“The goals are clear, the road is paved and the clock ticks; there is no place for hesitation. There are many who talk, we accomplish.”
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum – Ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates.
I love that quote of Sheikh Mohammed’s. It sums up not only the approach to life that I strive for daily, but also why Dubai is such an exciting, vibrant and dynamic place – there is a profound sense of urgency and hunger for success. Nowhere’s quite like it: from the frenetic pace of the Sheikh Zayed highway and the buzz of the Downtown, to the calm of Jumeirah, and the unspoilt views out onto the waters of the Arabian Gulf. Its visionary leadership, with phenomenal drive, work ethic, and passion have transformed this small Emirate – in less than a generation – into a truly global hub for commerce, travel, sport, education, innovation and tourism. And it is the place I’ve strategically chosen to place myself and my family.
As global citizens, we spend so much of our time on the move that the choice of where to establish a base is really critical. It enables us to launch ourselves on the world unrelentingly. There were three considerations that drove me to choosing Dubai: vision, access, and stability.
I want to be inspired by the place I choose to live in, but not necessarily jusy by the size of the buildings: it’s the city’s leadership – the clarity of purpose and vision – that provides my inspiration. This is in part because of programmes like the Dubai Future Accelerators, which invites young companies to compete to solve challenges facing the city. This could be everything from bringing the uncertainty of cancer diagnoses down with tech (Cure Match), to pushing utilities into the digital age (Quenext). Such exciting, and measurable progress makes the city one of the world’s most advanced, as well as being a really easy place to live full time. Even since I’ve lived there, the changes have been sweeping, and the pace is only picking up.
In practical terms, the geography of the place makes it extraordinary for global citizens like us: you can get to an unrivaled number of places in style. Emirates has undoubtedly been able to capitalise on this to become – I think – the best airline in the world, especially if you are travelling in business or first. Pessimists might say we live in a shrinking world like that’s a bad thing; yes you can get to a lot of places quickly, and perhaps that takes some of the romance out of travel, but I love how the more I journey, the more I realise how big the world really is and how much there is still to explore.
My third and final reason for choosing Dubai as home is the most important: it was to guarantee stability for my family. Travelling a lot takes its toll on them, and a stable and consistent base for your loved ones is vital. Not only is the UAE politically safe, but taking advantage of Dubai’s brilliant education system allows children to grow up in the melting pot of thousands of cultures and different peoples: they are becoming global citizens in a way my generation never could. I’m really excited to see where their global citizenship takes them in the future. Given how the road is paved, and the clock’s ticking, I’m sure Dubai will have morphed again into an even more remarkable – and probably unrecognisable – place by then.