- The Dubai ruler’s image took a hit when one of his six wives, Princess Haya, fled to Britain
- But it was a reliance on credit and a dalliance with Iran that really hurt his legacy – and left him in the shade of big brother Abu Dhabi
Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is in a league of his own. His approach to governing the emirate – he functioned more as a corporate chief executive with a knack for investing than as an oil monarch presiding over a tribal polity of loyalists turned citizens – made him an exception in the Gulf. His other interests – he was an acclaimed poet, equestrian, and regular at the Royal Ascot every year – made him a rock star to the West.