Dubai 002 – Vision

Written by
Written by

Deolu Akinyemi

One of the things that has continued to marvel me about Dubai, is how it has made use of nationals of other countries to sell properties that do not currently exist. Yeah, you read that right, many developers and property brokers in Dubai, make a living by selling properties that do not currently exist.

If you go around town like I do… like a hunting dog looking for the next, you are likely to see opportunities all over Dubai. Everywhere you turn, there is a signpost about business and investment opportunities, and curiosity always gets the better side of me, so I ask. One scene that never ceases to amaze me is the one I’m about to describe now, it would have been fantastic, if it happened just once, but over and over again with different people? It’s awesome.

Here I am standing in front of an Indian who has spent over 15yrs of his life in Dubai, he grabs a map, and begins to passionately describe to me the buildings, structures and projects that will be on particular spots of the map in 2-5yrs. He shows you where disney land Dubai will be, where the biggest shopping mall in the world will be situated, the rail tracks, the Arabian city, the artificial islands e.t.c. He goes into details, showing you how the road network will give access to other parts of Dubai, and how the building that hasn’t even started let alone get completed until 2009 is a good deal. In the midst of this passionate discussion, which I have encountered several times, I wonder in my mind, the gravity of work that must have gone into making this Indian chap, understand the things to come! Vision is not just the statement on the wall, it’s the leaders thoughts and ideas translated into action, and imprinted in the minds and eyes of everyone that qualifies as its people!

One of the outstanding things responsible for the current success of Dubai, is vision. They have been blessed with visionary leaders who were able to create in the minds of the inhabitants of Dubai, the picture of things to come. As far back as the 1930’s, they have had one visionary project after the other! Dubai did not have it’s first export of oil until 1969, but as far back as the early 20th century, Dubai had positioned itself as a centre of commerce by enacting policies on duty and tax free commerce.

While touring the Museum with my wife today, I was humbled about how they have turned a small city of less then 10,000 inhabitants in the early 1900s into a city to reckon with in the 21st century. As I speak, the tallest building in the world is under construction: it’s expected to be 1.5km tall, the biggest mall in the world is in planning, it’s expected to take you 3 days to see it all, The 8th Wonder of the world, Palm Jumeirah island, the biggest man made island in the world is not fully built, but is fully sold out! The World project: An Island the shape of the world map is also in planning, Disney Land is being replicated in dubai, the biggest airport in the world with 6 runways in both directions is on the way… and lots more. Why? Because the vision is not only within the confines of leadership meetings, it is written boldly on the minds and hearts of the people. I’m barely 4 days in Dubai, and even I can tell you what is to come. Vision is contagious, and trust me, vision sells.

Great buildings are not built on rough sketches, they are build on clear visions and detailed plans. The winds do not blow to favour the movement of ships without direction, winds blow as they like, the captain of the ship sets the sails of the ship in the direction he desires it to move. Countries don’t just get lucky, neither do individuals, we gravitate towards what we obsess ourselves with. There are many excuses we can give as a nation, size, demographics, tribal differences and so on, but if we can provide a vision for this nation, and get people to buy into it, we are halfway there. I’m not talking about the once in a while vision broadcasted on NTA news, I’m talking vision clear enough, and broken down enough that the average man can plot the future of the nation on a common map. If Nigeria is too big, then let’s break it down state by state, city by city or local government by local government.

Here are some basic lessons I’m learning about Vision from Dubai as casestudy.

1. The quality of the people that will work with you, is not a function of your personality, it’s a function of the size of your vision. The best Architects in the world, today currently work on Dubai building projects. Ivana Trump, wife of Donald Trump, reputed to be one of the world’s best architects is very active as an architect for one of the developers in Dubai. If your vision is big enough, nobody is too big to work for you.

2. No matter how simple your vision it, if it is consistent, it’s powerful. Dubai wanted to be a center of commerce and tourism, all their projects were centered around these. Constructing bridges, roads, tourist attractions, hotels, e.t.c. They also worked on making their policies people friendly. Once the policies are consistent, the private sector could collaborate to create visions applicable to different aspects. If you are consistent about the theme of your vision, you’ll enjoy tremendous support from all around.

3. The world steps aside for the man that knows where he’s going. Nothing can stop a visionary person, everything and everyone steps aside. Dubai is a desert land spotted with an oasis of water. The weather at this time of the year is hot (40-52 degrees Centigrade), they have had challenges with water, they don’t have enough land, the little they have is desert. They have the odds stacked against them. Today, those odds are the basis for their creativity. There are areas in Dubai, where anything less than 50 stories is not authorized. They have been dredging and sand filling for as long as they can remember. Your problem is not your problem, your real problem is lack of vision. The reason we complain about Nigeria being a different case, is because we haven’t set our eyes on our vision and burnt our bridges.

4. Vision Unites. I’ve met Pakistans, Indians, Chinese, Japanese Europeans, Africans and all sorts here in Dubai. Dubai is certainly an expatrait city! These are not only people of different languages and cultures coexisting, they are also people with different backgrounds and points of views. They have however dwelt together peacefully working on a common course. Language and culture ceases to be a barrier, when you share a common vision or objective. Imagine a house burning with 200 Nigerian tribes locked indoors, would it matter that they are not from the same tribe? Everybody will collaborate to get out of the heat, people will cuddle together, not mind their body odours, will bother less about manners, will focus on the corporate objective. Vision Unites.

We all need to take position and begin to set direction over areas of our nation over which we have influence. We can together begin to create the nation our children will grow up to meet. Let’s begin to communicate the future we desire for our nation… not only our nation… even our individual lives. The synergy of our individual achievements, can move our nation forward.

“America’s abundance was not created by public sacrifices to “the common good”, but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes” – Ayn Rand

I’m still putting all the pictures together… you’ll get them…Идея за подарък

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