Born on 14th November 1982, Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is the second son of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma’a. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed descends from the Al Bu Falasah clan of the Bani Yas.
The Dubai Crown Prince, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has already established his reputation as a leader. He clearly shows ample leadership characteristics flavored with the qualities of modesty, simplicity and generosity. In this aspect, Sheikh Hamdan is following in the footsteps of his father, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. He is always keen to meet the people without any restrictions or barriers. He always works to solve their problems and follow-up their matters. Despite his serious responsibilities, he is present with them in their joys and sorrows. It is quite common to see Sheikh Hamdan driving his car down the streets of Dubai, eating in restaurants or chatting with people. Sheikh Hamdan has been influenced by several factors that have shaped his personality and crystallized his vision. The military lifestyle in Sandhurst taught him discipline and punctuality. About this experience he said: “What you learn in prominent military academies like Sandhurst revolves around the values of discipline, responsibility and commitment. These values are practically essential to carry out your responsibilities competently.” Besides, the various sports that Sheikh Hamdan practices - especially equine sports - have equipped him with qualities of patience and perseverance.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was born and grew up in an era when the United Arab Emirates was striding swiftly on the path of rapid development and growth. He lived through - and with - the challenges and quality leaps that the country accomplished. He acquired invaluable experience in various field since his early days as he was constantly near the decision-making centers of Dubai and the UAE. Sheikh Hamdan is the descendant of His Highness Late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the founder of modern Dubai. He is the son of the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the visionary and leader who has established Dubai in the international community as the brightest rising star and a leading global business hub - in addition to his invaluable contributions to the spectacular development boom of the UAE under the wise leadership of UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
On September 8th, 2006, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed appointed Sheikh Hamdan as Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, a government body responsible for establishing and executing Dubai’s strategic comprehensive development plans. Under his leadership, the Executive Council has achieved several major accomplishments that have boosted the development of Dubai and emphasized its position as an emerging international hub for business, commerce, tourism and logistics. The responsibilities of Sheikh Hamdan have expanded and evolved since he assumed his position as the Crown Prince of Dubai on 1st February 2008. Since then, he has been playing a vital role in recognizing and implementing the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid after taking responsibility for the most critical files in the emirate. Over the years, the Dubai Crown Prince has continuously worked close to his father H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, and learned from him the qualities of visionary leadership and strategic perspective in addition to adopting the personality traits that have established H.H. Sheikh Mohammed as a unique world statesman with unmatched accomplishments.
After his graduation from the world-renowned Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst in the UK in 2001, and after attending several specialized training courses in economy from London School of Economics and Dubai School of Government, Sheikh Hamdan built on his theoretical education by acquiring the practical skills of leadership and public administration from his father H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Sheikh Hamdan has witnessed his father, from the time when the latter was the Crown Prince of Dubai to date, implementing his ambitious developmental vision. He has always been keen to attend his father’s court (majlis) and learn from it. He continues to constantly accompany H.H. Sheikh Mohammed inside and outside the country which further hones and polishes his talents and skills. After H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum assumed his dual position as the Ruler of Dubai and the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE in 2006, the responsibilities and duties of Sheikh Hamdan expanded. His father engaged him steadily in the decision-making process and progressively assigned to him more tasks and responsibilities
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum received his elementary education at Rashid Private School, Dubai. He then pursued his education in the United Kingdom where he graduated from the prominent Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS), one of the world’s finest military academies. In addition to his military education, Sheikh Hamdan enrolled in several specialized training programs in economics at the London School of Economics and Dubai School of Government.
However, Sheikh Hamdan assures that the most important school in his life - and the most influential personality - is His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. He says: “I studied and graduated from Mohammed bin Rashid school and I’m still learning from him every day. I am keen to consult with him and be enlightened by his directives in many strategic matters. He is a model to follow, not only for me, but for all UAE youth.”
The Dubai Crown Prince, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid, has gained a fine reputation for composing Nabati poetry under the pen name ‘Fazza’ – which means, in the Emirati dialect, a person who speeds to the help and support of others. The environment in which Sheikh Hamdan was raised played a role in directing his senses to realize the endless beauty the desert has to offer as an enduring witness to the greatness of the Creator. This ambience of harmony helped shape and hone the poet within Sheikh Hamdan.
Fazza, whose father His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is an acclaimed Nabati poet himself, has been presented with the opportunity to make the acquaintance of many poets. Sheikh Mohammed encouraged Fazza, listened to his first attempts to compose poetry and guided him with his expertise and his elevated sense of art. Poetry to Sheikh Hamdan - or Fazza - is an expression of character. In his own words, he describes poetry as: “My identity and poetic character through which I humbly attempt to rekindle joy in the hearts of people, alleviate their suffering in my own simple way. I express their hopes and aspirations.” Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed has a number of published poems some of which are now famous songs.
Sheikh Hamdan was raised in a family that highly values equestrian sports - due to the strong spiritual bond people share with horses across the ancient history of Arabia. Riding horses became one of Sheikh Hamdan’s most treasured hobbies since childhood. Naturally, he developed this hobby to clinching the titles of a number of international and regional endurance riding championships.
Sheikh Hamdan’s major international achievements:• Gold Medal - Single – World Youth Endurance Championship, Spain, 8th September 2001• 1st Place – King of Spain Endurance Cup, 27th April 2002• 1st Place – FEI World Endurance Championship, France, December 2005• Gold Medal, Team – Asian Games Endurance Championship, Qatar, 17th December 2006• Gold Medal, Team – FEI World Endurance Championship, Malaysia, 6th November 2008• Gold Medal, Team – European Endurance Championship for Youth, Germany, 14th August 1999• Gold Medal, Team – European Open Endurance Championship, Portugal, 2nd October 1999• 1st Place – 140-km Tattersalls Endurance Race, England, 9th July 2000Some of his most distinguished achievements on the Arab level are:• 1st Place – Emirates Endurance Championship, Syria, 5th May 1999• 1st Place – 120-km Wadi Rum International Endurance Race, Jordan• 1st Place – 120-km Qatar International Endurance Championship, Qatar, 2008• 1st Place – King of Bahrain Cup, Bahrain, 5th May 2008• 1st Place (tie with H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum) – Syrian Endurance Championship, Syria, 31st May 2008