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Old 26-11-2014, 12:41 AM   #303
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Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Arabic محمد بن راشد آل مكتوم; Muḥammad bin Rāshid al Maktūm), also Sheikh Mohammed, (born 15 July 1949) is the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and constitutional monarch of Dubai..A keen equestrian, he is the founder of the Maktoum family-owned Godolphin racing stable and the owner of Darley, the thoroughbred breeding operation with operations in 6 countries. In 2012, he rode the horse Madji Du Pont 160 km to take the FEI World Endurance Championship..He is a recognised poet in his native Arabic..

Sheikh Mohammed is the 3rd of Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum's 4 sons (members of Dubai's ruling Al Maktoum family and descendants of the House of Al-Falasi, of which he is the tribal leader).. From the age of four, he was privately tutored in Arabic and Islamic Studies. In 1955, he began his formal education at Al Ahmedia School. At the age of 10, he moved to Al Shaab School, and 2 years later, went to Dubai Secondary School. In 1966, with his cousin Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, he attended the Bell Educational Trust's English Language School in the United Kingdom.. He subsequently studied at the Mons Officer Cadet Training School in Aldershot, (which later became part of Sandhurst), passing out with the sword of honour as the top commonwealh student.. He also travelled to Italy to train as a pilot..On his return to Dubai from military training, Sheikh Mohammed was appointed by his father Sheikh Rashid as head of Dubai Police and also the Dubai Defence Force, which was later to become part of the Union Defence Force..A period of uncertainty and instability followed the Union of the United Arab Emirates, including skirmishes between tribes over property straddling new borders..In 1973, Sheikh Mohammed was involved in protracted negotiations with the hijackers of JAL 404, led by Japanese Red Army member Osamu Maruouka, which landed in Dubai after being hijacked as it departed Schipol. Although unsuccessful in having the hijackers release their hostages (they were finally freed, and the 747 blown up, in Libya), he was more successful in later negotiating with the 3 hijackers of KML 861, who released the balance of hostages and handed over the plane in return for safe passage..He also holds a con-trolling interest in property developer, asset and event management and investment company Meraas Holding which is currently developing a number of retail, lifestyle and themed developments in Dubai, including Legoland and a Bollywood movie theme park..

In 1991, Sheikh Mohammed merged the Jebel Ali Port and Free Zone and Port Rashid to form the Dubai Ports Authority. In 1999 he founded Dubai Ports International to explore overseas acquisitions and management contracts, which in 2005 was folded into the Dubai Ports Authority to form DP World. In 2006 the company acquired P&O for $7 billion.. In fact, work began on both hotels at the same time, but the island to house the Burj Al Arab required three years to build before construction began above ground.. Jumeirah's international expansion, driven after it became part of Dubai Holding in 2004, has since been significant, to encompass 22 hotels in 10 countries..On 4 January 2010, Sheikh Mohammed launched the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, with a display of some 10,000 fireworks...

On 3 January 1995, Sheikh Mohammed's elder brother Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum signed 2 decrees that appointed Sheikh Mohammed as Crown Prince of Dubai..The Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government (Previously the Dubai School of Government) is an academic and research institution in the area of public policy and administration focused on the United Arab Emirates & the Arab world. Established in 2005, the School aims to promote and support excellence in governance through enhancing the region’s capacity for effective public policy..Signalling a zero tolerance policy towards corruption in government, in 2001 Sheikh Mohammed ordered the arrest of Obaid Saqr bin-Busit, the head of Dubai Customs and the Chairman of the World Customs Association..

Sheikh Mohammed is a major figure in international Thoroughbred horse racing and breeding.. He owns Darley Stud, which is the biggest horse breeding operation in the world with farms in the United States, Ireland, England, and Australia. In 1985 he bought the Irish Thoroughbred Park Appeal for an undisclosed sum at the end of her second season. She went on to produce at least 9 winners from twelve foals and is the ancestor of many successful horses..Dar-ley was founded in 1981 when Sheikh Mohammed purchased Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket, Suffolk, now home to some of Europe's leading stallions including Dubawi and New Approach..Darley also has a stud in Japan and in 2012, stood stallions in China for the first time..In the 15th Asian Games in 2006, his son Rashid took the individual gold in Endurance, his sons Rashid, Ahmed, Majid, and Hamdan took the team gold in Endurance, his niece Latifa took a bronze in Show Jumping, and his daughter Maitha led the UAE team in taekwondo...

In September 2007, he launched the Dubai Cares campaign to raise money to educate 1 million children in poor countries..On 12 Jan 2011, the UAE Pakistan Assistance Program was launched in order to help and provide assistance to Pakistan..The Program provided for the construction and rehabilitation of two bridges, 52 schools and 7 hospitals, as well as the implementation of 64 water supply schemes..Sheikh Mohammed has made a number of charitable donations to Palestinian causes..He has frequently alluded to the need to pursue a 2 state solution and negotiate a settlement to the Palestinian issue before any normalisation of relations with Israel..Having made calls for US restraint in Afghanistan both in public and in meetings with US officials,Sheikh Mohammed moved to donate $2m for temporary housing for those displaced by the US bombing campaign of 2001/2002..The move sparked a wave of donations from wealthy and notable Emiratisas news of widespread dislocation and need from Afghan civilians as a result of the strikes spread and led to the establishment of a village in Kandahar to house displaced families...

His senior wife is Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, his first cousin and herself a member of Dubai's ruling family, whom he married in 1979. She is mother of 12 of the Sheikh's children including his heir-apparent, Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum (born 1982), the Crown Prince of Dubai..His best-known junior wife is Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, daughter of King Hussein of Jordan and half-sister of King Abdullah II of Jordan, whom he married on 10 April 2004, and with whom he has two children, a daughter, Al-Jalila, born 2 December 2007 and a son, Zayed, born 7 January 2012.. Sheikh Mohammed announced the arrival of his son Zayed on Twitter.. The first woman to represent her native Jordan in international equestrian sport and a participant in the 2000 Summer Olympics in show jumping, she served 2 terms as President of the International Federation for Equestrian Sports..Sheikh Mohammed has 23 officially acknowledged children,9 sons and 14 daughters, of whom the following married into other Middle East royal families..His family wealth is estimated to be "in excess of" US$4 billion.. was Paul who told me about you..She remembered him.. He's the poet.. He's the smart one.. That land has been had.. Nothing you can do about it..because he made her uneasy...

Last edited by lightgiver; 26-11-2014 at 12:55 AM.
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