Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 15 November 2019

Timeframe: The man who helped create the Dubai of today

Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum can be credited with turning the emirate into a diverse modern-day city

Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum and his sons Sheikh Hamdan (left) and Sheikh Maktoum (right) at London Airport after arriving for a visit as guests of the British Government, 1959. PA Images / Getty Images
Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum and his sons Sheikh Hamdan (left) and Sheikh Maktoum (right) at London Airport after arriving for a visit as guests of the British Government, 1959. PA Images / Getty Images

He ruled Dubai for 32 years, helping drive the emirate’s transformation from a village sustained by fishing and pearl diving into a shiny metropolis.

Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum’s reign came to an end in 1990, when he died on October 7, aged 78. The ruler, who was the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, is credited with widening the emirate’s infrastructure, overseeing the implementation of sites including Dubai World Trade Centre. He also brought Dubai to the Union of the emirates in 1971.

Sheikh Rashid was aware that the UAE’s oil industry was finite. “My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I drive a Mercedes, my son drives a Land Rover, his son will drive a Land Rover, but his son will ride a camel,” he famously said.

Sheikh Rashid was succeeded by his son, Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who served as Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai until 2006. The two are pictured here at London airport in 1959, with Sheikh Rashid in the centre, between his two sons, Sheikh Hamdan, left, and Sheikh Maktoum, right.

Updated: October 13, 2019 08:47 AM

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