The Names You Need to Know in the UAE
The UAE has its own celebrities, some of which cross Arabian boundaries to places like Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Egypt. And there are many celebrities from around the Gulf, the East and the West that have made the UAE their home. The list of a who’s who in Arabia would be a long one, especially as many have come to prominence over the last ten years. Our list concentrates on a few key individuals in UAE society who you should know about.
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan
The late great Sheikh Zayed was the founding father of the UAE. When he passed away in 2004, there was much outpouring of grief from not only the Emirati locals but also the expats as well as many nations who had ties with the UAE. He was very popular with the people, because, unlike many other countries in similar positions, he made sure that people were looked after. Wealth was redistributed. In that respect Sheikh Zayed was benevolent to the point of being revered. It was Sheikh Zayed who did the deal with Sheikh Rashid of Dubai to cement the creation of the UAE with the former becoming the first president of the UAE. Even to this day, his photo, sometimes smiling and with shades, can be found in many stores and public places across the UAE.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Sheikh Khalifa is the current president of the UAE, but has essentially been running Abu Dhabi, as an Emirate, for a number of years – and had been running the UAE as acting president, while his father, Sheikh Zayed was in ill health. He has been listed, by Forbes, as being the 2nd most wealthiest royal with a personal fortune of 12 billion UK pounds. The Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, was named after him.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Sheikh Mohamed is the visionary behind the rejuvenation of Abu Dhabi and the plan to transform Abu Dhabi for the future. He is the crown prince and will take over from his half brother Sheikh Khalifa. Sheikh Mohamed is the head of Mubadala which is the main investment vehicle for Abu Dhabi. The lineage of the Abu Dhabi monarchs is likely to fall to his eldest son.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Sheikh Mohamed needs no introduction. He is the architect of modern Dubai and is the incumbent prime minister of the UAE. He had spearheaded the transformation of Dubai ever since he became the crown prince in 1995 and became ruler of Dubai on his brother’s, Sheikh Maktoum’s death. Known globally, he is one of the most successful horse breeders on the horse racing circuit. His son will succeed him as leader of Dubai.
Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Sheikh Mansour is the half brother of the current president of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa and full brother of Sheikh Mohamed, the crown prince. As one of the most powerful Sheikhs, due to his control of the presidential affaires, Sheikh Mansour came to prominence on the acquisition of Manchester City football cub, if only acting on behalf of the Al Nahyan family.