His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, and Ruler of Dubai, is the third son of the late H.H. Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum's four sons.
Born in 1949, H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum grew up under the care and guardianship of the Al Maktoum family, the ruling family of the emirate of Dubai. When he was four years old, his father, H.H. Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, started teaching him the basics of Arabic and the teachings of Islam. In 1955, at the age of seven, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed joined Al-Ahmadiya School, where he received his elementary education and went on to obtain a secondary school diploma with distinction in 1965.
In August 1966, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed joined Bell School of Languages in Cambridge, United Kingdom, one of Europe's most renowned language schools. Thereafter, he completed his military studies at the Mons Officer Cadet School in the United Kingdom.
After graduating from the Mons Officer Cadet School, H.H. Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum appointed H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to his first official post on November 1, 1968, as Chairman of the Police and General Security Department. In 1971, he was appointed Minister of Defense in the first federal government. During this period, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed was assigned the task of administering several large projects in Dubai, the most important of which were Dubai Drydocks, the largest in the Middle East region, and Dubai International Airport. He was also in charge of handling oil-related issues in Dubai.
In 1995, H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, appointed H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum as Crown Prince of the emirate of Dubai. H.H. Sheikh Mohammed has been keen to transform Dubai into an international trade and tourist hub. To this end, he launched various pioneering initiatives and projects, consolidating his role as the leader of the emirate's development and modernization process. Among these projects are the following initiatives: the Dubai Shopping Festival (1995); Dubai Internet City (2000); Dubai Media City (2001); Dubai Electronic Government (October 2001), the first of its kind in the world; the Palm Island Project (2001), the greatest tourist project; the Dubai International Financial Center and Dubai's Medical City (2002); Knowledge Village (2003); and the Dubailand project (2004). H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was chosen as one of the world's most influential business leaders in the 2004 Global Business Influentials, an index compiled by Time and CNN.
On January 4, 2006, H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum became the Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai, after the passing away of his brother the late Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
On January 5, 2006, Their Highnesses, Members of the UAE Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates, elected H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, as the Vice-President of the United Arab Emirates on the proposal of the President of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, became the Prime Minister in the Council of Ministers of a new government formed on February 9, 2006.