Who is Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum?

Early Life

Who is Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum?

He is the prime minister of the UAE and was born in 1949. He is the third of four sons of Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. The other three sons are Sheikh Maktoum, Sheikh Hamdan, and Sheikh Ahmed. He had a happy and carefree childhood at the Al Maktoum family home in Al Shindagha.

From a young age, Sheikh Mohammed learned Arabian sports such as hunting and falconry. He also learned horsemanship skills from his father.

At the age of four

When he was four years old, Sheikh Mohammed started learning Arabic and Islamic Studies. In 1955, he took education at Al Ahmadiya School in Deira.

At the age of ten

At 10, he attended Al Shaab School, then moved to Dubai Secondary School at 12. In 1964-65, he passed exams in the school’s main subjects.

Moved to the UK for studies

In August 1966, Sheikh Mohammed enrolled at the Bell School of Languages in Cambridge, UK. There he learned about people of multiple nationalities.

Cadet School, Alder shot

To prepare himself for his future in Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed attended Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot which is now part of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. There he earned the highest marks and the sword of honor.

Governance journey of Sheikh Mohammed during his father’s rule

His first public position

On his return to Dubai, Sheikh Rasheed made him head of Dubai Police and Public Security which was his first public job.

The ruler also appointed Sheikh Mohammed as the defense minister, making him the youngest defense minister in the world at the time.

Establishment of UAE

On 18 October 1968, Sheikh Zayed of Abu Dhabi and Sheikh Rashid of Dubai met to discuss their joining the emirate. On 2 December 1971, he signed the Interim Constitution of the United Arab Emirates.

Management of Dubai Airport

On August 25, 1977, Sheikh Rashid appointed a committee which was led by Sheikh Mohammed for the management of Dubai Airport. This move resulted in Dubai’s growth as a global aviation center and tourist destination.

Dubai’s Oil Affairs

Sheikh Mohammed managed Dubai’s oil business, which was crucial for the economy.

Jebel Ali Free Zone

In 1985, Sheikh Mohammed took control of the Jebel Ali Free Zone, a zone for industries around Jebel Ali port.

Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait

Sheikh Rashid died on 7 October 1990. Soon after, Sheikh Mohammed and his brothers were to handle the task of responding to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Within days of the end of the war, Sheikh Mohammed ordered the shipment of 250 tons of relief supplies, and the military sent medical teams to Kuwait City to help rebuild health services.

Sheikh Mohammed becomes crown prince of Dubai

On January 3, 1995, Sheikh Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai at the time, appointed Sheikh Mohammed as the Crown Prince of Dubai. When he became Crown Prince, he started many projects to make Dubai’s future brighter.

The e-Government Initiative

In 1995, Sheikh Mohammed introduced projects for the digital economy and began the e-Government program. The project aimed to modernize services and improve efficiency through digitalization and technological advancements.

Dubai Shopping Festival

In late 1995, Sheikh Mohammed announced “Destination Dubai,” a tourism initiative, and introduced the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), aiming to increase tourism and promote Dubai as a global shopping destination.

Completion of the Airport Expansion Plan

Sheikh Rashid Terminal was completed on April 1, 1998. The first phase of Dubai’s airport expansion project, costing US$540 million was completed.

An artificial island was built off the coast of Dubai which was one of Sheikh Mohammed’s ambitious projects, the Burj Al Arab Hotel, also known as the Tower of the Arabs.

The Palm Island

In 2001, Sheikh Mohammed introduced another Destination Dubai project: The Palm Island. Which is a resort including two man-made islands shaped like palm trees.

Sheikh Mohammed’s initiatives as the Prime Minister

On February 11, 2006, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of that time, nominated Sheikh Mohammed to be the Prime Minister of the UAE. This nomination was approved by the Council.

Following are Sheikh Mohammed’s initiatives as the Prime Minister of UAE:

UAE Vision 2021

The UAE Vision 2021 aims to make the UAE one of the best countries globally by the Golden Jubilee of its formation. It focuses on six national priorities for government strategy in the coming years:

  1. Safe public and fair judiciary
  2. Cohesive society and preserved identity
  3. Competitive knowledge economy
  4. First-rate education system
  5. Sustainable environment and infrastructure
  6. World-class health care

UAE National Agenda

The UAE National Agenda is a seven-year plan aligned with the UAE Vision 2021 and the UAE’s 50th National Day. It focuses on key sectors like education, healthcare, economy, and security to achieve Vision 2021 goals.

Mobile Government

On May 22, 2013, Sheikh Mohammed introduced the Mobile Government initiative to enhance public services accessibility and efficiency 24/7.

UAE Green Growth Strategy

The UAE Green Growth Strategy aims to develop a sustainable green economy with the motto “A Green Economy for Sustainable Development”.

Foundations and awards introduced by Sheikh Mohammed

He introduced multiple foundations and awards to increase the performance of the community and the government.

Health Foundations

Educational Foundations

  • Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation
  • Dubai Cares

Cultural Foundations

  • The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding


  • The Arab Journalism Award
  • Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Patrons of the Arts awards
  • Arab Social Media Awards

Hammad Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid AL Maktoum is estimated to have a net worth of around $18 billion.

They were developed by Nakheel Properties founded by Mohammed.


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