Al Maktoum family descends from the Al Bu Falasah
section of the Bani
Yas, a highly respected and authoritative
tribal federation that was the dominant power
throughout most of what is now the UAE.
The Al Maktoum family's reign as rulers of Dubai
began in 1833, when Sheikh Maktoum bin Buti, and
around 800 tribesmen moved from Abu Dhabi. Dubai,
like most settlements in the region at that time
was just a small town, but the arrival of the
Al Maktoum family changed that. Dubai is now one
of the most vibrant cities in the world, attracting
and business executives from many countries.
A LETTER FROM SHEIKH BUTI BIN SUHAIL, DATED
to view enlarged image
Sheikh Maktoum was very young when he came to
power. From the little documented history of Dubai
at that time, though, it is clear that he was
a courageous, capable leader, who confidently
overcame the political and economic challenges
he faced whilst establishing the new principality.
By the time of his death in 1852, he had become
a respected, influential authority on the Trucial
Sheikh Maktoum's brother, Sheikh Saeed bin Buti
Al Maktoum, succeeded him. He wanted to follow
his brother's example of making Dubai a safe haven
for all people. To this end, he took the wise
decision to form alliances with the Sheikhs of
Abu Dhabi and Umm Al Qaiwain, consolidating his
ability to face any future disputes.
the death of Sheikh Saeed, in 1859, Sheikh Hasher
bin Maktoum Al Maktoum took over the leadership
of Dubai. He proved himself to be a brave leader
with a strong sense of justice, and was firmly
committed to the truces signed by Dubai with the
British and the other Trucial Sheikhdoms.
by Ronald Codrai © Justin Codrai
When Sheikh Hasher passed away, the elders of
the tribe elected Sheikh Rashid bin Maktoum as
their leader. In 1892, he formed an alliance,
through marriage, with the Al Bu Shamis tribe,
who were based in Buraimi, a strategically important
area at that time, as it was one of the few fertile
oases in the country. In the same year, however,
he fell ill, eventually dying in 1894.
Sheikh Maktoum bin Hasher then took power. His
economic policy is described in British government
papers as "liberal and enlightened"1.
He abolished commercial taxes and Dubai's port
saw a rapid increase in development and business
during his reign. Dubai became a regular stopping
point for steamers and established itself as the
principal commercial port on the coast.
Maktoum died in 1906. As his sons were too young
to take power, he was succeeded by his cousin,
Sheikh Buti bin Suhail. Sheikh Buti was already
elderly by the time he became Ruler, and his reign
lasted only 6 years until his death in 1912, when
he was succeeded by Sheikh
Saeed bin Maktoum Al Maktoum.
1 - Records of Dubai 1761-1960. Volume 2,
Archive Editions, 1994, pg. 16