Bachelor of Education – United Arab Emirates University – 1988
Professional Profile and Experience
- Teacher (1988 – 1995)
- Manager of Administrative Services Division Dubai Health Authority (1996 – 2006)
- Director of the Executive Office of the Administrative Support Sector Roads & Transport Authority – Dubai (2006–2015).
The commissioning of Dubai Metro: Dubai Metro Commissioning Committee defined the time and date of the metro commissioning to be on 9th, September 2009 at 09:09:09 am, in presence of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The challenge lied in creating the environment for HH’s arrival at the place of the Metro commissioning at the specified time while having large number of visitors, guests and attendees. Mission impossible? With good training for 6 months to understand all the developments that may occur during preparations for this mission, we made it thanks to planning and perseverance to prove that Dubai institutions, and the RTA in particular, can live up to the challenge.
Situations You Effectively Managed
I was called by a director of a public authority to tackle the delay in transaction processing at the authority and certain negative phenomena that he wanted to get rid of. All employees were informed that a new manager would be appointed to supervise the relevant departments. For three days, I disguised as a customer and checked what the staff members were doing and finally detected what was wrong. On day four, I revealed my identity and it was a surprise for all who knew for the first time that the customer who had been there for three days was the new manager himself. I told all the staff members that I wanted to hold a meeting at 02:30. The doors were closed and I met staff members at the customer lounge and said; "The employee always comes first; then comes the customer". Then, we all left the place and they were very astonished.
The next day, I went to work early and stopped by the entrance of the authority. I stopped all employees who came late before entering the place of work and invited them to a friendly conversation to ask them how they were doing and then left them to get to work. This had been repeated for one month. As time passed, the late employees started to feel ashamed and came early without any direction or circular.
For employees who delayed transaction processing, I fixed a picture of the most serious-faced employee at the customer service hall pointing with his finger saying "Challenge Me". All staff members began to wonder about the secret of this picture and this phrase. At the end of the month, I held a staff meeting to explain why I had brought this picture to make a Challenge competition between employees to identify the most productive employee. The award was given to the employee in the picture of this month although he had the lowest productivity, but he was happy with this reward. Then the employees started to attract customers at the door and the waiting time was cut down to zero and this result was really surprising to the manager of the organization. Here, I would like to highlight the values of patience and out-of-the-box innovative solutions to tackle problems. Such solutions are slow but effective. So, take your time and do not rush the results.
Key to Success
It may be appropriate to talk about a self-made man. In fact, I was raised in a poor family and this is definitely something not to be ashamed of but the real shame is to surrender to your situation without making an effort to change it. Thank God, I did not surrender and joined the world of trade with 5 thousand dirhams. My first profit was 600 thousand dirhams. Then, I went far in the world of trade. The secret behind my success was good connections. In my opinion, trade needs good connections more than capital as good connections enable you promote your goods and help you fulfill your full potential and that is one of the most important secrets in trade.
Advice to Future Generations
Statistics show that the Emirati traders are 3% of the population, while trade has the lion share of profits among all professions. Young people should pay attention to this sector and invest in it. As for experience, many Emirati businessmen and traders leave the doors open for any young person to meet them in their daily sessions from 8:00 to 10:30. I owed those businessmen and traders a lot in learning the principles of trade. I owed a great deal to my father and my mentor, Mr. Saleh bin Lahej and Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim Abdullah. I must refer also to Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for Small and Medium Enterprises Development (Dubai SME) and its role in providing support for young people, especially when it comes to educating young people about the tools of trade and investment through workshops and courses.
Advice to Retirees
I must say that things can really be very difficult, if you retire without a good plan. So, you should have a plan for post-retirement period to invest in and organize your time properly across many activities which, in my opinion, should include having a private business along with pro-bono, social, sports and cultural activities. Such activities should cover all dimensions that ensure psychological, social and health stability for pensioners.