Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Arabic محمد بن راشد آل مكتوم; Muḥammad bin Rāshid al Maktūm), also Sheikh Mohammed, (born July 15, 1949), is the Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and constitutional monarch of Dubai.
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). 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, he and his cousin, Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al-Maktoum, attended the Bell Educational Trust's English Language School in the United Kingdom.
Marriage and family
His senior wife is Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum whom he married in 1979.
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 April 10, 2004, and with whom he has two children, a daughter, Al-Jalila, born December 2, 2007 and a son, Zayed, born January 7, 2012. Sheikh Mohammed announced the arrival of his son Zayed on Twitter.
Sheikh Mohammed has 23 officially acknowledged children, nine sons and fourteen daughters, of whom four daughters married into Middle East royalties :
- HH Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, married to HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi
- HH Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, married to HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah
- HH Sheikha Shaikha bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum married to HH Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa of Bahrain
- HH Sheikha Hassa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum married to HH Sheikh Juma bin Dalmouk Al Maktoum
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). 
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, his niece Latifa took a bronze in Show Jumping, and his daughter Maitha led the UAE team in taekwondo .
Thoroughbred horse racing
Sheikh Mohammed is a major figure in international thoroughbred horse racing and breeding. In late 1981, he purchased Gainsborough Stud at Woolton Hill, near Newbury, Berkshire, United Kingdom. He owns Ballysheehan Stud in County Tipperary, Ireland. He also owns Gainsborough Farms 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.
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.
Political and business career
On January 3, 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 free-standing structure in the world, world's tallest building; 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.
After roughly a decade of de facto rulership, he became the Ruler of Dubai on January 4, 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 January 5, 2006. The members of the UAE Federal National Council accepted the President's nomination shortly after.
|Dubai Princely Family|
HRH Princess Haya of Jordan
HH Sheikh Maktoum
HH Sheikh Hamdan
HH Sheikh Ahmed
HH Sheikh Mohammed
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His wealth as of 2012 is not currently verified.
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. 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.
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).
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 euro for the construction of the Essalaam mosque in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, which led to a major controversy.
Since 2000, international equestrian athletes affiliated with UNICEF have worked to end the "scourge of modern slavery in mounted sports," 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 $US2.7 million in initial funding in 2005 with an additional $US9 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. 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”.
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 state of Florida. However, in 2006, American lawyers representing the UAE raised a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, not on its substance but 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 apologized for the error.
- 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
- "Uae The Union, its fundamental constituents and aims Law - Law Firms lawyers, Attorney, Solicitor, Injury of Uae". Helplinelaw.com. http://www.helplinelaw.com/law/uae/constitution/constitution01.php. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
- Home[dead link]
- Khaleej Times Interview on the princess's official website[dead link]
- "The Royal News, 2004-04-10". Nettyroyal.nl. http://www.nettyroyal.nl/newsapr04.html. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
- Shaikh Mohammad and Princess Haya blessed with a baby girl Gulf News (2 December 2007). Retrieved 2 December 2007.
- Sheikh Mohammed announces arrival of new son Zayed on Twitter The National (8 January 2012).
- ""The Poet"". Sheikhmohammed.co.ae. 2000-09-30. http://www.sheikhmohammed.co.ae/vgn-ext-templating/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=6d1d5c1090cc4110VgnVCM1000007064a8c0RCRD. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
- "Uae Equestrian Racing Federation". Uaeequafed.ae. 2006-12-14. http://www.uaeequafed.ae/newsdetail41.htm. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
- "Latifa does UAE proud as she qualifies for Beijing Olympics, UAE interact". Uaeinteract.com. http://www.uaeinteract.com/russian/news/default.asp?ID=196. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
- "Shaikha Maitha bound for Beijing Olympics". Gulf News. 2008-03-24. http://archive.gulfnews.com/indepth/olympics08/sports/10199968.html. Retrieved 2008-06-15.
- "Meet racing's new king - Horseracing - Sport - smh.com.au". smh.com.au. 2011 [last update]. http://www.smh.com.au/news/horseracing/meet-racings-new-king/2008/03/24/1206207012905.html. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
- "Dubai Holding Profile", Zawya.
- Wheeler, Julia (2006-01-05). "Middle East | Dubai's formidable new ruler". BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4582236.stm. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
- Leyne, Jon (2007-05-19). "Dubai ruler in vast charity gift". BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6672923.stm. Retrieved 2007-05-19.
- "Maktoum Moskee in Rotterdam Zuid na 7,5 jaar OPEN! - Ansaar Community". Forums.ansaar.nl. http://forums.ansaar.nl/moskee%EBn/47056-maktoum-moskee-rotterdam-zuid-na-7-5-jaar-open.html. Retrieved 2011-09-03.
- UNICEF Unite for Children Website
- "Initiatives to Combat Human Trafficking | UAE Embassy in Washington, DC". Uae-us.org. http://www.uae-us.org/page.cfm?id=63. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
- "Press centre - UAE supports UNICEF in safe return of camel jockeys to home countries". UNICEF. http://www.unicef.org/media/media_26692.html. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
- Gumbel, Andrew (2006-09-15). "Dubai princes accused of masterminding trade in jockey slaves". The Independent (London). http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/dubai-princes-accused-of-masterminding-trade-in-jockey-slaves-416101.html. Retrieved 2010-05-13.
- "Dubai's ruler accused of slavery". BBC News. 2006-09-14. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5346430.stm. Retrieved 2010-05-13.
- "A Dubai Leader Faces Charges of Enslavement". The New York Sun. 2007-09-14. http://www.nysun.com/foreign/dubai-leader-faces-charges-of-enslavement/62611/. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
- Cover Bio from Current Biography Monthly Magazine - April 2008[dead link]
- Sheikh Mohammed apology, Metro News, Friday, 9 March 2007