Sheikh Mohammed’s My Vision: Challenges in the Race for Excellence
Loy Machedo’s Book Review
Being a rather detailed book analysis & review, please refer the table of contents to make your selection if you wish to read only the short summary of the this book.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- PART 1: THE INTRODUCTION
- PART 2: THE BOOK IN A NUTSHELL
- PART 3: THE DETAILED ANALYSIS
- PART 4: TIME LINE OF ACHIEVEMENTS FOR DUBAI, UAE
- PART 5: WORD PLAY I ENJOYED IN THE BOOK
- PART 6: CRITICISMS OF THE BOOK
- PART 7: MOMENT OF TRUTH – THE BOOK SUMMARY
- PART 8: OVERALL RATING OF THIS BOOK
If you are not interested in the detailed review – please skip to Part 6 & Part 7 where I summarize the book without going too much into detail.
SHEIKH MOHAMMED – THE VISION BOOK REVIEW
PART 1 – INTRODUCTION
Sheikh Mohammed or Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Take his name and you get multiple yet strong opinions.
Some consider him a leader, some consider him a cult and some others consider him a tyrant. However, I consider him a polarizing figure who evokes strong emotions.
A leader who is mind-blowing, magical & yet mysterious.
A leader who many consider charismatic, communicative yet controversial
A leader who information, insight and yet remains intriguing.
And given that I stayed in UAE for nearly 40 years of my life – I couldn’t help but admire this man. A larger than life personality. And irrespective what anyone would say or make claims about him – I absolutely admired him.
He is the reason Dubai became a global hub.
He is the reason Dubai became a global brand.
He is the reason you, I and everyone else know Dubai.
In fact, I would go a step further and say Sheikh Mohammed is Dubai & Dubai is Sheikh Mohammed. They both are inseparable in their identity, their personality & their essence.
Mohammed. Sheikh Mohammed built Dubai brick by brick through his vision, his wisdom and his leadership. And no matter what anyone says – He accomplished something that by any means can be considered ‘impossible’. Its not everyday you know of a single individual who could transform a desert into a magical paradise that everyone in their lifetime wishes to visit at least once and a place where millions, if not billions wants to work, live and experience for at least once in their lifetime.
So in my eyes, Sheikh Mohammed is truly a global icon, an exemplary leader and someone I look up to.
However, that doesn’t mean he is without his imperfections & issues. He has had his up’s & down’s and dirty little secrets. However, in this article, I am not going to get into all these controversies and petty issues simply because I choose not to. And neither will I address 2 of his biggest controversies:
The tragic death of his son – Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum
The drama surrounding his daughter – Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum
Simply because these are private family matters and this is his personal business. Just as no one know the truth about something that is a closely guarded secret – its makes absolutely no sense discussing about something which no one can have an insight into both sides of the story and yes – something that is a private family matter.
In my personal experience, I have known one thing – where family matters are concerned, there are too many variables, too many angles and too many personalities that come into play.
So let’s not play favorites here.
You, your family and your family members are not perfect. And just as you wouldn’t like outsides commenting & giving their opinions into your private family matters – lets not discuss about Sheikh Mohammed’s Personal life, Family life and anything else which I can categorize as ‘none-of-your-fucking-business’.
So having said that – lets begin.
SHEIKH MOHAMMED – THE VISION BOOK REVIEW
PART 2 – THE BOOK IN A NUTSHELL
In a nutshell, the book:
Is divided into 5 parts
And among these 5 parts – you have a further division into a total of 13 chapters.
PART 1: The Pulse of Development
CHAPTER 1: The Lion and The Gazelle
PART 2: The Elements of Development Industry
CHAPTER 2: The Vision
CHAPTER 3: Leadership
CHAPTER 4: Management
CHAPTER 5: Decision-Making and Teamwork
PART 3: Development for Survival
CHAPTER 6: The Banks of the Creek
CHAPTER 7: Minding the Minds
CHAPTER 8: The Importance of My Horses
CHAPTER 9: Positive and Negative Energy
PART 4: Excellence in Development
CHAPTER 10: Excellence in Dubai’s Development Vision
CHAPTER 11: Made in Dubai
CHAPTER 12: Institutionalizing Excellence
PART 5: The Road to the Future
CHAPTER 13: The Race of Nations
SHEIKH MOHAMMED – THE VISION BOOK REVIEW
PART 3 – THE DETAILED ANALYSIS
PART 1 – THE PULSE OF DEVELOPMENT
Chapter 1 – The Lion and The Gazelle
- Chapter 1 starts with the Lion & Gazelle analogy
- According to Sheikh Mohammed, everyone remembers the winner. No one remembers who came in second
- Shortest way to a bright future is creativity & pioneering approach
- Sheikh Mohammed believes that there are enough and more qualified UAE citizens in the UAE to fill any vacancy or void
- He addresses the when employing someone better than you, the fear is of job loss or competition is always present which is why people generally prefer employing those ‘not-the-best’
- He also reminds the readers of some of the scientific discovery’s by by Muslims like the Triangular shaped lateen sail and excellence in geography through astronomy which was practiced/discovered way before time.
- He also illustrates the Importance of Speed – i.e. being ahead of the competition & not just competing with them.
- And finally, he ends the chapter by stating the need to be always ready for tomorrow.
PART 2 – THE ELEMENTS OF THE DEVELOPMENT INDUSTRY
Chapter 2 – The Vision
- Sheikh Mohammed shares an incident between himself and his Father – the late Sheikh Rashid where his father was the only person who foresaw the need to create & expand Port Rashid & Jebel Ali port while everyone else doubted his father’s vision.
- He acknowledges that great leaders go through the university of life and not just through academic based universities.
- He gives his definition on what he considers impossible and how UAE & its leaders achieved ‘the impossible’
- According to Sheikh Mohammed – The 1st impossible task that UAE achieved was the formation of UAE – December 2, 1971 despite having a weak economy, very basic health care facilities and a hardly present educational system.
- He beautifully shares the incident of 18 Feb 1968 where Sheikh Zayed (ruler of Abu Dhabi) and Sheikh Rashid (Ruler of Dubai) met at the village of Al Samha and decided to create a unified federation. That lead to UAE’s formation.
- The 2nd impossible task was the construction of Jebel Ali Port – completed in 2 years – inaugurated in 1979 today has 35 Berths
- Sheikh Mohammed shares the 9 elements of True Leaders Vision which includes thought provoking questions like
What is the idea time to propose a vision or
What is the country interest in a vision or
How will we convince investors to finance the project?
- He also shares 11 features of a True leader’s vision points like
A vision should be far-sighted,
A vision’s announcement should have a impact or that
A leader’s vision should be positive
- And finally, according to Sheikh Mohammed, in order to implement a true leadership vision you need
The implementation phase,
Mobilization of Resources,
The winning team,
The perfect timing,
Chapter 3 – Leadership
- Sheikh Mohammed finds it hard to talk about leadership. Considers Leadership one of the most complex subject & complicated issue to explain
- According to him, two of the greatest leaders he has known were Sheikh Zayed & Sheikh Rashid.
- One of the reasons he considers Sheikh Zayed a great leader is because of what he accomplished during his leadership – Drilling artesian wells in the desert even though others felt this was a waste of time. In the past, if anyone would drive down from Abu Dhabi to Al Ain – there was always a risk that people would die due to thirst – Sheikh Zayed created an ultra modern highway with farms surrounded by palm gardens & greenery. Sheikh Zayed single-handedly transformed Abu Dhabi into the world largest oasis
- Where his father – the late Sheikh Rashid was concerned, his greatest achievement was creating the largest man-made port that saved Dubai’s economy.
- Sheikh Mohammed admits in this chapter that he is aware that he cannot make each and everyone a leader. However, he can groom & nurture the talent for such a virtue.
- He outlines 16 traits of successful leadership. Some of them are to face crisis head-on, empower others, setting clear goals, the capacity to make the right decisions & most important to always have a clear concise communication
Chapter 4 – Management
- According to Sheikh Mohammed the crisis of the Arab World is not men, money or morale but managment or management systems
- Over here, he talks about having capable manager – not politicians with lengthy speeches
- Most decisions in the Arab world are taken to please the ones making the decision
- Sheikh Mohammed states “Routine is the enemy of pioneering spirit”
- He asks the Question “Is the citizen supposed to be at the service of the civil servant or the civil servant at the service of the citizen?’
- In this chapter focuses on the 10 key differences between Leadership & Management
- He explicitly states no tolerance towards nepotism, malfeasance or hypocrisy or corruption
- In a very interesting manner, Sheikh Mohammed shares about an incident of him and a Lion
- He also shares his dream to make the public sector services, efficiency and performance better than the private sector
Chapter 5 – Decision Making & Teamwork
- Sheikh Mohammed asks the thoughtful question as to how can a leader avoid making wrong decision?
- He gives the incident during 1991 – The Gulf War, when there were air raids and missile attacks on ships & aircrafts. Insurance companies choose to stop insuring air/sea freight. Under the leadership of Sheikh Mohammed Dubai responded by insuring own air/shipping routes which ensured business was maintained as usual.
- Sheikh Mohammed also shares his decision on November 2001 at the Dubai Air Show – The AED 55 Billion (USD 15 Billion) deal to purchase 58 modern jet aircraft that too 2 months after 9/11 when the entire aviation industry was hit badly and there was a major recession globally.
- He also gives examples of he created Dubai golf course, Dubai Media & Internet City even though the so-called-experts said all these 3 ventures would fail.
- Sheikh Mohammed challenges the common belief that ‘some people say Arabs make good individuals but bad working teams which is why they suffer from bad management & weak institutions’.
- Good teams should be distinguished not only from its work but also thinking, behavior,
- He further adds that good teams should be built on mutual trust, commitment, close cooperation, good communication and clearly set goals.
PART 3 – DEVELOPMENT FOR SURVIVAL
Chapter 6 – The Banks of the Creek
- In this chapter, Sheikh Mohammed speaks on the Pearl industry of UAE
- He gives a historical perspective from 1902 when Sheikh Maktoum Bin Hasher (Ruler of Dubai) abolished all custom duties on Import due to which Indian goods flooded the market making UAE a global hub
- He also outlines the paradigm shift the UAE had to undergo during the 17 year recession of the Great depression from 1929 to 1945
- He elaborates by stating that in 1937 Skeikh Saeed signed a agreement for Oil Exploration with the Trucial States Petroleum Company which was affiliated with the Iraq Oil Company for 75 years with an annual royalty of 30,000 Indian rupees annually and then 200,000 rupees annually once oil was found – unfortunately oil was never found
- The chapter also outlines how Dubai moved into duty free goods with Gold becoming the most exported commodity in the reexport trade
- The critical turning point for Dubai occurred after the dredging of the Creek in 1960 resulting in 2 long berths along its banks
- The chapter also highlights how Sheikh Rashid ordered the expansion & development of Port Rashid, creation of Jebel Ali Port, DUBAL and Dubai World Trade Center
- Oil prices in 1970 were USD $2 per barrel which increased to USD $38 in 1982
- Demand for Aluminium was 151,000 tons in 1983 which rose to 722,000 tonnes in 2005
- UAE’s Economy in 2005 generated $37 Billion in non-oil sectors which was 94% of its GDP
Chapter 7 – Minding The Minds
- In this chapter Sheikh Mohammed talks about the youth and its importance to UAE
- He outlines how he used to identify talent by sending secret shoppers
- Sheikh Mohammed ensured creativity & talent was always nurtured by the creation of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for Young Business Leaders
- I especially loved this paragraph “Most company manager spend a substantial part of their income searching for suitable talent to fill available vacancies. I, on the other hand, spend a substantial part of my time searching for the right positions for talented people. “
- He also stated the importance of women in the world of Arab Leadership
- 3 quarters of graduates in UAE are women
- Sheikh Mohammed admitted that he is even ready to employ 100% women in any department if he feels they are the right candidates for the job.
Chapter 8 – The importance of Horses
- In this chapter Sheikh Mohammed’s confesses his love for Horses and the religious, cultural & traditional importance of horses in the Arabic Culture
- He shares his experience on how he took part in various 160 kms Endurance Challenges and won them
- He also talks about the various breeds – Byerly Turk, Godolphin Barb or Godolphin Arabian and Darley Arabian that are among his favorite breeds.
Chapter 9 – Positive & Negative Energy
- The chapter outlines the importance of motivation & positivity in the workplace
- The fact that Arabs criticize each other a lot
- And the chapter ends with the Importance of having a nurturing environment, excellent training and tools to succeed
PART 4 – EXCELLENCE IN DEVELOPMENT
Chapter 10 – Excellence in Dubai’s Development Vision
- Thanks to a revolutionary program (Dubai Government Excellence Program) Sheikh Mohammed feels that the public Sector is as good as the Private Sector in terms of Efficiency and productivity
- He also addresses the fact that since some departments do not provide the names of all the good performers, they have established follow up mechanism that include undercover shopper teams to uncover such individuals
- The chapter also includes excellence in investment, excellence in integration, stats & figures on how much investment & the GDP has grown, Excellence in Marketing
- Some of the key accomplishments stated in this chapter are – Dubai Shopping Festival, Dubai Summer Surprise & Dubai Tourism and Commercial Marketing Team
- Sheikh Mohammed also speaks about managing resources & cost efficiency and the importance of Coexisting
- Finally the chapter ends with the mention of the blend of 150 different nationalities in the UAE
Chapter 11 – Made in Dubai
- Dubai, UAE which was once upon a time a desert today welcomes more than welcomes 6 million tourists a year (updated today to 20.7 million in 2017)
- Jebel Ali port is the world’s largest man-made port which can be seen from space
- UAE purchased $15 billion worth aircrafts – 58 additional carriers
- Sheikh Mohammed then proceeds to ask 19 questions that position Dubai as the world’s best – like which is the largest media city, largest freezone, most active airport, man man port, tallest building
- Burj Al Arab is designed in the form of an Arab Dhow, the Palm islands shaped as a Date Palm and Jumeriah Beach Hotel shaped as a crest of a wave
- Sheikh Mohammed speaks on the Dubai Way – where you crystalize a vision, set goals, draw plans, set reasonable time for implementation, mobilie resources and signal implementation for the project
- And finally he speaks on what is required for the Road Ahead for Dubai, UAE
Chapter 12 – Institutionalizing Excellence
- Sheikh Mohammed speaks on how the Western concept of Democracy model doesn’t necessary fit everyone and that Arab Democracy & concept of freedom may differ
- He speaks on the culture of excellence by stating German Excellence in Engineering & quality
- He speaks also leading development of models by sharing knowledge, talent & experience
- And finally SM speaks on why there is a need for continuous model of excellence
PART 5 – THE ROAD TO THE FUTURE
Chapter 13 – The Race of Nations
- Sheikh Mohammed speaks on the importance of Peace, Democracy, Globalization, Development of skills, talent and youth, And his vision to grow Dubai to 100%
- He also shares his vision where Dubai will be the central business of the world and the growth of the Arab World as a superpower
SHEIKH MOHAMMED – THE VISION BOOK REVIEW
PART 4 – TIME LINE OF ACHIEVEMENTS FOR DUBAI, UAE
Landmark Achievements – Timeline
- 1963 – Al Maktoum Bridge opened to traffic
- 1963 – Dubai Petroleum and Dubai Offshore Operating Company limited went into partnership
- 1966 – Oil was discovered in Fateh fields and 4 years later another to South-West Fateh
- 1969 – Sheikh Rashid ordered construction of Port Rashid with 4 berths which before completion he reordered for 11 more berths
- 1969 – Sheikh Rashid Orders to construction new Port – Port of Jebel Ali
- 1972 & 1978 – Sheikh Rashid ordered increase in the number of berths in Jebel Ali to 35
- 1979 – Creation of Dubai Aluminium Company DUBAL
- 1979 – Creation of Dubai International Trade Center – the tallest building in the Middle East at that time and one of the world’s largest
- 1985 – Emirates Airlines started in 1985 with 2 chartered aircrafts. Today it has around 244
- 1997 – Dubai Government Excellence Programme was created to help government sector to respond efficiently to the challenges of the new era
- 2000 – Dubai Internet & Media City inaugurated in October 2000
- 2002 the Dubai Financial Center was established
SHEIKH MOHAMMED – THE VISION BOOK REVIEW
PART 5 – WORD PLAY I ENJOYED IN THE BOOK
Word Play in the Book
In the book, I found a number of paragraphs that really caught my imagination & fascination with the word play. Here are some of my favorite lines.
- Page 32 – People talk about ‘Dubai vision’ when they should be talking about the ‘Vision for Dubai’
- Page 96 – Salahuddin Al Ayoubi who said “To make a mistake in clemency is better in my opinion than to be right in punishment”
- Page 113 – Not every rider is a horseman and not every horseman is a knight. A horseman is one who rides a horse, but a knight is a horseman who knows the meaning of riding his horse. Its chivalry, magnanimity and pedigree
- Page 118 – But laziness cannot compete with activity, creativity with monotony, nor motivation with frustration
- Page 121 – Although building is more difficult than destroying, peace more difficult than war and convincing more difficult than imposing, these three ways are more endearing
- Page 129 – Development is an accumulative and integral process; a nutritional recipe for the nations of the world. If the recipe, ingredients and preparation are right, we will enjoy a terrific meal that carries the hallmark of quality
SHEIKH MOHAMMED – THE VISION BOOK REVIEW
PART 6 – CRITICISMS OF THE BOOK
Given that this is a book written by Sheikh Mohammed on his Vision and his Leadership, I wasn’t surprised that there wasn’t any mention about the mistakes or failures. After all – does Sheikh Mohammed consider anything a failure?
Please note – whatever mentioned here in terms of criticism is only limited to what was stated in the book.
- Page 38 – INFORMATION BEING REPEATED AGAIN & AGAIN
Some of the chapters I felt were doing nothing but repeating the same information over and over again. And then there were certain chapters like Chapter Two (sub heading – The development industry) which honestly didn’t make any sense. I was trying to figure out what was the author trying to make? Was it UAE being safe, secure & promoting creativity? Or having the right leadership? Or the youth?
- Page 63 – SPEAK YOUR MIND FREELY?
Sheikh Mohammed states “I appreciate those who speak their minds without fear or hesitation. How can a leader learn from his mistakes if people keep telling him he was right all the time, while deep in their hearts they have another opinion?
You know – I know and everyone knows this is a whole load of rubbish. If you say anything that goes against the ruling family, the religious beliefs or anything that the powers that be find important – you are finished.
End of story.
- Page 61 versus Page 64 – CONTRADICTIONS
On Page 61 Sheikh Mohammed says
“A leader dedicates his life to his people and duty. And therefore has no set working hours. While the working hours of a manager are usually fixed.
While on Page 64 Sheikh Mohammed states
Some people tell me that this manager works hard and is busy all the time, arriving in the office early in the morning and leaving in the night. In my opinion such a manager may not be doing a good job despite his perseverance, if he cannot manage to develop himself and his department and improve its service and efficiency, he is underachieving and losing time.
- Page 70 – Feasibility of Projects?
In Dubai we do not take any decisions unless we are totally confident about the feasibility of the project and our ability to assimilate the market it. But whenever we launch a new project, we never stop until it is completed
Here the criticism is the projects like:
1) The World
2) Palm Jebel Ali
All have not only failed to complete, today they are considered one of the biggest mistakes of any country undertaken.
1) Al Maktoum International Airport
2) Dubai Central
Are complete – they are considered massive flops.
- Page 85 – FREEDOM OF PRESS?
Sheikh Mohammed says
“I never try to impose or imply to the press what they should be writing and publishing because media professionals know how to do their jobs better than I do. What I always wish however, if for criticism to be accurate and supported with content that is the result of professional research and not originating from dubious sources, rumors or insinuations.
Anyone and everyone who has lived in UAE knows this is absolute rubbish. The ministry strictly checks & regulates all information that is published or shared – including that on social media with hefty fines & jail time to those who break these rules.
- Page 130 – LEADERS WALKING WITHOUT SECURITY?
Our leaders walk down the streets without armoured cars and a large entourage of cards and motoercycles because they are not afraid of their people – they are one of them
This is also a whole lot of rubbish.
I have worked in many conferences & exhibitions. And I can tell you without a doubt – 2 to 3 days before any member of the Ruling family was stated to visit the premises, the police, secret police, CID, the personal body guards and every possible team member responsible of the security would literally scan each and every nuke and corner of the venue to ensure 100% safety and security. So the statement that the leader can walk anywhere without security is misleading
- Page 142 – MARKETING VERSUS DELIVERY?
There is a mention about “Excellence in Marketing speaks about Dubai Shopping Festival & Dubai Summer Surprise.
Anyone who has stayed in Dubai, UAE knows for the fact that both these festivals have lost their charm and appeal as they have been over-marketed, over-hyped and over-supplied.
- Page 149 – BALANCED FAMILY LIFE?
Sheikh Mohammed states
We want people to achieve balance in their lives, giving their jobs their due attention and time, and giving the same to their families and themselves because the best time someone can have is with their family. We want them and their families to enjoy life and entertain themselves, otherwise they will not be ready to join the race the following morning.
While this may sound very honorable and beautiful – the reality far far away from what actually happens.
If this statement was limited to only the Emiratis/citizens of the country – I would agree. Absolutely right.
However, if this is a blanket statement which is supposed to include all nationalities – I would say that is without a doubt the most misleading statement ever. Though the intention with which this statement has been made is honorable & respect-worthy – the reality on the shopfloor is totally something else. Most expats are overworked, underpaid & even exploited to work extra hours & even days for free with no overtime.
- Page 156 – WORLD’S BEST HORSES?
The world’s best horses are now being trained in Dubai
Google Search “Scandal-hit racehorse owner Sheikh Mohammed orders ‘junior wife’ to head probe into banned equine drugs found on board Dubai government private jet”
- Page 157 – TRILLION DOLLARS THAT GOT WIPED OUT?
More than a trillion dollars of Arab Assets are invested in US & Europe
After the housing bubble crisis, how much of this wealth has been wiped out?
- Page 203 – DUBAI – THE CENTER OF THE WORLD?
Sheikh Mohammed throughout the book positions Dubai, UAE has been central to the world in terms of trade, economic growth & business. However, here lies the problem. Dubai is one tiny Emirate that forms part of 7-other Emirates which in turn constitute UAE – the country. And if you notice Dubai is the only Emirate that is so aggressive in its drive to become a global hub. However, the same drive, energy & enthusiasm is not shared by the other Emirates. So when you have 7-horses running at different speeds – what would be the fastest the chariot would go? The speed at which the slowest horse runs as it would drag everyone else down. This is the same issue where Dubai, UAE is concerned, Dubai is a city. And it has its limitations. Which is what the world witnessed after the housing bubble crashed. Dubai with all its positivity, speculative marketing & sales approach couldn’t live up to the hype and deliver whatever it promised. And once after most of the investors burned their fingers and investments – no one wanted to trust Dubai, UAE again. Like they say – once bitten, twice shy.
SHEIKH MOHAMMED – THE VISION BOOK REVIEW
PART 7 – MOMENT OF TRUTH – THE BOOK SUMMARY
MOMENT OF TRUTH
Right as I started this book review, I stated “Sheikh Mohammed is Dubai & Dubai is Sheikh Mohammed. They both are inseparable in their identity, their personality & their essence.” I think there is no greater truth than this. Today whatever we see of Dubai, has been achieved, accomplished and ascertained on the capable shoulders of Sheikh Mohammed.
The best analogy I can give you to explain the relationship between Dubai and Sheikh Mohammed is that of a Father & his 1st born baby. Just as the Father is possessive of his child, loves his child unconditionally, is prepared to kill and be killed for his flesh & blood – Sheikh Mohammed holds the same passion, the same obsession and the same unconditional love for his baby – Dubai. This is the city he has shed his sweat, his tears & his blood for and he will continue doing so until his dying day. And that is where the book proves nothing but a testament to that relationship.
Personally speaking, I found the book to be exactly like that – A book written by a Father to share his vision, his hopes and his belief in his child enumerating the past struggles, the present success and the future vision. And just as a Father who cannot see anything wrong with his 1st and only born child – Sheikh Mohammed cannot see any flaws in Dubai. And even if he does see them – he will choose not to address them – rather eliminate them and never talk about them – it is as if it never existed. And that is exactly what the book does – reminds the reader of the struggles of the past, presents the glory of the present and highlights the hopes & dreams of the future. Which is why you will not find a single statement, sentence or even a word that presents Dubai in a neutral state where its positives can be measured & compared to its negatives.
This book is more in line with the manner & method Dubai has been marketed to the world – a Perfect Paradise that you must come down to visit, to stay and to invest where the sky is the limit. It is a statement of human achievement,, happiness & hope. And that is where it concludes – with positivity, with celebration & with hope. So if you were looking out to get both sides of the story or at least an acknowledgement of mistakes – this book will not give you that story.
Overall, I enjoyed the book as an invitation to understand or at least get a glimpse of how one of the greatest leaders in the world – how one of the human beings whom I idolized & looked up to – thought, reflected, researched & processed information while keeping a steadfast vision for the future. And I can tell you honestly – I wasn’t disappointed. This book kept me interested, entertained and intrigued right up to the end and it gave me the sense of satisfaction knowing that I was able to have access to something he penned, he published and he promulgated to the world in the form of a book.
I consider myself lucky in that regard that I was able to finally read a book which I so eagerly wanted to complete and understand.
So if you are looking for a book that gives you the good, the bad and the ugly about Dubai, its achievements, the failures, its mistakes and its vision for the future – then this book will leave you disappointed – more akin to watching a two-thirds of a movie – where you see the first part and then the third part but are not given access to the second. And that will leave you immensely frustrated and feeling incomplete.
If however, you are looking for a book to understand the mind of an leader, a statesman & a creator of one of the most powerful Brands in the World – Dubai – well, this book if not everything will give you a rare glimpse into the mind of this elusive leader whom not many can claim access to. And yes, you will be happy.
I for one have seen the 2nd part which Sheikh Mohammed has tried to hide. Simply because I lived in Dubai, UAE for 40 years, So there are no secrets kept from me. That is why I am cool, calm and composed with whatever I did get. But for most, I doubt this is a book they would enjoy.
So having said that and given that I dedicated nearly 3 full days into understanding this book – I can say this nearly 5,000 worded review is proof enough that I am passionate about understanding the man I have so admired all these years and I do deep down still love Dubai – the city I called home for nearly 1st half of my entire life.
For whatever it is worth – Your Excellency His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum – Sir, I am honored to have read your book and presented my review.
Thank you for everything you have done for Dubai, for its citizens, for its expats and for me.
SHEIKH MOHAMMED – THE VISION BOOK REVIEW
PART 8 – OVERALL RATING OF THIS BOOK
Let me be honest with you – I love and admire this man for everything he has done, accomplished and given his country. So even though “some” may not share my views or opinions about him – I still consider him one among the greatest leaders of our generation. And I will always be a secret admirer of his, though I am pretty sure given his image, his public persona and his brand – he would never want to do anything with the likes of me. Which is why I suppose whenever I was present in the same conference hall or venue that Sheikh Mohammed would visit (after a few days), I was always whisked away by security. After all my appearance wasn’t in line with what image the Islamic world would accept or approve of….which I totally understand.
So having said that…. let me give my final rating.
Given its ‘incomplete’ information & being one-sided in its approach – I cannot rate this book higher than 6.5.
So that’s where I will conclude this rather long & detailed book review.
Overall Rating – 6.5 OUT OF 10
I hope you enjoyed this book review as much as I enjoyed writing it down.