On January 31, 2008, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, appointed Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammad Al Maktoum as Crown Prince of Dubai.
Today is one year since that appointment and Sheikh Hamdan, who had been serving as the Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, which is entrusted with the task of overseeing Dubai Government entities, since September 2006, has walked in his father's footsteps, and is seen as the driving force behind the efforts to implement the vision, known as Dubai Strategic Plan 2015, of Sheikh Mohammed.
Sheikh Hamdan is mandated to ensure proper implementation of government projects within the agreed deadlines.
In addition to overseeing different committees and following up on the daily functions, his responsibilities also include giving direction to the government's drive to enhance performance.
Sheikh Hamdan had already been adopting his father's vision and strategic approach, with numerous inspection visits and meetings government officials.
Sheikh Hamdan had in the past stressed the importance of transformation into a new phase of forward thinking and performance.
The past one year has shown him as a staunch advocate of strategic planning, financial efficiency and career development, as means for improving performance of the government sector.
Sheikh Hamdan has also been part of UAE delegations that have attended key conferences, seminars, and official visits to various countries across the world.
Back home, he has hosted visits by heads of state, dignitaries and leading lights from across various fields. In terms of encouraging and motivating government and the public sector in Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan has been at the forefront.
The Dubai Crown Prince last year honoured police officers, including recently-graduated officers who came first in general results, behaviour and punctuality, weaponry and shooting, military training and physical fitness. Sheikh Hamdan also honoured the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) for its highly-appreciative efforts of attracting UAE nationals to take up employment in hospitality industry through the innovative Maharat training scheme.
Sheikh Hamdan also marked the launch of Al Fursan, a one-year leadership programme for a select group of judges and department heads of Dubai Courts in November last year.
Recently, Sheikh Hamdan ordered the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) section of the Executive Council to design an appraisal system to measure performance of the heads and director of Dubai Government entities.
The system is the first-of-its-kind in the region. Sheikh Hamdan then introduced the unified Government Performance Management System to all employees in different institutions and departments of the Dubai Government in all categories and positions.
The Crown Prince of Dubai ordered all local government entities to start implementing the system, aimed at fostering a performance oriented culture where the individual employee's work is aligned with the strategic directions of their respective organisations, creating an environment where progress and reward are merit-based, and providing an equitable, fair and transparent framework of evaluating employees' performances.
He assigned the General Secretariat of the Dubai Executive Council to follow-up the implementation of the new system and ensure that all resources are available to leverage the capacity and skills of government employees, which is aligned with the goals of the Dubai Government Strategy 2015, especially towards leveraging the desired targeted productivity of government entities and improving the level of rendered services to society. Sheikh Hamdan is also leading implementation of the Dubai government restructuring programme, a key component of Dubai Strategic Plan that targets streamlining services in the different sectors, including education, healthcare, real estate and infrastructure. The establishment of Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Rera), with a mandate to oversee the progress of the real estate markets in Dubai, came as a direct outcome to that effort.
Other milestones achieved by the Executive Council under his stewardship include development of logistics sector and the establishment of the Dubai Airports Corporation with the aim of separating regulatory and operational functions of Dubai International Airport and the upcoming Al Maktoum International Airport, being developed as part of the Dubai World Central.
Sheikh Hamdan ordered implementation of the Unified E-Customer Complaint System, the world's first unified mechanism for improving customer satisfaction in government services.
The system will ensure complaints are resolved in a transparent manner within a seven-day period.
A customer will also be able to track the resolving process through his or her account number and can receive alerts and updates on the progress of the complaint. Sheikh Hamdan also gave instructions to the Dubai Department of Finance to stick to the requirements of the Dubai strategy as well as to continue to carry out the budget as per the approved financial policy.
Sheikh Hamdan urged members of the council and heads of Dubai Governmental departments to cooperate with the department of finance on the Dubai Government's financial policy for the current year. Sheikh Hamdan underscored the development of public and private schools as well as on further advancing the social and economic status of the reaching staff and the role of parents in the educational process. He also issued a decision to establish Licencing Agency as part of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and appointed Ahmed Bahrouzyan as the CEO.
Other tasks of the agency include developing and updating databases of drivers and vehicles, issuing No Objection Certificates in respect of commercial and tourist activities related to transport, in addition to controlling the performance of driving institutes, vehicle testers and commercial activities of transport.
The CEO of the Licencing Agency will oversee the administrative affairs of the agency, prepare a work plan of the agency together with its annual budget estimates for submission to the Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA.
The CEO has to implement the approved annual plan of the agency, realise the targeted performance results, submit the periodical performance reports to the Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, and draft legislations related to the business of the Agency.
"The move saw the transfer of roles, jurisdictions and the organisational units dealing with licencing at RTA agencies, along with their employees, to the Licencing Agency.
"The establishment of the Licencing Agency came as a result of a detailed study carried out by the RTA with a view to identify the correct situation of the Licencing Department under the Traffic and Roads Agency and its performance over the past two years," said Mattar Al Tayer.
The decision to establish the agency was also dictated by the increasing numbers of licenced drivers in the emirate – the number of driving licences issued last year reached 89,475. The number of registered vehicles reached 848,357, of which 802,376 were light vehicles and 45,981 heavy trucks.
Among other reasons to establish the agency was the need to focus on the specialised roles of the agency, which are based on a single strategy and operational plans reflecting its key objectives and goals. Licencing is an activity of broad-based interaction with customers; a matter which warrants putting much focus on customers.
There is also a need to enhance monitoring and inspection of heavy vehicles, which have substantial contribution in the increasing percentage of traffic accidents.
Sheikh Hamdan last year also unveiled the new livery and logo for all Dubai Government departments.
Reflecting the Dubai's history and its march towards progress, the new logos underline the brand unity and synergy among Dubai Government and all its sub-entities.
The elegant font selected by Sheikh Hamdan was inspired by the font chosen by his grandfather, the late Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
Guidelines on merging each department's individual logos with the Dubai Government brand logo will be soon circulated to all departments, specifying terms and conditions on its usage.
Sheikh Hamdan last year, on the occasion of the 37th UAE National Day celebrations, also launched a new initiative to help embed the spirit of national identity among government employees as part of the programme was implemented with immediate effect and under it Dubai Government departments will be rewarded on an annual basis for meeting a set of criteria that includes assessing the level of commitment of Emirati employees in wearing the national dress while participating in international events, especially while serving as official representatives of the Dubai Government at conventions or conferences and other official events; selecting Arabic names for government initiatives, projects and programmes to reflect the importance of the Arabic language; use of Arabic language as a primary means of communication, internally and with other government entities as well as the private sector, with an option to use an additional language if required; selecting giveaways and gifts that will reflect the Emirati and Arab heritage to contribute to spreading awareness about the national culture; improve knowledge of the Arabic language among government employees through initiating relevant training and learning programmes; launch measures to spread the culture of national identity among various entities in the government sector.
Prior to launching the initiative last week, Sheikh Hamdan also inspected a housing project at Mazhar in Dubai, which provides 80 houses of five-bed rooms for citizens. The Dh85 million project, which replaced the Mushref locality, is being carried out by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Housing Establishment as part of the directives issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Sheikh Hamdan took a tour of the infrastructure and service facilities designed to meet the demand of electricity, water, road and drainage for the residents. Later, he heard a briefing on the scope and components of the project in term of architectural designs, total area and costs.
While inspecting one of the houses, the Crown Prince expressed satisfaction at the modern specifications of the houses.
Sheikh Hamdan also issued a decision setting up a committee to look into complaints lodged by employees at all departments and institutions of Dubai Government. The committee, which will function under the DEC, will be a permanent one. The decision named Khalfan Ahmed Hareb as chairman and Abdul Rahman Ghanem Al Matauei as deputy chairman, as well as other two members representing Dubai Ruler's court and general secretariat of DEC.
As per this decision, the committee will examine the complaints and take decisions about them as per human resources' department law number 27 of 2006. Sheikh Hamdan also issued a decision setting up a committee for naming Dubai streets.
Seeking help from social figures and dignitaries and experts, the new body will give streets the names which reflect the history of the emirate, according to the decision. Dubai Municipality will have the final say to pick up the most suitable of names recommended by the committee which shall be a consultative body. Members of the committee include Abdul Rehman Saif Al Ghurair, Butti Saeed Al Kindi, Bilal Rabea Al Bodour, Jamal Khalfan Huwaireb, Jamal Ahmed Al Ghurair, Saleh Saeed Lootah, Ibrahim Shareef Bal Selah, Abdullah Mohammed Ghobash and Juma' Khalifa bin Thalet.
One of the main official visits that Sheik Hamdan undertook last year was his official visit to Qatar. Sheikh Hamdan led a high-level delegation, which included Dr Reem Al Hashimi, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs; Mohammad Ebrahim Al Shaibani, Minister of State; Sultan Ahmad bin Sulayem, Director General of Dubai Ruler's Court; Ahmad bin Bayat, Executive Chairman of Dubai Ports, Customs and Free Zone; Ahmad Saif Al Suwaidi, Secretary General of Dubai Executive Council, and Charge d'Affairs of the UAE Embassy in Doha. The visit was in response to an invitation by Sheikh Tameem bin Hamad Al Thani, Crown Prince of Qatar.
Sheikh Hamdan held talks with Al Thani on ways to enhance brotherly relations between the two countries and explored new avenues for bilateral co-operation in the field of economy, trade and joint investment.
The two sides focused on the existence of vast opportunities for exchange of expertise for the development of infrastructure, and investment in a host of sectors in the best interests of the people of both the countries.
The Crown Prince of Qatar held a state banquet in honour of the Crown Prince of Dubai and the accompanying delegation. A number of Sheikhs and Qatari officials attended the lunch banquet.
Sheikh Hamdan last year also hosted a visit by Prince Andrew, Duke of York. The two discussed ways to further promote academic, cultural and higher education relations between the UAE and Britain in general and Dubai and York in particular.
Sheikh Hamdan also received at his office the Crown Princess of Sweden Victoria Ingrid Alice Disiree and her accompanying delegation. During the meeting they discussed bilateral ties between the UAE and Sweden, particularly economic and trade relations between the two countries. They also discussed Dubai's efforts in the areas of culture and the emirate's role in boosting dialogue between the Arab World and the West to help achieve rapprochement between the two sides.
Born on 14 November, 1982, Sheikh Hamdan studied at the Rashid Private School, Dubai. After graduating from the school, he attended the Sandhurst Royal Military Academy, one of the best military schools in the world. He also took specialised courses at the London School of Economics and the Dubai School of Government.
Sheikh Hamdan displays statesmanlike characteristics and unique leadership qualities, which he has acquired from his father His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid AI Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Sheikh Hamdan is also the President of Dubai Sports Council, Dubai Autism Centre and the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for Young Business Leaders.
An accomplished horse rider, Sheikh Hamdan has won several awards at local and international endurance races, including the Gold Medal at the Asian Olympic Games. Sheikh Hamdan has a passion for poetry
Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, congratulated Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, on the first anniversary of his appointment.
He expressed his gratefulness for the confidence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has shown in young leaders to play an important role in continuing the march of development and progress in the UAE, in general, and Dubai, in particular.
Sheikh Majid said progress in Dubai, despite what has already been achieved, is still the beginning of the road. The vision, which has been drawn up for Dubai, has no limits, delays or stoppages.
Sheikh Hamdan is an example for the young generation for his achievements and ability to follow a path marked by late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. The path's features started to be clearly formed by late Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the achievements followed through the leadership of Sheikh Mohammed, who does not let difficulties prevent him from realising his vision of Dubai and the UAE.
Sheikh Majid said that Sheikh Mohammed has always been uniquely far-sighted and has always taken the right decision at the right time. His decision to appoint Sheikh Hamdan as Crown Prince confirmed that the vision of innovation would continue and be consolidated through opening the door for youth who possess knowledge, science, ambition and persistence. He said the appointment of Sheikh Hamdan is an important milestone in the history of the emirate.