This is an excerpt from the speech by His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research for the United Arab Emirates.
In the Name of God the Merciful. All praise be to Allah alone, and His peace and blessings be upon His Messengers. Dear brother Khalaf Al Habtoor. Distinguished guests. Ladies and Gentleman. Peace be upon you and God’s mercy and blessings.
It is a great pleasure for me to be here tonight to celebrate the launch of the book of our dearest brother, Khalaf Al Habtoor. This occasion is close to our hearts, because it honours a unique and distinguished self-made national figure, a great example of people who achieved success by their own efforts. Furthermore, he is a creative man who chose to write his own story in an important autobiography titled “Memories in Dubai”, which I had the opportunity to write its introduction.
The book and its author give the Arab readers everywhere a “functional autobiography” written in a thrilling style and smooth sentences that would make you feel drawn to the book, bound to it. That’s why I value the book and cherish the writer.
We congratulate you dear brother, we congratulate all Arab readers in Emirates and elsewhere on this valuable book which offers accumulated experience and conveys to us meanings and ideas with open visions and accurate observations that record important events in the history of Emirates and the Gulf region with honesty and sincerity because they are related by a witness to the era who commented thoroughly and efficiently on all major events. Therefore, his autobiography is an important reference for all those interested in history and heritage; it will be appreciated by all those who will have the opportunity to read it or have a look at it.
If this is the book, what about the author? I am overwhelmed by strong feelings as I talk about Khalaf Al Habtoor, the brother and relative, the human being, and the well-known businessman.
First, Khalaf Al Habtoor, the brother and relative: My pleasure is multiplied by the kinship relation between our two families that started even before we were born. His virtuous mother, Noura Bint Ahmad, may she rest in peace, is the aunt of my late father, Sheikh Mubarak Bin Mohammad Al Nahyan. This close relationship continued after we were born; I am honored with the reference about KAH being a relative, a brother and a friend that we were looking for. And what an excellent man he is.
Second, Khalaf Al Habtoor, the human being: Above all, he is a loyal and righteous Emirati citizen who is strongly attached to his family and country, has a deep love for the Emirates, and is loyal to his fellow citizens and family members. He is highly admired by all those who know him. His life is a saga of continuous endeavour, hard work, perseverance and commitment. He is an open and charitable man who has a great ability to separate the wheat from the chaff. He always has a good judgment, and he never fails to help others, providing assistance in the right context. He is a human being, in every sense of the word.
Third, Khalaf Al Habtoor is a successful businessman by all standards. He is a pioneer of the economy in the Emirates and the world. He has various abilities in many fields, and a lot of contributions and achievements in the areas of finance, business, economy and education and in the service of the society and the nation. He is a distinguished member of the Federal National Council, and plays a highly appreciated role in the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. His achievements are tangible as member of the Dubai Economic Council, in addition to his great contributions to the construction sector.
Ladies and Gentlemen, these are but a few examples about a dear brother and friend who is a great model for our precious Emirate.
Finally, this book should be distributed to curriculum directors in schools and universities alike, as they might consider using it as a reference to students who would be inspired to reflect on some chapters and events, would have an example to follow, and would learn how to strive to achieve their goals and most importantly success.
Last but not least, I would like to salute Khalaf Al Habtoor whom we honour tonight. No words can describe his true worth.
Thank you all for your presence. I pray to God Almighty to help you. Peace be upon you and God’s mercy and blessings.