The sphere of the aviation industry in the United Arab Emirates has been developing very actively in recent years, and one of the factors that influence this factor is government members’ active participation. The interest of the Arab Emirs in strengthening local aviation has different reasons – the need to meet modern standards of passenger transportation, providing the military industry with high-quality equipment, and some other causes. One of the members of the UAE government who directly participates in the country’s aviation development is the Dubai Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
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His contribution to strengthening the local air transport system is significant, and flights to different parts of the world on convenient and fast liners have largely become possible due to his role in this field’s development. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum is the recognized leader of the Emirates’ airlines. He regularly expresses interest in the development of this sphere, investing in the improvement of this transport industry and cooperating with the world’s largest airlines. Sheikh’s participation in the development program has become one of the key factors that influenced the strengthening of the country’s aviation and the establishment of diplomatic and trade ties with partners.
Sheikh’s Management Roles
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum is the head of the national Emirates Airlines. The corporation was founded in the 1980s and for several decades, under the leadership of the sheik, it has evolved from a small regional carrier with two leased planes to one of the world’s largest airlines with a fleet of more than fifty aircraft (Alkaabi 2014, p. 232). The business of Emirates steadily grows every year, constantly increasing the available capital and acquiring a large client base. Thus, there is a simple explanation for such intense growth. The airline’s top managers controlled by the sheik have developed the right marketing strategy and organized the network of routes in such a way that Emirates Airlines could fully enjoy the advantageous geographical location of its base Dubai airport and the availability of a rich clientele.
Due to the fact that this large industrial and cultural center of the country is in demand as a tourist destination, the decision to strengthen the aviation sphere was unambiguously correct. Today, Emirates Airlines operates on several dozen routes, including the countries of Europe, Africa, and Asia (Ziadah 2018). Such success has become possible primarily due to the role of the Sheikh as the leader of the organization and his interest in innovations and constant improvement of the existing material base. The role of the Sheikh as an effective manager is significant since Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum regularly strives for improvement and takes part in various exhibitions of products of the aviation industry where he enters into agreements with partners to strengthen and modernize existing products (Albeshr & Ahmad 2015). The active participation of the manager in the functioning of the national corporation is the basis of its prosperity and growth, which is invariably expressed in customers’ approval and the stable demand for the carrier’s services.
Sheikh’s Approaches to Work and His Personality
The approach to work as a leader is one of the fundamental categories that determine the success of any enterprise and its sustainability in the local and global market. In the case of Emirates Airline, the active working position of the Sheikh is proof of his interest in the success of his corporation and customers’ satisfaction in the quality of provided services. In order to assess the quality of the manager’s work and his potential as a competent director, it is essential to consider the techniques that he uses in his work. Also, it is necessary to pay attention to the personal characteristics of the Sheikh in order to have an idea of his character and how certain behaviors affect the overall pace of the company’s work. As the basis of this assessment, the Big Five personality model will be used, which allows considering a particular human from different sides. Finally, it is significant to discuss the leadership style of Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum in order to evaluate the effectiveness of his management approach and to consider the primary criteria that determine the specifics of his particular management style.
Sheikh’s Management Approach
One of the main Sheikh’s approaches to the management of his airline is the constant search for innovations and new ways of establishing partnerships. According to Guéraiche (2017), in recent years, Emirates Airlines has significantly increased the range of countries that are included in the list of destination points for Dubai flights. This attitude towards the performance of the manager’s duties testifies that the key task of Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum is to expand the influence of his enterprise and the possibility of organizing flights to different points of the globe for the convenience of passengers.
Dubai is a city that is actively developing as a tourist destination. Therefore, a significant number of visitors come here annually. Nevertheless, many industrial enterprises of this center of the UAE also have a high level of development, which calls for expanding spheres of influence and forging partnerships. Thus, for example, various exhibitions of aviation equipment are a good platform for the demonstration and purchase of new aircraft. As Kennedy, Amacher, and McLaughlin (2017) claim, the sheik uses this opportunity to replenish the material base of the airline with new models and, despite expenses that are inevitable, strengthens the confidence of both partners and clients in the financial stability of the corporation. Investing in the development of the aviation industry, the emir shows that the UAE is the country with not only a developed oil industry but also the state that pays attention to other relevant areas. The transport system is on the rise, and a competent approach to managing the available resources and control over a large staff of employees makes it possible to form a stable and constantly developing aviation industry.
When describing the personality of Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, it is possible to resort to a special psychological concept called the Big Five model. Its essence lies in the fact that the basis of behavior is five key features that are taken into account when drawing up a general analysis of a particular person’s nature and manner of communication. These characteristics include openness, extroversion, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and agreeableness.
From the point of view of openness, the sheik is open to communication and is known for his good manners and respectful attitude to others. According to Thani and Heenan (2017), he is a versatile personality who not only takes part in the political affairs and leadership of the airline but also knows how to spend leisure time enjoyably as a fan of football. This side demonstrates him as an open person who does not hesitate in his interests.
Regarding the characteristics of extraversion, the sheik can hardly be called closed. His post assumes constant contact with his subordinates, which cannot provide closure. Regular meetings with partners involve regular conversations and discussions. Therefore, Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum cannot be considered an introvert focused only on his own personality.
When talking about the conscientiousness of the sheik, his diligence and the desire for constant improvement of his projects should be noted. As Alkaabi (2014) remarks, Emirates Airlines has increased its revenues by several dozen times since its start. A big role in this growth is played by the owner of the corporation. His desire to constantly improve production and provide customers with a high level of transportation proves his conscientious fulfillment of the leadership role that is assigned to him.
Sheikh can hardly be considered prone to neuroticism since this diagnosis provides for an increased level of excitement, anxiety, and nervousness. Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum is a good-natured and calm person that has never been seen in any scandals. His manner of communication with his subordinates and partners is always distinguished by courtesy and straightforwardness, which is not inherent in the neurotic.
Finally, from the point of view of agreeableness, the sheik cannot be considered a fully-led person. According to Ziadah (2018), buying a large batch of passenger aircraft from American partners, the sheik did not show servility and clearly indicated the position and cost of the whole purchase. He does not have weakness and helpfulness, but it should not be considered to be stingy. On the contrary, having good leadership qualities, the emir knows where and how to invest so that it could be rational. In accordance with this general assessment, the sheik can be described as a person who is open and pleasant in communication, having a personal position, and desire to work to improve his business.
Sheikh’s Leadership Style
The leadership qualities of the Emirates’ sheik can be regarded as successful; otherwise, he would hardly have been able to build a powerful and competitive corporation. In addition, Thani and Heenan (2017) note that Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum owns a number of other large industries that are also profitable (golf clubs, equestrian organizations, and other businesses). Such participation in the business sphere should provide for a competent approach to the style of leadership so that all the fields could be monitored, and subordinates could justify the expectations of the leader.
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When considering the leadership style of the sheik, it can be noted that he uses democratic principles of doing business and cannot be characterized as an authoritarian manager. According to Kennedy, Amacher, and McLaughlin (2017, p.73), Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum effectively allocates resources, claiming that “we are on alert to face any challenges that may arise on the global economic horizon”. The corporate leadership principle encouraged by Emirates Airlines is a testament to the company’s democratic foundations. Sheikh does not take all decisions individually and relies on the help of employees. This approach to work makes it possible to control many areas of work and not to focus on one particular area, which is especially important when managing a large number of enterprises.
The Effectiveness of the Leadership Style on the Organization’s Performance
The use of a democratic or collegial principle of company management enables the sheik to make full use of all the productive resources that are available to him. The UAE is a country with established traditions and norms of behavior where the leader is considered to be a respected person (Albeshr & Ahmad 2015). However, new trends in business provide for the need for flexible leadership when the company is able to adapt to the current business environment. In the case of Emirates Airlines, the stable growth of the corporation, as well as customers’ satisfaction with the level of service, is largely due to a competently chosen management strategy when specialists work to improve appropriate areas. Accounting for the individual characteristics of employees is an essential aspect of activities. When looking at the example of the organization under consideration, it is possible to claim that Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum successfully copes with the role of the person distributing duties among his subordinates. As a result, diligent employees successfully implement all conceived ideas, and the company receives a stable income while being a competitive and sustainable enterprise.
The participation of Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum in the development of Emirates Airlines significantly strengthens the country’s aviation and contributes to establishing business relationships with partners around the world. Sheikh’s approach to work is characterized by the use of modern trends and controlling all the necessary spheres of his enterprises. According to the Big Five model, Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum is an open and conscientious manager who is able to successfully cooperate with partners and control subordinates’ activities. The type of his leadership is democratic, which helps to establish good relationships with employees and at the same time monitor all the spheres of business.
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