Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum
Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum Image Credit: WAM

Siblings’ tribute to Sheikh Hamdan

The late Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who was the UAE’s Finance Minister and the Deputy Ruler of Dubai and the patron of many awards, was a leader with immense vision and wisdom. He has been credited with many dazzling achievements and futuristic planning for his philanthropic works around the world. By instituting educational and scientific awards, Sheikh Hamdan proved beyond doubt that he cared much for the generations to come.

He was indeed a great inspiration for his exemplary vision and commendable contribution in promoting excellence in the field of education. The Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Distinguished Academic Performance was instituted to support quality pathways in the educational sector and encourage excellence and talent programmes by nurturing talented and innovative people, and supporting and investing in their talents. It honours excellence in students, teachers, schools, researchers, and educational projects at national, GCC, and international levels.

For a student in the UAE, the Hamdan Award is the most coveted of all awards, as it encompasses excellence in overall academic performance, including curricular and co-curricular activities done over the past three years. It definitely provides a pivotal platform for students to acquire, nurture and excel in their talents, skills, leadership, creativity, innovation, community service as well as prepares them to progressively develop in all facets.

We both have been fortunate to win this reputed award twice - An international honour in the area of education. For us, this award is a prized symbol of motivation, encouragement, appreciation, and most of all, excellence. Being bestowed with this award has strengthened our resolve to successfully achieve brilliance in any venture we undertake. It has helped to boost our morale and maximize our potential for future endeavours.

We fondly remember Sheikh Hamdan, cherish the memory of meeting him, and wish to carry forth his legacy by using our creative skills, innovative abilities, and diverse talents for the benefit of others.

From Mr Aaditya Gandhi and Ms Aditi Gandhi


Sheikh Hamdan: Remembering a visionary leader

We were greatly shocked by the tragic demise of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The visionary leader known for his magnanimity, wisdom, and tenacity left an impact on people of all ages and from various national, social, and economic backgrounds. We fondly reminisce the time the two of us met the late Finance Minister when we each received the Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Distinguished Academic Performance in 2013 and 2015 respectively. We came face to face with a shining figure of a benevolent leader who personally handed out the awards to every recipient, young and old, with a smile and immense pride in the young achievers. And that feeling was evident to us not only when we individually received the award on stage, but also from the stands we watched each other on stage with our parents. For me, it was like meeting my grandfather, who rewarded me for all that I had accomplished when I walked on that stage as an eight-year-old, still bewildered by the fanfare of the ceremony. I was the last person to receive the award that night, and he held me close to him as we stood for the photograph. That was a special moment for me.

Sheikh Hamdan's enthusiasm to recognise us and reward us for all the curricular and extracurricular merit has been a huge motivation for us. The award and his legacy are an inspiration for everyone in academia to strive for eminence and make our family and our country proud. For us, the award only humbled us and taught us to aspire for bigger things in life, and raise the benchmark of achievement every time we accomplished a goal in our academic or non-academic endeavors. We were building ourselves to follow all that Sheikh Hamdan encompassed and stood for— education, sports, and excellence.

From Ms Maria Vincent and Ms Rose Vincent

Dubai, UAE

Editor’s note: Is there a news report that you feel strongly about? Something that has to be addressed in the community and requires resolution? Email us on You can also post a comment on our Facebook page or tweet to us @GNReaders