Dubai: The first episodes of the “My Story” docuseries that chronicles stages of the life of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has garnered massive viewership.
The docuseries, based on “My Story: 50 memories from fifty years of service” autobiography released last year, captures the memories, challenges and events that shaped the journey of the Dubai ruler in 50 episodes.
Using compelling imagery and real-life shots, the docuseries also records the first personal appearance of its kind for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in the huge production that details his upbringing and 50 years of public service, bringing to life the book that he had termed “an incomplete biography.”
“My Story” docuseries airs on Dubai TV at 9pm every Sunday and reairs throughout the week on Sama Dubai, Dubai One and AWAAN livestreaming platform.
Months of work
The production was an outcome of nine months of rigorous preparation that saw a careful selection of different sites across the emirate to portray the story of old Dubai where events of the book took place. Other sites were constructed to capture the historic events of the story.
The production involved a solid team of about 100 members, including 20 main actors, who filmed the docuseries in about 30 days across different sites in Dubai using the latest 4k cinematic technologies. The docuseries, produced by the Executive Office in Dubai, follows anamorphic format to document historic events.
The Dubai Culture and Arts Authority oversaw the pre-production stages, while the Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI) was assigned with the broadcast across its different channels and digital platforms.
Hala Badri, director general at the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, said, “We worked with other entities as one team to put together such a high-quality production in its best form. The production reveals the significance of the full collaboration among different entities to highlight biographies of inspiring leaders and figures and keep their legacy for future generations. Such visual works help detail achievements of a country and stages of its development in an innovative and engaging form that intrigues audiences, while maintaining accuracy of historical events.”
She added that the historical production depicts the story of Dubai’s development, integrating politics, economy, knowledge, culture, history, poetry, equestrian, leadership skills, love and ambition to cater to different interests.
Ahmed Saeed Al Mansouri, CEO of Radio and TV Sector at DMI said, “The book has garnered exceptional readership of millions of readers across the Arab world who were eager to learn about the life of an exceptional leader whose journey of 50 years in leadership earned global glory for Dubai and the country.”
Al Mansouri added, “Our steps, plans and media strategies are always inspired by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohmmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to highlight the country’s true story and the quality of content that our media platforms have reached. The continuous achievements drive our passion to translate the innovation that will remain our brandmark in line with the UAE government’s strategies.”
The production is the outcome of a high-level collaboration between the Executive Office of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Culture and DMI. Other government entities on board included Dubai Police, DP World (Jebel Ali Port and Rashid Port), Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Dubai Municipality, Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center, Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai Health Authority (Rashid Hospital), Meraas Holding (La Mer), Emirates Global Aluminum, Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, Emaar Properties (Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall) and Federal Youth Authority.
“My Story” docuseries was directed by Mohammed Jumaa and executed by Eagle Films, with Mohammed Wafa as Executive Producer, Bilal Dyani as Head of Operations and Visioneers as Executive Supervisor.
“One evening, my father said to me, ‘I want to organise a horse race in Dubai and I want you to take part.’ I was only 10 years old. My father’s words made me feel very responsible for the race was a major celebration in which everyone would participate.”
He added, “My father owned a string of horses. He said, ‘pick one and train it for the race.’ I noticed a beautiful, yet injured, pony that had never been raced before. I watched her carefully and realized that she could race easily. She was named Umm Halaj. I asked my mother, Sheikha Latifa to examine the pony. I noticed how she responded to my mother when she started examining her. Umm Halaj knew my mother was there to treat her. This is when I first realized the pony’s intelligence, sensitivity, tenderness and loyalty.”
Through the dramatic scenes, the audience follow the story, “That was the most important project of my life. The race was set to begin in four months and I needed three months to treat and train my horse. So I decided to prepare her medicine and apply it to her leg daily all by myself. I started training her to walk gradually and by the end of the third month, her heath started to improve.”
He added, “My horse and I would train on the beach, swimming into the sea to cool off. We would have lunch with friends and I would feed her the fresh desert grass I had picked for her. When it was time to leave, I would whistle to her and she followed me happily back to the stables. She enjoyed it as much as she did our outings. She would stand calmly, her sleep eyes soft and shining, while I brushed the sand and salt from her coat. She would flick her ears back and forth, following the intonation of my voice as I talked to her the whole time. Then she used to put her injured foot forward as if reminding me of her pain.”
With real-life shots of one of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s horse race, the narration continues, “Umm Halaj taught me that when you treat a horse well, it can do amazing things. I learned that achievements are never accomplished without work, that when you love something, you’ll work hard for it, and that giving your all to achieve success is the only path to victory.”
The audience can then hear a poem recitation by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. “The love of horses runs through my veins. The Most Merciful, who created them, swore by them in His Book. I have given my life to them, the elapsed and the days to come.”