Friday, 25 September, 2020

Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum: Who is Dubai’s ruler?

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Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the 70-calendar year-old billionaire ruler of Dubai and vice-president of the United Arab Emirates.

In the Center East, he is renowned for overseeing the transformation of Dubai into a leading business and tourism desired destination. In other places, he is maybe most effective acknowledged for his relationship to horseracing, as the proprietor of the Godolphin stables.

He has now produced headlines after getting discovered by the Higher Court docket in London to have kidnapped and forcibly returned two of his daughters to Dubai, and to have done a campaign of intimidation versus his former spouse, Princess Haya.

Sheikh Mohammed was born in 1949 at his relatives home in Shindagha, around Dubai Creek. He was the third of the 4 sons of Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum, who ruled Dubai for 32 decades from 1958.

Immediately after ending secondary faculty in 1965, Sheikh Mohammed moved to the Uk to review English at a language faculty in Cambridge. The youthful sheikh later on attended a 6-month instruction court docket at the British Army’s Mons Officer Cadet College in Aldershot, Hampshire.

In 1968, next his return to Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed accompanied his father to a meeting with the then ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan, at which they agreed to a union that would direct to the institution of a federation of emirates.

Following the UAE obtained independence from the British isles in 1971, Sheikh Mohammed was named defence minster – a posture he however retains.

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Hundreds of higher-increase buildings now fill Dubai’s skyline

Sheikh Mohammed also became intensely included in his father’s approach to compensate for Dubai’s dwindling oil reserves by diversifying its economic climate and getting an global trade and monetary centre, as very well as a vacationer place.

These days, far more than 95% of the emirate’s gross domestic solution is non-oil-based, with tourism contributing 20%.

Dubai’s population has also developed from about 40,000 in the 1960s to 3.3 million, including pretty much 3.1 million non-Emiratis, quite a few of whom dwell in the hundreds of high-rise structures filling its skyline.

In 1990, Sheikh Rashid died following a lengthy ailment ensuing from a stroke. He was succeeded by Mohammed’s eldest brother, Maktoum.

5 years later, Sheikh Maktoum named Mohammed crown prince of Dubai. He also handed more than a lot of the working day-to-working day jogging of the emirate to him.

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Sheikh Mohammed succeeded his elder brother Sheikh Maktoum (left) as Dubai’s ruler in 2006

Sheikh Mohammed turned ruler of Dubai and vice-president and key minister of the UAE in 2006, after his brother died aged 62 all through a visit to Australia.

Less than his leadership, Dubai’s improvement ongoing apace.

In 2008, the emirate unveiled the world’s tallest developing, the Burj Khalifa Dubai Mall, then world’s premier procuring centre by complete land space and the Dubai Metro.

This sort of ambitious initiatives have been, nonetheless, reliant on borrowing billions of dollars.

The international money disaster prompted Dubai’s true estate market place to crash and in 2009 state-joined companies came close to defaulting on their debts. Abu Dhabi stepped in and loaned the Dubai governing administration the income it desperately wanted.

Dubai’s construction boom also relied on lower-paid out migrant building employees, lots of of whom complained that they endured exploitation.

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Sheikh Mohammed founded the world’s most significant horseracing team, Godolphin

Sheikh Mohammed has also grow to be well known for his involvement in horseracing, and is credited with reworking it into a international sector.

He rode horses on seashores in Dubai as a boy or girl and was released to the sport in 1967 in the Uk. 10 several years afterwards, he loved his to start with results as an owner.

The sheikh subsequently set up the world’s biggest horseracing workforce, Godolphin, as very well as the productive stallion breeding procedure, Darley.

Godolphin – which has services in the UAE, England, the Republic of Ireland, Australia, Japan and the US – has gained 6,000 races across the environment because 1992, together with 315 prestigious Group A single races.

Sheikh Mohammed commonly attends important horseracing activities these types of as Royal Ascot, wherever he has been pictured with Queen Elizabeth II.

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Princess Haya and Sheikh Mohammed often attended Royal Ascot

Sheikh Mohammed shared a appreciate of horses with his sixth and “junior” spouse, Princess Haya bint al-Hussein, the daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan and 50 percent-sister of King Abdullah II. The pair married in Amman in 2004 and experienced two children, Al Jalila and Zayed.

Princess Haya painted a photograph of a excellent household everyday living in interviews, but cracks commenced to appear in 2018 when Sheikha Latifa, one of Sheikh Mohammed’s adult daughters with a further wife, tried out to flee the UAE with the assistance of a former French spy and a Finnish conditioning instructor.

A boat carrying them was intercepted at sea off the coast of India and Sheikha Latifa was returned to Dubai. In a movie filmed beforehand, she alleged that she had been imprisoned for additional than 3 yrs and subjected to physical abuse following another unsuccessful escape try in 2002.

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Media captionWhat took place to Dubai’s Sheikha Latifa?

Associates of Sheikha Latifa stated she was remaining held under household arrest. But the Dubai governing administration insisted Sheikha Latifa had been “vulnerable to exploitation” and was “now risk-free”.

Princess Haya echoed the authorities assertion at the time. But immediately after fleeing Dubai for the United kingdom by way of Germany together with their youngsters in April 2019, resources alleged that she experienced become mindful of new details relating to Sheikha Latifa.

Sheikh Mohammed did not comment on the breakdown of his marriage, but he did create an indignant poem accusing an unnamed girl of “treachery and betrayal” and posted it on Instagram.

In July, Princess Haya applied for a forced marriage defense get and a non-molestation get at the British isles Higher Courtroom in London – as nicely as wardship of their young children. Sheikh Mohammed meanwhile applied for the kid’s return to Dubai.

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Princess Haya applied for wardship of her small children at the United kingdom Superior Court docket

Eight months afterwards, the Significant Court docket issued a collection of fact-discovering judgements that claimed Sheikh Mohammed had ordered and orchestrated the forcible return of Sheikha Latifa in 2002 and 2018, as well as the unlawful abduction of her elder sister Sheikha Shamsa in 2000.

Sheikha Shamsa fled the family’s United kingdom estate in Surrey that yr but was afterwards recaptured in Cambridgeshire by agents of the sheikh and forcibly returned to Dubai. A request by Cambridgeshire Police to stop by Dubai to look into was refused.

The court docket discovered that Sheikh Mohammed “proceeds to retain a regime whereby both these two youthful women of all ages are deprived of their liberty”.

It also reported Princess Haya, who had an adulterous affair with a bodyguard, was now living in fear of her life right after getting several threats both equally in Dubai and in London. These provided a pistol put on her pillow.

Sheikh Mohammed turned down the judgements and results, and appealed unsuccessfully to retain them out of the community area.

He reported the attraction was “designed to defend the very best pursuits and welfare of the small children” and that the “result does not safeguard my kids from media notice in the way that other little ones in loved ones proceedings in the Uk are guarded”.

“As a head of governing administration, I was not equipped to participate in the court’s fact-locating method. This has resulted in the launch of a ‘fact-finding’ judgment which inevitably only tells just one aspect of the story,” he extra.

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