Al Nadi Tower Opening Speech from His Excellency.
In the presence of various foreign Ambassadors, local dignitaries, Club Members and the architect, Andre Meyerhans, His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mubarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Tolerance, delivered his speech below during the opening of Al Nadi Tower in March 2014.
“Ambassador Jeremy, Distinguished Guests, Members of ‘The Club’, Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am pleased to be here with you today among many dear and valued friends. I didn’t realize how long I have known so many of you until I saw how many grey hairs, we all seem to have acquired over the years!
This Al Nadi Tower signals a tremendous contribution of the British community, as represented by The Club, to the development of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates. My own interactions with Members of The Club have always been both enjoyable and instructive. I am very aware today of the splendid history of The Club and it reflects the special relationship between Britain and the United Arab Emirates. I am confident that we will continue to work together to further mutual understanding, cooperation and joint ventures between our two countries.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends, the development of your club mirror closely that of the city of Abu Dhabi itself. Together, we have witnessed the development of Abu Dhabi from a small beginning to its present status as one of the most modern and vibrant cities in the world.
Your club – The Club – has always commanded the attention of Abu Dhabi. Like the city, The Club owes much of its success to the vision and leadership of our nation’s founder the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahayan who generously allocated the land for its site in 1968. Now under the wise leadership of the president, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan, and with the guidance and strong support of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahayan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Abu Dhabi continues to develop and prosper, and The Club continues to receive the steadfast support of our community. Now in its fifty-second year, ‘The Club’ has repaid Sheikh Zayed’s initial generosity and vision many times over. While allowing its members to experience the community that they have left behind in their own country, The Club has at the same time promoting a cooperative and productive relationship with the UAE that distinguishes its aims. Aims are critical as explained by the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe [and I quote]:
“I respect the man who knows distinctly what he wishes. The greater part of all mischief in the world arises from the fact that men do not sufficiently understand their own aims. They have undertaken to build a tower and spend no more labour on the foundation than would be necessary to erect a hut.”
The Club, however, has laid an unshakable foundation in Abu Dhabi because it understands its own aims and, I might add, the aims of our country. In this room, are people, members of The Club, who have been active participants in the economic development of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates. Indeed, you in The Club have always merited our gratitude and appreciation.
Today, as we inaugurate the Al Nadi Tower, we celebrate The Club’s labour that firmly supports it. The tower itself conveys an undeniable sense of strength, vision, and beauty. Because Al Nadi literally means ‘The Club,’ the structure accurately characterizes your organization.
My Friends: The muscular appearance of the tower reminds me of the strength of our country’s expatriate community, especially the British population that long ago recognized our potential and persisted in supporting our efforts to build a knowledge society and take our place in the global community of independent and successful nations.
The breathtaking vista that the tower provides reminds me of the vision achieved by the late Sheikh Zayed and expanded by Their Highnesses the current leaders of our country. The UAE vision has drawn confidently and securely on the vision exhibited by our international residents, especially the British, in so many critical areas such as banking, finance, construction, management, education, and even the side of the street on which we should not direct our vehicles.
And the sheer physical beauty of André Meyerhans’ creation reminds me of all the other beautiful structures and shapely relationships and handsome businesses and brilliant ventures that have resulted from the cooperative friendships forged between people such as you in The Club and the UAE citizens who have welcomed you.
To be sure, Al Nadi, an image of strength, vision, and beauty, marks the essence of The Club and proclaims the past success and promising future of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates. We are all grateful for this towering addition to our skyline. Thank you for building it. I hope you put it to good use in the years to come. I also hope you will continue with the successful contributions to your community, to Abu Dhabi, and to the United Arab Emirates. Thank you.”