Sands and ambition…

Tomorrow we enter the long weekend – a weekend of celebration.

A celebration of a young, but ambitious nation. One that was built not on abundance of people or resources, but of vision and resolve. One that could have squandered away its newly-found wealth, but instead chose to lay the foundation of sustained prosperity.

I come from a country whose history is unparalleled, whose resources are abundant and whose culture is the most diverse on earth. And I’m lucky to have as my karmabhoomi a country that I am equally proud of – one that has showed the world that size does matter – not the land, or the number of people, but the extent of one’s dreams.

This country has been built with the hard work of Emiratis and expatriates from over 180 nations – a collective effort in transforming a desert into one of the world’s foremost destinations – to visit, to live and to work.

I love being here, working here and becoming a small part in the success of the UAE. The land is given me a lot, more than I ever imagined. And I am thankful that I got the opportunity to contribute whatever little I have in the scheme of things and learn even more.

Here is something that I wrote a couple of years back. The feeling continues…

Wish you all a very happy UAE National Day weekend!

Its 2021, and by now, many countries have celebrated their golden jubilees, and more. The United Arab Emirates celebrates it’s 50th tomorrow, but there is a difference.

This country, of which I have been a part from the past 16 years, was built from scratch. Literally from sand. How does a land with a very few people and largely a desert, end up becoming what it has?

How does a land that did not have an airline till 1980, and then made one with three borrowed planes, now operate one of the largest airlines in the world?

How does a country with less than a million citizens send a probe to Mars and beyond?

How does the UAE attract over 180 nationalities to live and work peacefully, coexist in a relatively small place?

There are many such questions, but I guess the answers can be summed up in one word – RESOLVE.

The nation’s leadership, the people, even the expatriates who have made the UAE their home – all have a resolve. To achieve something, to make their mark. To show that they can dream beyond what is thought possible, and then get it done.

I had an interesting conversation with an Emirati client a few days back. A free zone had asked him to wait 6 months before making an application for a cutting-edge fintech. “What the world takes five years to do, we in Dubai do it in six months”, he said. “Asking me to wait six months is like making me wait five years.”

A good way to sum up the spirit of Dubai. Let’s get it done, and fast, and better than anyone else. Simple. Try this in your own life and see the difference it makes in the way you work and in what you end up achieving.

Tomorrow is the golden jubilee celebration of my adopted home. I join my fellow expatriates and locals in celebrating the spirit that is UAE.

To the next glorious fifty!