SULTAN AL QASSEMI: There are two major concerns with the Muslim Brotherhood for the UAE: The most important is its relations with an offshoot network operating illegally in the country.
SULTAN AL QASSEMI: Combined the three emirates would be in the top 10 in the Arab world for population, and a GDP of $100 bn, its eight largest.
SULTAN AL QASSEMI: Islamists ally with liberals to demand reform; once met they use their newly won influence without regard for former allies…
SULTAN AL QASSEMI: Qatar, he told me, has one of the most impressive constitutions, as well as the most impressive parliamentary building. “Too bad there’s no parliament to occupy it,” he said.
SULTAN AL QASSEMI: If the Egypt uprising of 2011 can be summed up in a single word, it is zolm, defined as “oppression, tyranny, inequity, unfairness, injustice, abuse”.
SULTAN AL QASSEMI: It’s high time for fresh faces and fresh ideas from the White House to deal with outdated policies that have failed in effecting genuine change.
SULTAN AL QASSEMI: Today, there are approximately 240,000 British citizens living in the UAE, with another one million plus visiting the country every year and up to 40,000 Emiratis visiting Britain annually.
SULTAN AL QASSEMI: Arab governments need to understand that without pan-Arab initiatives, true prosperity will not be achieved. We must capitalise on our strengths as a region with a population larger than the United States…
SULTAN AL QASSEMI: But how can the country cover a federal budget shortfall of Dh18.2 billion, which is now carried by only Abu Dhabi and Dubai? A tax regime…
SULTAN AL QASSEMI: Nestled in one of Bur Dubai’s older districts is one of the emirate’s best kept architectural secrets: the Ismaili Centre of Dubai.
SULTAN AL QASSEMI: The sponsorship system does more harm than good, and the authorities should take the brave, but unpopular (amongst locals) step of ending it.
SULTAN AL QASSEMI: By reaching out to others, Abu Dhabi’s knowledge hubs can function as musical instruments that, when played together, create a harmonious symphony.
Since we expect tourists to be on their best behaviour when they visit the UAE, it’s only fair that we feel equally outraged when our own misbehave elsewhere.
Emiratis seem to be disconnected from public service and civic duty. If they are empowered to represent their communities, then the energy of a young and growing population could be harnessed in the right direction…
Stereotypes can be exacerbated by local customs and dress, but that is no reason for abandoning those things – rather it’s up to us to us to continue to challenge ignorance head on argues Sultan Al Qassemi.