A bold and visionary 50 years of dedication to the UAE

From guiding Dubai into the 21st century to the intricacies of regional geopolitics, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid has lived a life of devoted public service

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid attended the opening of Al Wasl Plaza at Expo 2020 Dubai.     
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Rare are the moments when the curtain that conceals the machinery of state is pulled aside, affording tantalising glimpses of the everyday realities and challenges of power and responsibility. The publication of the autobiographical My Story – 50 Stories in 50 Years by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is one such moment, and it offers a fascinating glimpse of a life of service lived with courage and imagination.

As a document of record, this is an important book that adds crucial detail to pivotal moments in national and regional history. Doubtless, it will have historians racing to revise accounts of some of the most tumultuous events of the past half-century. The revelation that in 2003 Sheikh Mohammed flew to Basra to offer Saddam Hussein asylum in a bid to avert the invasion of Iraq casts the subsequent tragedy in a new light and reinforces the reputation of the UAE as a force for peace and stability.

In these pages we follow in Sheikh Mohammed’s steady footsteps through history. We are present in a tent on the Dubai-Abu Dhabi border in 1968, as Sheikh Mohammed’s  father declines the presidency of the future UAE in favour of Sheikh Zayed. We bear witness to ultimately futile efforts to encourage the newly elevated President Bashar Al Assad and the Libyan ruler Muammar Qaddafi to usher their nations down paths that might have led not to war and destruction, but to peace and prosperity.

But the true power of this book lies in the thoroughly human, and humane, perspective of its narrator, a man unlike any other who, with humility and humour, shares the lessons life has taught him. This is the tale of a leader whose passion and vision transformed Dubai from the small, creekside settlement of his youth to the mighty metropolis of today, and has helped to cast the UAE as a major player on the world stage. But it is also the story of a man who has shouldered great responsibility for the sake of his people.