No great mentor other than society

In a world full of global risks and terrorism, young people should find their motivation to lead by example, said a top UAE official.

Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, was addressing students at Zayed University as part of the 100 Mentors Programme.

Sharing his life experience and background up until he got recently promoted to commander-in-chief, Al Marri stressed on the importance of the youth volunteering and taking up hobbies that would get them in touch with all aspects of the society.

"In this way, you will know how to deal with risks and challenges coming over at you," said Al Marri.

Being a football enthusiast himself, Al Marri said engaging in hobbies like sports helped him realise the importance of a team working together towards achieving a goal.

"I deal with my team the same way I deal with my children, and in both ways, you have to convince people of a certain point," he told a crowd of students during a session titled "Risk Management."

"You cannot look down on your team or else there will be no productivity. Team members should all be working with the same goal and intentions in mind."

He added that establishing discipline is required not only in the work environment but also at home with families. Al Marri stressed that volunteering in different social activities help individuals become responsible and develop the discipline that helps them manage risks in life.

"All it takes from every individual is to know their responsibilities well and worked towards them. Take the initiative whenever you can, be it at work or home, and don't have free time," said Al Marri.

He noted that the willingness to succeed should come from within.

"In my life, I never looked at status or position, my principle in life has always been to be the best in what I do," said Al Marri, who joined Dubai Police in 1991.

"If I was assigned to a certain mission and my superior asked me afterwards how I did, I consider it failure. Because my work should speak for itself," said Al Marri.

Al Marri was in charge of protecting VIPs during important government events, and was the head of motorcycle group founded in 2008 to protect VIPs.

He noted that the main factor behind success of Dubai Police in maintaining security throughout the city comes from dedicated teamwork.

Dubai Police are in the process of establishing the Dubai Police Council for Youth in cooperation with the Emirates Youth Council to be a link between police leadership and young police officers.

Through it, Al Marri had commended the young leaders in Dubai Police for "interactive work" and guided them on how to "think out of the box". But he urged university students to communicate their ideas as well, stressing that young people are the future.

Currently leading a team of 24,000 employees at Dubai Police, Al Marri was assigned a key role in Expo 2020 security preparations.

He was chosen to speak at the fourth session of 100 Mentors Programme based on Twitter suggestions from young people.