The Great Dubai Ruler
Hi again, Sunil here to talk about Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid
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.
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
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.
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.
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).
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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