The Al Maktoum family is the ruling family of Dubai, and one of the six ruling families of the United Arab Emirates. It has a long and illustrious history of serving the region since it began its reign as rulers of Dubai in 1833. Dubai is now one of the most vibrant cities in the world, attracting tourists and business executives from many countries.
Sheikh Maktoum was very young when he came to power. By the time of his death in 1852, he had become a respected, influential authority. Sheikh Maktoum's brother, Sheikh Saeed bin Buti Al Maktoum, succeeded him.
Upon the death of Sheikh Saeed, in 1859, Sheikh Hasher bin Maktoum Al Maktoum took over the leadership of Dubai. When Sheikh Hasher passed away, Sheikh Rashid bin Maktoum became leader followed by Sheikh Maktoum bin in 1894.
He abolished commercial taxes and Dubai's port saw a rapid increase in development and business during his reign. Sheikh Maktoum died in 1906 to be succeded by Sheikh Buti bin Suhail and then by Sheikh Saeed bin Maktoum Al Maktoum in 1912. He began his rule in 1912, and continued to rule for 46 years until his death in 1958.
Over the course of his lifetime, the Al Maktoum family consolidated its position as the ruling family of Dubai. Sheikh Saeed also played an invaluable role in establishing the foundation of Dubai. Sheikh Rashid, ruler of Dubai from 1958 to 1990, was the eighth ruler from the Al Maktoum family. With a clear vision, Sheikh Rashid accomplished what many believed to be impossible. Sheikh Rashid initiated numerous remarkable developments in his city-state.
Examples of such projects include the Al Maktoum Hospital, the first modern hospital in what was then the Trucial States; the Al Maktoum Bridge, which spanned the Creek and Dubai Airport, which bore immediate reward as demand for air travel grew much faster than anticipated.
On October 7, 1990, Sheikh Rashid passed away.Sheikh Maktoum ruled Dubai between November 1990 and January 2006. Sheikh Maktoum was born in 1943. He was the first son of Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. During the early 1960s, Sheikh Maktoum completed his domestic schooling and continued his education in Britain.
On 16th of January 1968, Britain announced that by 1971 it would withdraw completely from the Gulf, so the governments of Dubai and Abu Dhabi decided to press ahead with the proposed union. Over the six weeks following Britain's announcement, the two sheikhdoms worked on solving outstanding issues between them to reach the basis of the union. The 25-year-old Sheikh Maktoum became one of the leading political figures in the region during this time.
On February 18, 1968, accompanied by his brother Sheikh Mohammed, the union accord between Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid was signed. This accord formed the nucleus of the future federation. On December 2, 1971, the UAE was formally established. The federation process had seen Sheikh Maktoum emerge as a leader of high standing.
His Highness Sheikh Zayed was elected President of the UAE, with Sheikh Rashid as Vice-President. Sheikh Maktoum was appointed the first Prime Minister of the UAE and given the task of forming the fledgling state's first cabinetSheikh Maktoum remained Prime Minister until 1979, when he stood down in favor of his father. Four years later, Sheikh Maktoum returned to the cabinet as Deputy Prime Minister.
In May 1981, on account of Sheikh Rashid’s ill-health, the onus fell firmly on his four sons (Sheikh Maktoum, Sheikh Mohammed, Sheikh Hamdan and Sheikh Ahmed). Although he recovered, he left the practical management of day-to-day affairs to Sheikh Maktoum, who was ably supported by his brothers. The three brothers formed an effective leadership team that has maintained and expanded their father's legacy.
Following the death of Sheikh Rashid in October 1990, Sheikh Maktoum became Ruler of Dubai and Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, positions he held until he passed away in January 2006 during a visit to Australia.
Sheikh Maktoum's return as Prime Minister coincided with one of the most astonishing bursts of national development in the 30-year history of the UAE. With an eye on less affluent citizens, Sheikh Maktoum spearheaded a programme to construct thousands of new homes in projects throughout Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah. He and his brothers were also responsible for transforming Dubai into one of the most modern cities in the world.
Between 1990 and 2006, Sheikh Maktoum's leadership led to nationwide development that has transformed lives. In Dubai, his leadership has resulted in major infrastructure projects, including internationally renowned sporting facilities, an impressive road network, modern parks and gardens, and public libraries. Dubai International Airport has also been expanded and improved to reflect the emirate's status as the regional aviation hub.
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