By Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Alzaabi
A close friend in Emaar Properties the builders of Burj Khalifa disclosed to me that upon the completion of project in 2009, I gazed on top of the Burj where I saw a Pakistani worker waving joyfully after finalizing his work on the tallest skyscraper of the world, thus, this story is reflecting the pivotal role played by our skillful Pakistani brothers in structural and economic development and boom witnessed by United Arab Emirates during last 5 decads.
This reminded me my first visit in childhood to my family doctor a proficient Pakistani Physician along with my mother, who impressed me with his friendly dealing and curative treatment, since then I been meeting many Pakistani brothers extending their precious expertise in the process of development and prosperity of UAE.
In his meeting with the hounorable Prime Minister of Pakistan H.E. Imran Khan at PM House in Islamabad last January in my presence, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan told Prime Minister Imran Khan that in his childhood when he was 5 year old (in 1966 approximately) he was accompanying Late Sheikh Zayed in his private visit to Pakistan and he was of the believe that there are only two countries in world, UAE and Pakistan, this reveals that the Pakistan was only preferred destination for the Late Sheikh Zayed as family visit station, and to be frankly this never came accidently, it has reasons.
The bonds affinity of historical and cultural bounds between the two brotherly peoples of the United Arab Emirates and Islamic Republic of Pakistan has long traces.
The shores on both sides of Arabian Sea its deserts, dunes and weather conditions shaped a similar culture and common destiny for both nations, the ancient history reveals many intra cultural and trade exchanges and travels, in new history the founding father of UAE Late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan always preferred Pakistan as his second home, and even before the establishment of UAE he has visited Pakistan many times along with other Sheikhs and companions.
These interactions resulted in Pakistan being the first country to recognize UAE as country in 1971, eventually the Pakistani Diaspora played important role in establishing and building many institutions of UAE.
Emirates which became now one of the world leading Airlines is an evident example of above role, as PIA provided technical and administrative assistance to the new carrier and leased a new Boeing 737–300 and an Airbus A300B4-200, and I was delighted to receive Capt. Rtd. Fazl Ghani Mian, the Pilot who leaded the Emirates first and launching flight from Dubai to Karachi on 25th October 1985, in my office last month.
The talented people also involved in military trainings, banking sectors, infrastructure developments, transport and many other essential fields drawing prominent lines in the beautiful and prosperous picture of my beloved homeland.
Pakistanis remain the pivotal contributors in development of UAE and with 1.6 million Pakistanis living with peace and respect as second largest foreigner community in UAE, involved in the country’s business, investment and services sectors, beside their contributions to Pakistan’s economy as the UAE considered the second largest source of remittances to Pakistan for last many years consistently according to the financial sources.
These contributions helped in evolving the close friendship between United Arab Emirates and Islamic Republic of Pakistan, consequently the UAE once became the largest foreign direct investment country with its huge investments in the fields of oil refinery, telecommunication, banking, aviation and property development, meanwhile UAE remain committed to assist the Pakistan in its economic stability and human development.
Beside its financial assistances to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the UAE also established many humanitarian and development programs for the brotherly people of Pakistan, built many land mark hospitals, colleges, schools, roads, bridges, airports, housing projects, water supply schemes and many seasonal and emergency relief programs in various provinces and areas of Pakistan.
The writer is The Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates in Islamabad.