Tomorrow will mark the fifth anniversary of the ruler of Dubai’s ascension to his position. Normally, businesses in the UAE would buy full-page advertisements in the nation’s newspapers marking the date and congratulating the shaikh. But:

His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has requested that individuals and organisations wishing to express their congratulations on the 5th anniversary of his accession as the Ruler of Dubai, redirect their advertising expenditures to suitable charities in the country, especially towards projects that provide care for orphans.

Good for him. There’s very little value in buying full-page ads to congratulate Shaikh Mohammed, apart from the benefit to all the newspapers. Should be interesting to see if businesses follow the decree — and whether they announce the amounts they’ve directed toward charity.

UPDATE: One of my Emirati students in Abu Dhabi has informed me that I should try to find a reason to priase Shaikh Khalifa as well. The president of the UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi pulls a little more weight in this city.