What started as a dream for Dubai – of becoming a hub for science and innovation – is turning into a reality.
‘HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, marked the second anniversary of the UAE Space Agency this week by tweeting an image of a postage stamp issued by his father, the late HH Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, more than 50 years ago.
The historic stamp shows both the remarkable forethought of the Royal Family, as well as the driving ambition that has put the UAE where it is today on the world map.
“Dreams begin with ideas, a word, an image or even a postage stamp. As generations work to fulfill our dreams, we develop concrete realities,” tweeted HH Sheikh Mohammed.
He added: “A stamp issued by my father Sheikh Rashid 50 years ago, celebrating space sciences. We dreamed of such future ideas.” HH Sheikh Mohammed explained how the UAE now has a space sector worth Dhs20 billion ($5.4 billion).
Officially unveiled more than a year ago, the UAE aims to launch the Hope Probe to Mars in 2021, in line with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the country.
“Today we have a Dhs20 billion space sector, with a mission to Mars driven by a wholly Emirati team of scientists,” HH Sheikh Mohammed tweeted.
Sheikh Rashid laid the foundations for the emirate’s infrastructural, social and economic development and set out the rules for establishing a federation that coincided with the ambitions of HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in forming the UAE.
And the emirate’s major breakthrough towards future economic development by HH Sheikh Mohammed reflects a historic shift by an ambitious young man who was seeing the future more than he saw the present.
Such ambitious leadership is the secret behind the quick growth of Dubai and its rebirth, in just decades compared to other cities. It has proved that development can be achieved in a short period through great leadership and management.
Perhaps “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, as they say, however at times it feels like Dubai was.
British documents, dating back almost half a century ago, reveal details of the postal system in the UAE.
The then Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid, had asked the General Authority of the British Mail to manage and supervise the Dubai Post Office and the British Post office continued to ensure Dubai’s good relationship with the Universal Postal Union.
Sheikh Rashid was a loyal friend of the British government and Dubai, which flourished in eye-catching style during his era, is now a commercial hub with one of the most important ports in the Arabian Peninsula.
But Dubai was issuing stamps with images of spacecraft even before the establishment of Port Rashid, Jebel Ali and Emirates.