UAE Royal Family Guide: All about Rulers of United Arab Emirates - MyBayut (2022)

  • Overview of all the UAE Rulers
  • Abu Dhabi royal family
  • Dubai royal family
  • Sharjah royal family
  • Ras Al Khaimah royal family
  • Ajman royal family
  • Fujairah royal family
  • Umm Al Quwain royal family

It’s hard to believe that the UAE was once nothing but rolling sand dunes. Now the UAE has become a shining country filled with soaring skyscrapers and architectural marvels. And the country owes its all to the remarkable ruling families of the UAE! The royal families of the UAE that serve as the country’s rulers have built this brilliant place from the ground up, and are admired for their grace and dignity, hard work and charity. They also rank amongst the world’s richest royal families – and some UAE royal family members even have a massive fan following on Instagram! That’s why, today, Bayut presents a quick guide to the royal families of the UAE. Find out all about the rulers of the UAE, their humble beginnings and their most famous achievements!

Who Rules The United Arab Emirates?

The United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven emirates: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah, which are ruled by six royal families. In 1971, the UAE was formed by bringing together six emirates with Ras Al Khaimah joining the union in 1972.

The president and the head of the state are selected from amongst the rulers of each emirate. The seven Emirs form the Federal Supreme Council that is the highest legislative and executive authority in the UAE. Each of the royal families of the UAE emerged from a different origin but the royal families of Abu Dhabi and Dubai are the direct descendants of the same tribe while Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah are also ruled by the branches of the same family. Dive in to find out more about the UAE royal family and their origins!

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Abu Dhabi Royal Family

  • Ruling Family: Al Nahyan
  • Descendants of: Bani Yas Tribe (House of Al Falahi)
  • Current Ruler: His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
  • Crown Prince: His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan

The capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi is ruled by the proud and noble Al Nahyan Family. This royal family descends from a branch of the Bani Yas tribe, known as House of Al Falahi. The Bani Yas tribe was a powerful familial tribe located in ancient Arabia. They hailed from Liwa Oasis and moved to the city in 1793, where they settled in the Qasr Al Hosn, one of the oldest buildings in the UAE. It is now also a museum which is open to visitors. HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the current president of the UAE since 2004. The Abu Dhabi royal family has the privilege of providing the country with its current and former president as well. The Al Nahyan family has an estimated worth of a whopping $150 billion, making them the fourth richest royal family in the world.

Influential Members:

The President and Ruler of the UAE:

It is safe to say that the current President of the UAE is hands down the most influential royal of Abu Dhabi. HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has been named the 53rd most powerful man in the world by Forbes. His family is counted as one of the richest royal families in the world but his own personal net worth is a whopping $15 billion. HH Sheikh Khalifa also has the world’s tallest building named after him.

The Crown Prince:

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi isn’t far behind in popularity, as well. He is the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and also the Chairman of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. He is the brains behind the UAE’s activist foreign policy. Apart from his intellectual success, the Prince is also famous for holding one of the world’s most expensive wedding costing around $100 million. The Prince also plays an active role in preserving the environment especially rendering efforts for the protection of precious flora and fauna of the country. His Highness is known for his passion for animals as well as coming up with alternative energy projects for protecting the environment.

Dubai Royal Family

  • Family Name: Al Maktoum
  • Descendants: Bani Yas (House of Al Falasi)
  • Current Ruler: His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum
  • Crown Prince: His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Did you know that the royal family of Dubai and Abu Dhabi are related? Just like the Abu Dhabi royals, Dubai’s ruling family are also descendants of the Bani Yas tribe, only from another branch. The Bani Yas tribe branched out in 1833, with 800 members of the Al Maktoum family settling in what is now known as the Dubai Creek. The members of the Dubai royal family are credited for putting Dubai on the map, initially as a coastal city popular for fishing and sea trade.

The current ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Mohammed, took over after his brother’s death in 2006. He’s also responsible for Dubai’s success on a global level, for which he holds a special place in the hearts of his people. If you aren’t following HH Sheikh Mohammad on social media, you’re definitely missing out! Well-known for being active on his social media accounts, HH Sheikh Mohammed has a following of 3.8M on Instagram, where he regularly shares Dubai’s achievements and occasionally, a glimpse of his beautiful family.

Influential Members:

HH Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum and HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein:

The perfect royal couple, HH Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum and HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein are often in the public spotlight. Both are also trailblazers in their own fields, as HH Sheikh Mohammad is a revered leader and HRH Princess Haya has achieved global recognition as a UN Peace Ambassador and a social activist.

Crown Prince:

Among the HH Sheikh Mohammed’s children, the Crown Prince of Dubai definitely steals the spotlight. The Crown Prince of Dubai, HH Sheikh Hamdan is also fondly known as Fazza amongst the UAE’s residents, which is the handle he uses for his Instagram account. The Crown Prince is best known for his love of extreme sports, animals and travelling, along with his charitable efforts. Also a poet, HH Sheikh Hamdan is truly someone to admire! HH Sheikh Hamdan’s social profiles don’t just revolve around his adventures and interests, he also works to promote Dubai and the UAE!

Sharjah Royal Family

  • Family Name: Al Qasimi
  • Descendants: Claimed to be the descendants of Prophet Mohammad (SAW)
  • Current Ruler of Sharjah: His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi
  • Crown Prince of Sharjah: His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammad Bin Sultan al-Qasimi

The Al Qasimi dynasty came into power in the 18th century when they emerged from Ras Al Khaimah and Qishm (the southern shore of the Arabian Gulf) as a maritime power. Sharjah used to be one of the wealthiest towns in the region and was also an important port on the lower Arabian Gulf. It’s why the town was subjected to many attacks for gaining control of the spice trade in the east coast. The arrival of the British in the region changed the game however there were falling outs between the ruling family and the British. Finally, in 1820, peace treaties were signed and Sharjah has never looked back since then. The city now holds a staggering position in the region because of its strong trade, oil and tourism industry.

Influential Members:

The Emir of Sharjah:H.H Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi

His Highness grew up having a deeply-rooted love for his nation. He also developed a strong passion for seeking knowledge and education. His love for learning led him to teach English Language and Mathematics at Sharjah Industrial School for two years. Apart from just being a forefront leader, His Highness is also an acclaimed historian and a published writer. His most acclaimed book is the “Myth of Arab Piracy in the Gulf” while he has published several more titles as well. The Emir of Sharjah is amongst the UAE rulers that has left no stone unturned in playing a significant role in promoting the emirate’s culture and economy.

Ras Al Khaimah Royal Family

  • Family Name: Al Qasimi
  • Descendants: Claimed to be the descendants of Prophet Mohammad (SAW)
  • Current Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah: His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi
  • Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah: His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi

The origins of Ras Al Khaimah’s royal family mirrors that of Sharjah since both emirates are ruled by the same family! The Emir of Ras Al Khaimah, HH Sheikh Saud, received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Michigan. He was appointed as the ruler of the emirate in 2010 after the death of his father. His son, HH Sheikh Mohammad is the Crown Prince and the Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.

Ajman Royal Family

  • Family Name: Al Nuaimi
  • Descendants: Al Bu Kharaiban Section
  • Current Ruler: His Highness Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi
  • Crown Prince: His Highness Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi

Ajman may be the UAE’s smallest emirate, but it bears a great cultural and historical importance. The royal family of Al Nuaimi descends from an Arab tribe whose connections extend to Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The family came into power under HH Sheikh Rashid Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, who made Ajman his seat of power. His rule in Ajman was endorsed by Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah.

Influential Members:

Emir of Ajman:

Sheikh Humaid is the tenth ruler of Ajman and also the member of the UAE Supreme Council of the Union. The Sheikh laid the foundation of progress for this small emirate which evolved from a tiny fishing town into a modern-day metropolis. He received his initial education in Dubai and then went on to Cairo for further studies. Under his able leadership, Ajman has progressed significantly especially in sectors like economy and education.

His keen eye on Ajman’s educational system further led him to establish the renowned Ajman University of Science and Technology. The university represents one of the region’s most important educational achievements. Apart from strengthening national resources, the Emir is an ample supporter of women’s rights and even went on to establish Umm Al Moumineen Women’s Association, the first supportive centre for women’s movement in the region.

Fujairah Royal Family

  • Family Name: Al Sharqi
  • Descendants: Sharqiyin tribe
  • Current Ruler: His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammad Al Sharqi
  • Crown Prince: His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Hamad bin Mohammad Al Sharqi

Fujairah has a rich Islamic history deeply embedded in its roots. Home to one of the oldest mosques in the UAE, this emirate enjoys a very strategic location on the map. The land’s rich culture and history as far as five centuries credited by the remains of ancient towers, castles, forts and mosques. The land is ruled by the Al Sharqi family who originated from a dominant tribe along the East Coast. While the Al Sharqi family is seen less in the public spotlight, their achievements are still to be admired. Since the rule of HH Sheikh Hammad, Fujairah has flourished into a popular tourist destination! It’s also seen great progress in the field of health and education.

Influential Members:

Ruler of Fujairah:

HH Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammad Al Sharqi is known for expertly handling the responsibility of representing the UAE at diplomatic and international events. Like many royals of the UAE, HH Sheikh Hamad completed a portion of his education abroad, at a military academy in the UK. The Ruler of Fujairah is known for his eloquent speaking power and his fluency in both English and Arabic. This has led to the Fujairah’s ruler representing the President of the UAE on many dignified international conferences and seminars.

Umm Al Quwain Royal Family

  • Family Name: Al Mualla
  • Descendants: Al Ali Tribe
  • Current Ruler: His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu’alla
  • Crown Prince: His Highness Sheikh Rashid bin Saud bin Rashid Al Mu’alla

The founding family was the head of the Al Ali Tribe with 6,750 people up till the 19th century. The tribe originated from Nejd and the first head was HH Sheikh Rashid bin Majid Al Mualla. The tribe later scattered to Umm Al Quwain, parts of Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and Falaj Al Mualla. HH Sheikh Rashid was also responsible for building the famous Umm Al Quwain Fort.

Influential Members:

The Emir of Umm Al Quwain:

The current Emir received his degree from Cairo University in Economics. He worked closely with his father and succeeded him as the new Emir in 2009. Previously, HH Sheikh Saud served as the foreign minister for the UAE in 1973 and also as the Commander of the Umm Al Quwain Emiri Guard in 1977. He had the rank of colonel while in 1979 he was the head of Umm Al Quwain Royal Court. He proved his abilities by assisting his father in the matters of the emirates including overseeing many investment projects and establishing different local enterprises and government entities. It may come as a surprise that the Emir is not only an enthusiastic sea-angler but also an avid fan of the traditional sport of camel racing.

The history of every land is a reminder of its progress and struggle to reach where it is now. The UAE has a vast and diversified historical background which represents the magnificent union of different ruling families who have taken the country to new heights. The Central Bank of The United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) decided to honour the founding fathers of the nation by issuing sevencommemorative silver coins to celebrate the 50th UAE National Day.

If you were intrigued and fascinated by the rich history of the UAE’s royal families then you will surely be interested in discovering the best historical places to visit in Dubai while historical sites in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain will surely teleport you back in time.

Cover Image Credits: This image was taken from the Official UAE Cabinet Website

FAQs

How many royal families Does the UAE have? ›

The dynasties of the United Arab Emirates consist of the six ruling families of the seven Emirates. The Nahyan (branch of the House of Al Falahi) are the ruling family of Abu Dhabi. The Maktoum (branch of the House of Al Falasi) are the ruling family of Dubai.

What is the UAE's theme for 2022? ›

2022: YEAR OF DISTINCTION AND PRECEDENCE

The overall objectives of the 2022 theme include: To contribute to the fields of education, culture, production and trade. To ensure the country moves forward on “a path that unites us with strength”.

Who is the richest sheikh in UAE? ›

Abu Dhabi, UAE – US$150 billion

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan – who was also the president of the United Arab Emirates from 2004, following the death of his own father – owned land in the British capital worth US$7.1 billion.

Which is the richest emirate in the UAE? ›

As hereditary ruler of Abu Dhabi, the richest emirate in the U.A.E., Al-Nahyan is among the world's wealthiest monarchs. In addition to controlling 97.8 billion barrels of reserves; he runs one of the largest sovereign wealth funds, with reported assets of $830 billion.

Where does UAE royal family live? ›

Al Nahyan Family – Abu Dhabi. Since 1855, the Al Nahyan family has been governing the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi. The origins of this UAE royal family can be traced back to a sub-section of the famous Bani Yas Tribe – Al Bu Falah.

Does UAE have a king? ›

According to convention, the ruler of Abu Dhabi (Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan) is the President of the United Arab Emirates (despite holding the title of President, the country is not governed as a presidential republic) and the head of state, and the ruler of Dubai is the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, ...

Who rules the UAE now? ›

United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates الإمارات العربية المتحدة (Arabic) al-ʾImārāt al-ʿArabīyah al-Muttaḥidah
Demonym(s)Emirati
GovernmentFederal Islamic parliamentary elective semi-constitutional monarchy
• PresidentMohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
• Vice President and Prime MinisterMohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
49 more rows

What is the name of year 2022 in UAE? ›

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, has written a New Year poem, describing 2022 as “the year of distinction and precedence". In the poem, Sheikh Mohammed writes about looking forward to the UAE's next 50 years with “determination and creativity and skill".

How will UAE be in 2050? ›

The UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative is a national drive to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, making the Emirates the first Middle East and North Africa (MENA) nation to do so.

Who is the king of UAE 2022? ›

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
In office13 – 14 May 2022
PredecessorKhalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
SuccessorMohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Born15 July 1949 Al Shindagha, Dubai, Trucial States (now United Arab Emirates)
37 more rows

Who is the first king of UAE? ›

Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Who was the first ruler of UAE? ›

Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was widely credited with unifying the seven emirates into one nation. He was the UAE's first president from the formation of the UAE until his death on 2 November 2004.

Who is the first king of Dubai? ›

After various rulers, Sheikh Saeed bin Maktoum bin Hasher Al Maktoum who became Ruler in 1912, was the first Ruler to rule for a substantial period of time and is regarded by many as one of the fathers of Dubai.

Which is the poorest emirate in UAE? ›

Emirate of Ajman - Wikipedia.

What is the salary of Dubai King? ›

The world's best Ruler of Dubai “Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum” has a net worth of $15 Billion.
...
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum Net worth.
NameSheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum
ProfessionRuler of Dubai
Monthly Income And Salary$250 Million +
Yearly Income And Salary$1.5 Billion +
Last Updated2022
1 more row
Jun 4, 2022

Why is Dubai so rich? ›

Free trade, a low tax rate, and zero income tax have made Dubai a popular business hub and a wealthy state. Dubai is also the gateway to the East and boasts of the world's highest international passenger flow. It is a world-renowned destination for all travelers, including the rich and famous.

Which is the cheapest emirate in UAE? ›

The country's smallest emirate also has the best rental yields for apartments in the UAE, with a world-leading 9.6% per annum. Ajman is the cheapest place to rent property in the UAE, with costs three times less expensive compared to Dubai's median asking price, according to data from Propertyfinder's Trends report.

Which emirate is the smallest? ›

Ajman is the smallest of the seven Emirates, covering 259 square kilometres, about 0.3% of the UAE's main landmass. Ajman has a few sandy beaches but is mainly characterised by the rugged Hajjar mountain range.

Who is the richest family in UAE? ›

Revealed: 10 richest people in UAE in 2020
  • MAJID AL FUTTAIM is the richest person in the UAE with $8.9 billion assets.
  • KHALAF AL HABTOOR AND FAMILY: The Al Habtoor family holds a total $7.2 billion wealth. ...
  • Third-ranked MA YUSUFFALI, owner of Lulu Group, saw his wealth jump 14 per cent to $5.2 billion.

Who owns most property in Dubai? ›

The largest foreign owners (both by the aggregate value of properties owned and by the number of owners) are Indian nationals: about 35,000 Indians own Dubai properties, worth almost USD 30 billion (20 percent of total offshore Dubai real estate).

Who owns land in Dubai? ›

In Dubai, foreign ownership is permitted in areas designated as freehold. Foreigners (who don't live in the UAE) and expatriate residents may acquire freehold ownership rights over property without restriction, usufruct rights, or leasehold rights for up to 99 years. Article 3 of Regulation No.

How many members are in the royal family of Dubai? ›

The House of Maktoum (Arabic: آل مكتوم Āl Maktūm) is the ruling royal family of the Emirate of Dubai, and one of the six ruling families of the United Arab Emirates.
...
House of Maktoum
Founded9 July 1833 189 years ago
FounderMaktoum bin Butti
Current headMohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
2 more rows

Is UAE a free country? ›

Freedom in the World — United Arab Emirates Country Report

United Arab Emirates is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2022, Freedom House's annual study of political rights and civil liberties worldwide.

What was Dubai called before? ›

Dubai, also spelled Dubayy, constituent emirate of the United Arab Emirates (formerly Trucial States or Trucial Oman).

What are the 7 states of Dubai? ›

This section provides an overview of the UAE's seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah.

Is UAE a first World country? ›

I have studied this and the correct answer is that the U.A.E is a developing coutry, BUT, it has chosen to declare itself as such. No World body designates countries as either developed, developing or third World.

Who will be the next king of Dubai? ›

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Arabic: حمدان بن محمد بن راشد آل مكتوم; born 14 November 1982) has been Crown Prince of Dubai since 2008 and son of Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Who is the ruler of the whole UAE? ›

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
PresidentZayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (1971–2004) Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (2004–2022) Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (2022–present)
PredecessorPosition established
Ruler of Dubai
Reign4 January 2006 – present
37 more rows

Who are the rulers of Dubai? ›

Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum was born on July 15, 1949. He is the third of four sons of His Highness Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum who also include Their Highnesses Sheikh Maktoum, Sheikh Hamdan and Sheikh Ahmed.

Does each emirate have its own ruler? ›

Executive branch. Administratively, the UAE is a federation of seven emirates, each with its own ruler. The pace of local government reform in each emirate is set primarily by the ruler.

Who are the Dubai royal family? ›

The House of Maktoum

Who is the first king of UAE? ›

Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Who is the next king of UAE? ›

Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Reign2 November 2004 – 13 May 2022
PredecessorZayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan
SuccessorMohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Born7 September 1948 Al Ain, Trucial States (now United Arab Emirates)
16 more rows

How many wives does Dubai ruler have? ›

In December the High Court awarded Princess Haya, the youngest of Sheikh Mohammed's six wives, a lump sum settlement of £251.5m to cover the cost of running two multi-million pound properties in London and Surrey, a security budget, holidays, salaries and accommodation for a nurse and a nanny, armoured vehicles for the ...

Who is the richest person in Dubai? ›

1. Majid Al Futtaim – Net worth: $6.1 Billion. With a net worth estimated by Forbes to be $6.1 billion, Majid Al Futtaim ranks as the richest person in Dubai.

What was Dubai called before? ›

Dubai, also spelled Dubayy, constituent emirate of the United Arab Emirates (formerly Trucial States or Trucial Oman).

Why is Dubai so rich? ›

Free trade, a low tax rate, and zero income tax have made Dubai a popular business hub and a wealthy state. Dubai is also the gateway to the East and boasts of the world's highest international passenger flow. It is a world-renowned destination for all travelers, including the rich and famous.

Who is the head of 7 emirates? ›

President of the United Arab Emirates
Presidential Standard
Incumbent Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan since 14 May 2022
StyleHis Highness
StatusHead of state
11 more rows

Is UAE a free country? ›

Freedom in the World — United Arab Emirates Country Report

United Arab Emirates is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2022, Freedom House's annual study of political rights and civil liberties worldwide.

Is UAE a first world country? ›

I have studied this and the correct answer is that the U.A.E is a developing coutry, BUT, it has chosen to declare itself as such. No World body designates countries as either developed, developing or third World.

Who is the richest kid of Dubai? ›

Born Rashed Belhasa, he also collects luxury cars like Rolls-Royces, Ferraris and Lamborghinis, and lives with his billionaire father in a house with its own exotic zoo.

Where does UAE royal family live? ›

Al Nahyan Family – Abu Dhabi. Since 1855, the Al Nahyan family has been governing the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi. The origins of this UAE royal family can be traced back to a sub-section of the famous Bani Yas Tribe – Al Bu Falah.

How rich is the Dubai king? ›

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum's net worth is approximated to be around $15 Billion. He is a member of the Dubai emirates. You can also call him king of Dubai. Currently, he is in the post of prime minister of the United Arab Emirates.

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