people say that you have left your mark all over Dubai. What is your vision for this emirate over the next decade?
A: I think it is impossible for anyone to predict what will happen in the next ten years, but I can assure you of one thing - within three years, Dubai will be twice as prosperous as it is now.
Q: How do you explain the growth that Dubai is experiencing when other regions of the world are suffering from stagnation and recession?
A: We do not hide behind problems. Instead, we are motivated by a vision and we have the courage to achieve progress and to develop our country tirelessly. I do not stand alone in this; there are teams of hard-working young people behind me. I put forward ideas and set objectives then they put them into practice - that is the way it is done in Dubai.
Q: Although this area was a desert full of sand, we now find an international city full of life and activity. Some believe that the word ‘impossible' has no place in your dictionary.
A: I like challenge. If I see something impossible, I want to make it possible. We also make it possible for everyone to dream and then we transform dreams into reality.
Q: Burj Al Arab emerged from the sea and is now considered one of the world's most outstanding landmarks. Do you employ magicians?
A: Never. I work alone. We do not have consultants because we draw on our own experience. We lead in everything that we do, without copying anyone. We use our experience to arrive at our goals, so everything you see here started as an idea that no one else had implemented.
Q: What you are doing is not just changing the sea into land - Burj Al Arab in particular has exceeded all standards.
A: This is true. But all the projects implemented here are unique because we don't duplicate or reproduce the experiences of others. On the contrary, we always create our own experiences and we look forward to being pioneers in this field. Dubai really is a success story. I hope other countries will learn from Dubai.
Q: World Bank President James Wolfensohn and other visitors stated that Dubai did a great job in hosting the Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
A: I met the heads of all the participating delegations and they were all very pleased. This made me very happy because if our guests are happy, then we are happy.
Q: Arab hospitality is legendary throughout the world.
A: Certainly, but you must remember that what we did was not just put on for the event - this is our way of life. We do not promote our home just for the sake of these meetings as we do not like pretence - we would like Dubai to be a place where everyone can be happy.
Q: Dubai is the crossroads of the New World Economy - this is one of your recent mottos - and Dubai has become a new international centre. Does Dubai compete with Wall Street?
A: No, our aim is to finish what others have started. As you know, we have the East and the West and, due to the time difference, hours and even some weekdays are lost, so we try to cover these days. This way, people can perform their commercial transactions around the clock - when the stock market in Frankfurt or London closes, Dubai will be open.
Q: What you are doing is not just adding stars to the hotel industry or proving that Dubai can work over the West's weekend - Saturday and Sunday - you are creating new opportunities, aren't you?
A: Yes, we are.
Q: You have personally invested a fortune in Dubai. How much has been invested in Dubai and how many billions will it take for its growth to be complete?
A: The amount of investment that is required is unimportant to us, what we care about is finishing this project. Many people invest here. The government does not invest in anything because companies and individuals make the investments.
Q: It seems that Dubai has become very well known. Do you have any comments about this?
A: I think that many people would like to come to Dubai so that their children can be brought up in an Arab country. Investors who used to live in Europe or the United States want to come back. In addition, Dubai is the best place for them to invest in.
Q: Dubai has attracted world famous people such as Robbie Williams, the famous singer, and others who intend to buy villas on The Palm islands.
A: Yes. The Palm is one of hundreds of projects that we will implement. The World and The Palm projects are smaller than the projects we plan to implement. There are many such projects - when you next visit Dubai you will see a difference.
Q: It was announced that you are planning to have the legendary Atlantis on one of The Palm islands: Do you possess extraordinary powers? Or have you discovered the formula for making gold?
A: One must have a vision but this is not enough ? one must arm oneself with determination and courage in order to achieve this vision.
Q: What is Sheikh Mohammed's greatest dream?
A: My greatest dream is what I am now thinking and doing. Every day there is a dream and every day I dream, but we translate dreams into reality, this is our work.
Al SadaWednesday, October 1, 2003