Cast members act in “Al Faris,” a musical set to poetry penned by Dubai’s monarch, during its premiere in Dubai. REUTERS/Ashraf Mohammad
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A fantasy musical set to poetry by Dubai's ruler seeks to explain the secret of one of the Arab world's most compelling success stories, promoting a style of government that creates wealth and ensures stability while avoiding political strife. Lebanese director Marwan Rahbani insists the play, Al Faris or "The Knight," which premiered this month, describes general ideals of leadership and is not about Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid al-Maktoum himself.However the Dubai musical, which ran for four days at Sheikh Rashid Hall, adopts a more traditional form of celebrating family rule, showing an idealized Arab leader as a poet and horseman, both highly prized skills among Arabs.Dubai's rise is largely credited to 66-year-old Sheikh Mohammad.The emirate prospered regardless, and the "Dubai model" became the envy of Arab states, especially as "Arab Spring" protests led to raging civil wars – something Gulf rulers were determined to avoid at home.
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