With 2017 set to be the ‘Year of Giving’, the Ruler of Dubai has released some wise words on the subject…

Earlier this week, HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, announced the theme that will guide the UAE for the next 12 months.

The aim of the ‘Year of Giving’ is to promote a culture of giving back to the community and to enhance the spirit of volunteering and loyalty to one’s country, according to WAM.

The philanthropic message is all based around the idea of helping others without expecting anything in return, said Sheikh Khalifa, which follows in the footsteps of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan.

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And now HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has shared his own advice for the year ahead, telling residents that “doing good is easy”.

In an open letter shared on the UAE Cabinet website, the royal revealed that it’s “not hard to make a difference”, and gave some ideas for good deeds.

“Every father may ask himself what he can do for his family this year. Every mother can make a great change in her family, her district and her community. Every son may ask himself what he can offer to his father and mother to make them happy and make a difference in their lives,” he wrote.

Sheikh Mohammed

Giving is feeding the birds, smiling at your neighbour, doing your job in the best way possible, being kind to your co-workers, being responsible and making people happy. Every one of us can do good in our own environment. We can all make a real difference right where we are.”

Sheikh Mohammed said earlier this week that a plan will be put in place, and a committee established, in order to carry out Sheikh Khalifa’s directive.

So just before the Year of Giving officially kicks off, here are our favourite quotes from the royal’s open letter:

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– “Dear brothers, in my modest experience, the definition of giving is not confined merely to volunteering or giving or being generous. Real giving lies in making a difference in another person’s life, or the life of a community, or in the journey of a nation. That’s the meaning of real giving which I learnt from Sheikh Zayed.”

– “The place where we live can always do with some charity work. We can clean the beaches or the deserts. We can take care of the trees. We can be kind to our fellow citizens.”

– “We spend our entire lives acquiring skills and qualifications and adding to our wealth. However, we will not understand the real meaning of life unless we start giving to those in need. We cannot be contented at heart until we start giving.”

Sheikh Mohammed

– “I say to our governmental institutions: your work is about giving untiringly. Your consistent aim is to usher in real change in our country. In the Year of Giving, we expect you to come up with bold initiatives.”

– “The best thing to happen by the time the Year of Giving comes to an end would be that we would have succeeded in inculcating philanthropic values among our younger generation.”

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Images: Getty, Dubai Media Office