His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum

Chairman, Emirates Airline, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum has been at the forefront of Dubai’s remarkable economic development for 25+ years, spearheading the expansion of aviation and, more recently, formulating economic, investment, and fiscal policies and strategies for the emirate. Sheikh Ahmed embarked on his career in aviation in 1985 as president of the Dubai Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), overseeing Dubai International and Dubai Duty Free, among others. In that year Emirates Airline, Dubai’s international carrier, was launched with Sheikh Ahmed as chairman. He is now chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group, which includes dnata—the region’s leading travel services and ground handling company—and other aviation entities. Under Sheikh Ahmed’s guidance, Dubai aviation witnessed impressive growth and historical milestones. The Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) was created; Dubai Airports became owner and operator of Dubai International and Dubai World Central. Dubai International became the world’s fourth-busiest airport for international passenger and cargo traffic; Emirates Airline became the world’s fastest-growing intercontinental carrier. Dubai launched flydubai, its first budget carrier. The opening of Dubai World Central (DWC) was the first major step toward establishing Dubai as the world’s preferred aviation and logistics hub. Dubai International’s Terminal 3 opened to wide acknowledgement in the industry as the most successful launch of a terminal of its size. Dubai’s firm establishment as the region’s most desirable leisure destination is in no small measure due to Sheikh Ahmed’s leadership. Sheikh Ahmed holds a number of government positions and is increasingly pivotal in leading Dubai’s finance and energy sectors; and despite numerous business activities, he is patron to many charitable organizations. He also has received numerous recognitions and accolades from governments and multinationals. Sheikh Ahmed earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver, Colorado, USA. He is well-known internationally for contributions to the region’s development of aviation. The Royal Aeronautical Society, one of the industry’s oldest, most respected professional associations, honored his achievements in aviation with a fellowship at the 1994 Farnborough Air Show in the United Kingdom.