DUBAI, (Reuters) – Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum named his British-educated son Hamdan crown prince on Friday, the WAM news agency said, ending two years of uncertainty over succession in the Gulf trade and tourism hub.
Sheikh Mohammed, who has led Dubai’s drive for growth, named his brother — also named Hamdan — and his other son, Maktoum, as deputy rulers of Dubai, one of the seven members of the United Arab Emirates, the official news agency reported.
Sheikh Hamdan, 25, is head of the Executive Council of Dubai, which runs Dubai’s political and financial affairs and which outlined an ambitious development strategy last year. Born in November 1982, Sheikh Hamdan began school in Dubai before moving to Britain, where he graduated from the elite Sandhurst military academy. His father Sheikh Mohammed became ruler of Dubai in early 2006 after the death of his brother. Sheikh Mohammed is also the defence minister, prime minister and vice president of the UAE, a U.S. ally which was created in 1971 after the withdrawal of British forces from the Gulf.
Dubai, a desert emirate that has long served as a commercial port, has placed itself on the international map in recent years by embarking on mega-projects. These include the construction of the world’s tallest building and three palm-shaped islands off its coast as well as an archipelago shaped liked a map of the world.