Not very long ago, at the beginning of last year – January 2012, I stood with you in the same location and announced that we were demolishing the iconic Metropolitan Hotel to build a new hotel complex in its place. At that time, I declared my faith in Dubai’s economy, and its ability to bounce back and fully recover from the global financial crisis much faster than any other country’s economy. Today, I am here to renew my vote of confidence in Dubai and its economy and to celebrate our success. It is not just a success for the Al Habtoor Group, but the success of my country. Each and every one of us plays a vital role in the UAE’s success. I was able to build the Metropolitan Hotel in 1979 because of the vision and support of His Highness the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. And today I stand here to make this announcement due to the vision, leadership and support of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The encouragement of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, his hard work and leadership inspire me and give me the fuel to announce this project.
This project is unique not just in the region, but in the world. The recent inauguration of the ‘Dubai Water Canal’ by His Highness is an additional boost of energy.
This country was blessed with the late Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid and with our grandfathers and fathers who strived to build our nation and to protect our honour and dignity. The UAE continues to grow because of our leader and citizens jointly working together. Forty-two years since the foundation of the UAE is not a long period of time in any nation’s history or development, but for my country, the United Arab Emirates, the four and a half decades have been life changing. Our success has shown. And the proof is in Dubai’s bid to host the Expo 2020. We in the Al Habtoor Group were among the first to support the bid and I have no doubt in my mind that we will win it. I have strong faith.
We have the infrastructure, the security, we have the right attitude. No one deserves it more than we do.
We have come so far in such a short period of time. Imagine our capabilities for the future. The credit is due to non-other than Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid. Dubai is his success. And I want to say, thank you and I assure you that I believe in your vision, I trust your guidance and I will continue to support your plans for Dubai 100 per cent.
The announcement I made last year was, by every scale large, but now it is larger. In the heart of Dubai, the Pearl of the Gulf, we will reveal ‘Al Habtoor City’; the biggest residential and hospitality development in the world under construction. The Al Habtoor City will incorporate more than 3,000 hotel and residential units on one plot - the plot where we stand today. I want to say that our project will prove that Dubai is the only place in the world to invest.
Al Habtoor City is truly a breathtaking project. It will help boost the economy, provide thousands of jobs and will set a benchmark for future projects of its kind. Al Habtoor City will be a new landmark for Dubai. Al Habtoor City is a dream which became a reality due to the cooperation of different government departments.
May God protect the UAE and its’ people. Amen.
*edited for this publication