Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation

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On May 19, 2007, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced his plans to give 10 billion USD to set up the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, an educational foundation in the Middle East. This was one of the largest charitable donations in history.[1] Sheikh Mohammed stated that the money is meant to bridge the knowledge gap between the Arab region and the developed world,[2] improving the standard of education and research in the region, developing leadership programs for youth, and stimulating job creation. The announcement was made at the 2007 World Economic Forum in Jordan. The foundation funds in three areas: Culture, Entrepreneurship and Employment; and Knowledge and Education.[3][4]

Rima Khalaf (Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary, ESCWA and former Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Planning (1999–2000) served in 2008-9 as the Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation.[5] As of 2012, the chairman of the foundation was His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Sheikh Mohammed's son) and the CEO was Sultan Ali Rashid Lootah.[6][7][8]


In 2008, the foundation pledged 100,000 books to children in the Arab world, and grants to writers of children's books.[9]

As of 2009, the foundation signed memorandums of understanding with 28 universities (including top ones like Harvard University and Columbia University) which give the fellows of the foundation access to these universities.[10][11] In 2008, it launched a program which stimulated translation of literary works into Arab language.[12]

In 2009, the foundation was setting up a book fair which was a "potential rival" to Bologna Children's Book Fair.[13]

In 2010, the organization assisted with flood relief in Pakistan.[14]

In 2012, the organization organized a seminar in Paris to discuss the second Arab Knowledge Report, which was published in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme;[15] in attendance was Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO.[16]

In 2013 the foundation participated in a young engineers conference in Kuwait.[17]

In December 2014, the Foundation bestowed their inaugural "Knowledge Award" to Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Jimmy Wales. Each will share in the US$1 million cash prize.[18]

In April 2018, Dutch news broadcasters discovered that that the Foundation contributed some 8 million Euros[19] to the construction of the Essalam Mosque in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Eight of the mosque's employees are directly paid by the Foundation and various expenses such as maintenance, power and phone bills are paid for the Foundation directly.

Further investigation revealed that the Foundation cut all financing in 2017 when the mosque's visitors insisted to have the mosque's Board of Directors (consisting entirely of individuals appointed by the Foundation) replaced. [20]


  1. ^ Leyne, Jon (2007-05-19). "Dubai ruler in vast charity gift". BBC News. Retrieved 2007-05-19.
  2. ^ Dubai sets up $10bn education fund. Aljazeera.
  3. ^ Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation Homepage
  4. ^ "Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum Foundation and the UNDP Launch the AKR 2010\2011in Paris (press release)". Zawya. 16 Dec 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  5. ^ Harvard Arab Alumnae Association 2012 Conference (Accessed March 2013)
  6. ^ "Sultan Lootah appointed Executive Director of MBRF". Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum website. 16 October 2012.
  7. ^ "Mohammed bin Rashid attends Lootah family wedding". United Arad Emirates Protocol Department - Dubai. 1 September 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  8. ^ Sharif, Arif (26 June 2011). "". Bloomberg. External link in |title= (help)
  9. ^ "MBRF to donate 100k books to Dubai charity". Gulf News. 3 November 2008. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  10. ^ "Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, six US Universities sign MoUs". Emirates News Agency. April 18, 2009. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  11. ^ Lootah, Sultan (June 21, 2008). "Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation Strikes Entrepreneurship Agreement with Morocco's Al Akhawayn University". Zawya. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  12. ^ "Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation Launches 'Tarjem' to Inspire Translation Work in Arab World". Zawya. February 13, 2008. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  13. ^ Dubai set to rival Bologna with new fair. The Bookseller.
  14. ^ UAE groups join flood relief efforts. The News International.
  15. ^ Arab Knowledge Report 2010/2011. United Nations Development Programme. Press release.
  16. ^ Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, organizes a workshop discussion about the Arab Knowledge Report. Emirates News Agency.
  17. ^ Mohammed bin Rashid Foundation participates in the conference young engineers Archived 2013-04-13 at Al-Qabas.
  18. ^ "Web inventor, Wiki co-founder share $1m Knowledge Award - Khaleej Times". December 8, 2014. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  19. ^ "Geheime lijsten financiering moskeeën onthuld" (in Dutch). Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  20. ^ "Arabische inmenging in moskee Rotterdam". NRC (in Dutch). Retrieved 2018-05-28.