UAE President HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has been named among the 50 most powerful people in the world by the US magazine Newsweek.
Sheikh Khalifa’s political career, personal achievements and ability to tackle crises earned him a mention in the list, the magazine said.
It cited the UAE leader’s creation of a debt committee in 1979 solving a problem of high-interest loans given to nationals that had forced the country into a financial crisis, WAM news agency reported.
This committee later turned into a loan-giving entity that has directly boosted the quality of life of Emiratis to levels matching those of Westerners, the magazine said.
Speaking about Sheikh Khalifa, the UAE Deputy Prime Minister HH Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said: "His personal traits reflect on the way he works, his approach to and management of public matters.
"He is strictly punctual... a great listener... He keeps in touch with citizens, listen to their grievances... His majlis is always full of all types of people from all over the country," he said.
Newsweek also commended Sheikh Khalifa on his efforts to improve the role of women in politics and business, with his appointment of four female ministers and working reforms.
The magazine also said that the under construction Louvre Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim museums on Saddiyat Island would elevate the UAE’s cultural standing.
It quoted Jack Lang, the former French Minister of National Education and Culture, as saying this represents the “brightness and cleverness of the UAE leadership.”