Family man, student, soldier: UAE’s new President is all these and more

Photos: Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed wears many hats — all of which make him an icon respected by Emiratis and expats alike


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Sun 15 May 2022, 5:31 PM

Last updated: Sun 15 May 2022, 9:42 PM

The third UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, had proven himself to be a versatile leader during his 18-year tenure as the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

Proving his mettle as a visionary representing the country on the world stage and as an icon respected by Emiratis and expats alike on the domestic front, the new Ruler of Abu Dhabi wears many hats. Here are just a few different facets of Sheikh Mohamed.

Learning from Zayed

Sheikh Zayed was a mentor, father, and teacher to young Sheikh Mohamed, who accompanied him on several tours around the country and abroad. The future President was hands-on and delved into the various facets of governance during this time.

A keen student

Sheikh Zayed believed that his son Sheikh Mohamed should get the right education from an early age. School shaped the President’s worldview and made him resilient, and hard work and discipline made him a favourite among his teachers.

The family man

National commitments did not stop Sheikh Mohamed from spending time with his family, his core support system.

Global soft power

The President’s influence has grown on the world stage. He has forged relationships with global leaders at a personal level.

Soldier’s President

UAE forces have taken part in peacetime and combat operations worldwide to ensure global security. They have a strong backer in Sheikh Mohamed.

Regional heavyweight

The UAE is laying a new model of governance for the Arab world, and Sheikh Mohamed believes that Gulf nations have a major role to play in this transformation.

While Saudi Arabia and the UAE are diversifying their economies, Oman and Kuwait are embarking on economic reforms. The GCC has remained a force for good and has brought stability to the Middle East. The UAE’s ties with Jordan, Turkey and Egypt also remain strong.

Partners in progress

The President enjoys a great rapport with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai. They often visit each other to discuss matters of state and the welfare of the people.

One with the people

Sheikh Mohamed is a President with the common touch. He always stops and listens to what people have to say while inspiring them. A mass leader, he is equally comfortable speaking about space as he is about women’s empowerment.


Expat workers have contributed a great deal to the growth of the UAE, and Sheikh Mohamed values their contributions. He even takes time off from his busy schedule to make surprise visits to the sick and injured in hospitals.

The charismatic leader is also a hit with children who adore him. He even visited a young girl who expressed a desire to meet him.

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