“Lies” do not work with Arab nations as they are “smart” enough to examine their realities, UAE’s prime minister told hundreds of state officials on Monday during a forum to discuss his economic policies.
“[Arab] nations are smart. [Leaders] can lie for one or two years, but not for 40 years,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum said in reference to ousted dictators in all of Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Yemen.
“Arab nations are smart and with the availability of the social media, they found out and discovered. They were patient but later they exploded.”
Sheikh Maktoum said he previously advised toppled leaders to listen to their people but no avail.
“I visited Arab leaders and I confessed to some of them - some were offended and others said “no,” that they had reports to prove otherwise. I told them that I had no boundaries with them, and I had no greedy interests in their countries. I gave my advice for their people’s interests.”
The prime minister said “revolutions happened for the Arab nation’s interests,” as the toppled leaders either took some of their nation's money, sent it abroad or gave it to other states. He added that some bluntly said that they had no money.
Unlike many other Arab countries, UAE is seen as benevolent government that shares its oil-resources with its people.
The prime minister said finding jobs for UAE citizens is one of the government’s top priorities.
The unusual event underlined the urgency with which leaders in the UAE and other oil-rich Gulf states are trying to boost employment among their citizens, to avert political discontent and prepare for any future downturn in oil prices.
Sheikh Maktoum, addressed some 1,700 government employees at the two-hour forum, pacing the stage and sometimes calling on ministers to respond to particular points.
Reuters cited him as saying that the UAE government was working on a project to employ 120,000 UAE nationals, but did not give details. He also urged private companies to hire more UAE citizens, but did not announce new incentives or requirements for them to do so.
Special thanks to Egyptians
Meanwhile, the leader gave Egypt special attention when he openly thanked the Egyptian community for helping to develop the UAE.
“I wish the great Egyptian nation happiness, stability and prosperity… and not to forget that the Egyptian community in the UAE has helped in developing this country.”
He said that “Egypt is the heart of the Arab world and with god's willing it will do great.”