The UAE on Wednesday lost one of its greatest statesmen, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, a leader who was there when the union was established fifty years ago and steered its finance ever since. The loss is immense. Sheikh Hamdan, the Deputy Ruler of Dubai and the Minister of Finance and Industry, was 75.
He was appointed as the UAE’s first minister of Finance in the first federal cabinet formed in 1971, a position he occupied until his demise. For 50 years, he was responsible for drawing up the country’s financial policies and government spending. His leadership in that portfolio and prudent policies were globally praised during the 2008 financial crisis, in which the UAE recovered faster than most countries.
As the nation mourns Sheikh Hamdan, the Gulf News family extends its condolences to Sheikh Mohammed, Their Highnesses Members of the Supreme Council, Rulers of the Emirates and the Al Maktoum family. May Sheikh Hamdan, the exceptional statesman and great philanthropist, rest in peace
He was also credited for the playing a key role in the amazing success story of Dubai, supporting his father, the late Sheikh Rashid and his brother His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai in turning the emirate into a global hub for trade, business and tourism.
During his long public service, Sheikh Hamdan held key positions and led vital institutions that were central to the rise of Dubai, such as Dubai Municipality, the Information and Health Departments, Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai Aluminum (DUBAL) and Dubai Natural Gas Company Limited (DUGAS).
Humanitarian and charitable work
He was a great philanthropist, and charitable work was close to his heart. Despite his many official responsibilities, his pursuit of helping the less fortunate took a lot of his time and interest. “I feel extremely happy and comfortable when I help fill the heart of a deprived individual with joy and happiness in building a school for those who couldn’t get education or construct a Masjid for the faithful who couldn’t raise enough funds to build their own house of worship,” Sheikh Hamadan said as he initiated Al Maktoum foundation in 1997 in Dublin, which has since done humanitarian and charitable work in more than 69 countries around eth world.
In 1997, the foundation began its pioneering educational program to build 10 high schools with full equipment in a number of African countries, a program that is continuing as the number of the schools increased to 40 in 20 countries. The foundation extends its aid to victims of war and refugees and provide scholarships to needy children.
As the nation mourns Sheikh Hamdan, the Gulf News family extends its condolences to Sheikh Mohammed, Their Highnesses Members of the Supreme Council, Rulers of the Emirates and the Al Maktoum family. May Sheikh Hamdan, the exceptional statesman and great philanthropist, rest in peace.