His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Minister of Finance and Chairman of Dubai Municipality, was born in Dubai on 25.12.1947. He studied in Ahmadiyya Primary School, Dubai Secondary School, and then he went Britain to study English and Municipal Science in Cambridge.
He took up the chairmanship of Dubai Municipality immediately after graduating in the mid-sixties. He remained in that position until he was entrusted with the position of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry in the first federal government headed by his brother, late Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum after the announcement of the Union on 2nd December 1971.
In addition to the Municipality, Sheikh Hamdan chairs many other high-level government bodies and establishments, which play a vital role in supporting the economy and the labour market in the United Arab Emirates, and these establishments are:
- Federal Pension Authority
- Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department
- Honorary sponsor of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Australian National University in Canberra
- Dubai World Trade Centre
- Oilfields Supply Centre (OSC) Limited
- Information Centre
- Al Nasr Leisure land
- Al Maktoum Charity Foundation
Major achievements and awards received by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid:
Sheikh Hamdan was chosen as the Humanitarian Personality in 2000 for his support to many charitable projects, including the building of orphanages, schools and hospitals in many poor countries. Often Sheikh Hamdan travels to Africa and Europe due to his care for the needy people in various countries around the world. His human and cultural achievements are evident in countries such as Mexico, Australia, Africa, Ireland, Europe, Pakistan, India and many other countries.
He was selected in 2005 as the best global personality in the areas of health, education and sports by the International Federation of Hospitals.
In 2006, he was conferred three certificates by the Royal College of Britain and became the first world figure to achieve this feat. He was granted an honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Britain for Internal Diseases, London, a certificate of Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Britain for Internal Diseases, Edinburgh, and a certificate of Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Britain Internal Diseases and Surgery, Glasgow.
He was also awarded the Arab Technology Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his efforts as chairman of Dubai World Trade Centre, the organizers of GITEX, which celebrated in 2009 its 25th year of pioneering in the IT markets in the Middle East.
He was also granted Honorary Doctorate in Economics by Al Jazeera University, Khartoum, another Honorary Doctorate by African International University, and yet another Honorary Doctorate by University of Kiev, Ukraine.
He received the highest medal of appreciation from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in December 2006 in recognition of his efforts in supporting education and science.
In 2007, Sheikh Hamdan was chosen as Personality of the Year by the Sharjah Award for Voluntary Work, in recognition of his role in supporting voluntary work.
In February of 2009, His Highness was received a special honor from the African Leadership Summit in Addis Ababa, in recognition of his efforts in supporting education and humanitarian relief programs in more than 26 African countries.
Sheikh Hamdan is one of the largest horse breeders and owners in the world. He is known for his passion for raising thoroughbred horses. He was awarded by the European Conference of Arab Horse Organizations (ECAHO) for the best owner of the Arabian horses in the world. Sheikh Hamdan was crowned as the owner of the best hybrid and traditional Arabic horses globally and locally for several seasons. He made historic achievements in the racing world, including races in England, France and the United States and recently in the Dubai Cup, most expensive race in the world.
He also launched the Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Arab Horses in New Berry in Britain that celebrated the silver jubilee of its launch in 2009. He also sponsors races in Germany, Brazil, Chile, Italy, Australia, Japan and Uruguay.
Supporting education and health sectors are activities that remain close to his heart since Sheikh Hamdan contributes in supporting these sectors constantly whether it is in his homeland, the UAE or other countries of the world. In addition to that, he established many treatment centers, such as the Paralysis and Stroke Center in Jordan, the Shifa Hospital in Tripoli, Lebanon, and the Heart Center in Jenin. Sheikh Hamdan has established an international award in the field of medical science, and the award for cultural diversity in Scotland that aims to recognize the contributions of individuals and organizations working in support of multiculturalism in Scotland, through which the diversity of religious, ethnic, cultural and civilizational dialogue can flourish. In addition to Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences, he has also set up Academic Excellence Award and the Dubai International Award for Best Practices.