Dubai City Information Site

Sheikh Mohammed

The Great Dubai Ruler

Hi again, Sunil here to talk about Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

I like what he has done with Dubai.

He is the mastermind behind Dubai’s sudden and rapid success.

He is the third of four brothers and was born on July 22, 1949.

Sheikh Mohammed is also the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

But before all that, he is the ruler of the great Dubai city (all as of 2006).

In the mid 2000s he and his government advisors realized that Dubai will soon run out of oil (oil was never a big component of Dubai’s GDP) and that it could only sustain so much of its trading activities.

Trading (like anything else) would eventually peak at some point right?

So the Sheikh formed a master plan to diversify what Dubai has to offer to the world.

He took all the wealth reserves and invested it in transforming Dubai into a city for tourist and sports.

Because of tourism and sports, Dubai attracted many foreigners who realized the opportunity of doing business in Dubai. Soon Dubai offered all kinds of tax breaks for companies to do business there and before you know the new Dubai city was built.

Today there are buildings everywhere. They are running out of space so fast that they are building land on water by dumping sand. Very bad for the environment I’m sure but very good for Dubai.

These artificial islands are no less of amazing. Kish and I have been on them! They are the Dubai Palm Islands. Expect to see similar types of projects year in year out.

The Beginning of Dubai’s Transformation

It is safe to say that Dubai’s true transformation started when Sheikh Mohammed was crowned prince of Dubai in 1995. He became the official ruler of Dubai in 2006 when his older brother passed away.

What’s interesting however is that he pretty much ran the show in Dubai for 10 years prior to his rulership because his brother was sick. The world’s only 7 star hotel (as of 2006) and very popular Burj Al Arab was constructed under his supervision during this time.

Sheikh Mohammed He also led the Dubai Palm Islands project and Burj Dubai (supposed to be finished around 2009) which is going to be the world’s tallest building.

Unlike the past rulers of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed’s style was more business savvy. He did everything you’d expect a CEO to do.

He set up a conglomerate (holding company) he called Dubai Holdings.

And similarly he also formed several other companies that are heavily invested all around the world in all kinds of projects.

Sheikh Mohammed is extremely pro business, pro modern development and pro America!

Sheikh Mohammed’s Personal Life

Sheikh Mohammed’s first wife (also called senior wife) is his first cousin who he married in 1979. His second wife (junior wife) is the daughter of the former king of Jordan.

She is also the half-sister of Jordan’s current King Abdullah II of Jordan (as of 2007). He married her in 2004 and he has 17 children with the two wives.

He is very well educated and had undergone private tutoring while growing up. He is also very passionate about life and has diverse interests. Some of those include art, poetry, charity and horse racing! His children also share his interests.

Throughout the years, he has made billions of dollars in donations to developing underprivileged counties. In 2007, he pledged $10 billion to an educational foundation in the Middle East. This is one of the biggest donations in history.

Materialistic Indulgences

You want to catch Sheikh Mohammed’s attention? Get involved in horse racing and be very good at it. He is known worldwide for his involvement with horse racing. He is the owner of world famous Darley Stables and Godolphin Stables.

Sheikh Mohammed

He started and currently hosts (as of 2007) the world’s biggest and richest series of horse racing called the Dubai World Cup. He also owns the Gainsborough Stud at Woolton Hill in England, the Ballysheehan Stud in Ireland and the Gainsborough Farms Inc. in Versailles, Kentucky (right in my backyard – kid of).

His horses perform very well all around the world. He recently (as of 2008) purchased the Woodlands Stud Empire in Australia for $420 million. The last published figure I could find on his net worth is from 2007 where it is estimated at $16 billion.

It is estimated because royalty wealth cannot be easily measured because of several undisclosed investments, equity and even real solid hard cash (probably stacked underground their palaces). He is the fourth richest royal in the world (as of 2007).

Wild Rides

The Sheikh also carries a passion for cars and boats. As of 2008 he owns the world’s biggest yacht measured at 163 meters. He also has over 100 cars in his garage in his Dubai palace.

Kish has seen him in his Mercedes box shaped hummer looking ride. I have heard this ride is made of 100% pure metal. It must be heavy! His other favorite cars include the Maybach, Ferrari, Rolls-Royces, Mercedes and Lamborghinis. What a life!

The Latest Dubai Deal

One of Sheikh Mohammed’s biggest deal activities was recently in 2006 when he tried to purchase the Liverpool Football Club. There is no official figure on the deal but from hearsay the amount is close to $1 billion.

The deal was supposed to come with the stadium and few other extras. I am not sure what happened to the deal (I can’t find any published material on it) but I’ve heard that he backed away because the deal kept lagging.

If you are interested in reading more about Sheikh Mohammed and the details on his biography, I highly recommend visiting the official Sheikh Mohammed site. Make sure you click on the English button on the top left if you can’t read Arabic.

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