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Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai
حاكم دبي
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
since 04 January 2006
Style His Highness
Heir apparent Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum
First monarch Maktoum bin Butti bin Suhail

The Ruler of Dubai ( Arabic: حاكم دبي) (otherwise known as the Emir of Dubai) is the position of the hereditary monarch and head of government of the Emirate of Dubai, one of the six ruling families of the UAE. The Ruler is also considered the head of the House of Maktoum, the royal family of Dubai. After the unification of the Emirate of Dubai within the United Arab Emirates, the Ruler of Dubai nominally assumes the position of Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and sits at the seat reserved for Dubai at the Federal Supreme Council. [1] [2]


In 1833, a migrating offshoot of the ruling Bani Yas tribe of Abu Dhabi settled to the small fishing village of Bur Dubai where Sheikh Maktoum bin Butti bin Suhail become the sole Ruler of Dubai by 1836, establishing the Al Maktoum dynasty. [3] The relatively small Dubai relied on fishing, pearling, and foreign trade between the much larger Al Nahyan dynasty in Abu Dhabi and the Al Qasimi dynasty of Sharjah and establishing good relations with British forces which eventually culminated in the signing of an agreement with the British in 1892 to exclusively deal with the British Empire on all economic and foreign relation matters as part of the Trucial States. [4] Following the withdrawal of the United Kingdom in 1971, then-Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum joined with other ruling families of the former Trucial States to form the United Arab Emirates, [5] where the position of Ruler of Dubai has retained significant autonomy from the federal government of the UAE with control of the emirate's judiciary, executive and legislative. [6]

Functions and authority

The Ruler of Dubai is the head of the Emirate, and head of the executive in the form of the Government of Dubai, which also runs a judiciary independent from the federal judiciary of the UAE appointed and overseen by the Ruler. [6] The Ruler of Dubai issues royal decrees to establish laws that do not contradict with the UAE Constitution, establish, merge, or dissolve Dubai Government departments, and appoint any key position across the Emirate of Dubai, including members of the Dubai judicial system and members of the Dubai Executive Council, the legislative arm of the Emirate of Dubai. [7]

As part of the complex relationship between the ruling Al Maktoum family and private companies directly or indirectly controlled by the Dubai Government, or members of the ruling family, the Ruler of Dubai has extensive authority and influence over major companies in the Emirate. [6]

Rulers of Dubai (1833–present)

The rulers of the Emirates of Dubai: [8]

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Maktoum bin Butti bin Suhail
  • مكتوم بن بطي
Unknown – 18529 July 18331852
(death by smallpox)
Joint founder of the Al Maktoum clan and first ruler of Dubai, alongside Obeid bin Said bin Rashid House of Al Falasi
Saeed bin Butti
  • سعيد بن بطي
Unknown – 185918521859
(death by smallpox)
Brother of Maktoum bin Butti bin Suhail House of Al Falasi
Hasher bin Maktoum bin Butti Al Maktoum
  • حشر بن مكتوم بن بطي آلمكتوم
Unknown – 1886185922 November 1886
(death by natural causes)
Nephew of Saeed bin Butti House of Al Falasi
Rashid bin Maktoum
  • راشد بن مكتوم
Unknown – 189422 November 18867 April 1894
(death by paralytic seizure)
Brother of Hasher bin Maktoum bin Butti Al Maktoum House of Al Maktoum
Maktoum bin Hasher Al Maktoum
  • مكتوم بن حشر آل مكتوم
Unknown – 19067 April 189416 February 1906
(death by heart disease)
Nephew of Rashid bin Maktoum House of Al Maktoum
Butti bin Suhail Al Maktoum
  • ٱلشَّيْخ بُطِّي بِن سُهَيْل آل مَكْتُوْم
1850 – 191216 February 1906November 1912
(death by natural causes)
Cousin of Maktoum bin Hasher Al Maktoum House of Al Maktoum
Saeed bin Maktoum bin Hasher Al Maktoum
  • سعيد بن مكتوم آل مكتوم
1878 – 9 September 1958November 1912September 1958
(death by natural causes)
Son of Maktoum bin Hasher Al Maktoum House of Al Maktoum
Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum
  • راشد بن سعيد آل مكتوم
11 June 1912 – 7 October 1990September 19587 October 1990
(death by natural causes)
Son of Saeed bin Maktoum bin Hasher Al Maktoum and one of the founders of the United Arab Emirates in 1971 House of Al Maktoum
Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum
  • مكتوم بن راشد آل مكتوم
15 August 1943 – 4 January 20067 October 19904 January 2006
(death by heart attack)
Son of Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum House of Al Maktoum
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
  • مُحَمَّد بن رَاشِد آل مَكتُوم
15 July 1949 – current4 January 2006IncumbentSon of Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. Current Ruler of Dubai, Vice President, Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of the United Arab Emirates [9] House of Al Maktoum


The current head of the family, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Vice President

Prime Minister

Current Ruler of Dubai

Previous Ruler of Dubai

bin Suhail
bin Butti

r. 1833-1852
bin Butti

r. 1852-1859
Hasher bin

r. 1859-1886
Rashid bin

r. 1886-1894
Suhail bin
Al Maktoum
bin Hasher

r. 1894-1906
Butti bin

r. 1906-1912
Saeed bin

r. 1912-1958
Juma bin
Al Maktoum
bin Saeed

r. 1958-1990
r. 1971-1990
r. 1979-1990
bin Juma
Al Maktoum
bin Juma
Al Maktoum
House of Sharqi
bin Rashid

r. 1990-2006
r. 1990-2006
r. 1971-1979,
bin Rashid

r. 2006-present
r. 2006-present
r. 2006-present
Hind bint
Al Maktoum
bint Thani
Al Maktoum
Hamad bin

r. 1974/5–present
Hamdan bin
Al Maktoum

See also


  1. ^ "The Making of the Modern Gulf States: Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman". Routledge & CRC Press. Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  3. ^ Heard-Bey, Frauke (1996). From Trucial States to United Arab Emirates : a society in transition (2nd ed.). London. ISBN  0-582-27728-0. OCLC  38355501.{{ cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher ( link)
  4. ^ Gonzalez, Gabriella; Karoly, Lynn A.; Constant, Louay; Salem, Hanine; Goldman, Charles A. (2008), "The United Arab Emirates", Facing Human Capital Challenges of the 21st Century, Education and Labor Market Initiatives in Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (1 ed.), RAND Corporation, pp. 87–146, doi: 10.7249/mg786rc.12, ISBN  978-0-8330-4516-4, retrieved 29 July 2022
  5. ^ "The Sheik of Dubai - The New York Times". 29 July 2022. Retrieved 29 July 2022.
  6. ^ a b c KUMAR, LAKSHMI (2020). DUBAI: FREE TRADE OR FREE-FOR-ALL?. pp. 23–34.
  7. ^ "Legal Systems in the United Arab Emirates: Overview". Practical Law. Retrieved 29 July 2022.
  8. ^ "About Dubai". Retrieved 29 July 2022.
  9. ^ "H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum | The Official Portal of the UAE Government". Retrieved 27 August 2023.