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13 March, 2006

Winter Surprises

Government gatecrashing is becoming an absolute craze in the sandlands, with senior sheikhs and ministers paying unannounced visits all over the place.

Labour Minister Dr Al Kaabi pioneered the fad earlier this year with various impromptu visits to companies and labour camps, stumbling upon hives of corruption and indolence.

Education Minister Dr Hanif Hassan got a less than happy valentine when he popped into HQ on 14th February and discovered seventy per cent of his staff playing truant.

Social Affairs minister Dr Al Roumi stopped by Al Dhaid last month, and discovered aged technology and dilapidated facilities.

And now Sheikh Mo is also in on the act. First he paid a spontaneous visit to Umm Al Quwain (miraculously a few residents of the Sleeping Emirate were awake that day) where he was "shocked" to see chaos and disorganisation. No one else was, but never mind.

Next, Sheikh Mo dropped by RAK quite unannounced and ordered a shake up at the Labour Ministry and the courts.

So who's next? Government employees from mountains to sea must be quaking in their near-empty offices lest their department is the next surprise target.

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Blogger Hot Lemon& Honey said...

Thats why I respect Sheikh Mohammed..Smart..Energetic...futuristic out look on things.. and hard working.
I just remember how renewig my driving liscence was a headache in 1991, and now..its as if I am the only person there..he's made everything easier and because he is personally there to make check things out and see the reality...things have been successful.
And becuase of him and other people like him, the UAE will continue to better it self..
:) I am so proud.

13 March, 2006 01:48  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Yes - it is a great thing he and the other ministers are doing for this country.

I just wish they could have filmed people's reactions when they showed up unannounced!

Particularly Dr Hanif's when he saw his nearly empty office ;)

13 March, 2006 01:52  
Blogger unJane said...

I'm curious how he is able to show up in these other emirates. Does he have to have the local ruler's permission or does it come with the job?

13 March, 2006 06:54  
Blogger nzm said...

About 3 years ago, Sheikh Mohammed popped unannounced into DXB, and walked around pointing out things that he thought weren't working, and finding out which managers weren't on duty when they should have been there.

The next day, the managers who weren't doing their jobs had their photos published on the front page of the paper, together with a list of improvements that they had to work on!

13 March, 2006 08:06  
Blogger marwan said...

He should do it more often.

But he's also sending the wrong message. Locals shouldnt go to work because they fear surprise visits from Mohamed or his crew. They should be in office because they want to. And if they don't, there should be definite penalties in place - no matter the position.

For instance, I go to work to earn money to pay rent. And to eat, occasionally.

13 March, 2006 08:24  
Blogger samuraisam said...

unjane: he is the prime minister and vice president of the UAE, not sure of exact title, but he definately has the authority.

13 March, 2006 08:37  
Blogger Harsha said...

The Prime Minister of the country cant be going around paying surprise visits all the time.

13 March, 2006 09:33  
Blogger flamin said...

@harsha: They should. It's a small country and here, only such visits are likely to jumpstart many people. Just because he is a PM, doesn't mean he is to sit on his velvet chair all day :)

13 March, 2006 10:31  
Blogger Harsha said...

You mean Sheikh Mo has nothing else to do than sit in the velvet chair?

how about appointing appropriate persons in the first place so he doesnt have to go around paying visits - do gov depts have HR depts?

13 March, 2006 10:59  
Blogger the shadow said...

>>I just wish they could have filmed people's reactions when they showed up unannounced!

I second that...the "Big Brother" for the real world :}

13 March, 2006 11:07  
Blogger flamin said...

@harsha: Appointing people is one thing and making surprise visits is another. And just FYI, he recently became the PM and the surprise visits that you see are happening in other Emirates - which was out of authority in his previous positions.

The next step would be to appoint the right people. But surprise visits have never hurt anyone, have they? You always see something wrong or something you can improve on.

At least his mentality isn't like many other people who think that 'owning' a position is the only job they have. Titles come with duties.

13 March, 2006 11:22  
Blogger Harsha said...


13 March, 2006 11:26  
Blogger flamin said...


13 March, 2006 11:41  
Blogger Shaper85 said...

This is nothing new... even before Sheikh Mo got his new title, he paid suprise visits to government departments to see how things are on the ground - a quick look through the archives should show that Sheikh Mo pioneered these unnanounced visits, not some lazy labour minister.

13 March, 2006 12:36  
Blogger Krishna said...

Umm.. This type of working reminds me of the former chief Minister of Andra Pradesh in India. He was known for his vision (Hyderabad 2020, A.P. 2020) and for his suprise visits. He is reportedly fired many a civil servants during his suprise visits. Ofcourse, the press were with the CM at all times. His popularity (mainly for good works) won him a re-election and he stayed on power for 8 years until 2004 I believe.

He lost the next elections due to the same issues dubai is facing now. High level of Inequality between urban and rural aras; high inflation among many other issues. One just wonders what would be the result (on basis of present economy and all of the population in dubai voting)if elections took place today in dubai.

On a related note, gulf news business section has this to say about living in dubai.

13 March, 2006 12:42  
Blogger Harsha said...

interesting read for a business feature

13 March, 2006 12:47  
Blogger Seabee said...

>So who's next? Government employees from mountains to sea must be quaking in their near-empty offices lest their department is the next surprise target.<

I hope so. A shake-up was overdue.
Now what can he do about incompetent private companies???

13 March, 2006 15:50  
Blogger Hot Lemon& Honey said...

"Locals shouldnt go to work because they fear surprise visits from Mohamed or his crew. "
I agree but until they work cause they are paid to do so (at least), this is going to smarten them up.

SD, I thought they put the whole suprise visits on the friends were talking about it!?

For Sheikh Mohammed to actually do these visits in person is much more effective...its a messege he is conveying...I am sure he will appoint someone to do that in the he did in Dubai..but this is just to keep everybody on their toes..

13 March, 2006 18:48  

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