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Interview: Mattar Al Tayer
Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority chairman is as bullish as can be when it comes to the emirate’s future.
April 12, 2010 10:02 by Emily Meredith
In addition [Sheikh Mohammed] is a decisive person and he’s a creative person. When we came up with the plans for the Metro he said, ‘What is the difference between this metro and any other metro?’ I said, ‘Your highness, this is a metro.’ He said, ‘No, no, I want this metro for the coming ten years to be the best metro in the world. I want the stations similar to the shopping centers. I want the interior to be like Burj Al Arab.’ He said, ‘I want a unique metro so it should be a benchmark for the Middle East.’
That’s what’s happening now. The ruler of Qatar is sending a delegation here [to see the metro]. Many delegations came. He doesn’t mind if somebody copies it because he wants it to be a benchmark. He wanted Dubai to be a benchmark for the Arab world. I wouldn’t say for Europe because it is older. The metro exists more than 100 years in those countries, so it is not fair for me to compare myself to them. They have millions of hours working in operations. But I’m saying I have a European standard and an American standard [metro].
You’re talking about the push to be a benchmark. What keeps you up at night?
When you have a boss who has so many responsibilities and you call him and he answers your call you want to do whatever you can to please him. I never see any leader who has his mail always opened, where people can come to him in the shopping centers, the people can talk to him easily.