Prince of the Desert – H.H Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, The Crown Prince of Dubai

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The most charming, intelligent, dynamic, charismatic and visionary prince of the current era happens to be right in our city. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum(born 13 November 1982), the Crown Prince of Dubaiis often knownas Fazza, the name under which he publishes his poetry. We are delighted to introduce the many facets of our Prince who we know will fascinate you with his many talents and capabilities.

As one of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum‘s 12 children and his second son, ShiekhHamdanfollows his father’s lead in changing the landscape of Dubai for the better and follows the ideals of his mother, SheikhaHind bintMaktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum.

Educated in Dubai at the Rashid School for Boys and then at the Dubai School of Government, Sheikh Hamdan continued his studies in the UK where he graduated from Sandhurst and later attended the London School of Economics.

Sheikh Hamdanwas appointed Chairman of the Dubai executive council in 2006, named the hereditary prince of Dubai in 2008 and became the supreme president of the newly founded Hamdan bin Mohammed e-university in 2009.

Notably, he is also the head of the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid establishment for young entrepreneurs, sits on the Dubai sports council and the Dubai autism centre and was part of the powerful Dubai World Expo 2020 delegation when Dubai was awarded the rights last year to host the event.

ShiekhHamdan is an avid sports enthusiast who is a keen horse rider, goes diving in Fujairah, and is a popular skydiver. He is famous for his poems published under the name Faz’za, the subject mainly being romantic, patriotic and about his family. He also enjoys racing camels, cars, traveling, equestrian sports and his family plays a major role in the Godolphin stables.

Sheikh Hamdan has acquired from his father the love of UAE, techniques of management, arts of poetry and skills of horsemanship. He has thus become a leader, poet, rider andstatesman.
From the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Sheikh Hamdan got medals of excellence, several titles in World Endurance Horse Races, in individual competitions and with the UAE National Team.

Being Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, Sheikh Hamdan translated his principles and visions into a tangible reality aiming to boost the sports movement not only in Dubai but in the UAE in general. He chairs the Al-Ahli Sports Club – the champion of the UAE Football League 5 times and champion of the UAE President’s Cup 7 times. Al-Ahli Club represented UAE in the FIFA Club World Cup 2009 and won the title of the first UAE Professionals Championship.
As sponsor of Heritage Sports,Sheikh Hamdanreceived the golden medal with the UAE National Team as well as the silver medal in the individual competition in the World Endurance Championship held in 2010 in USA. In Europe, heattained the title of the European Endurance Open Championship held in 2005 in France with participation of 110 riders representing 27 countries.

On the Asian level, Sheikh Hamdanreceived the golden medal in the Asian Endurance Championship in Doha in 2006, confirming his great contribution in various achievements, attained by UAE riders internationally. He also played a vital role in the achievement attained by UAE riders in receiving the golden medal in the World Endurance Championship in Malaysia in 2008.
Sheikh Hamdan is a great supporter for heritage sports, top of which is Camel Races. He owns many authentic and rare camels and has many swords and cups of excellence in various races – He was awarded the sword of the Ruler of Qatar in a prestigious ceremony forhis pioneer role for developing camel races.
To develop sports further, the launch of the “Hamdan Bin Mohammed Program for Sports Leadership” in 2008, aims to lead the young generation into the sports sector while the launch of “Hamdan Bin Mohammed School Games Tournament” boosts sports activities in schools.Supporting woman sports and facilitating the work of Woman Sports Committee popularizes woman’s sport and allows females to practice sports activities.

On the personal front, Shaikh Hamdanwon the individual gold medal in the endurance event at the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France.Riding 2013 European Open Champion Yamamah, Shaikh Hamdan secured his place among endurance riding’s elite with a domineering performance over a challenging 160-kilometre course to win in eight hours, eight minutes and 28 seconds.

In endurance, the rider must know how to control their horse so that the distance is completed in as fast a time as possible while keeping the horse in perfect physical condition.Sheikh Hamdan was given a hero’s welcome by top officials, sports leaders and a large crowd of fans on his return with the gold medal.
Another initiative of the Crown Prince is the Hamdan Sports Complex, one of the biggest multi-purpose facilities in the world built upon a sprawling 24 hectares of land, on the Emirates Road. It boasts two 50-meter swimming pools and the space can be transformed and converted into a dry land for non-aquatic world-class events such as basketball, handball, volleyball, karate championships, high profile concerts, international conventions and exhibitions.

Sheikh Hamdan finds his father a constant source of inspiration with his wisdom and ability to listen and weigh a range of opinions before taking a decision. Sheikh Hamdangetshis sense of duty to Dubai, the UAE and the broader region from his father who gives him the determination, strength of will and character to face challenges and pursue initiatives that positions Dubai globally as a financial, business and tourism hub.

Despite all the developments around, Sheikh Hamdan feels that the Emirati heritage and culture continues to have a positive impact on every aspect of the lives of people who live in the UAE. For example, the majlis is as important a place for the community to meet and discuss issues and his passion for falconry, fishing, camels, Nabati poetry, love for horses and everything equestrian andhis family values keep him grounded providing him balance in life.

Sheikh Hamdan places education as a pillar of the country’s development as a nation and maintains that itwill always be a priority for the people of the UAE. For Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan feels the city has built an extremely solid foundation for the future, with world-class hard infrastructure such as roads, ports and airports but focus on the educational, healthcare and service sectors will continue growing to remain competitive.

He hopes the focus on making Dubai the knowledge hub will foster a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship, supporting the development of the best ideas with the best minds from around the world.

With the world changing, Sheikh Hamdan feels Dubai will keep pace with continued investments in education and innovation and encourage morecollaborative partnerships as the new generation of Emiratis are young and dynamic, full of energy and enthusiasm, employing new skills alongside inherited knowledge.

Sheikh Hamdanencourages young Emiratis to make an impact around the world in business, trade, sport and the arts scene and learn from Dubai-born companies, such as Emirates Airline and the Jumeirah Group, all at the very pinnacle of their respective sectors.

In his capacity as the Chairman of the Executive Council, Sheikh Hamdan is working to ensure that government departments are incentivised to meet new performance targets, which are clearly defined with performance-measurement tools and service-level agreements that are benchmarked against past performance and global best practices.

Sheikh Hamdan is confident that Dubai, blessed with a strategic geographic hub for global business and trade and world-class infrastructure, will progress to the next level as a world-class destination for business, tourism and entrepreneurship and expects the Emirate to be the window to the world.

By Shereen Shabnam

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