January 4, 2016 marked ten year’s since His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s accession as Ruler of Dubai. And it’s been quite a decade. The much-loved ruler has continued to march forward with his incredible vision for the city. Here we look at ten awesome facts about Sheikh Mohammed, to celebrate ten years of leadership.
1. He attended the same British military school as Prince William and Harry.
And was the top Common Wealth student, receiving the sword of honour.
2. He’s extremely well known for his wise words – there’s even a book full of them called Flashes of Wisdom.
“I once read an article in a foreign newspaper saying: luck smiles back at Dubai. I respond: when they want to diminish your achievements, they attribute them to luck!”
3. Speaking of words, he’s an avid poet.
Everything he writes is from personal experience and he says, “I have never written a verse without it being a reality of my life.”
4. He loves a selfie…
Being part of an innovative city he is, of course, up on all the social media trends. Selfies included.
5. On that note, he’s a big fan of Twitter.
And currently has over 5.31 million followers.
6. He was instrumental in launching Emirates Airline, the Burj Al Arab, and the Palm Jumeirah.
All of which are now cornerstones of Dubai and some of the world’s best-known landmarks.
7. And as for the Burj Khalifa… the initial design didn’t exceed 80 floors, until Sheikh Mohammed decided to make it the most “wonderful structure and tallest building”.
This was all part of his plan to make Dubai one of the world’s tourism hubs. It worked.
8. He is passionate about gender equality.
HH Sheikh Mohammed founded the Gender Balance Council in 2015, saying: “We have moved beyond the phase of empowering women. Indeed, we are empowering society through women.The impact of a significant female presence in leadership roles has wide-ranging benefits on the economy, on governance and on society at large.”
9. He loves driving.
Far from being chauffeured around Dubai, he’s often spotted behind the wheel of his G-Class.
10. He doesn’t believe in the word “impossible”.
If this quote isn’t 2016 #goals, we don’t know what is: “We, in the UAE, have no such word as “impossible”; it does not exist in our lexicon. Such a word is used by the lazy and the weak, who fear challenges and progress. When one doubts his potential and capabilities as well as his confidence, he will lose the compass that leads him to success and excellence, thus failing to achieve his goal. I require you, youth, to insist on number one.”