His Excellency Mohammad Al Gergawi (pictured), minister of cabinet affairs in the federal government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), introduced himself to international journalists at the World Government Summit before taking the stage.
Presenting in Arabic and English, Al Gergawi underlined the wider approach that he and his team follow.
“As a government, we must realise that we are actually a business – and that business is a company whose mission is to create happiness for the people,” said Al Gergawi.
Although the UAE’s openness may come as surprise to some, the nation is trying to create a positive attitude towards women in the workplace and the need to embrace modern cultural change has been affirmed by prime minister of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
On women’s issues specifically, Sheikh Mohammed has said, “Can a society take any step forward without its better half?”
In his book Flashes of Thought, Sheikh Mohammed writes, “A true leader is one that creates a favourable environment to bring out the energy and ability of his or her team. A great leader creates more great leaders and does not reduce the institution to a single person.”
Commentators say that Dubai’s apparent openness is born out of its desire to be economically vibrant after the oil runs dry. Tourism, shipping and air transport are key points of focus.