His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Cabinet Member and Minister of Finance
By Shereen Shabnam
As the Deputy Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum has also been the Minister of Finance since the first formation of the Cabinet on the 9th of December 1971, playing a crucial role in developing financial policies and government spending.
Sheikh Hamdan is the second son of Late Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum. He received his basic education in the UAE and pursued his higher education in Cambridge, England. He was granted an Honorary fellowship for Internal Medicine from the Royal British College-London and an Honorary fellowship for Internal Medicine from the Royal British College-Edinburgh.
Another Honorary fellowship was presented to Sheikh Hamdan for Internal Medicine and Surgery from the Royal British College-Glasgow.In 2006, He also received three certificates from the Royal British College, making him the first personality to attain such a distinction from the College.
Sheikh Hamdan started his career in the Government of Dubai in the early 1960s as the Head of the Dubai Labour Department. Soon after, he became the Chairman of the Dubai Municipality followed by being the Minister of Finance, At present Sheikh Hamdan chairs multiple prestigious entities that play a vital role in boosting the economy and creates opportunities for UAE nationals.
Sheikh Hamdan has had crucial influence over key high-level government organisations that support the economy and labour market in the UAE such as Dubai Municipality, Department of Health and Medical Services, Department of Information, Al Maktoum foundation, Dubai Aluminum, Emirates National Oil Company, Emirates Petroleum Products Company, Oilfields Supply Centre Limited (OSC), Dubai Natural Gas Company Limited and Dubai World Trade Centre.
As a visionary leader, the success of Sheikh Hamdan’s wise initiatives, his achievements and his philanthropic work has won him numerous accolades. By introducing educational and scientific awards to encourage innovation, Sheikh Hamdan encourages and inspires the future generation as an avid promoter of excellence.
For instance, the annual Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Awards for Distinguished Academic Performance recognises contributions by individuals of all nationalities in the field of education. Then there is the Dubai International Award for Best Practices that recognizes best practices with positive impact on improving the living environment. To honour researchers around the world who tirelessly pursue distinctive medical research, there is also the Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences.
Sheikh Hamdan also set up the Al Maktoum Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies in Dundee, a research-led institution of higher education, which offers postgraduate programs of study (Master, M Phil and PhD). It is an independent academic post-orientalist institute that promotes greater understanding of different religions and cultures and multiculturalism and endeavours to build bridges between different communities.
Sheikh Hamdan is also President of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and recently launched the Tawreed Artificial Intelligence (AI) system at the Arab Health Congress as this is also is in line with the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence (AI). He also inaugurated the King’s College Hospital London in Dubai Hills.
Many of Sheikh Hamdan’s regular activities include the outdoors as he was an active Boy Scout during his school days and till today fosters the Boy Scout movement in the UAE. As he loves animals, Sheikh Hamdan owns several stud farms in the UK and USA and Arabian horses at his Shadwell Estate in Norfolk. His thoroughbreds have had several top-class victories in the international racing circuit.
Sheikh Hamdan is also a fan of camels and falcons. To ensure that the falcon and camel populations receive the finest medical attention available, he established two specialist medical and research centres: the Dubai Falcon Hospital and the Dubai Camel Hospital. Sheikh Hamdan is also an avid fan of football and is the President of Dubai’s Al Nasr Football Club.
For the Al Maktoum Foundation, Sheikh Hamdan supports the maintenance of orphanages, schools and hospitals in most poor countries around the world. The Al Maktoum Foundation’s contributions have in conjunction with other charity organizations, contributed to the relief campaigns organized in countries affected by war, famine, epidemic and other natural calamities. The Foundation’s humanitarian efforts have led to the establishment of medical, rehabilitation and therapeutic centres, special-mission medical societies such as the ones dedicated to the handicapped and thalassemia patients.
From helping to boost the economy to his passion for breeding the highest pedigree thoroughbreds, growing Dubai’s key infrastructure and providing charity on an international scale, Sheikh Hamdan has remained focused on progress and prosperity for UAE and for all humanity. We are proud of all his achievements and wish him success in all his current and future initiatives.