The country’s currency notes have borne the signature of the late leader for the past 48 years.
The passing of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, on Wednesday has resulted in an outpouring of grief over his loss — but his rich legacy still lives on.
For the past 48 years, UAE currency notes have borne the signature of the late leader, who was the first Finance Minister of the UAE as well as the first chairman of the Central Bank.
A symbol of national unity, the dirham was issued as the country’s official currency for the first time in May 1973, while the paper currency notes were issued later in 1976.
Prior to the formation of the country, the seven emirates used different currencies — such as the Indian rupee and Bahraini dinar, among others.
In 1980, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founding father of the UAE, issued a decree establishing a central bank to issue currency, replacing the currency board. Sheikh Hamdan was named the first Chairman of the Central Bank.
Under Sheikh Hamdan’s leadership as finance minister, the UAE currency remained stable, which played an instrumental role in the economic growth that the country has witnessed over the last 50 years.
According to the Ministry of Finance, since the founding of the UAE to-date, Sheikh Hamdan made pivotal contributions in formulating and devising financial policies to meet the requirements of the UAE’s sustainable economic and social development.
He led from the front in financial planning and implementation of the federal budget, unifying policies, and directing public spending to support economic vital sectors.
Sheikh Hamdan’s directives developed the efficiency of cash management through the application of zero-based budgeting and switching to accounting principles on an accrual basis.