- In-Country Power
- International Power
- Military Strength
- Special Skill: Money Makin? & Arab Awesomeness
- Official Title: Prime Minister
- Government: Constitutional Monarchy...with religious tendencies
- Years Left in Office: Life
- Political Classification: Center-right
- Education: Multiple degrees in multiple fields
- Age: 71 (born July 22, 1949)
Mohammed Maktoum Facts and Information
- Sheikh Mohammad Maktoum Is the leader of the Dubai emirate, and Prime Minister of all of UAE
- Sheikh Mohammad oversaw the transformation of his country from an oil-dependent mini-state to a diverse, financial power-house of the region
- Sheikh Mohammad is one of the richest men in the world (Bill Gates rich), and one of the most charitable as well
- Sheikh Mohammad is 'West-friendly', being an ally of the US, and an avid free-market capitalist that encourages international investment
- Sheikh Mohammad is Arab, Islamic, and royalty....but is a model for moderation and harmony between cultures.
My main Middle Eastern man: Mo! Sheikh Mo, that is…and that stands for Mo’ money, Mo’ development, Mo’ economy, Mo’ business, Mo’ malls, Mo’ tourism, and Mo’ construction. Mo’ of every damn thing in the U.A.E.! This Sheikh’s no freak! His official, flowery, fact-filled title is: His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai…but let’s just call him Sheikh Mohammed for short. He is one part Prime Minister, one part Donald Trump, one part royalty, one part billionaire, and one part awesome Arab ass-kicker. That’s a lot of parts!
Now, to look at the guy and his bio, he appears at first glance to be a typical Arabian prince-type, wallowing in oil money and power and prestige…all granted to him simply by his royal ruling-line birthright, as is so often the case across the petro-exporting monarchies and semi-monarchies of the region. Born the third son of a powerful and rich-ass Arab family, Mohammed Maktoum was schooled in Islamic and Arabic studies at the top schools in Dubai and then London, was an avid hunter, falconer, poet, writer, horseman, and stellar student with a photographic memory and legendary work ethic. He later earned billions in business, picked up a couple of wives, who have in turned cranked out 19 kids for him—all of whom excel in horseback riding, the arts, poetry, charitable activities, and some have earned gold medals the 2006 Asian Games. So essentially, every one of his kids could kick your kid?s ass, hands down. The bumper sticker on his Mercedes reads: “My Kid Could Buy Your Honor Student”
So what does a world leader with an emirate, a couple of wives, and a few billion dollars do to relax? Why, head to one of his FIVE major horse ranches scattered around the globe of course! Mo’ is perhaps best known in Western circles as a pillar of the thoroughbred horse-racing world. Let me be honest with you folks: Maktoum digs horses. He hosts the Dubai World Cup every year: the premier spot for horses on the trot. Hell, he just bought a SIXTH horse empire for about $420 million even. How can he afford all of this? Oh I forgot to mention, this guy is about as loaded as his neighbor Saudi King Abdullah, being worth an estimated $12 billion dollars. Mo’ is one of the richest men on the planet.
Billionaire Arabian horse breeder born into oil wealth?....wait a minute, this sounds like typical ‘lifestyle of the rich and famous and raunchy-royalty’ to me! Ew!
But look again, ‘cause this dude ain’t no princely puss…in fact, you should know this cat. He is a Middle Eastern mover and shaker that increasingly is impacting regional and international affairs as an extremely savvy businessman/politician who is an ally of both Arab nationals but also ‘the Western powers’....and yet hardly anyone here knows his name. Sheikh Mohammad is the Arab man with the Arab plan….one that does not involve violence or in-fighting or terrorism or extremism or fundamentalism, or any -ism for that matter. He is the enlightened and internationalist model for the Middle East that everyone wishes would be emulated more by others in the region. So what’s so marvelous about Mo’?
Sheikh Mo’ is the dude that has overseen the transformation of Dubai and the U.A.E. (United Arab Emirates) from an old-school-conservative, antiquated, un-diversified, petro-state into an enlightened center and economic juggernaut of the entire Middle Eastern region. How? Well for starters, he didn’t do it all alone. His Daddy (Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum )helped oversee the formation of the UAE itself, binding this group of small city-states in the Persian Gulf into a single sovereign state entity. More importantly, Papa was in charge of the place when oil was discovered underneath the entire damn country back in the 1950’s…can you say CHA-CHING? Billions and billions and billions started rolling in to this small, and not heavily populated, state.
Under Sheikh Rashid, Dubai grew from a small trading town into a major cosmopolitan city and commercial hub for the region. But Papa was a smart cookie too, and famously said, "My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I drive a Mercedes, my son drives a Land Rover, his son will drive a Land Rover, but his son will ride a camel," reflecting his concern that Dubai's oil gravy train would not last forever. So Sheikh Rashid worked to build up an economy that could survive the end of the oil boom. He did good…but junior did better. Enter: 3rd son Sheikh Mohammad
Appointed as Crown Prince of Dubai in 1995, Sheikh Mo’ immediately set about creating one of the most vigorous modernization and economic diversification schemes of our times. He oversaw the development of numerous projects in Dubai including the creation of the Palm Islands (they MADE freakin’ islands in the Persian Gulf), the luxury Burj Al Arab hotel, and some gigantic shopping malls—some so big they have indoor water parks, and one has an indoor ski slope with snow. Snow! He is also responsible for the construction of Burj Khalifa: now the tallest free-standing structure in the world. Dubai and UAE has been a crazy-ass gang-bustin’ construction capital of the region! And tourist are flocking to the Sheikh Mo’s showcase!
Which of course was the whole point. While money from the sale of oil played a crucial role in the story of Dubai and has fueled many of Sheikh Mohammed’s most whack-huge projects, he has successfully diversified his emirate’s economy by courting foreign investors to develop new business sectors that include tourism, trade, construction, information technology, and finance. Under Mo’s guidance, Dubai became one of the world’s fastest-growing cities, with an economy expanding at a rate of an average 16 % a year, for the last 15 years, with GDP increasing from $8 to $37 billion. Wow! How? By focusing on excellence in service, industry, and finance…and providing a stable platform for international investment and busines.
Of course Sheikh Mohammed also profited well during this boom….and he was rich to start with. He has multiple companies, and made mega-money in real estate as all these Dubai projects jacked the price of land sky-high. He is a major player, if not controlling owner, of Dubai International Capital, the Tussauds Group, the Travelodge hotel chain, and the Doncasters Group (an engineering company), and the automobile giant Daimler-Chrysler, among many other investments.
Another Mo’ business you may recognize from the news is P&O, a massive ports and ferries group, which once ran six important ports in the U.S. As is typically the case with the internationally-ignorant jackasses that run the US government, American lawmakers blocked the Arab company from controlling any US ports…even though the UAE and Sheikh Mohammed himself are huge US allies that allowed the US to use their ports during both Iraq wars. For all his generosity to the US, Sheikh Mo’ was accused by some congressmen and the US press as being ‘a terrorist-backing dictator.’ Wow. Freakin’ idiots.
Despite all that nonsense, everyone in the US—well, at least smart people like you—should know who this guy is, because he IS a huge US ally, and a model for other Arab leaders in the region. Why? Because he is a visionary modernizer, a competitive workaholic, ultramodern, capitalist, apolitical, and open for business to the West and the world. Now the Prime Minister of all of UAE, as well as the leader of Dubai emirate, Sheikh Mohammed has made his country an island of stability in a sea of Middle Eastern conflict. Politically stable (although not democratic—everyone is so rich, quite frankly no one really cares about the government style), economically diverse, a financial center, and an oasis of opportunity in the Gulf that attracts investors, tourists, and workers from the world over.
Why else a model for others to follow? Sheikh Mo’ is an extremely religious man, but a centrist Islamic moderate. He is perhaps the most charitable individual in the world, giving BILLIONS of his own money to educational and relief funds every year, even setting up a specific foundation to help bridge the gap between the Arab world and the rest of the planet….he even wrote a whole damn book on the subject too! He created Dubai Cares, a program to help educate one million poor children. This dude puts his money where his mouth is!
So this guy is a over and shaker that business leaders and heads of state actually listen to, from all over the globe. When he speaks, people listen. And he is one of the few genuine philanthropist and optimist in all of the Middle East. And a well-educated moderate, in all things political and religious. If only all the other Arab/Persian leaders could follow his lead… Maktoum is the man!
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