His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

This is an Arabic name; the family name is Al Maktoum.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates
Assumed office
6 January 2006
Acting: 5 January 2006 – Present Day
President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Preceded by Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Personal details
Born (1949-07-15) 15 July 1949 (age 65)
Dubai, Trucial States
(now United Arab Emirates)
Spouse(s) Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum (1979–present)
Haya bint Al Hussein (2004–present)
Religion Sunni Islam

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Arabic محمد بن راشد آل مكتوم; Muḥammad bin Rāshid al Maktūm), also Sheikh Mohammed, (born 15 July 1949), is the Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and constitutional monarch of Dubai.[1] He has held those positions since January 2006, when he succeeded his elder brother, Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Early life and education

He is the third of Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum's four sons (members of Dubai's ruling family Al Maktoum and descendants of the House of Al-Falasi, of which he is the tribal leader).[2] From the age of four, Sheikh Mohammed was privately tutored in Arabic and Islamic Studies. In 1955, he began his formal education at Al Ahmedia School. At the age of 10, he moved to Al Shaab School, and two years later, he went to Dubai Secondary School. In 1966, with his cousin, Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al-Maktoum, he attended the Bell Educational Trust's English Language School in the United Kingdom.

Marriage and family

His senior wife is Shaikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, herself a member of Dubai's ruling family Al Maktoum and his first cousin, whom he married in 1979 in a grand wedding ceremony with lavish celebrations which cost around $100 million.[3] Sheikha Hind is mother of 12 of the Sheikh's children including his heir-apparent, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai.

His best-known junior wife is HRH Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, daughter of King Hussein of Jordan and half-sister of current King Abdullah II of Jordan, whom he married on 10 April 2004, and with whom he has two children, a daughter, Al-Jalila, born 2 December 2007 and a son, Zayed, born 7 January 2012.[4][5] Sheikh Mohammed announced the arrival of his son Zayed on Twitter.[6]

Sheikh Mohammed has 23 officially acknowledged children, nine sons and fourteen daughters, of whom four daughters married into Middle East royal families:

Sporting and cultural interests

Al Maktoum, his sons, and his daughters are known to be avid enthusiasts of traditional Arabic poems and arts, and take part in projects to aid developing countries such as Jordan, Egypt, the Palestinian Authority and Yemen. He writes poetry in Nabati (colloquial Arabic).[7]

They are also sport enthusiasts, especially in horse and camel racing. For example, in the 15th Asian Games in 2006, his son Rashid took the individual gold in Endurance, his sons Rashid, Ahmed, Majid, and Hamdan took the team gold in Endurance,[8] his niece Latifa took a bronze in Show Jumping,[9] and his daughter Maitha led the UAE team in taekwondo.[10] In 2013 when the UAE National football team won the Gulf Cup, Sheikh Mohammed gave the team 50 million dirhams ($13.7 million). His wife awarded the team a further 25 million dirhams ($6.8 million), while the pair's grandsons contributed 12 million dirhams ($3.3 million).[11]

Thoroughbred horse racing

Sheikh Mohammed is a major figure in international Thoroughbred horse racing and breeding. They own Darley stud, which is the biggest horse breeding operation in the world with farms in the United States, Ireland, England, and Australia. In 1985 he bought the Irish Thoroughbred Park Appeal for an undisclosed sum at the end of her second season. She went on to produce at least nine winners from twelve foals and is the ancestor of many successful horses.[12]

In late 1981, he purchased Gainsborough Stud at Woolton Hill, near Newbury, Berkshire, United Kingdom. He owns Ballysheehan Stud in County Tipperary, Ireland; as well as Gainsborough Farm Inc. in Versailles, Kentucky, United States. His racing operations includes the ownership of Darley Stables and he is the leading partner in his family's Godolphin Stables. Sheikh Mohammed hosts the Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse.

In the UK, his horses have won numerous important Group One races including several of the British Classic Races. His horses have also won the Irish Derby Stakes and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and in the United States the 2006 Preakness Stakes with Bernardini. In 2008, he bought the Woodlands Stud empire for more than $460 million.[13]


Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum owns The Dubai Yacht, built by the German company Blohm + Voss. The yacht is 162m long and is the world’s second largest yacht and can host up to 115 people[14].

Political and business career

On 3 January 1995, Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum signed two decrees that appointed Sheikh Mohammed as Crown Prince of Dubai.

Sheikh Mohammed oversaw the development of numerous projects in Dubai including the creation of the Palm Islands and the luxury Burj Al Arab hotel. He also promoted the construction of Burj Khalifa, which is now the tallest building in the world; its official opening was on Monday, 4 January 2010. During his tenure as Crown Prince he set up Dubai Holding, the debt laden and financially troubled holding company with multi-diversified businesses and investments. He currently owns 99.67% of the company.[15]

He was also defence minister of the UAE.[16] After roughly a decade of de facto rulership,[17] he became the Ruler of Dubai on 4 January 2006 upon the death of his elder brother Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum. He was also nominated by the President of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to be the next prime minister and vice president of the UAE on 5 January 2006. The members of the UAE Federal National Council accepted the President's nomination shortly after.

Net worth

Dubai Princely Family

HH The Emir Sheikh
HH Sheikha Hind

  • HH The Crown Prince
  • HH Sheikha Hassa
  • HH Sheikh Rashid
  • HH Sheikh Maktoum
  • HH Sheikh Ahmed
  • HH Sheikh Saeed
  • HH Sheikha Latifa
  • HH Sheikha Maryam
  • HH Sheikha Sheikha
  • HH Sheikha Futaim
  • HH Sheikha Salamah
  • HH Sheikha Shamma

Other wives

  • HH Sheikha Manal
  • HH Sheikha Maitha
  • HH Sheikh Majed
  • HH Sheikh Mansour
  • HH Sheikha Latifa 1st
  • HH Sheikha Maryam 1st
  • HH Sheikha Shamsa
  • HH Sheikh Marwan
  • HH Sheikha Mahra

HRH Princess Haya of Jordan

HH Sheikh Maktoum
  • HH Sheikh Saeed
  • HH Sheikh Rashid

HH Sheikh Hamdan

  • HH Sheikh Rashid
  • HH Sheikh Saeed
  • HH Sheikh Maktoum

HH Sheikh Ahmed

HH Sheikh Mohammed

His family wealth is estimated to be "in excess of" US$4 billion.[18]


Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has been known for his vast charitable donations. On May 19, 2007, he announced plans to give 10 billion USD to set up the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, an educational foundation in the Middle East.[19] Sheikh Mohammed stated that the money is meant to bridge the knowledge gap between the Arab region and the developed world. The announcement was made at the 2007 World Economic Forum in Jordan.

Dubai Cares

In September 2007, he launched the Dubai Cares campaign to raise money to educate 1 million children in poor countries. The campaign is Dubai's contribution to the U.N. Millennium Development Goals for providing Children's Primary Education to every child by 2015. The amount donated to this campaign has exceeded AED 1.65 billion (Approximately US$ 450 million).

Noor Dubai

On September 3, 2008, Sheikh Mohammad also launched a new Ramadan initiative under the name "Noor Dubai", aiming to help the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) in achieving its goals outlined in VISION 2020: the Right to Sight. Noor Dubai will treat and provide health services to one million people suffering from treatable blindness and visual impairment in developing countries on a local, regional, and international scale.


In 2000, the Sheikh funded 4 million for the construction of the Essalaam mosque in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, which led to a major controversy.[20]

Since 2000, international equestrian athletes affiliated with UNICEF have worked to end the "scourge of modern slavery in mounted sports,"[21] by putting public and diplomatic pressure on Sheikh Mohammed and the UAE government. In 2005, a UNICEF-sponsored programme with the UAE government resulted in the repatriation of hundreds of children formerly enslaved as camel jockeys, and provided them with social services and compensation upon return to their home countries of Pakistan, Sudan, Mauritania, and Bangladesh. The UAE government set aside US$2.7 million in initial funding in 2005 with an additional US$9 million for the second phase, and to enforce compliance, adopted a law officially banning the practice with penalties of jail time and a $US27,200 fine.[22] UNICEF endorsed the UAE’s efforts and expressed the hopes that “the UAE’s programme will serve as a model to other countries in the region, as a means of ending all forms of exploitation of children”.[23]

In September 2006, Sheikh Mohammed was accused of encouraging the abduction and enslavement of thousands of boys for use as jockeys in camel races. A class-action suit was filed against him in the US state of Florida.[24][25][26] However, in 2006, American lawyers representing the UAE raised a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, on the grounds that none of the involved parties resided in the U.S. In July 2007, judge Cecilia Altonaga accepted the motion and dismissed the suit.

On 9 March 2007, the London-based Metro newspaper wrongly published a picture of Sheikh Mohammed, attributing it to the terror suspect Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. The Metro has since apologised for the error.[27]

In July 2013, following international pressure and extensive media coverage, Sheikh Mohammed pardoned Marte Dalelv, who was convicted of extramarital sex and alcohol consumption, after she reported being raped.[28][29]


Further reading

  • My Vision - Challenges in the Race for Excellence by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (2006); in Arabic; explains the vision of Sheikh Mohammed for Dubai
  • Dubai The Maktoum Story by John M. Smith; in English; a book which criticizes the governance of Sheikh Mohammed

External links

  • The Official Website of the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates
  • AL MAKTOUM - آل مكتوم - Rulers Of Dubai
  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's IT Education Project (ITEP)
  • The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation
  • Dubai Cares Official Site
  • Noor Dubai Official site
  • - Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's yacht—largest in the world
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Born: 15 July 1949
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Emir of Dubai
Political offices
Preceded by
Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates

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