Abdullah Omran Taryam was a visionary with a profound love for the nation and an unmitigated zest for work. He was a man with a mission: through sheer grit and with a resolve rare for our times, he guided the Dar Al Khaleej group to enviable heights. The newspaper that he headed became a byword for taking a principled stand on sensitive issues and professional integrity. He took over the reins of the Dar Al Khaleej group after the death of his older brother, Taryam Omran Taryam, with whom he set up the Al Khaleej newspaper. He was a trailblazing torchbearer: he was part of the team that laid the foundation of the Union of the United Arab Emirates; his newspaper, which he set up with his brother Taryam Omran Taryam, was the first daily publication to take up national issues with a tone of its own. He was the Justice Minister after the UAE was born. He was also Education Minister, thereby laying the foundation for schools and universities in the country. This was a giant leap for a man who started his career as a high school teacher for two years.
Such was his commitment to the paper that he would stay in office well beyond midnight to oversee operations. He would personally vet every section of the newspaper, which ran into over 100 pages. Under his stewardship, the newspaper achieved fame for breaking stories, and groundbreaking ones at that.
Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s statement says it all, “I offer condolences to our people on the death of Dr Abdullah Omran Taryam, Emirati loyal son, statesman and renowned mediaperson. Today I lost a dear brother, Abu Khaled, and a loyal friend, known for good conduct, courage, clarity of opinion, intention and sense of belonging and loyalty to his homeland and leadership.”
He added that Dr Abdullah had contributed to the UAE Union alongside the founding fathers, saying that during his youth he occupied top posts in the government.
Dr Abdullah had also a strong scholastic trait in him, having written several books. He was also the Chairman of the Gulf Research Centre which produced annual reports and various books that delve into Arab and Gulf issues.
He was concerned both about the high and low. His munificence is a shining model for all entrepreneurs, particularly those who rate performance above everything else. The void that he has left behind will be difficult to fill for a long, long time.