Dubai 001 – Live and Let Live

Written by
Written by

Deolu Akinyemi

“A true measure of your worth includes all the benefits others have gained from your successes” Cullen Hightower salesman and writer

I met a couple on Sunday and by Tuesday I had changed my vacation plans. They were representatives of a property company in Dubai, and the information they gave me, was just too good to be true. In case your appetite is getting wet already, save it for my return, I’ll be posting many big and small deals from this my short visit. Our extensive conversation about Dubai made me certain that there are a lot of things Nigeria could learn from this country. I knew coming here would birth many articles too, I’ll just take it one day at a time.

There are lots of lessons to learn from Dubai, both for us as individuals and for us as a nation Nigeria. It is not only amazing that we were virtually in the same state, if not better, just less than 30yrs ago, before we both discovered oil. Today, any comparism would be mockery.

I don’t know if you have ever thought that it was impossible for all the nationals of a country to be rich, that this would create an economic imbalance. Well, Dubai is one country that defies this theory. Dubai’s indigenes are rich…I’m still asking around and searching for one, as I write, no one can lay claims to knowing any Dubai indigene that is not rich.

Dubai has breathtaking masterpieces and architectural wonders, but none of those pictures will quite depict the glory of Dubai, without a picture of one of her nationals. The Dubai indigene is rarely seen, they live in an exclusive part of town, wear only white and come out either on stately horses or the best of cars (not Camry 2007 which is a regular taxi), the best of cars! When you see wealth, comfort and royaltly, you probably have met with an indigene of Dubai. The city is a city of expatriates, over 80% of the population of the city is made up of skilled expatriates, but not enough to take from the national his/her birthright.

Why? Are you wondering why? Why is the citizen of a backside city in the desert land of Asia have wealth as his birthright? Why? Simple, because just like us, they discovered oil in their country, less than 30yrs ago, but unlike us, rather than some of our leaders amassing our resources to themselves, being plagued by a scarcity mentatility, they decided to exercise a higher principle of abundance, that the wealth of another does not necessitate the poverty of one. They decided to ensure that the National cake went round. Interestingly as well, Dubai has since moved on from having oil as it’s primary economic driver, today, less than 3% of Dubai’s revenue is generated from oil.

“People with a scarcity mentality tend to see everything in terms of win-lose. There is only so much; and if someone else has it, that means there will be less for me. The more principle-centered we become, the more we develop an abundance mentality, the more we are genuinely happy for the successes, well-being, achievements, recognition, and good fortune of other people. We believe their success adds to…rather than detracts from…our lives.” Stephen R. Covey

Can you picture that? A city where outsiders can come and fill the lowest layer of the food chain, where every indigene is comfortable? Can you imagine a country where the expartirates would rather be hired as house cooks than vice versa? As I reflected about the Dubai citizen today, my mind went back home, first to the Nigerian citizen, and then to my Niger Delta family. When will unappointed but followable leaders arise from the heart of our nation and set things straight? When will we become a land that favours it’s people? When will we rid ourselves of the philosophies that make us stack money in sacks, or the mindframe that says we cannot all be successful? When? When will we live and let live?

Someone once hilariously said, that the worst part of success, is looking for someone who is happy for you. The skies are big enough for all the birds to fly, and nobody needs to lose before you win. Let’s get our thinking right, it’s not when we become influencial, it’s from today that tomorrow’s weather is diserned.

Within this my short stay here, I must find an Indigene to partner with. Dubai has established it’self as a Crime Free, Fraud Free and Accident Free city, and has in the same breath empowered it’s indigenes to succeed proving that it is possible for all to have enough, it is possible, to live and let others also live.

Quick Lessons.

1. What you are doing today is not all there is about you…oil was their backbone, now it accounts for less than 3% and their reserves are projected not to last the next 20yrs. Don’t say you must continue with what you have always known, dare to grow.

2. There is enough available for everyone, someone doesn’t have to go down before you go up…all Dubai citizens are rich. Their policies have made it so.

3. Being in Government is great repsonsibility, with the right policies and bills in action, the average national can immensely benefit. For your individual life as well, set your guiding rules and watch your life soar.

4. Helping to make others around us successful doesn’t undermine our success, rather it reestablishes and makes it undeniable. In Dubai today, most of the indigenes earn wooping amounts just collecting rent on their properties.

5. Don’t limit yourself to the scope of what already exists,  there is more available. The resources on earth are not limited, you can always create. Don’t come to the river of life with a seive, come with a bucket. There is enough for all of us.

“The world is full of abundance and opportunity, but far too many people come to the fountain of life with a sieve instead of a tank car… a teaspoon instead of a steam shovel. They expect little and as a result they get little.” Ben Sweetland

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