This year marks 11 years since His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE, became the ruler of Dubai.

His respect for business-like and service-led government has seen Dubai’s population grow from 1.4 million to 2.8 million during his 11 year rule, he has lead from the front and implemented strong public transport across the city and has seen Dubai Airport become the busiest in the world.

To celebrate him on the Flag Day weekend, here are 10 of our favourite quotes from Sheikh Mohammed, as collated in the book, Flashes of Wisdom: The Collected Quotes of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum



“It is easy to rule through fear, but it takes a rare leader to rule through love.”


“An Arab official once asked me about the target the UAE wanted to achieve from launching the first Arab probe to Mars. I told him: we want to send a message of hope to 350 million Arabs that we are capable of reclaiming our future.”


“A great leader creates more leaders and does not reduce the institution to a single person.”


“If we had waited for regional stability to be restored before launching our huge projects, where would we be today?”

sheikh mohammed

“Does running water stop when it reaches a rock? Of course not. It turns either left or right, and continues its way. Likewise, a positive person is confident that no challenge will stand in the way of achieving his or her goal.”


“I once read an article in a foreign newspaper saying: luck smiles back at Dubai. I respond: when they want to diminish your achievements, they attribute them to luck!”


“Arab civilization once played a great role in contributing to human knowledge, and will play that role again.”


“A few mistakes made by a person working productively cost far less than a person paralyzed by laziness or fear.”


“Governments, like people, grow old. They start life small and eager to survive, fuelled by youthful energy and fresh ideas but eventually, with few exceptions, fade into obscurity. Governments, too, can lose the hunger and ambition of youth, and become complacent.”


“Not every rider is a horseman and not every horseman is a knight.”

– For many more thoughts and ideas from HH Sheikh Mohammed, pick up Flashes of Wisdom, which is in both Arabic in English. Available in most major bookshops now and on from Dhs40.

– For more about Dubai straight to your newsfeed, follow What’s On on Facebook.

Photos: Getty