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Thu 28 Jan 2010 07:25 AM

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Dubai ruler's call to officials to meet 'new challenges'

Sheikh Mohammed says 'distortions' in media related to Dubai's debt should be ignored.

Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum has issued a rallying call to senior officials to motivate them "in the face of the new challenges of the new era".

The vice-president and prime minister of the UAE told officials at a meeting at his palace in Zabeel that they should work hard and ignore the "distortions" in the media that "do not reflect the reality on the ground".

"You have to keep working hard and learn from your mistakes," he told officials and directors of local government bodies and institutions in comments published by news agency WAM.

"Those who work hard would naturally make mistakes; I want you to work hard for your country even if you make mistakes," he added.

Sheikh Mohammad said the meeting was called to "motivate and encourage you in the face of the challenges of the new era in confidence...without the need to listen to all the distortions [in the media] that don't reflect the reality on the ground [and] the formidable achievements which we, as leaders and citizens, consider as a source of pride".

He added: "I want you to keep up the good work and never be downcast."

He hailed the work carried out by officials in the past few years in infrastructure, tourism and service sectors and the housing and real estate projects, adding that the achievements "reflect the ability of the sons and daughters of this nation to be creative and shoulder the full responsibility without the need for foreign experts".

Last month, Dubai's ruler said the global reaction to the emirate's planned restructuring of its conglomerate Dubai World showed a lack of understanding.

"They do not understand anything," he said when asked about the global reaction to Dubai World's standstill request and restructuring plans.

Dubai World Group on November 25 confirmed that it was looking to restructure a total debt of $26bn relating to Dubai World, Nakheel and Limitless.

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