Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Celebrates 74th Birthday
On Saturday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid celebrated his 74th birthday, marking another milestone in his remarkable journey as the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai. Over his 17-year tenure.
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Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid's 74th Birthday Celebrations
he has played a pivotal role in overseeing the growth and transformation of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates into a thriving global hub for business, industry, and tourism. Born on July 15, 1949, Sheikh Mohammed was raised in the Al Maktoum family home in Shindagha, situated along the banks of Dubai Creek. From an early age, he received private tutelage in Arabic and Islamic studies and embarked on formal education at the age of six.
Visionary Leadership and Diverse Educational Journey
Sheikh Mohammed's educational journey took him far beyond the borders of the UAE. After receiving his foundational education in Dubai, he pursued further training at the prestigious Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot, which is now part of the esteemed Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. His exceptional dedication and intellect earned him the distinction of being the top Commonwealth student. Following this accomplishment, he proceeded to Italy, where he received training as a pilot. In 1968, at the age of 19, Sheikh Mohammed made history as the world's youngest defense minister and was appointed as the head of Dubai Police and Public Security force. With the formation of the UAE in 1971, he assumed the role of the nation's first Minister of Defense.
Dubai's Growth and Development under Sheikh Mohammed's Stewardship
While Sheikh Mohammed's exposure to various international institutions and mentors abroad played a crucial role in his development, it was his upbringing under the guidance of his father, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed, that profoundly influenced his vision for Dubai. Witnessing his father's entrepreneurial spirit, Sheikh Mohammed imbibed the pro-business mentality that propelled Dubai's transformation into a thriving commercial and trading center, even before the discovery of oil. Throughout the 1980s, Dubai experienced a rapid surge in population, surpassing 500,000 residents. The city's global appeal grew with the establishment of Emirates airline in 1985 and the introduction of world-class events like the Dubai Desert Classic tournament in 1988, hosted at the Emirates Golf Course, the Middle East's first grass course.
Sheikh Mohammed's Unwavering Commitment to Progress
Following the passing of Sheikh Rashid in 1990, Sheikh Mohammed's older brother, Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid, assumed leadership, appointing Sheikh Mohammed as the Crown Prince in 1995. During this time, Sheikh Mohammed took on vital responsibilities, overseeing the airport and oil industry and orchestrating the merger of Port Rashid and Jebel Ali to create the highly successful Dubai Ports Authority, now known as DP World. Demonstrating his foresight, he directed all government services to transition to online platforms in 1999, recognizing the transformative potential of the internet and the digital age. Sheikh Mohammed's commitment to progress was further exemplified by the development of iconic landmarks such as the Burj Al Arab, which opened its doors in September 1999, showcasing Dubai's status as a premier tourist destination.
Accelerated Growth and Visionary Initiatives
In 2006, following the unexpected passing of Sheikh Maktoum, Sheikh Mohammed assumed the role of Ruler of Dubai, catapulting the city's growth to new heights. Under his leadership, remarkable achievements took place, including the completion of the world's tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa, in 2009, followed closely by the inauguration of The Dubai Mall and Dubai Metro. Dubai's population soared from 1.7 million in 2009 to nearly 3.6 million today, reflecting the city's increasing appeal and opportunities. Sheikh Mohammed's visionary outlook extended beyond Earth's boundaries, with the launch of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre's Hope probe, which began orbiting Mars in February 2021. Additionally, Dubai successfully hosted Expo 2020 and commemorated the UAE's 50th year during a momentous 12-month period.
Forward-Looking Initiatives and Future Prospects
As Sheikh Mohammed looks to the future, he continues to drive the development of Expo City Dubai, a vibrant community that will welcome thousands of residents and businesses. His visionary approach is evident in the announcement of ambitious projects such as the renewed plan for the Palm Jebel Ali, a mega-project set to become home to approximately 250,000 people and feature numerous hotels, resorts, and theme parks. In April, he appointed Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed as Second Deputy Ruler of Dubai, further strengthening the governance structure. Additionally, Sheikh Mohammed approved a new law governing the use of self-driving cars in the emirate, showcasing Dubai's commitment to technological advancements. In November, Expo City Dubai will host the 28th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28), where global leaders will collaborate on combatting climate change and securing a sustainable future.