Dubai ruler swoops in on absent government worker

Dubai ruler swoops in on absent government worker
2 min read
29 August, 2016
The Dubai public relations department has shared a video of an angry-looking Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum, the ruler, making a surprise visit to a ministry office only to find nobody home.
Sheikh Mohammed is well-known for his spot checks on government workers [Getty]
Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum is filmed wandering visibly displeased through a sparse office.

At a shelf he picks up a booklet, flicks impatiently through the pages and returns back to the empty desk.

The video uploaded by Dubai Media Office's Twitter account is footage of Maktoum's well-known spot checks in action.

These visits are said to be feared by government workers, who have been known to take a liberal approach to office hours.

Unfortunately for the government worker who occupies the office, he was absent the day his "big boss" showed up.

The Dubai ruler is known to be a stickler for punctuality, and has fired government workers after visiting public offices and found nobody at their desks.

In the bloated world of bureaucracies, Dubai has tried to portray its local ministries as efficient and streamlined, making great use of e-government initiatives.

Maktoum has always insisted that he runs a tight ship, and treats the city-state no different to a business - hiring talent, and firing workers who don't pull their weight.

But it appears this has not completely curbed chronic tardiness by managers and workers alike.

For some, these public acts of humilation go too far, particularly as the target of Maktoum's wrath appears to be a manager. This is a big deal in a country like the UAE, where public image is often key.

"He certainly wanted to send a message," Director General Mona al-Marri, of Dubai's some-what feared media office told Bloomberg.

"Timeliness starts at the top and we won't go after employees when their bosses aren't there."

This isn't the first time the sheikh has used social media to shape his public profile.

Maktoum was recently filmed doing another spot check at Dubai airport. He was seen smiling to visitors to the emirate, but less than happy with officials who didn't show up for work.

In July, UK media lapped up a photo of the seemingly unsuspecing sheikh travelling on a London Underground train.