Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah and Member of the UAE’s Supreme Council: Viewpoint

Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah and Member of the UAE’s Supreme Council

Viewpoint: Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi

The economy is a key driver of societal and cultural development. Therefore, the most important considerations when analysing the robustness of an economy must include the following questions: how could the economy help realise the ambitions of all segments of society? how could the economy champion the interests of all community members? how could peoples’ efforts become a catalysing force to build a stable, flourishing and peaceful society?

From the very beginning, these questions have been at the core of Sharjah’s approach to development. We aim to create an economy that not only builds markets, but a complete nation; one that advances society along with every individual member. Our goal is to build an economy that continually enhances Sharjah’s image as a home for its citizens, residents and investors, where they can pursue their professional dreams and build a quality future for their families. Our goal has always been to give the people of Sharjah a safe haven in which they feel a strong sense of belonging, and where they know that their happiness and well-being are paramount.

For economic growth to be sustainable, social development is a must. Development is an outcome of conscious decisions and involves systematic planning and wise directives. The purpose of development is not to burden the government, companies or organisations, but to provide a platform for long-term, profitable investment to nurture people’s skills, experiences, culture and creative capabilities. The true nature of development creates value in our work and makes life meaningful. This investment is vital to sustainable growth. Sharjah’s development approach, which is rooted in our cultural projects, reaffirms our commitment to protecting the interests of all members of society, including the common workforce and investors, irrespective of their status as citizens or residents. We understand their needs and spare no effort to ensure they are met. We also understand the challenges that individuals and businesses face, and work towards overcoming them by boosting our infrastructure, services and legislation to fulfil our common goals as partners in development.

Sustainability has become a critical issue of global concern, particularly for economists. It is said that economic practices should meet conditions for the sustainability of resources, the climate, the environment and businesses. We believe that the transition towards sustainability should start with community welfare. This encompasses the equitable provision of health, essential services, education and environmental resources, as well as family stability, without which we can neither build a society nor a nation. The ethos of sustainability must encompass a sense of security and trust, as well as foster equitable relationships. With societal well-being sustained, everything else will follow suit because it will foster a sustainability mindset in every individual. That is how it will turn into a collective concern, a duty and daily practice – not just a theoretical part of a development agenda.

Our approach to development and sustainability is aligned with the interests of people, and we expect that everyone will act in accordance with this vision by keeping it at the forefront of all plans and programmes for the future. We will keep developing our policies and make every effort to facilitate the full adoption and achievement of this human-centric approach. Sharjah has made great strides in human and social development under its cultural projects that support all talented people. These achievements are the outcome of successful collaboration among all entities in Sharjah, community members, businesses and investors, who partner to promote growth and development. Despite the fact that significant progress has been achieved, we still have much to do. Sharjah’s development should never be the predictable result of the passage of time, but of a conscious willingness to build a prosperous present and future.

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