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Sheikh Mohammed and Making of Dubai Case Study


How the Life of Emiratis Transformed Under the Leadership of Sheikh Mohammed

Sheikh Mohammed is a leader that will remain in the history of Dubai. His innovative and strategic decisions are among the propellers that made Dubai a hub of business people, investors, and tourists. Currently, the city is popular with all individuals living across the continents who hope to tour the place and witness iconic developments introduced and established during the reign of Sheikh Mohammed. Kennedy et al. elucidates that under the leadership of Sheikh Mohammed, Dubai has risen to become the epicenter of innovation in not only the UAE but also globally (69).

Remarkably, Sheikh managed to convert a region that was in the middle of a desert into a hub of success and an envy of many countries around the globe. The transformation evidenced by iconic buildings, beaches, and superb malls make Sheikh one of the best leaders that Dubai has ever had in their history. The drive and resilience demonstrated by Sheikh Mohammed even in the face of an economic downturn is one that leaders of other countries around the world should emulate.

It is evident that Sheikh Mohammed placed the needs and happiness of his compatriots before his desires, a factor that amplified his decision to make Dubai a destination of choice for investors, business people, and tourists. Mayo et al. explain that without his innovative ideas such as changing the economic model of the region from its conservative nature and adopting the western economic model, Dubai would not be where it is now (1).

It is practical to explain that without the advancements championed by Sheikh Mohammed, the region could still be grappling with the challenges faced by many countries in the region that rely heavily on oil. Due to his excellent leadership, cities like Abu Dhabi and countries like Qatar are slowly adopting the model in the quest to achieve the success enjoyed by Dubai. Fundamentally, Dubai progressed systematically and began by improving investments, reducing reliance on oil, to the current developments witnessed in the fields of education, health, and infrastructure.

The Context that Sheikh Mohammed Inherited

Notably, Sheikh Mohammed inherited a conservative state, which was under the rule and governance of Islamic principles. Although his father, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed had put some policies that were conducive for innovation in place, the region was still unexploited. Ulrichsen asserts that before the entry of Sheikh Mohammed into the leadership position, the city did not have popular emirates airlines, beautiful beaches, and investments that it boasts today (158).

The inheritance left behind by his predecessors who comprise his grandfather, father, and brother, was a city that expected continued adherence to a conservative economic model and Islamic provisions. However, before the eyes of Sheikh Mohammed, a number of strategic initiatives required implementation. It is notable to outline the fact that the city that Sheikh Mohammed inherited is very different from the present popular investment and tourism hub that is iconic and a paradise for many individuals around the world.

In the same vein, it is important to explain that Sheikh Mohammed still had a number of positive inheritance accorded to him by his father. Mayo et al. outline the fact that prior to Sheikh Mohammed’s ascension to the leadership positions that he held in Dubai, his father took him to schools within and outside the city (3). It was in the respective schools where he acquired useful lessons and insights that later helped him to propel the city to higher levels in relation other cities of the world.

Moreover, the leadership positions that his father accorded him were instrumental in elevating his skills and making him a resilient and tough leader who sticks to his principles and vision. As such, it is in order to explain that the context, which Sheikh Mohammed inherited, is twofold and comprise a city that was not exploited and ripe for innovation and requisite training that prepared him for leadership.

Changes Sheikh Mohammed Introduced in the Context of Dubai

Sheikh Mohammed has introduced several changes to the city of Dubai. While many changes are positive and helpful to the residents of the city, others are detrimental and have become subjects of criticism. Fundamentally, the positive changes introduced by Sheikh Mohammed comprise the development of beaches, improvement of the city’s economy, and establishment of state of the art infrastructure. After taking the leadership position in the region, Mohammed worked together with his colleagues to develop the biggest and popular airline that has dominated the skies for decades, the Emirates Airlines.

Moreover, he reclaimed land and developed beaches that attract millions of tourists to the country annually generating billions of revenues to the city’s economy. according to Mayo et al. the target of 15 million tourists placed by Sheikh Mohammed has almost been achieved because the numbers were about 7 million in 2007 (9). The increase in the number of visitors who toured various places in the city implies that the revenues have also augmented.

Conversely, the detrimental changes initiated by Sheikh Mohammed emanated from the rapid advancements that the city witnessed. Due to the unprecedented transformation in the city, a number of foreign employees would not receive their salaries and, in some cases, had to protests. Moreover, the liberal nature that Mohammed introduced into the Islamic region was a challenge that threatened to destroy the culture that the natives upheld.

In effect, several residents around the city felt that the foreigners were slowly destroying their culture and introducing a character that was not morally right. Zaidan and Kovacs elucidate that besides the developments witnessed in Dubai the culture of the region is under threat (300). The issue of culture erosion evident in the city is one that made Sheikh Mohammed a subject of criticism. Many critics argue that instead of continuing with the principles of his predecessors, Mohammed introduced a culture that opened the city to foreigners who do not value the culture practiced by the natives.

Similarities and Differences of Global Hr Practices In Relation To Dubai’s Business Life Cycle

Global Hr practices demonstrate some similarities as well as differences in the practices executed by the business cycles of Dubai. According to the global Hr practices, employees need favorable working conditions that promote productivity (Fee and McGrath-Champ 19). Moreover, the concept of global Hr advocates for appreciation of employees from various continents of the world basing on their expertise.

As such, multinational companies usually hire employees without considering their geographical locations and use their expertise to advance the position of their organizations. The similarity that is evident in the practice with those that the city of Dubai undertook lies on the freedom that it accorded to foreign expatriates. Soon after taking up the leadership of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed ensured that the foreign expatriates were free to come and invest in the city, a factor that resonates well with the provisions of global Hr practices. The focus of Mohammed was on the expertise that the foreigners had and the scale of productivity that they presented.

Another similarity that is evident between global Hr practices and the activities demonstrated by the business cycle of Dubai is the disregard that affects native employees. In the wake of ICT and timely communication, global Hr practices compel managers to hire people who have the relevant skills irrespective of their places of origin. In the process of hiring the individuals, these organizations slowly disregard the native employees, who may have worked in the companies for several decades.

The similarity becomes evident in Dubai’s business life cycle. Overtime, the focus on foreigners led to their influx. The foreigners soon outnumbered the native residents of the city. According to Mayo et al. out of 10 individuals, foreigners represented nine while natives only represented a single individual (13). The explanation clarifies the similarity that concerns disregard of natives in the quest to achieve the best set of employees.

The difference that emerges from the examination of Dubai business life cycle and Hr practice in the global arena is the compulsory inclusion of unqualified employees in the team of experts. Unlike several multinationals who are not subject to a number of state rules and regulations, Dubai eventually started compelling the expatriates to hire the natives at a rate the disregarded their qualifications (Daleure 54). The policy forced foreign organizations to hire unskilled natives as managers or leaders, but have juniors who were skilled in the respective field. The policy acted as a distinction between the global practices undertaken by multinationals and those executed by Dubai in the businesses.

Dubai’s Role in Business Sustenance in the UAE

With its strategic position and its economic advancements, Dubai has a tremendous role in the sustenance of business in the UAE. The progress witnessed in the city can help other cities within the UAE region learn lessons that will help them progress in an environmentally friendly manner. While Dubai has advanced and enjoyed pronounced economic benefits, there have been drawbacks linked to environmental degradation and pollution.

Degradation and environmental pollution are against the provisions of social responsibility, which call for balance between human activities and the ecosystem. According to Mayo et al., the increasing pollution of the environment forced Sheikh Mohammed to introduce a policy that aimed at reducing the scale of emissions from processing plants (12). The role that Dubai plays in the Middle East is momentous.

Apparently, the scale of advancements in the city serves as a lesson for other countries and cities in the region that want to undertake similar initiatives. Countries like Qatar and cities like Abu Dhabi need to learn from the challenges experienced by Dubai and ensure that the progress in their regions is environmentally friendly. It is important to note that continued advancements in the economy without considering the harm in the environment leads to shortened life cycle in an organization. Sheikh Mohammed realized that without policies that govern the emissions from processing plants, the sustenance of business in the city as well as in other regions within the UAE could be unattainable.

Works Cited

Daleure, Georgia. Emiratization in the UAE Labor Market: Opportunities and Challenges. Springer, 2016.

Fee, Anthony, and Susan McGrath-Champ. “The Role of Human Resources in Protecting Expatriates: Insights from the International Aid and Development Sector.” The International Journal of Human Resource Management, vol. 1, no. 1, 2016, pp. 1-26.

Kennedy, William et al. Dubai-The Epicenter of Modern Innovation: A Guide to Implementing Innovation Strategies. CRC Press, 2017.

Mayo, Anthony et al. Sheikh Mohammed and the Making of “Dubai Inc”. Harvard Business School, 2010.

Ulrichsen, Coates. “Global Aviation and the Gulf.” The Gulf States in International Political Economy, vol. 1, no. 1, 2016, 151-165.

Zaidan, Esmat, and Jason Kovacs. “Resident Attitudes towards Tourists and Tourism Growth: A Case Study from the Middle East, Dubai in United Arab Emirates.” European Journal of Sustainable Development, vol. 6, no. 1, 2017, pp. 291-307.

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