34. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum

Age 62
Occupation CEO, Emirates Group
Nationality Emirati
Position Last Year 30

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum is the president of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, CEO and founder of the Emirates Group, chairman of Dubai World, and Noor Takaful insurance company. He is the current chancellor of the Middle East’s first research-based postgraduate university The British University in Dubai, chairman of the Dubai Supreme Fiscal Committee, and second vice chairman of the Dubai Executive Council. A billionaire member of Dubai’s ruling Al Maktoum family, he is believed to be one of the world’s wealthiest royals.

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Emirates is now an award-winning global airline with a network of more than 150 destinations spanning six continents. With more than 270 aircraft, the airline has the world’s largest fleet of Boeing 777s and Airbus A380s. Under his leadership, Emirates has been profitable for the last 30 years, a rarity in the airline industry.

dnata is one of the world’s largest air services providers that operates in 127 airports. Offering ground handling, cargo, travel, and flight catering services in 85 countries across six continents, dnata is a trusted partner for over 300 airline customers worldwide.

Sheikh Ahmed has contributed immensely to Dubai’s global stature as a leading business, tourism, trade and transport hub, with aviation now accounting for 28% of its GDP. With several leadership roles in government, his role in the formulation of policies and strategies has helped strengthen Dubai’s vision, economy, communities and culture. He is a patron of many charitable organisations and has won prestigious national and international accolades.

Sheikh Ahmed has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver, Colorado, USA. The Royal Aeronautical Society honoured his achievements in aviation with a fellowship at the 1994 Farnborough Air Show, UK. In May 2013, he received an honorary degree of Doctor of Science from City University London – Cass Business School.

Emirates has been a Formula 1 Global Partner since 2013, and the renewed agreement will see the airline enjoy an expanded branding and consumer activation presence at over 15 races on the FIA Formula One World Championship calendar across Europe, Asia, Australasia, North America and South America.

Sheikh Ahmed is a graduate of the University of Denver. He married Egyptian socialite Nivin El-Gamal in 2007. She gave birth to their only child, Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. Al Maktoum later married the first cousin twice removed (a regional tradition), daughter of Sheikh Obaid bin Thani Al Maktoum, in 2008. He married his cousin Moza bint Hamdan Al Malik Al Shehi in 2019 and became a father of a son named Mohammed on 22 November 2020.

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