Dubai: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, chronicled his 50-year journey in serving the nation in a new book titled “My Story: 50 Stories in 50 Years”.
In his autobiography, Shaikh Mohammad shares the main highlights of his life, responsibilities and achievements with millions of readers from the UAE, Arab world and the greater globe.
Shaikh Mohammad’s memoir covers the various phases of his life and his journey of achievements for the sake of the nation, since he assumed the responsibility of his first official position as the Chairman of the Police and Public Security in 1968 until he became the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai in 2006.
In his book, Shaikh Mohammad recalls the historical moments and phases in the history of the UAE, depicting the establishment of the Dubai Defence Force as one of the main linchpins of the unified army of the federation, which was formed in 1971.
He was the youngest minister of defence in the UAE’s first Cabinet, which was formed immediately after the establishment of the Union. The book outlines the responsibilities Shaikh Mohammad assumed as the Crown Prince of Dubai and later as the Ruler, and how he spearheaded the emirate’s drive of rapid development and transforming it into a modern cosmopolitan city.
The memoir also recalls Shaikh Mohammad’s rich experiences, stands, thoughts and sentiments, combining his personal and public life. He recalls his memories about signing of the Union, and the moment his father, the late Shaikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, turned down the opportunity to be the first President of the UAE, insisting that the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan lead the newly formed nation.
In the book’s first chapter, Shaikh Mohammad highlighted the project of sending Emirati astronauts to the space as a red-letter day in the UAE’s modern history. He also recalls his memories about his modest beginnings at his grandfather’s house in Al Shandagha.
Shaikh Mohammad has often spoken of his love of the nation, horses, nature and desert. He also highlighted major political changes and shifts in the Arab region that affected the UAE directly and indirectly. These major events include the Iraq-Iran war, Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, US invasion of Iraq, and the Israeli incursion into Lebanon.
In most of the book’s narrative chapters, Shaikh Mohammad celebrates the story of building Dubai and the UAE, with a focus on the history of Dubai through Al Maktoum family, which laid the foundations of Dubai in1833.
He spoke of Shaikh Rashid’s experience in building modern Dubai and the lessons he learned from his father in administration and leadership, describing him as an exceptional leader.
In a sole chapter dedicated to Shaikh Zayed, Shaikh Mohammad chronicled glimpses of his long journey in running the Union. He also highlighted the events that preceded the establishment of the federation, especially the story about the tent that brought together Shaikh Zayed and Shaikh Rashid in 1968, which ushered in the birth of the UAE three years later.
The Vice President outlined challenges that faced the creation of the Union and the unification of the UAE Armed Forces.
Shaikh Mohammad dedicated several chapters about Dubai’s exceptional and inspirational experience that made it the most successful economic and development model in the region.
On the political front, Shaikh Mohammad recounted key Arab and regional political events and meetings with a number of Arab leaders. He highlighted his meetings with the late Iraqi president Saddam Hussain, the latest of which was in 2003 in a bid to avert Iraq from the then imminent US invasion.
He also recalled his meeting with Syrian President Bashar Al Assad in 1999 when he took him on a surprise tour of Dubai where Al Assad reiterated that he wanted to copy Dubai’s experience. Regretfully, Syria slipped into a devastating war, killing and displacing millions of Syrians.
Shaikh Mohammad revealed beautiful and deeply moving stories about his mother, Shaikha Latifa, and the close relation between her and his father, depicting some touching events and stances.
In a chapter titled “The Ten Commandments” Shaikh Mohammad concluded his book, sharing his philosophy about government administration, the need for planning and monitoring performance, maintaining contact with the public and adopting the culture of innovation, in order to serve the society and the nation better.