Dubai’s ruler: This region is not on my agenda. It is my agenda

Screenshot of the front page cover of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum interview with Newsweek Middle East. (Photo courtesy: Newsweek Middle East)

In an exclusive interview with Newsweek Middle East magazine, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and the Ruler of Dubai said: “Nations that don’t innovate, stagnate; and are left behind in the race of civilizations.”

Al-Maktoum during the interview urged the importance of investing in innovation as the key strategy of building better futures countries in the Middle East.

He also spoke, for the first time publicly, about his last meeting with the late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

“Let [allow] me tell you a story that I haven’t shared before. Prior to the invasion of Iraq, we in the UAE saw the region standing on the brink of a disaster,” he told Newsweek Middle East.

“I went there to offer him advice from a person who loves Iraq, its people and values its stability. I sat down with Saddam for about five hours. [The discussion we had] was frank, but also charged. Saddam left the meeting four times, returned, ordered Iraqi tea, and then we continued the conversation.”

According to Sheikh Mohammed, the invasion of Iraq and the dissolution of the Iraqi army was “the beginning of the Arab region’s deterioration” that eventually led to the region’s chaos today.

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