Dubai’s ruler has ordered a shake-up of the city state’s management, including the retirement of nine senior officials, a day after he conducted a surprise spot check of government offices and found a significant number of high-ranking officials absent.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum carried out an unannounced early morning inspection of several civil service departments on Sunday, a regular work day in the country, to find empty desks which should have been occupied by high-ranking officials.
A video showing the skeikh, who is also the United Arab Emirates prime minister and vice president, walking into the sparsely populated offices of the Land Department and Department of Economic Development at 7.30 was widely posted on Twitter by Dubai’s media office, which noted that managers were no better than rank-and-file employees.
The exercise was intended to “send a message,” said Mona al-Marri, a Dubai media official.
“Timeliness starts at the top and we won’t go after employees when their bosses aren’t there.”
Another inspection at Dubai International Airport found immigration officers present and correct, news outlet Al-Arabiya reported.
The 67-year-old sheikh was known for his surprise visits in the early days of transforming the city from a desert town into a thriving business centre.
A day after the inspection, Sheikh Mohammed ordered the retirement of nine members of Dubai Municipality’s executive management, including directors and assistant director-generals in departments such as legal affairs and planning, the United Arab Emirates’ state news agency WAM reported.
The ruler thanked the nine retired officials for their service but said he wanted to allow a new generation of young leaders to take control and provide top-quality services to the public.