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Posted 136 days ago Read More

EMS: Smart Technology for Physical Fitness and Back Pain Treatment

Exercise and physical activity have a positive impact on an individual’s health and social life. Exercising regularly will ensure physical fitness and fortify the body’s immune system. But, incorporating sports in one’s lifestyle is hardly possible with the ever-accelerating pace of modern life, in addition to health problems that may limit mobility making it almost impossible to engage in any form of sports or regular physical activity.

Nonetheless, modern smart technology offers an effective solution to people with limited mobility, through the Electrical Muscle Stimulation technology known as Electromyostimulation.

The European College of Sport Science during its 23rd annual congress held in the Irish capital Dublin, published an abstract about “Whole-body Electromyostimulation” (WB-EMS) to treat patients with chronic nonspecific back pain. We gladly present the abstract to you below:


INTRODUCTION: The preferred intervention for treating patients with chronic nonspecific back pain, according to the German National Care Guideline, is active exercise and to establish regular exercise in daily life. The lifestyle of patients with chronic nonspecific back pain mostly does not include any sports. They also often suffer from limitations of their mobility due to degenerative diseases of further joints. Therefore, there is an urgent need to help physical passive people to enable them to exercise easier. The use of Electromyostimulation (EMS) in order to train specific muscles has been established in physiotherapy for decades. Within the fitness industry, supported training by WB-EMS is becoming increasingly popular. Therefore, applying this kind of training seems logical in patients with chronic unspecific back pain.

METHODS: In an ongoing prospective clinical trial, 49 patients with chronic nonspecific back pain have been enrolled for WB-EMS training. The average age is 53.7 years (27-85 years). The first evaluation takes place after 3 months. The training is carried out according to the usual recommendations in fitness training once a week for 20 minutes under the guidance of a trained physiotherapist. The core muscles are trained upper and lower limbs.

RESULTS: The pain sensation averages on the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS; 1-10) improved significantly by 1.198 (from 4.66 to 3.46, p <0.05). The Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) improved significantly, resulting in a significant 3.37% reduction in disability (p <0.05). The NASS also achieved a significant improvement of 0.51 points (p <0.05). The pain value of the SF 36 questionnaire improved by 8.88 (p <0.05). The other SF-36 parameters also tended to improve without reaching significance levels. In the point "limitations due to emotional problems", no improvement could be achieved. In the HADS score, improvements could be found for depression and anxiety, but these changes were also not significant.

CONCLUSION: By training with WB-EMS, all the back and pain parameters in the examined scores could be improved. It is thus an efficient training tool for people with chronic nonspecific back pain. In the further course of the study, the long-term effect will be evaluated by extending the training period. A comparison group with a traditional physiotherapy program will show the efficiency compared to a physiotherapeutic therapy concept.

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Posted 374 days ago Read More

Apple, Samsung or Huawei: Which One is More Relevant to the Golden Circle?

When Simon Sinek published his book Start with Why in 2009, he contemplated on the critical importance of having a clear answer to the question WHY and a strong commitment to defined goals, for companies and individuals who seek to achieve prosperity and success.

Sinek thoroughly analyzed and explained the value of this question, and presented his theory The Golden Circle to guarantee sustainable success and prosperity to the institutions that imply its concepts. But, there is still no research that studies and compares the integration and effect of this concept in competing companies across the globe.

During the last decade, we have witnessed pivotal changes and developments in smart communication technologies, and the emergence of giant companies like Apple, Samsung, and Huawei.

Has Apple maintained its answer to WHY?

Simon Sinek mentions Apple as one of the successful companies that had clearly understood and successfully integrated the concepts of the Golden Circle, for its founder genuinely believed in the objectives of the company.

Sinek described the company’s accomplishments explaining in detail the factors that made them possible.

Without a doubt, Apple challenged, innovated, and made a difference in the world. People trust this trademark and believe in the quality of its products, and would excitedly stand for hours in long lines to purchase one of their pricey high-end new releases.

Apple dominated the smartphone market but not for long. The company didn’t face any real competition until Samsung entered the playground and started producing rival smartphones registering growing revenues.

At times, Samsung had to face and deal with problems. But, through perseverance and excellence was able to withstand and produce devices that surpassed Apple in specifications and revenues as well.  

Anyone who is familiar with Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle will logically ask the following question: Has Apple diverted and lost vision of its WHY which inspired and transformed our technology and its applications?

We may not be able to give a definite answer to this question now, but we can observe the decline in the sales of Apple smart devices in contrast to the stable growth of Samsung customers community.

Samsung: The Flexible Titan

It is somewhat entertaining to watch the ongoing competition between Samsung and Apple which resembles the rivalry chase between Tom and Jerry.

Both companies need to keep this battle between them going so that the world continues to witness brilliant innovations in smartphones and their applications.

Samsung obliged Apple to rethink its WHY which Sinek assumed the company believed in, trusting that their consumers loved their products.

This can be a pretty reasonable interpretation.But, we also need to consider that after ten years of rapid technological evolution, and with the constant change in the needs and expectations of new generations, Apple may have to reevaluate its vision.

On the other hand, we cannot definitely claim that Samsung has applied Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle even though the company continues to increase its sales, revenues, and the number of its committed customers, transcending those of Apple.

Huawei: The Attainable Red Treasure

Probably, the founder and president of Huawei Ren Zhengfei, has read Sinek’s book “Start with Why” or at least heard of it or considered the concept of WHY when he set his company’s vision.

What if this company has a clear vision of its Golden Circle and is indeed challenging that in which Apple believes?

Huawei’s slogan“Building a fully connected, intelligent world” might reveal to us the answer Ren Zhengfei envisages for his company’s Golden Circle’s central question WHY.

Today, Huawei smartphones are possessed by millions of people, who may not share its vision, but are glad to be able to obtain high-end technology with an affordable price.

Mr. Zhengfei repeatedly proclaimed that Huawei is a competitive company with advanced technology and pioneering innovative approach.

Is the affordability of Huawei devices the only contributor to its triumph? The company, indeed, aims to make new state-of-the-art smart technology available for everyone with affordable prices.

There could be other reasons for the rise in Huawei’s shares in the stock market, in addition to the ideology of its founder who believes in everyone’s equal right to access technology.

Until Simon Sinek delivers a new study in this regard, let us meditate in a quote from his book “Start with Why” in which he states: “Knowing WHY is essential for lasting success and the ability to avoid being lumped in with others.”

Damsco Media

Posted 431 days ago Read More

Damsco Group: Future Investment Aspirations and Digital Transformation Applications in Dubai

After adopting the vision of Sheikh Zayed, and with the wisdom and guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai has succeeded in attracting major leading international, commercial and economic Institutions to compete on its territory, in accordance with the UAE’s legislation, laws and facilities. Faced with this great economic momentum Mr. Mohannad Fayez Al Masre, Chairman of Damsco Group decided to enter UAE’s investment market in 2011, after successful experiences in the Middle East.

The Dawn of Damsco group

Damsco Group was established in Damascus in 2004, when it started its investments in the fields of the Stock Exchange Market, the Main Food Commodities Trade, and the Automotive Trade. Soon, the Group was able to raise its revenues in the local market, and registered significant growth during the first four years of its inception.

After their success, the Group’s Board of Directors, led by Mr. Mohannad Al Masre decided to expand the geographical area of ​​its investments by opening a branch in Baghdad in 2008, in addition to its projects in Syria.

These investments began in the oil and electric power generation sectors. The group has also entered major food tenders in Iraq to continue their success story further.

In 2011, the group opened an office in the heart of Dubai’s commercial city to enter the UAE’s economic competition. The Group’s Board of Directors believed that it was imperative to diversify investments. Thus they launched new projects in the real estate market, media marketing and government-related events in the UAE.

It was not long before the group set out for Europe through investments in Turkey. Indeed, an office was opened in Istanbul in 2017, to launch enterprises in the power generation sector and the trading of minerals and oil derivatives.

Why invest in the future?

Damsco Group is currently studying the possibility of digital transformation and the inclusion of digital applications within its diverse companies.

The group looks forward to competing in the “Joint Arab Vision for Digital Economy” launched at the end of 2018 in Abu Dhabi, and become a part of the digital equation in the future economic competition within the UAE.

The Group’s management believes that modern investment rules have evolved, and ambitious companies have to renew their “economic cells” to become more flexible and receptive to technological requirements, digital applications and challenges in the area of artificial intelligence.

People who are not familiar with the dynamics of the economy in Dubai may think that private companies, adopting digital transformation and smart applications, is a kind of “commercial vanity.” However, the city’s access to advanced infrastructure, communication technology, and the smart road transportation network allows for such “intellectual appearances”, and effectively contributes to the implementation of any project, regardless of its needs.

With these facilities offered by Dubai government departments, companies and institutions have two choices: Either a gradual shift to intelligent applications and a digitization policy, which is not easy, as this requires a clear strategic vision as well as an assessment of the company’s financial, human and technological capabilities that can make this vision a success.

Or, making a bold decision, and climbing the economic ladder to reach the summit, a necessary part of the future economic system in the UAE.

Damsco Group believes that conducting a digital transformation in its administrative and financial structure through the development of its internal departments such as public relations, human resources, financial management, personnel and other departments, will reflect in the productivity of its employees and its relationship with customers and competitors.

The Chairman of the Group, Mr. Mohannad Al Masre, through his cadres, seeks to develop innovative digital models to test the quality of their services and ensure the welfare of customers, while maintaining their professionalism and excellence. However, the Group did not disclose details about future implementation mechanisms as they prefer to wait until the right time in the future.

In this regard, the Group coordinates and cooperates with renowned UAE companies in the field of technology and innovative industries to ensure high quality and technological advancement.

In the end, everyone can start investing, but, a solid foundation and proper planning in any organization are what ensure its continuity and economic leadership.

Damsco Media

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Posted 128 days ago Read More

Damsco and Abdul Samad Al Qurashi Inaugurate A Joint Collaboration Initiative

Damsco Group, founder and Chairman Mr. Mohannad Al Masre, hosted a dinner party in honor of Sheikh Ihsan bin Abdul Samad Al Qurashi, the CEO of Abdul Samad Al Qurashi Group, on the occasion of signing a joint strategic collaboration agreement between the two groups in the Gulf region.

The honorary dinner took place at the Royal Suite in Four Seasons Resort – Jumeirah Beach Dubai. Members of the board of directors of both groups attended the dinner, as well as prominent personnel in the Emirati and Saudi financial world.

Let us mention that this collaboration will create new investment opportunities for Damsco Group and Abdul Samad Al Qurashi Group in the fields of oil, gas, smart fitness technology, and luxury cosmetics in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Damsco Media

Posted 299 days ago Read More

Joint Collaboration Agreement Between the UNHCR and Damsco Company

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) signed a joint collaboration agreement with Damsco to support the UNHCR efforts for the rehabilitation of educational buildings damaged by the war in Syria.

The agreement, which includes the commitment of Damsco company to provide financial support to the rehabilitation of a school in Rif Dimashq governorate, was signed in Damsco’s headquarter in Dubai in the presence of UNHCR’s Regional Private Sector Partnerships Manager for MENA region Mr. Husam Shaheen, and the CEO of Damsco Group Mr. Mohannad Al Masre.

In the context of the event, Mr. Husam Shaheen indicated that the UNHCR hopes this first collaboration with Damsco will be a strategic one and will aid the IDPs and the refugees, especially the Syrians, mentioning that the UNHCR seeks to engage more individuals and partners from the private sector who are capable of helping to cover the growing needs around the globe, especially in the Arab region. He stated that engaging private sector partners, especially individuals and companies, is a strategic necessity for providing humanitarian aides to the IDPs and the refugees.

On his side, Mr. Mohannad Al Masre expressed joy for his company’s partaking in the reconstruction of Syria after the war, saying: “I would like to express my delight for collaborating with the United Nations in projects that support and assist the efforts of the Syrian Government for the rehabilitation of damaged educational buildings. I emphasize that contributing to the reconstruction of Syria is everyone’s responsibility without exception. Therefore, we will rehabilitate a school in Rif Dimashq governorate in collaboration with the UNHCR who is cooperating with the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates. We chose to rehabilitate a school as the first step in this collaboration, because, the school is the primary institution where a person is established and the new generation is shaped. Thus, this will be the first step in the recovery process, and with God’s permission it will not be the last.”

Mr. Al Masre continued: “We will walk with single-minded determination implementing all effort to ensure restoring our homeland to an even better state than it was before the war, as we believe in the value of collaborative efforts for the rehabilitation of the country, which depends on the rehabilitation of the human individual.” And regarding the condition of the children in Syria Mr. Al Masre added: “Unfortunately, a large number of children in Syria are growing unschooled for reasons related to the war making them vulnerable to social hazards. Thus, our choice of this project that aims to rehabilitate the educational sector will guarantee the protection of the children from social hazards in secure schools that also help to increase the level of their self-awareness.”

During the signing ceremony, Mr. Al Masre explained that his last visit to the refugees’ camps was motivated by his deep concern and sincere care for his fellow Syrian nationals everywhere, determined by his resolution and belief in that the strength of Syria is in the unity of its land and its people. He added: “Our work in Damsco is based on a humanitarian vision that serves all the Syrians and gives top priority to the welfare of the country, and the humanitarian development projects that the company plans to undertake are not restricted to a region. The visits aimed to reveal the causes that prevent the return of the Syrian refugees to their homeland, and discover how the company can encourage and help them to return to their homes, through the execution of innovative development projects that create job opportunities and improve their living conditions.”

Damsco Media

Posted 339 days ago Read More

Lena Chamamyan: “In Damsco you genuinely feel that you are a Syrian”

Damsco Media

The art never stands passive on the side block indifferent to the changes that affect the community, and touch the circumstances and the quality of life of the human individual.

Lena Chamamyan is an artist who is aware of her responsibility in bringing to light the critical issues and causes of her country.

In her new song “Yakhi Ana Souriyeh” Chamamyan demonstrated the trouble that some people go through in international airports just because they are nationals of certain countries, influenced by unfair prejudice and political conflict.

This is not the first song in which Chamamyan highlights humanitarian issues, but it is the first time her team decides to produce a video clip of the song, the scenes of which were shooted in four different cities: Damascus, Beirut, Istanbul, and Paris. This initiative also gathered the artist Lena Chamamyan with Damsco Events in a first collaborative project between them sponsored by Damsco. In the context of this collaboration, Damasco Media conducted a delightful interview with Lena Chamamyan.

There have been extensive talks about the theme of the song, but will Lena Chamamyan continue embracing such issues in her songs or this is going to remain a single initiative born as a result of your airport encounter?

“YakhiAna Souriyeh” is not the first song in which I convey an issue of this kind, I have two albums “Ghazl El Banat” and “Lawnan” in which I sang about the suffering of the refugees and the oppressed, compelled to entrust their trembling lives to the roaring sea to escape affliction and war. We see new issues such as this emerging in the world every day.

How did the audience react with this song? Initially, the first performance of the song was during the Tunisian summer concerts, and the reaction of the audience and the Tunisian media was awesome. Then came the tours in Europe and Canada with a wonderful reaction too. I realize that many people are touched by the song, because, it represents their situation as Palestinians, Iraqis, Libyans, Tunisians, and other Middle Eastern nationals.

This song is a bit different from your previous ones. Tell us about the technical challenges that an artist faces when adopting a new singing style.

Often, the crowds would like to trap the artist in a certain genre mould, and as soon as you try to escape this type, a heap of reactions onsets. Generally, I am not afraid of change; I even embrace it. “Yakhi Ana Souriyeh” is the first song in which I come this close to the folk genre, but, the musical style of my last two albums was much different from that of the previous ones: “Hal AsmarEllon” and “Shamat”. I will always try to rebel against myself and break the stereotypes imposed upon me either by myself or by others, at the same time, faithfully maintaining my standards in the music and the lyrics. 

Do you entertain the idea of writing and composing again?

Sure, as long as I am inspired. I also like working with other writers and composers as long as their words and music are after my own heart.

What can you tell us about your first video clip experience? How will you describe it?

Different, beautiful, and exhausting. I am a stage person, and I love the stage extravagantly. I also studied acting during my opera studies, so, I did not feel a stranger in front of the camera. Probably, the working team also helped me feel comfortable. I like it when the video clip adds to the taste of the song. I also adore stories; that is why I decided to record a video clip that adds an element to the song performance.

How would you evaluate your collaboration with Damsco Events especially that it is the first one you undertake together? The most beautiful thing in working with Damsco is the warmth and friendliness they embrace you with which makes you feel at home. This feeling of passion and warmth is absent in the western world. In Damsco you genuinely feel that you are a Syrian. I also sensed gentle compassion and noble thought much different from what is common in production companies today. It is delightful to meet people who give heed to the quality, and are not only interested in the profit. I wish they will continue to develop and flourish venturing out to try new things that are authentic and different.

Do you have plans for other collaborative projects with Damsco Events in the near future?

I would much like that. Many projects resemble me and Damsco, representing depth, authenticity, distinction, and innovation, as well as attaining an intimate relationship with the audience and winning the heart of the masses.

What do you think about the role of the Syrian entrepreneurs in supporting the Syrian refugees? Is it possible for large investment companies to have an influential role in humanitarian issues?

We appreciate anyone who can help afflicted humanity and rescue the oppressed. Those of us who are more fortunate, need to help bring some justice to our cause, for which the public opinion remains ignorant. As artists and entrepreneurs, we need to raise public awareness and introduce to the world who we are, what we went through, what we have lost, and what we can give. Arts may convey this to the world, while, entrepreneurs may support such arts. Of course, they can also help Syrians by creating decent job opportunities, for most Syrians are looking for more than mere financial aid, they are looking for opportunities to thrive, create, and achieve.   

Will the crowd of your GCC fans, specifically in the United Arab Emirates have an opportunity to attend your concert there in the near future?

I sincerely wish that. I am longing to meet them, and hope that a new collaboration with Damsco Events will regather me with the beloved in the Gulf and UAE.

Photography by Mahmoud Abu Ghalwa

Posted 360 days ago Read More

“Yakhi Ana Souriyeh” The Story of a Passport that brought together Mohannad Al Masre and Lena Chamamyan

The talented singer Lena Chamamyan went through exceptional procedures during a business trip from Paris to Tunisia just for being a national of Syria and carrying a Syrian passport. The same issue will be relevant when you replace the name of the country with Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Tunisia, etc.

This encounter inspired Chamamyan to write and compose her new song “Yakhi Ana Souriyeh”. She released a video clip of the song that was the idea of Chamamyan’s producer and manager Maher Sabra, directed by SaadKadiri and sponsored by Damsco Events, one of Damsco Group’s companies founded and directed by Syrian entrepreneur Mohannad Al Masre.    

With her beautiful angelic voice that reflects both purity and power, Lena Chamamyan’s songs submerge the human soul in an overwhelming aura of romance and serenity. For this, she is acclaimed and adored by myriads of enthralled hearts around the world.

Chamamyan did not record video clips before to maintain her artistic independence and freedom to choose until she was provoked by that encounter which gave birth to “Yakhi Ana Souriyeh”.

This is the first time Chamamyan releases a video clip and her first collaboration with Damsco Events.

Damsco’s sponsorship to this song aligns with its commitment to shed light upon the suffering of the Syrian people, using all possible means to expose and remind the general public of this issue.

The company sees that Lena Chamamyan’s song communicates not only the adversity of the Syrian nationals, but exceeds that to disclose the suffering of all nations and people afflicted by war, political conflicts, and crisis.

During a phone call with Damsco, Dr. Maher Sabra, the manager of the artist Lena Chamamyan, expressed his delight with this pioneering collaboration between Chamamyan and Damsco Events, hoping to undertake such projects again in the future, especially that both parties share a common standpoint from the humanitarian issues and the suffering in the Arab world.

Let us mention that the scenes in “Yakhi Ana Souriyeh” were shot in 4 different cities: Damascus, Beirut, Istanbul, and Paris, and its lyrics are written in Syrian and Tunisian dialects.

Damsco Media

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Posted 387 days ago Read More

Simon Sinek’s Most Important Question: Why?

Mohannad Al Masre – Chairman of Damsco Group
The most important and vital question in the progress of natural, human and social sciences is: “Why?” It is the key to all inventions, discoveries, and developments achieved by the human mind throughout history.

Simon Sinek conveys the importance of this golden question genuinely in his book “Start With Why” where he explains its importance for the prosperity of the professional journey of institutions and individuals, and “teaches the leaders and the institutions how to inspire others.”

In his famous book, he also touches the critical topic of the relationship between employees and their companies based on his brilliant theory “The Golden Circle.”

About this Golden Circle Sinek says: “The Golden Circle finds order and predictability in human behavior. Put simply, it helps us understand why we do what we do. The Golden Circle provides compelling evidence of how much more we can achieve if we remind ourselves to start everything we do by first asking why.”

I was particularly interested in Simon Sinek’s interpretation of the factors that connect the employees of a company with its leaders, and the non-chaotic organizational structure of the relationship between them, for he declares: “What all great leaders have in common is the ability to find good fits to join their organizations—those who believe what they believe.”

In another paragraph, he speaks about the influence and important responsibility of a company’s leader; I quote: “If the leader of the organization can’t clearly articulate WHY the organization exists in terms beyond its products or services, then how does he expect the employees to know WHY to come to work?”

I would like to conclude my presentation of this practical and entertaining book with a quote from its preface by Sinek: “This is a book for those who want to inspire others and for those who want to find someone to inspire them.”

The mentioned quotes are taken from the e-book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, Capstone; 1 edition (August 30, 2010).

Posted 387 days ago Read More

The Legendary Book of Napoleon Hill

Mohannad Al Masre – Chairman of Damsco Group
I advise the enthusiastic and ambitious youth entrepreneurs to read the book “Think and Grow Rich” by the American author Napoleon Hill.

The book offers more than a way of getting rich or increasing one’s wealth. Napoleon Hill gives valuable tips and pieces of advice for those who pursue prosperity and success, presenting real-life stories of people who fulfilled their call and achieved their goals, sometimes, after patiently enduring a lengthy struggle.

Without expressing further opinions about this wonderful book, I quote the following passages from the book for the readers to meditate on:

“He had nothing to start with, except the capacity to know what he wanted, and the determination to stand by that desire until he realized it.”
●“One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat. Every person is guilty of this mistake at one time or another.”
●“Before success comes in any man’s life, he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat, and, perhaps, some failure.”
●“More than five hundred of the most successful men this country has ever known, told the author their greatest success came just one step beyond the point at which defeat had overtaken them.”
●“Knowledge will not attract money, unless it is organized, and intelligently directed, through practical plans of action, to the definite end of accumulation of money.”

The mentioned quotes are taken from the e-book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, Capstone; 1 edition (August 30, 2010).

Posted 409 days ago Read More

“The Art of War”; The Warfare of a Successful Businessman

Mohannad Fayez Al Masre – Chairman of Damsco Group

“The Art of War” is not merely a book to display on your library shelf or decorate one’s desk… In addition to being an interesting source for politicians and military leaders, it can be an excellent reference for investors and entrepreneurs as well.

According to the preface of the Arabic publication of the book, some of the largest global companies rely on it as a reference, for the wise reflections and pieces of advice given by “Sun Tzu” more than two thousand years ago, which are still taught and effective in all areas of life (social, economic, political, commercial, sports, etc.). Despite being centuries old Chinese scroll, “The Art of War” continues to be translated and published in different languages throughout the world.

This book contains many “Golden Keys”, which guarantee success and prosperity to those who apply them in their institutions and relationships. My best advice to young entrepreneurs who seek to be eminent in their field are based on quotes from this book:

  • Do not reuse a previous tactic that brought you victory, create a new one or alter it unexpectedly.
  • Understand your work: Diligently seek to learn about events and news related to your work, speak to those who have attended conferences, or those who acquire experience and knowledge you lack. Do not look back.
  • Whatever applies to war, applies to daily life as well.
  • Take clear and right decisions: When you realize that your decision was wrong, dare to change it soon, before it is too late.
  • Be an example to others: Your subordinates consider your conduct a pattern to follow. Your acts and moral ethics have greater effect than instructions and orders you give.
  • When you are desperate, you must fight.

Sun Tzu – Art of War, Dar AlkitabAlarabe Publishing – Damascus 2010

Posted 420 days ago Read More

My Journey with Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in “My Story: 50 Memories from 50 Years of Service”

Mohannad Al Masre – Founder & Chairman of Damsco Group

My experience with the book “My Story” is a pleasant one, with its narration of human relations, life, power, and the critical keys to the development of the state and its economy.

Rich in history, the book records the transformation of an ‘empty desert Emirate’ into one of the ‘smartest capitals’ in the world. It was an exciting journey of reading filled with the depth of institutional vision, the burden and responsibilities of a statesman; a man of excellence and a seasoned politician with great economic intellect, who focused on work, planning and innovation, the main pillars of any successful project. This is one of the most inspirational books I have read so far.

The book is an inspiring oasis for generations to come, giving them hope and encouragement to be brave and make bold decisions in all walks of life; “Paving the way to knowledge and life through experience, lifelong learning, insight and reflection.”

I eagerly read the pages of this book, learning about the important historical facts about Dubai, its development, the establishment of the Union, and the pivotal turns in its history of becoming the brilliant global economic power it is today.

The city never ceases to amaze me, the only scientific explanation for the ‘Dubai phenomenon’ is the eloquent mind that built this futuristic city. As a Dubai-based entrepreneur,I am fascinated by the ‘economic intellect’ and insight of the rulers of Dubai, discovering alternative economic resources for the wealthy emirate other than oil.

Regarding the economic challenges that Dubai faced in the early 20th century, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid says in Chapter 8 “185 Years of Searching for Dubai”: “That crisis cut off the lifeblood of the economy, bur Dubai never stopped looking to its future and diversifying its trade. Our economic crisis deepened with World War II, but so did our determination to find alternative sources of trade and revenue.”

A passage caught my attention in which Sheikh Mohammed spoke about the importance of trade for developing Dubai’s economic cycle, stating: “We continued to invest for the future and to focus on what we have always done best: trade in general, and servicing re-export markets in particular.”

Many thinks that the free market system is a recent one adopted during the last few decades in Dubai. However, Sheikh Mohammed indicates: “In 1902, after the Iranian administration in Bandar Lengeh raised taxes for merchants on that side of the Gulf, Sheikh Maktoum abolished all customs duties on imports, opened up Dubai’s port and welcomed all traders. As a result of adopting this free trade policy, goods flowed into and out of the city’s port and in a short period Dubai became the Gulf’s re-export hub. A significant number of major merchants trading in the Gulf area soon moved to Dubai and made it their regional headquarters.”

Sheikh Mohammed also sheds light on the legacy of economic intellect among the old sheikhs who ruled Dubai. In the same chapter, he writes: “My grandfather’s legacy was to ensure economic diversification so that Dubai would never again rely on just one source of income. That principle was something my father, Sheikh Rashid, adopted through the construction of ports, the expansion of Dubai Creek, the development of free zones and the airport, as well as driving the launch of new economic opportunities, such as aluminium smelting.”

“It is a legacy passed down through my family. It is the guarantee that the lessons of our arduous journey over the past 185 years haven’t been taken for granted.” This is one of the most valuable tips for entrepreneurs in this book, to help them develop and expand their investments and deliver successful projects.

Despite focusing on the political aspect and the reinsertion of the government, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid indicates: “No one is born perfect; we all need the mind and souls of others to complete our own. Everyone must continue learning no matter how much he or she achieves. A leader needs the counsel of others to learn more, and to win their support for new plans and projects. Only an ignorant person turns a blind eye to advice.” This quote is taken from the twelfth chapter “Three Lessons from the Dawn of Rashid’s Rule” and it perfectly applies to the world of economics and business. Executives and heads of companies should follow this enlightened thought in management and relationships.

“The creation of leaders is the main enabler of development and further progress.” This is one of many robust insightful quotes about developing human resources and engaging them in serving the nation.

Focusing on competent human resources, especially young ones, and engaging them in both private and government sectors is essential for the development process.As Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid says in his book: “took great care to invest in the ambitious young people who surrounded me throughout the various stages of my career.”

Most entrepreneurs are preoccupied with the idea of appointing the right cadres in the right positions. But executives and department heads are also concerned for creating dedicated teams loyal to the vision of the institute. I quote from the same chapter: “The leader we create are the eyes through which we see, the hands with which we build and the creative energy we add to our own to realise our vision.”

In chapter 36 “Collaboration” Sheikh Mohammed expressed his belief in the importance of investing in the youth and its energy, narrating an interesting story that occurred during a GCC meeting in early 1980s: “I was sad, because, we didn’t handle our wealth effectively, we didn’t trust the ideas of our youth, and didn’t dare to try innovative approaches.” (page 207)

Far from the world of digits and finance, I was captivated by the thinking of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid in Chapter 49: “I do not rely on personal efforts in humanitarian work, but rather on institutional efforts, for they are sustainable and have more powerful and enduring impact.”

I was impressed by the fact that the Sheikh focused on the human character; “When asked why I launched Arab Hope Makers, I said we are searching for the human in every one of us.”
Finally, I advise everyone, regardless of specialty, work or interests to read the book “My Story: 50 Stories in 50 Years” by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, as it is a book of great wisdom and invaluable insight.