Publication Date

Fall 2018

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Randall Capps (Director), Joseph Cangemi, and Kenneth Sibal

Degree Program

Department of Educational Leadership

Degree Type

Doctor of Education


The main purpose of this research is to explore and analyze the leadership of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai, and how his leadership has transformed the culture of a society. The research focuses on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid’s leadership styles and how he transformed a desert in the Middle East into one of the world’s premier cities. The study analyzes the persuasion he used with the citizens to encourage and help them adapt to this rapid change. He dealt with a long-established culture embedded with strict traditions. This study uses a qualitative research method approach. The approach uses in-depth studies and interviews with the UAE Cabinet members to guide and support the construction of the hypotheses. The results are descriptive rather than predictive. Analysis of the interviews was done with basis of facts and examples of changes implemented. The individuals chosen were all Ministers and members of the Cabinet, both male and female, who were led by Sheikh Mohammed and have worked directly with him. The interview questions are standard questions approved by the committee, in addition to the discussions that took place during the interviews, which led to other questions. Interviews are a learning process and experience. The results are interpreted, drawing conclusions and answering the research question/hypothesis. Implications for practice and further research were drawn, which acknowledge the limitations of the study. The data from the interviews were backed by books, quotes, and all policies and strategies he put in place. A qualitative research design was preferred in order to get personal responses from interviewed Cabinet members of the UAE. Approved open-ended questions were used. These types of questions allowed the participants to express their knowledge and experiences and gave the researcher the ability to have adequate data to analyze. The researcher read in detail about each Cabinet member’s biography and leadership before interviewing or sending them the questions.

All participants agreed that Sheikh Mohammed is an extraordinary leader with a futuristic vision. He is the only leader in the Middle East to have such unique vision. He achieved all his original goals for Dubai and the UAE and is working on others. Planning for the future is a key in his successful leadership, and Sheikh Mohammed sees no limit in how forward his plans should be. He launched a plan for the year 2071, the centennial of the UAE's birth.

The results of this case study demonstrate that Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid is an innovative, transformational, charismatic, and authentic leader. He faced many challenges to achieve his goals to make UAE number one in the Middle East and the world to provide his citizens with the best standards of living and visitors the best experience available in the Middle East. He proved to be a transformational, servant, adaptive, and ethical leader. He is an example of a great leader.


Education | Educational Leadership