Only a visionary leader who takes revolutionary steps can change the destiny of a nation. For national development, a comprehensive strategy is required. The strategy must be based on well-thought-through plans, energetic initiatives and uninterrupted effort. Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia have developed through well-devised mechanisms orchestrated by their respective leaders. The development of these countries has taken decades. But Dubai's development story is quite different. This desert emirate has seen an impressive development within no time at all. Look how the humble houses have transformed into grand palaces and townships. The Deira souk, which was once composed of a few shops, has now transformed into one of the world's most renowned malls. The fishing and pearl trades have been replaced by gold and diamond businesses. The old style hotels have now been replaced by world-class hotels and bar clubs. The transportation system that comprised of camels and boats has been replaced by the world's most advanced metro system. There was a lone airport in Dubai but now that has changed into huge airports and the emirate is a hub of international aviation. Other countries reached the peak of their development in decades, but Dubai did it in mere years.
These drastic changes did not happen miraculously. There was a strong vision, revolutionary steps and dynamic leadership behind it. The credit for Dubai's unprecedented development goes to its visionary leaders who laid down a strong foundation. The dream of the late ruler Sheikh Rashid has been transformed into reality by his son His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. When Sheikh Mohammed became the Crown Prince of Dubai, he spoke these valuable words regarding his proud father about the unbelievable development of Dubai: "My father was the true father of Dubai. I follow his example." Numerous factors have led to the fast growth of Dubai, but the liberal and independent business policy adopted by the emirate has played a significant role.
Dubai is lucky to have a unique ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, whose revolutionary vision has brought Dubai to the top. He is a man of his word and has defined the role of leadership. Both as the Crown Prince and now as ruler of Dubai, his strategic policies focusing on "Destination Dubai" have revolutionized the emirate. His wise initiatives such as Dubai Shopping Festival, Palm Island, Emirates airline, Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, the Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, Dubai Cares, Noor Dubai, Dubai Metro and the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015 have exposed the emirate to the world. His economic vision has changed it into an international financial hub. The skyscrapers and beautiful landscapes have helped Dubai become one of the world's top tourist destinations. Every year millions of tourists come and enjoy the superb sights of Dubai and the hospitality of its hotels.
The unique geographic and strategic position of Dubai adds some extra points. It has direct air and sea route connections with the regional business hubs of Karachi, Mumbai, Beirut, Jeddah, Muscat, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. The connections of these port cities have given a huge boost to its business activity. The booming tourism and real estate industries have attracted real estate agents and business tycoons globally. With the coming of these companies, thousands of new jobs are created and filled every day. Another factor for a booming Dubai is the rule of law. In this mega city, all are equal before the law - whether they are Emirati, Arab, Asian or Western - and all are treated equally. The safe and secure life enjoyed by its residents has attracted more and more people and businesspeople to Dubai. There are no tensions over security. The widely-acclaimed polite behavior of the Dubai Police in this multi-cultural society has further enhanced its popularity.
The ever-increasing number of modern educational institutions has given another boost to Dubai. People come from neighboring countries, especially the Arab states, to receive higher education from internationally-accredited colleges and universities. Even the Arab Spring turmoil has given an extra boost to Dubai's economic boom. The unending troubles in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Yemen and Libya has disturbed many businessmen. They have left their countries and established their businesses in the tension-free Dubai market.
The winning of the Dubai Expo 2020 was a landmark achievement for the emirate. It has changed the general outlook of Dubai. A large number of international companies are making a beeline for Dubai. The rising purchasing of property and booking of offices by these firms has boosted the real estate business. These companies have created numerous job opportunities that have attracted thousands of job seekers from around the world. Dubai's impressive development has astonished the world. If the current fast pace of growth continues, then the day is not far off when the city will be declared the world's top destination. Credit for all this monumental development goes to the bold and sincere leadership of Dubai.