- Contributions of Abu Dhabi royal family
- Contributions of Dubai royal family
- Contributions of Sharjah royal family
- Contributions of Ras Al Khaimah royal family
- Contributions of Ajman royal family
- Contributions of Umm Al Quwain royal family
- Contributions of Fujairah royal family
Carrying on the illustrious legacy of the founding fathers of the UAE, the royal families of the country are constantly introducing new reforms and strategies to help the nation become a leading force in the region and the world. Here are some of the contributions of the UAE royal families that exemplify their commitment and dedication to the well-being of the residents and the progress of the country.
Contributions of the UAE royal families
From launching innovative infrastructure programs to boosting the economy through strategic trade policies, the founding fathers of the UAE have made pivotal contributions to the evolution of the country. Taking their vision forward, the active members of the royal families of the UAE have been expanding the economy, tourism and industrial sector of the country.
Al Nahyan Family – Abu Dhabi
Since 1855, the Al Nahyan family has been governing the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi. The origins of this UAE royal family can be traced back to a sub-section of the famous Bani Yas Tribe – Al Bu Falah.
A prominent member of the Al Nahyan family – His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the ruler of the capital as well as the President of the UAE, while His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the Crown Prince and Chairman of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces.
Major Contributions by Al Nahyan Family
The Al Nahyan Family has channelled all their efforts towards building a strong foundation for the growth of Abu Dhabi and the UAE.
His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, focused on developing the infrastructure, unifying the UAE and making contributions to the Trucial States Development Fund.
The current ruler of Abu Dhabi H.H Sheikh Khalifa and the Crown Prince H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed also have significant achievements under their belt.
Major Contributions by H.H Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
The major contributions by the ruler of Abu Dhabi include:
- Established the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation to pioneer initiatives focused on health and education both on a local as well as international scale.
- Introduced the Debts Settlement Fund to help indebted Emiratis pay loans.
- Established of the Emirates Polio Campaign to curb the spread of the epidemic.
- Facilitated the re-construction of Emiratis’ houses built before 1990.
- Instituted the Khalifa Award for Education.
Contributions by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
The major contributions by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi include:
- Established Zayed Charity Marathon to support sports activities.
- Launch of the Moral Education Initiative, as a step to make ethics/moral education a part of the academic curriculum.
- Transformed the military capabilities of the UAE.
- Oversaw Abu Dhabi’s leading construction projects in Yas Island and Saadiyat Island. Mohammed Bin Zayed or MBZ as he is fondly called has also played a pivotal role in bringing renowned attractions including the Grand Prix, Warner Bros World, Louvre and more.
- Pledged $15 billion towards the development of clean energy.
- Launched the Abu Dhabi Social Support programme to enhance the lifestyle standards in the capital.
- Introduced the ‘Ma’a’ (together) initiative to encourage Emiratis, expats and institutions to participate in social work.
- Spearheaded the UAE’s development efforts in the oil and gas industries.
- Donated AED 55M to the UN Global Initiative to purchase vaccines in Pakistan and Afghanistan as well as combat human trafficking.
- Launched ‘The Exceptional in Qasr Al Bahr’ initiative to inculcate the love of learning in students.
Al Maktoum Family – Dubai
The famous Al Maktoum family has been the seat of royal power in Dubai. All the rulers from the dynasty have helped to transform Dubai into the cosmopolitan city that we see today.
Currently, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has assumed the responsibilities as the ruler of the emirate and Vice President of the UAE.
Other members of the royal family including the Crown Prince of Dubai – His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum have also made valuable contributions to support the growth of the city and the wider region.
Major Contributions by the Al Maktoum Family
His Highness Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the founding father of Dubai, expanded port facilities at the time of oil boom and opened the first free zone – Jebel Ali Free Zone.
Other members of the Dubai ruling family also played a vital role in strengthening the infrastructure of the region.
- Established world-class hotels, recreational spots, traditional markets and shopping centres to attract tourists.
- Developed Islamic banks worldwide and inaugurated the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), the first-of-its-kind Shari’a compliant exchange in the world.
Major Contributions by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
- Launched the UAE Food Bank, UAE Water Aid, Dubai Cares, Noor Dubai and Dubai SME.
- Established Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Library, Mohammed Bin Rashid Global Centre for Awqaf and Endowment and Mohammed Bin Rashid Smart Majlis.
- Launched Dubai Plan 2021 to reinforce Dubai’s position among the top centres for trade, finance, logistics and tourism.
- Laid the foundation of Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charity and Humanitarian Establishment and Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding.
- Introduced Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Sports & Fitness Programme, Mohammed bin Rashid Programme for Leadership Development and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Manuscripts Preservation Project.
- Inaugurated Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, a foundation that aims to combat poverty, empower communities, spread knowledge and encourage breakthroughs in the business sector.
Major Contributions by H.H Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
- Introduced The ‘Day for Dubai’ Initiative to encourage volunteering.
- Launched an initiative to integrate AI technologies into sports.
- Opened the Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Center for Creativity to encourage students to take on creative pursuits.
- Introduced a new phase of the Dubai Government Excellence Programme to ensure quality and efficiency in the services of all the government entities.
- Presented an AED 1.5B economic stimulus package amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- Introduced the 30X30 fitness drive to enhance the health and fitness levels of the community.
Al Qasimi Family – Sharjah
The Al Qasimi dynasty manages and oversees the progress of the third-largest emirate in the UAE, Sharjah. The current ruler is H.H Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi continues the legacy of the Al Qasimi dynasty. His wife, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, is also helping him make valuable contributions to society.
Major Contributions by the ruling family of Sharjah
The Al Qasimi family has taken many effective measures to develop the emirate of Sharjah.
His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, the first ruler of Sharjah formed the General Security and Police Force.
Other significant contributions by the members of the Al Qasimi family include:
- Led the refurbishment of historical areas such as Heart of Sharjah, Al Qasba and Al Majaz Waterfront.
- Developed museums and organised popular cultural and literary events such as Sharjah International Book Fair and Sharjah Biennial.
- Established 19 industrial areas that add to more than 48% of the total industrial output of the UAE.
Major Contributions by H.H Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi
- Launched the initiative to support the National Cancer Institute and establishment on the Islamic Manuscripts House.
- Launched the Academy of Arabic Language as well as the largest training centre in the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate building.
- Established Lughati Initiative of Smart Learning.
- Established the first free publishing zone in the world.
- Ensured the provision of free mineral water at private schools and nurseries.
- Set up 1000 poetry houses in the Arab world and organised theatrical festivals in Arab countries.
- Donated $1M to support the Children for Dignity Foundation from Malaysia.
- Introduced scholarship programmes and employment opportunities for those with special needs.
Major Contributions of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi
- Participated in multiple humanitarian causes.
- Raised more than $22M (AED 80M) to help Palestinian refugee children, $1M (AED 3.6M) for healthcare for Somalian refugees and $14.5M (AED 52M) to take care of food, shelter and medical interventions for Syrian refugees in Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan.
- Donated AED 33M to develop the building of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Egypt.
- Spearheaded the operations of the Big Heart Foundation, a global humanitarian charity based in Sharjah.
Al Qasimi Family – Ras Al Khaimah
In addition to Sharjah, Al Qasimi (also spelt as Al Qassimi) is one of the ruling families of Ras Al Khaimah as well. His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi from the dynasty administers the affairs of the emirate while His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi offers assistance as the Crown Prince of the region.
Major Contributions by the ruling family of Ras Al Khaimah
The ruling family of Ras Al Khaimah has left no stone unturned in making RAK a prosperous emirate. They have carried out many initiatives to boost the economy and tourism sector of Ras Al Khaimah. Their major contributions include:
- Developed museums in RAK.
- Establishment of free zones and industrial areas and the Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) which caters to both free zone and non-free zone businesses in more than 50 industries.
Major Contributions by His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi
- Established Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation to strengthen the social, cultural and economic footing of Ras Al Khaimah.
- Opened 10 international hotels with 20 other hotels slated for completion within upcoming years.
- Launched RAK Ceramics, making the emirate the largest cement producer in the world.
- Revitalised Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries (Julphar) that serves as a model for other pharmaceutical enterprises.
- Spearheaded major improvements in healthcare, education and research.
- Promoted tourism in Ras Al Khaimah.
Major Contributions by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi
- Implemented the Mohammed Bin Saud Housing Rehabilitation Programme
- Facilitated the expansion in the emirate’s industrial and tourism sectors
Al Nuaimi Family – Ajman
In Ajman, the Al Nuaimi family that descends from Al Bu Kharaiban Section has the seat of power.
His Highness Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi is the current ruler of Ajman while His Highness Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi is Crown Prince. With their effective strategies and great civil development plans, they have been able to turn Ajman into a prosperous economic region.
Major Contributions by Al Nuaimi Family
His Highness Sheikh Rashid Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, the first ruler of Ajman has made some key developments in the region with the provision of free healthcare and establishment of Police Department.
Major Contributions by His Highness Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi
- Inauguration of the Ajman University of Science and Technology.
- Laid the foundation of Umm Al Moumineen Women’s Association, the first centre to support and empower women in the region.
- Initiated the construction of the Ajman Port and Ajman Free Zone (AFZ).
Al Mualla Family – Umm Al Quwain
Umm Al Quwain is ruled by the Al Mualla family that descends from the lineage of the Al Ali Tribe. From 1902, the family has been in power in the emirate. Currently, His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Rashid Al Mualla is the ruler of the emirate while His Highness Sheikh Rashid bin Saud bin Rashid Al Mualla is the crown prince of the region. HH Sheikh Abdulla Bin Rashid Al Mualla takes responsibilities as the Deputy ruler of the state.
With their foresight and vision, Al Mualla family has helped Umm Al Quwain evolve into a thriving and modern state.
Major Contributions by Al Mualla Family
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Mualla was the first ruler of Umm Al Quwain. He set up schools, hospitals and the police department in the emirate.
Following his footsteps, the current ruler and deputy ruler of UAQ are also leading the emirate towards development.
Major Contributions by His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Rashid Al Mualla
- Construction of the Umm Al Quwain Museum and Fort.
- Launched the Firdous Sobha project, in collaboration with the major developer SOBHA to develop the infrastructure of Seniyah Island. The project will feature a luxury seafront villa community, hotels, resorts, an 18-hole golf course, boutique shops, spa and more.
Major Contributions by His Highness Sheikh Abdulla Bin Rashid Al Mualla
- Developed groundbreaking projects such as Dreamland Aqua Park, the largest water park in the UAE.
- Facilitated the re-construction of UAQ Marine Club.
Al Sharqi Family – Fujairah
The Al Sharqi family, which originated from Sharqiyin tribe, is the Emirati royal family of Fujairah. Since 1937 the family has administered the affairs of the emirate.
The current ruler of Fujairah is His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi who succeeded his father – H.H Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi in the year 1974. He has since then been instrumental in making developments in the emirate.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi has also been rendering his services as the Crown Prince of the emirate.
This royal family has helped Fujairah make significant progress in the fields of education, health, construction and tourism.
Major Contributions by Al Sharqi Family
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi, the first ruler of Fujairah established airport road networks and airports in the emirate.
Major Contributions by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi
- Launched a plan for the construction of 44 km of internal roads to cover the areas of Rayamah, Al Aqah, Zaher Al Safwa, Zakat, Rashidiya, Al Riddah, Al Mutariq, Yaala, Al Aqah, Al Jarouf, Al Faseel.
- Initiated art and cultural festivals such as Fujairah International Arts Festival, to spread awareness of Emirati culture and heritage.
- Spearheaded the construction of Fujairah Port that serves as a major hub for the handling of oil and general cargo, as well as carrying out passenger operations in the emirate.
- Established recreational spaces and hotels in the emirate to strengthen the tourism industry.
- Created attractive investment opportunities that helped Fujairah build a reputation as a centre for business and trade.
Contributions by H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi
- Inauguration of the Second Fujairah International Conference for Maritime Environment to raise awareness about preserving maritime resources.
On that note, we wrap up our guide on the contributions of the royal families of the UAE.
Have we missed out on any other contributions? Let us know in the comments below or ask your queries on our Facebook group.