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[January 05, 2014]
Emiratis, residents take to the Internet to thank Khalifa [Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)]
(Gulf News (United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Abu Dhabi: In a heart-warming gesture, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, managed to encapsulate his appreciation and that of the Members of the UAE Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates and countrymen in the simplest expression of gratitude — "Thank you".
The "Thank You Khalifa", addressed to the President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was an indication of the appreciation the people of the UAE and its Rulers have for the President.
The massive response recognised the President's tireless efforts that have greatly benefitted the country and its people, and the ambitious vision that spurs the country's success as well as methods to realise it.
Particular recognition was paid to Shaikh Khalifa's ability to stem the tide of the global economic downturn at the UAE's borders, within which the UAE people have felt like the happiest in the world.
Today, the UAE is one of the leading tourism, investment and business centres in the world, a regional gateway to trade and a global transportation hub.
The UAE, under the leadership of Shaikh Khalifa, has one of the highest literacy rates in the region, one of the highest gender equality ratios and one of the highest life expectancy rates in the world.
The UAE has remained a secure destination for foreign investors and an oasis of stability and progress despite the global economic slowdown.
The "Thank You Khalifa" campaign, spontaneously launched by Shaikh Mohammad on the anniversary of his accession as Ruler of Dubai, has seen UAE citizens and residents take to social media portals to thank Shaikh Khalifa.
They expressed deep gratitude and appreciation to His Highness, whose generosity has touched many regions, and whose wise leadership and far-sighted vision have enlightened the paths of progress in the UAE.
Shaikh Mohammad expressed his thanks to all those who passionately interacted with the initiative he launched on his Twitter page on December 30.
The Dubai ruler launched the Twitter hashtag "Thank-you Khalifa" (in Arabic), in recognition of Shaikh Khalifa, whom he called "a man of efforts and initiatives, which touch us all".
Shaikh Mohammad said the initiative had drawn an overwhelming response within the UAE and abroad in an impressive show of love, loyalty and allegiance that UAE citizens and residents hold for the patron of the country's renaissance.
On the final day of the campaign, Shaikh Mohammad said: "Thank you to all those who engaged in the initiative...thank you to all those who interacted and communicated...thank you to all those who wrote, greeted and innovated. The feelings we have sensed will increase our love, confidence and regards to the UAE generous people...It is ablessing from Allah that people love their leaders who also reciprocate this love." "Oh UAE people; be cheerful that your feelings and thanks have reached, your dedication has fully been appreciated, your service is a trust and your happiness will remain a topmost priority to the leaders," Shaikh Mohammad said, addressing the UAE people.
More than 63 million accounts on social media sites participated in the initiative in less than a week.
Apart from individual users, federal and local government entities also joined in. The campaign has also evoked notable coverage in local newspapers and TV satellite channels.
In his tweet that launched the initiative, Shaikh Mohammad said: "Share with me a photo, a phrase, a short clip, or a heartfelt greeting to the President of the country, May Allah preserve him. We want to say to him with one voice â€˜Thank you, Khalifa'." Within 24 hours of the launch, the campaign went viral on social media networks drawing more than 54,000 tweets and more than 4,000 photos and short video clips on Instagram.
More than 100,000 tweets were posted at a rate of 1,800 tweets per hour and more than 12,000 Instagram photo contributions were also made, according to the media office of Dubai Government.
The initiative was part of Shaikh Mohammad's January 4th Accession Day celebrations, a occasion the Ruler has for four years used to pay tribute to a segment of society that contributes to the success of the nation.
Previous years have seen Shaikh Mohammad dedicate the occasion to extend his appreciation — tweeted through his Twitter account — towards the mothers of the UAE, orphans, and the "unsung heroes and unknown soldiers", referring to the labour force at large.
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