Sheikh Mohammed and the Making of 'Dubai, Inc.' case study tells the story of how Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum turned Dubai into a world-class city. It depicts how he was able to balance his role as a business leader and a political ruler to achieve economic, social, and cultural prosperity for the whole of Dubai.
Anthony J. Mayo; Nitin Nohria; Umaimah Mendhro; Johnathan Cromwell
Harvard Business Review (410063-PDF-ENG)
February 01, 2010
Case questions answered:
- How did Sheik Mohammed transform Dubai? How would you characterize his leadership style and approach?
- Is Sheik Mohammed is a good business leader or a good political leader. Can one person do both jobs well? Analyze the role of Sheik Mohammed in creating Dubai?
- Evaluate Sheik Mohammed’s approach to building Dubai. Did he move fast? What are the positives and negatives of his approach?
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Case answers for Sheikh Mohammed and the Making of 'Dubai, Inc.'
1. How did Sheikh Mohammed transform Dubai? How would you characterize his leadership style and approach?
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed Al Maktoum was only ten years when he envisioned that Dubai could be one of the most developed cities in the world. It had proposed Dubai to be a destination after his father’s reign in 1970. He was awestruck when he saw Heathrow airport in London when he first visited and wanted to develop the Dubai report.
After almost fifty years, he made it possible for his parents and the environment that helped in shaping and having the vision to develop the city. He incorporated the policy of openness in the marketplace and allowed foreign direct investment for traders, which helped in making Dubai a financial hub in the world.
He pursued the vision of his father and pushed the development level of Dubai by establishing ports such as Jebel Ali and Rashid ports. Anthony et al. (2010) opined that the prosperity of Dubai was because of the openness in the market and the establishment of free zones that allowed easy trading from all over the world. The ruler had envisioned at the age of 10 years that Dubai has a high possibility for a greater city for both tourism and trading activities.
Previously, the city was a small coastal village that was underdeveloped in nature; however, with the efforts of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, it was converted to become a world-class city that is known for its drive, ambition, and economic development. He has changed the economic aspect with the help of business development that was aided by oil discovered in Dubai in 1966.
The expansion of economic activity was done by involving a number of fields and decreasing the dependence of oil, which was one of the sole sources of income for the city. The labor condition was improved, development of infrastructure, education, the concept of Emiratization, and a special focus on sustainability that developmental process.
From the analysis of the case study provided, it can be seen that there is an undue nature of leadership style and approach exhibit by Sheikh Mohammed. It can be seen that Dubai is now a center of education, real estate, health, tourism, and business. The achievements of these development fields are the outcome of the successful efforts of Sheikh Mohammed and his team.
The leadership style that is exhibited by him that made him one of the great leaders in the Middle East and the world is extremely consistent in nature. The leader is one that leads the group for achieving the ambition and encouraging the people to become creative as well as forgive some mistakes. This made him one of the most successful and learned leaders among others.
As per the opinion of Sheikh Mohammed think, that the leader needs to have loose relations with its pupil as well as establish trust among people. The leaders need to share the knowledge that helps in creating loyalty toward the city. This is being encouraged by Islam in order to motivate the people to deal with the issues of their life.
2. Is Sheikh Mohammed is a good business leader or a good political leader. Can one person do both jobs well? Analyze the role of Sheikh Mohammed in creating Dubai?
From the article, it can be stated that Sheikh Mohammed is a good business leader and a good political leader. It can be seen that he had been the one who embraced western culture in Dubai. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum had developed it into a world-class city, which is now known for its drive, ambition, and economic promises.
He is the foundation, visionary, and part-owner of a famous company, Emirates Airlines, the largest airline companies in UAE. The airlines operate in over 100 locations. He also founded Nakheel, which is a property developer, and DP World, which is a leader in international marine terminal operations.
Even though UAE was surrounded by politically unstable conditions, Sheikh Mohammed had pursued the concept of capitalism and adopted Western culture by maintaining the safety of annual tourists in the city (Anthony et al., 2010). He understood that for improving at a rapid pace, the city needs to conduct business. As a result, the adoption of western culture was an important step.
As a good business leader, the adoption of western culture had promoted business in all over the world. As stated by Anthony et al. (2010), the location of Dubai was a prime center of commercial business and he has presented it as an opportunity. He created a free zone within Dubai that was governed by state laws. Foreign companies were high incentivized for setting up a business.