Zayed ‘taught by example’, new book recalls

ABU DHABI, 5th May, 2019 (WAM) — British expatriate Nick Cochrane-Dyet first came to Abu Dhabi over half a century ago, at the age of eight, to spend summer holidays in Al Ain, where his father was serving with the Trucial Oman Scouts.

Now working for British oil firm BP, which he joined in 1989, Cochrane-Dyet has just published ‘Early Days in the Emirates’, a book on his early life and experiences in the UAE.

In a foreword, H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, writes that Cochrane-Dyet “recalls the beneficence, hard work, wisdom and guidance that Sheikh Zayed gave to all those around him and that are being continued today with the legacies laid down then.”


The focus of the book, naturally, is on the four years he spent as a teenager in the 1970s managing the stables for the horses of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, at Mezyad, just outside Al Ain. There, he was able to observe and to learn first-hand of Sheikh Zayed’s love for and passion for Arabian horses.

He goes on to offer insights into the style of leadership of Sheikh Zayed, who he describes as “one of the greatest men I have ever known.”

Recalling his experiences of having Sheikh Zayed as a mentor – “my first actual boss” – he writes that “Sheikh Zayed always taught by example, led by example, and showed, rather than told, how he believed things should be done. He understood that it is not words that teach, but experience.”

In writing his book, Cochrane-Dyet says, he hopes to pass on some of the messages and lessons he learned from Sheikh Zayed – “lessons I believe are timeless in nature and can serve all those who choose to call this wonderful country home, whether expatriates or locals, young or old.”

“Early Days in the Emirates”, produced by Dubai publisher Qindeel, is illustrated by numerous previously unpublished historic photographs from the 1960s, many from the Cochrane-Dyet family and the BP archive. An Arabic edition is currently in preparation.

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