Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum

Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum















•    Duration of his Rule: 32 years
•    Full name: Rashid Bin Saeed Bin Maktoum Bin Hasher Bin Maktoum Bin Butti Bin Suhail Al Maktoum Al Falasi
•    1912-1990

Various sources disagree on the actual date of birth of Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, but it is likely that he was born in 1912. He grew up in Al Shandagha neighborhood and was raised by his father Sheikh Saeed Bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, who was known for his piety, wisdom, patience and prudence. His mother is Sheikha Hessa Bint Al Mur Bin Hureiz Al Falasi; she was popularly known as Um Dubai “Mother of Dubai” and she enjoyed a special place in the hearts of Dubai people, as she was known to be resolute, strong-willed and ambitious. She was renowned for her generosity, philanthropy, and helping the needy. Sheikha Hessa had a clear impact on her son Sheikh Rashid’s personality.  Sheikh Rashid received his first education at katateeb, as the area then lacked formal schools. There he learnt the principles of Islamic jurisprudence and Arabic language. At the beginning of the formal education and the opening of Al Ahmadiya School, Sheikh Rashid was one of the first students to be enrolled. From a young age, he was mature and his thinking was ahead of his time. He was known as a diligent young man who had an inquisitive mind. Falconry, horseback and camel riding and shooting are some of his most cherished hobbies.
Sheikh Rashid had regularly attended his father’s majlis (court) from which he immensely benefitted as he learnt how to run the affairs of the state; he kept abreast of all the proceedings and activities of the majlis to help him learn how to run the government and how to shoulder the responsibility after his father.  In 1939, he was appointed Crown Prince. He helped his father run the state, and demonstrated his ability to assume the responsibility. He was able to save Dubai from several economic crises, notably the decline of pearl trade and the maritime blockade, which Britain imposed on the Arab Gulf ports after World War II. In 1958, he assumed the reins of government in the Emirate of Dubai, which he ruled for 32 years during which the Emirate witnessed rapid growth in all fields. 
After the demise of his father Sheikh Saeed Bin Maktoum in 1958, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed and his family moved to his father’s palace in Zaabeel. Since he assumed power, he made sure to establish Dubai as a commercial hub, especially that oil revenues then were hardly sufficient to meet the Emirate’s obligations. Hence, he looked after the markets, supported businessmen, encouraged commercial investment in the Emirate and devised a long-term plan and a futuristic vision for the city of Dubai. He was interested in establishing government departments that provide services to the people and contribute to the development of the Emirate, such as the municipality and the land, police customs, electricity, water and other departments as well as the courts of law.
Rashid was a politician and had good brotherly relations with all the Rulers of the Arabian Gulf. He laid the cornerstone for modern Dubai and paid attention to construction and commerce. He harnessed all resources for his country’s benefit, as the commercial production of Dubai oil began in earnest in 1966.  For this purpose, Sheikh Rashid established a Department for Oil Affairs, as well as Judicial, and Aviation Departments. Dubai was undergoing a real transformation. Sheikh Rashid broadened and deepened the creek, as its shallow water posed a threat to navigation and made it hard for large vessels to enter it. The deepening project was accomplished, and Dubai Creek became one of the best commercial and economic harbors.
Dubai saw a development boom, including the construction of roads, an airport and seaports. In October 1972, Port Rashid was inaugurated. It was a huge harbor that underpinned the economy of the Emirate of Dubai in particular and the UAE in general. Sheikh Rashid encouraged businesses and businessmen. He aspired to increase his state resources and encouraged international shipping lines to come to Dubai. Thus, it became a commercial center between East and West.
Under the leadership of the wise and intelligent Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed, Dubai played a significant role in the establishment of the UAE; his views coincided with those of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan on the importance of establishing a union of the seven Emirates on the Arabian Gulf coast. In February 1968, such efforts culminated in the signing of the famous Al Samih treaty establishing a union between the two Emirates, and on December 2, 1971, this bilateral union was followed by the proclamation of a federation of the seven Emirates. 
After a reign replete with achievements, that transformed Dubai from a modest Sheikhdom into a buzzing commercial hub, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed passed away in October 1990.