Sheikhs of the United Arab Emirates
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The names of these people in the UAE are named streets, mosques, airports and other objects. They are shown on TV, photos can be seen in newspapers and on advertising posters. This is the Sheikhs - the ruling elite.
In this article we will tell about those who created and built the Arab Emirates - the rulers of the country of the past, present and future. So, who is who in the UAE?
Who is the Sheikh?
At the word "Sheikh" Russians imagine the ruler of the Arab (or even any Islamic) state. The view is not entirely correct. In fact, this title is given at birth by the entire representative of royal families of some Arab countries. We emphasize the word "some", for example, members of the royal family of Morocco do not bear the title "Sheikh".
Accordingly, in the UAE there are seven emirates, seven royal families and in every tens or hundreds of people. The title "Sheikh" is worn here more than a thousand people.
The Emirate of Abu Dhabi is ruled by the Al Nahyan family.
Sheikh Zayd bin ibn Sultan Al Nahyan
May 6, 1918 - November 2, 2004. In the photo on the left, click on the photo to enlarge.
The founder of the UAE and the first president of the country (Dec 2, 1971 - Nov 2, 2004), Emir of Abu Dhabi (Aug. 6, 1966 - Nov 2, 2004).
It was Sheikh Zayd who used oil revenues and made the UAE from the "third world" country into a modern rich state. His ideas and values made the Arab Emirates a country "for citizens and for the sake of citizens."
Sheikh Zayd's name is most often visited by tourists. In the emirate of Abu Dhabi in his honor is named the famous landmark - the Great Mosque Sheikh Zayd . The second largest mosque in the UAE is in Fujairah and also bears his name. In Dubai, the main road is called Sheikh Zayd Road. In the city of Giza in Egypt, there is even a Sheikh Zayed City district in his honor.
There is no point in talking about Sheikh Zayde on this page, it's better to read our separate articles " Sheikh Zayd ibn-Sultan Al-Nahyan " and " History of the Arab Emirates ".
Sheikh Khalifa ibn-Zayd Al-Nahyan
September 7, 1948 - is now alive. In the photo on the left, click to enlarge.
President of the United Arab Emirates (from November 3, 2004 - present moment), Emir of Abu Dhabi (from November 2, 2004 - present moment).
The eldest son of Sheikh Zayed inherited the throne of Abu Dhabi after his father's death on November 2, At the time of the accession, he was already 56 years old.
It would seem that at this age of reform does not want to, however, Khalifa was able to change much in Abu Dhabi and all Arab Emirates.
Sheikh Khalifa received a military education, he graduated from the Royal Academy of Sandhurst (Great Britain). On February 1, 1969, Khalifa was crowned as Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and appointed Minister of Defense. It was Khalifa who created the army of Abu Dhabi and the UAE in its current form.
After the formation of the UAE in 1971, he held the posts of the Prime Minister of Abu Dhabi, the head of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi, the Vice President of the UAE. In the late 80's, he became head of the Supreme Petroleum Council, gaining de facto full authority over oil revenues in the UAE.
In the late 90's, Sheikh Zayd's health was no longer sufficient to fulfill all the functions of the president of the UAE. Khalifa became de facto president of the UAE and emir of Abu Dhabi. On November 2, 2004, after the death of his father, Sheikh Khalifa inherited the throne, on the next day (November 3) officially assumed the post of president of the UAE.
Abu Dhabi in his reign changed. To the dress code and the behavior of tourists began to be much softer. Many remember that once in the UAE did not settle in one room a man and a woman, if they are not married. Or they did not let a tourist woman into the country unaccompanied by a husband, father or brother. Now all this is in the past. The current list of standards of conduct read in our article " What is not allowed to tourists in the UAE ."
Many famous projects in Abu Dhabi were initiated or supported by Sheikh Khalifa. The brightest is the island of Yas with the park of Ferrari World , TC Yas Mall , water park Yas Waterworld , the Yas Marina racetrack. Saadiyat Island with art galleries, branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim museums.
In January 2014, Sheikh Khalifa suffered a stroke. His current state is unknown. The duties of the president of the UAE and the emir of Abu Dhabi are carried out by his brother - Mohammed ibn-Zayd Al-Nahyan.
Sheikh Mohammed ibn-Zayd Al-Nahyan
March 11, 1961 - now living. In the photo on the left, click to enlarge.
Officially, Crown Prince Abu Dhabi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United Arab Emirates.
In fact, Emir Abu Dhabi, President of the UAE.
The third son of Sheikh Zayd. It's an interesting moment that they are half-brothers with Khalifa. Khalifa was born to his first wife - Hassa Bint-Muhammad ibn-Khalifa. Sheikh Mohammed ibn-Zaid was born to his third wife - Fatima bint-Mubarak Al-Ketbi.
Sheikhini Fatima Bint-Mubarak Al-Ketbi had only six sons: Mohammed, Hamdan, Hazza, Tanun, Mansur and Abdula. They are called "Bani Fatima" or "sons of Fatima", they form the most influential bloc in Al-Nahyan's family.
Sons of Fatima have always been influential, some political scientists even take it as their lead in the changes in Abu Dhabi that have occurred since 2004. They received full power only in 2014, when Sheikh Khalifa had a stroke. It is now difficult to say whether the vector of their domestic and foreign policies will change. Wait and see.
Mohammed ibn-Zaid went to school in Al Ain, then to Abu Dhabi. He entered the Academy of Sandhurst (Great Britain) in 1979. Trained military skills in piloting a helicopter, driving armored vehicles, skydiving. After returning from England, he underwent military training in Sharjah, became an officer of the Armed Forces of the United Arab Emirates.
He was an officer of Amiri Guards (elite unit), pilot of the UAE Air Force, eventually became Commander of the Armed Forces of the UAE.
In 2003, he was proclaimed the second Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. After his father's death on November 2, 2004, he became the Crown Prince. Since December 2004, the Chairman of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi, a member of the Supreme Petroleum Council.
So far, world leaders and political scientists are eyeing Shaykh Mohammed. It is known that he believes that the UAE should play a much larger role in world politics. He likes falconry, like his father. He is interested in poetry and he writes poetry in the Nabati style.
Sheikhina Fatima bint-Mubarak Al-Ketbi
The third wife of Sheikh Zayd, the mother of six of his sons, including the Crown Prince Mohammed (the de facto ruler of Abu Dhabi and the president of the UAE).
This woman played a big role in the UAE's policy in the reign of her husband Sheikh Zayd, and remains very influential so far. It is called "Mother of the Nation".
The exact date of her birth is unknown. Probably, she was born in the mid-40's in Al Ain . In the 60's, she married Zaid Al-Nahyan, becoming his third wife.
In 1973, she founded the Society for the awakening of Abu Dhabi women, the first women's non-governmental organization in the UAE. In 1975 she founded and headed the UAE Chief Women's Union. The main sphere of interest of these organizations was education, because then in the UAE girls did not study at all. In 2004, Fatima contributed to the appointment of the first female minister.
Now she is still head of the Main Women's Union, the Higher Council for Maternity and Childhood, the Family Development Fund and several other organizations. And this is despite the old age! Naturally, Fatima exerts a tremendous influence on the policies of Sheikh Muhammad and the case of Bani Fatima.
The Emirate of Dubai is ruled by the Al-Muktum family.
Sheikh Mohammed ibn-Rashid Al-Muktum
July 15, 1949 - now living. In the photo on the left, click to enlarge.
The ruling emir of Dubai (officially on January 4, 2006, in fact since January 3, 1995), the Prime Minister and Vice-President of the UAE since February 11, 2006.
Sheikh Mohammed is called "The Architect of Modern Dubai". This is a very versatile educated person and now the most famous leader in the UAE.
Muhammad became the third son of the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid ibn-Said Al-Muktum. His mother Lafita was the daughter of the ruler of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Hamadan ibn-Zayed Al Nahyan. As a child, Muhammad received both secular and traditional Islamic education. In 1966 (at the age of 18) studied in the UK in the Cadet Corps Mons and in Italy on the pilot.
In 1968, Mohammed attended his father's meeting with Sheikh Zayed in Argub al-Sedir, where the rulers of Dubai and Abu Dhabi agreed on the imminent establishment of the UAE. After the formation of the UAE, he was the Minister of Defense and the head of the police in Dubai.
On October 7, 1990, the father of Muhammad and the ruler of Dubai Sheikh Rashid ibn-Said died. The power passed to the eldest son - Sheikh Muktum ibn-Rashid, who was very fond of equestrian sport, was an excellent athlete, but he did not pursue politics and management.
On 4 January 1995, Muktum ibn-Rashid appoints Mohammed as Crown Prince and, in fact, transfers power to him in the emirate of Dubai. On January 4, 2006, Muktum ibn-Rashid died of a heart attack, Mohammed ibn-Rashid becomes the official ruler of Dubai.
The list of achievements of Mohammed ibn-Rashid is huge. He diversified the economy of Dubai, now oil revenues are only 4% of the GDP of the emirate, Dubai became a shopping "mecca", second only to London, the largest trading and financial center.
With his support or initiative, Burj Khalifa , Burj Al-Arab, Dubai Mall , Dubai fountains , Emirates Airline, Dubai Metro , artificial islands Palm and World, the world's largest artificial harbor Jebel Ali, the Dubai Internet City area and more hundreds of other projects.
He was famous for his raids on the enterprises, where he personally checked to see if the employees are in their places, and fired absentees. Sheikh Mohammed ibn-Rashid is famous for his intolerance to corruption, hundreds of officials who were caught in bribes and used their position for personal purposes went to prison for his rule.
Now (note: the article was written at the end of 2017) he is already 68 years old, but he is full of energy and successfully realizes his plan for the development of Dubai until 2021. He recently took part in the Arab Strategic Forum, see the photo , and you will not say that he is 68.
Sheikh Hamdan ibn-Muhammad Al Maktoum
November 14, 1982 - is now alive. In the photo on the left, click to enlarge.
Crown Prince of Dubai, member of the Executive Council of Dubai (since 2006).
The second son of Sheikh Mohammed ibn-Rashid. Media, politicians and political scientists, economists and sociologists are looking to it now. Of course, Shaykh Mohammed is alive and active, but still he is 68 years old, his age can "take his own."
He studied at the Dubai government school, the Sandhurst Military Academy (Great Britain), the London School of Economics. He is widely educated, known as a poet under the pseudonym "Fazza".
While his actions are more ostentatious. He personally hoisted the flag of the UAE on the top of the Burj Khalifa after the announcement of the city of Dubai, the winner in the competition for the World Expo 2020. Founded a prize for photographers named after himself. Winner and prize-winner of international competitions in equestrian sport.
A very popular personality - 6 million subscribers in Instagram. The account "faz3", look, the page at it interesting.
About his political views, almost nothing is known. It is assumed that in case of accession, Hamdan will continue his father's line.
Sheikh Rashid ibn-Sa'id Al-Muktum
June 11, 1912 - October 7, 1990. In the photo on the left, click to enlarge.
First Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (1971-1990), Emir of Dubai (1958-1990).
He is called "Father of Dubai", it was in his reign that Dubai turned from a small settlement along the Creek canal into a big city.
Sheikh Rashid said the famous phrase: "My grandfather was riding a camel, my father was riding a camel, I drive a Mercedes, my son goes to Land Rover, his son will go to Land Rover, but his son will ride a camel."
This Sheikh Rashid wanted to say that oil will end in a generation, and this needs to be done. His son Mohammed ibn-Rashid remembered his father's words and "untied" the Dubai economy from oil.
Sheikh Rashid was a co-author of the United Arab Emirates, in 1968, together with Sheikh Zayd of Abu Dhabi, they agreed to create a unified state, only then 5 more emirates joined them.
Rashid ibn-Saeed Al-Muktum is a legendary person in Dubai.
The emirate of Sharjah is ruled by the Al-Qasimi family.
Sheikh Sultan ibn-Muhammad Al-Qasimi (Sultan III)
July 2, 1939 - now living. In the photo on the left, click to enlarge.
Emir Sharjah (1972 - now), President of the University of Sharjah, President of the American University of Sharjah, Professor of Exeter University, Professor at Cairo University, Chairman of the Academy of Arabic Language in Sharjah.
He received a secondary education in Sharjah, Dubai and Kuwait. Then he studied at the University of Cairo, specializing in agriculture. Already a ruler, Sharjah became twice a doctor of science at the University of Exter (Great Britain) and the University of Durham (United Kingdom).
He is also called Sheikh Doctor Sultan III. He is the most educated ruler in the UAE. Not surprisingly, even before the accession in Sharjah, Sultan III became the Minister of Education of the United Arab Emirates.
Very interesting story about how Sultan III was on the throne. Prior to 1965 in Sharjah, Shaykh Sakr ibn Sultan ruled, but in 1965 the British staged a coup and put on the throne of Sheikh Khalid ibn Mohammed.
January 24, 1972 Sakr ibn Sultan tried to regain his throne, organized a coup by a small military group, mostly Egyptian mercenaries. Recall that the UAE by that time already existed, President Sheikh Zayd strongly condemned the coup and sent to Sharjah the military from Dubai, led by Shaykh Mohammed ibn-Rashid Al-Muktum (we wrote about it earlier in this article).
The forces of the army from Dubai quickly defeated, but the captive Sheikh Khalid was killed, and Sakr was arrested. Sultan ibn-Muhammad was the first heir to the throne and took the throne.
The emirate of Ras Al Khaimah is ruled by the Al-Qasimi family.
Sheikh Saud ibn-Saqr Al-Qasimi
February 10, 1956 - now living. In the photo on the left, click to enlarge.
Emir Ras al Khaimah (Oct. 27, 2010 - until now), Crown Prince Ras al Khaimah (2003-2010).
Saud became the fourth son of the famous Shaykh Sakra ibn-Muhammad Al-Qasimi, who ruled the emirate of Ras al Khaimah from 1948 to 2010. It would seem that the chances of a throne are small.
Saud received a secondary education in Ras Al Khaimah, then a higher in economics at the American University in Beirut and the University of Michigan (USA).
In 1979 he returned to his homeland and took up the post "Head of the Sheikh's Court". The position suited the ambitious and talented Saud very well. He oversaw dozens of projects in the fields of economy, education, health, and very successfully. In 2003, his father appointed him his heir, leaving his older brothers out of work.
On October 27, Shaykh Sakr died, and Saud became an emir.
Observational readers have noticed that the emirs of Sharjah and Ras al Khaimah have the same surname - Al-Qasimi. This is not an accident, they are of the same gender.
The genus Al-Qasimi dates back to the 17th century, when they were leaders of pirates, kept the entire Persian Gulf in fear. In 1809, the British had to send a squadron to fight the fleet of Al-Qasimi. The fleet of pirates was destroyed, and the region fell under the full influence of the British Empire. However, the fleet was defeated, but Al-Qasimi remained in power, and two different branches of the family rule in Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah.
The Emirate of Fujairah is ruled by the Al-Sharki family.
Sheikh Hamad ibn-Muhammad Al-Sharki
May 25, 1949 - now living. In the photo on the left, click to enlarge.
Emir of Fujairah (1974 - now), a member of the Supreme Executive Council.
Sheikh Hamad was educated in England at the Eastbourne School, then studied at the Mons Military Academy. After the formation of the UAE, from 1971 until his reign in 1974, he headed the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
He is considered a great speaker in Arabic and English. Accompanied Sheikh Zayd at many international conferences. Very close to the family of Al-Nahyan (rulers of Abu Dhabi).
But he is even closer to the Al-Muktum family (the rulers of Dubai). His first wife is Shaikhina Fatima bint-Fani Al-Muktum. They have six children - three sons and three daughters. The eldest son of Muhammad graduated from Webster University in London, on January 8, 2007, he was appointed Crown Prince.
The wife of Muhammad (son of Hamad and Crown Prince) Sheikhina Lafita Bint-Muhammad Al-Muktum is the daughter of Sheikh Mohammed ibn-Rashid (ruler of Dubai). They already have two children, the boy Hamad (born in 2009) and the girl Aisha (born in 2011).
A fully educated person, seeks to develop the emirate of Fujairah in all possible directions. The emirate is well developed tourism industry, construction, agriculture, finance.
Umm el Quwain
The emirate of Umm al-Quwain is ruled by the Al Maullah family.
Sheikh Saud ibn-Rashid Al Maullah
October 1, 1952 - he is still alive. In the photo on the left, click to enlarge.
Emir Umm al-Quwain (from January 2, 2009 - until now), a member of the Supreme Executive Council.
He received a secondary education in Umm al-Quwain, a graduate in economics at Cairo University.
In 1973, he began working at the UAE Foreign Ministry, since 1977 he headed the Emir's guard of his emirate. In 1982 he was appointed Crown Prince and was, in fact, the chief assistant to his father in the management of the emirate. He ascended the throne after his father's death on January 2, 2009.
He is married to the daughter of Sheikh Saud ibn-Saqr Al-Qasimi (ruler of Ras al Khaimah), he has ten sons.
Saud ibn Rashid always supported the preservation of national traditions and cultural heritage. He loves camel races and sea fishing. Back in the father's reign he worked in all directions - he founded several new departments in the emirate of Umm al-Quwain, introduced new technologies into the emirate management system, developed services to the population.
Emirate Ajman is ruled by the Al Nuaimi family.
Sheikh Humayd ibn Rashid Al Nuaimi
1931 - now living. In the photo on the left, click to enlarge.
Emir Ajman (September 6, 1981 - today), a member of the Supreme Executive Council.
He became the second son (and the third child) of Sheikh Rashid, who ruled the emirate of Ajman from 1928 to 1981 (one of the world's record monarchs). As early as the beginning of the 20th century, Ajman's population did not "hold out" to 1,000 people.
Consistently Sheikhi Rashid (father) and Humaid (son) made Ajman a modern city. Humaid assisted his father in the management of the emirate from the 1960s until the formation of the UAE. He was on the throne, having beaten his brother Ali.
Sheikh Humayd studied in Dubai, then at Cairo University. In an interview with GulfNews he said: "Education is one of the blessings of our world."
Still his words: "Knowledge and education are associated with ethics and morality" and "Knowledge in the hands of young people must resist the negative trends of our world." He is the founder of the prestigious Prize of the Day of Education and Culture and Science in the UAE, and has been awarded for over 30 years. The Ajman University of Science and Technology is the second in the country.
Wife - Sheikhina Fatima ibn-Zayd Al-Nahyan (from the family of the rulers of Abu Dhabi). They have six children - four boys and two girls.
We hope that our story about the sheikhs of the UAE was interesting. Successful travel, and read our articles about the United Arab Emirates ( links below ).
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