Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum GBE (Arabic: محمد بن راشد آل مكتوم; ), also known as Sheikh Mohammed (born 15 July 1949), is the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Emir of Dubai. Since his accession in 2006, after his brother Sheikh Maktoum died, he has undertaken major reforms in the UAE’s government, starting with the UAE Federal Government Strategy in April, 2007. In 2010 he launched the UAE vision 2021 with the aim of making the UAE „One of the best countries in the world” by 2021. He is responsible for the growth of Dubai into a global city, as well as the launch of a number of major enterprises including Emirates Airline, DP World and the Jumeirah Group. Many of these are held by Dubai Holding, the holding company with multi-diversified businesses and investments. He currently owns 99.67% of the company. Sheikh Mohammed has overseen the development of numerous economically transformational projects in Dubai including the creation of technology park and free economic zone Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, the Dubai International Finance Centre, the Palm Islands and the iconic Burj Al Arab hotel. He also drove the construction of the tallest building in the world. A keen equestrian, he is the founder of the Maktoum family-owned Godolphin racing stable and the owner of Darley, the thoroughbred breeding operation with operations in six countries. In 2012, he rode the horse Madji Du Pont 160 km to take the FEI World Endurance Championship. On 7 Feb 2016 pressure mounted to strip Sheikh Mohammed’s Dubai venue of 2016 world championship endurance event. The American Endurance Ride Conference – pioneers of the “classic” sport since 1972 – demanded that the FEI relocate over cruelty to horses. The International Equestrian Federation is under pressure to strip Sheikh Mohammed’s Dubai International Endurance City of the 2016 world championship event, as the horse welfare crisis in the United Arab Emirates sport escalates. The FEI and Emirates Equestrian Federation halted all UAE long-distance race-rides last Wednesday until at least Feb 11 while further solutions were sought. The flogging of five exhausted horses by riders and their grooms during in a 120-kilometre youth ride at Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi on Jan 30 was witnessed by thousands of horrified viewers on the event’s live-stream. He is a recognised poet in his native Arabic.

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