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Sharjah was take-off point for cricket in UAE

The first match between the Gavaskar XI and Miandad XI being played at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in April 1981. The stadium went on to break the world record for hosting the highest number of ODI's.
Pakistani legend Javed Miandad (left), with a fan and a photographer, after playing a game on a makeshift pitchwith a sandy outfield in the UAE.
The game drew modest crowds.
First One-Day International match being played in Sharjah.
A general view of the Zayed Cricket stadium during theTri-Nation Zayed Cup Cricket Tournament in Abu Dhabi. The first international game here was hosted in April 2006.
A view of the Dubai Cricket Stadium housed at the Dubai Sports City. The state-of-the-art lighting facility is dubbed as the 'Ring of Fire'.
.Sachin Tendulkar celebrates after a memorable century in Sharjah. Tendulkar's back-to-back hundreds against Zimbabwe and Australia, in 1998, was termed as the 'sandstorm innings'. His second hundred was scored on his birthday.
Wasim Akram rejoices after his hat-trick at the Sharjah Stadium. Akram went on to become the highest wicket-taker in history. Some of his deadliest spells were reserved for Sharjah. Pakistan's Younus Khan in action against the West Indies at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The venue hosted the first ever Test series to be held at a neutral venue from January 31, 2002.
Tendulkar is seen during one of his glorious knocks against Pakistan at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Pakistan's Taufiq Umer in action during the first day of the historic test match between Pakistan and West Indies at a neutral venue, Sharjah Cricket Stadium, on January 31st 2002.
A handful of spectators savour the first day of the historic test match between Pakistan and West Indies at a neutral venue - the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Abdul Rahman Bukhatir, who brought international cricket to the UAE, in action during a domestic tournament. The Bukhatir League, which will enter its 35th year, is named after him.
Mohammad Redha Abbas, who is now the executive member of the Emirates Cricket Council, with Abdul Rehman Falaknaz, the chairman of the Dubai Cricket Council, gets ready to bat in a match during their playing days
Former ICC President Ehsan Mani (above left) masterminded the shift of the game's headquarters from London to Dubai.
Action from the first one-day international, between Pakistan and Australia, hosted at the Dubai SportsCity cricket stadium. The Sports City also houses the ICC Cricket Academy and the ICC headquarters.
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Online community revs up as Mohammad turns 60

Shaikh Mohammad was born on July 15, 1949. A photo taken from Shaikh Mohammad's Facebook page.
A rose and a birthday wish for Shaikh Mohammad. A large number of his Facebook friends congratulated him and wished him long and prosperous life.
The Facebook page that shows his date of birth.
Shaikh Mohammad had set up his Facebook profile at the end of June and has uploaded three photo albums.

Dubai: Facebook users have been wishing - and singing - Happy Birthday to His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on his Facebook page for the past two days as he turns 60 today.

A large number of his Facebook friends congratulated him and wished him long and prosperous life.

Shaikh Mohammad was born on July 15, 1949. He is the third son of Shaikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum and has three brothers, Shaikh Maktoum, Shaikh Hamdan and Shaikh Ahmad.

Shaikh Mohammad had set up his Facebook profile at the end of June and has uploaded three photo albums, including family images.

As a user-generated content site, Facebook users are able to comment on his status updates and make virtual friends with him on his unrestricted profile, which allows the general public to view his photo albums, videos, personal information and "poke" Shaikh Mohammad (to get his virtual attention).

Many users "sang" for Shaikh Mohammad happy birthday on the Facebook page. Al Awadi added: "May Allah grant you long life."

Another facebook user, Pranay Gupte, posted saying: "Your Highness: This is specially to send you my warmest good wishes for your birthday on July 15. With great admiration and respect."

Oliver Mahon, said: "Happy birthday to our dear leader. I wish you more joy and happiness in the coming year."

Many other Facebook users posted birthday greetings, which included prayers for health, happiness and long life.

Ali Khalil said: "many many happy returns of the day your highness alf alf mabrook."

Sehar Adeel posted saying: "MANYY MANYYY HAPPY RETURNZZ F D DA!!!GOB BLESSS U!!!"

Mona Baqer said: "Wish u very " happy Birthday " our dear father. Wish u all the happiness of this world."

Another Facebook user named Shaikha Mohammad, wished him many happy returns of the day with wishes of loads and loads of success and happiness and bright life like birthday candles on the cake. She added: "May u start ur new year with smiles n happiness,,,,, theres all i can say iz u r the greatest father 4 all of us n u will b the greatest as alwayzzzz."

Another Facebook user, Lulwa Al Hamammi, sent a happy birthday wish to Shaikh Mohammad using roses application, which allows sending the pictures of roses to the intended person on Facebook.

The Facebook users are still continuing to post birthday wishes for Shaikh Mohammad.

Three years of pioneering leadership for the country

Dubai: On January 4, 2006, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum became the Ruler of Dubai following the death of Shaikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

On January 5, Their Highnesses the Members of the Supreme Council elected Shaikh Mohammad the UAE Vice-President.

On February 11, 2006, President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan nominated Shaikh Mohammad to be UAE Prime Minister; the Council approved this nomination.

Shaikh Mohammad and the members of his Cabinet took their oaths before Shaikh Khalifa at Al Bateen Palace in Abu Dhabi.

Shaikh Mohammad embodies energetic and successful leadership. He is a man who has made promises and kept them; he has insisted on excellence and achieved nothing less; he has defined the role of leadership and fulfilled it.

Since becoming the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, groundbreaking initiatives have been rolled out at an astonishing rate.

The year 2007 witnessed unique achievements for Shaikh Mohammad locally and regionally.

On February 3, he announced the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015, which aims to bolster Dubai's leading position in the region and boost its role as an international economic and financial hub. The strategy will be used as a road map for development in the coming years.

On April 17, 2007, Shaikh Mohammad unveiled the UAE Government Strategy Plan with the aim of achieving sustainable development throughout the country, investing federal resources more efficiently and ensuring due diligence, accountability and transparency across federal bodies.


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Remembering Shaikh Zayed the Great

A portrait of Shaikh Zayed Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan is shown at an event heralding 100 years since his death. The great leader, who ruled Abu Dhabi for 54 years from 1855 to 1909, died on May 19, 1909.
Paying rich tributes to Shaikh Zayed Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan (also known as Shaikh Zayed the Great and Shaikh Zayed I), the event highlighted the great ruler's dynamic leadership that left lasting impact in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.
The centenary, held on Tuesday evening at the historic Al Jahili Fort, was part of a public education campaign to rediscover great historical figures in Abu Dhabi and the UAE. 4. The celebration started at Al Jahili Fort, which was built by Shaikh Zayed I in 1987 to guard the eastern region that was bordering with the then turbulent Oasis of Buraimi. Abu Dhabi Culture and Heritage Authority organised the celebrations showing documentary films, photographs, and paintings, along with a variety of traditional events.
Shaikh Zayed I ruled Abu Dhabi for the longest reign in the history of the emirate, leaving behind a legacy of dignity, political wisdom, and unity. The emirate has been marking his centennial death anniversary through a campaign which started on Tuesday and lasts for a whole year.
Historians say Shaikh Zayed I was a powerful leader after Shaikh Dhiyab Bin Isa, who founded the city of Abu Dhabi, and his son Shaikh Shakhbut Bin Dhiyab (1793-1816), who brought a large territory under the Beni Yas tribe's control. This area was spreading between Doha to Buraimi, an oasis bordering Abu Dhabi and Oman. Much of his ruling time was in the 19th century, which is considered a period of significance that brought Abu Dhabi into a pre-eminence in the region.
Shaikh Zayed Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan developed a powerful foreign policy to deal with the Britons, Omani, Turks, and Saudi religio-military confederacy of the tribes that repeatedly occupied the Oasis of Buraimi. It was he who signed a treaty with Britain giving the right to represent the emirate in its international relations while guaranteeing Abu Dhabi's sovereignty.
The function was attended by Shaikh Mohammad Bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in the Eastern Region, Shaikh Hamad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, Shaikh Sultan Bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Authority of Culture and Heritage, government officials, diplomats and dignitaries.
Speaking on the occasion, Shaikh Sultan said the year-long campaign aims at raising awareness about the great historical figures and their achievements. "It also aims at reviving the legacy of Sheikh Zayed the First and presenting it to the new generations," he said.
During the ceremony, documentary films were shown on the activities of the campaign shedding light on the historical significance of Sheikh Zayed I. An exhibition of photographs and paintings on the late leader was also launched along with a variety of traditional events.

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Construction of the Burj Al Arab

Gulf News brings you a weekly series of images from our archives, showing the UAE how it was in past years. The first in the series shows the construction of the iconic Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach hotels.Construction of the Burj Al Arab began in 1994, on an artificial island 280 metres out from Jumeirah Beach. Here, the iconic hotel is shown on July 13, 1996.
In this picture, taken on March 3, 1997, the under-construction Jumeirah Beach Hotel stands above the Chicago Beach Hotel, which dominated the area before the two landmark hotels were built.
The entrance to the Chicago Beach Hotel is shown in this photo from March 20, 1991.
On June 27, 1997, the hotel was demolished, clearing the view for the Burj Al Arab, which was rapidly taking shape.
The Jumeirah Beach Hotel on May 8, 1996. When completed the following year, the hotel was the 9th tallest building in Dubai. Presently, it does not even make the top 100 of tallest buildings in the city.
A photo from March 30, 1997, shows a large part of the structure being delivered. The idea behind the architecture was that the hotel should resemble the sail of a dhow.
Taken on the same day, this picture shows the view from the sea of the two under-construction hotels alongside the Chicago Beach Hotel.
This wave-shaped Jumeirah Beach Hotel was intended to complement the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab. 10.The Burj Al Arab now stands at 321 metres, making it the tallest hotel in the world. This is due to be surpassed in 2008 by another Dubai building - the Rose Rotana Suites on Shaikh Zayed Road.
These days, the Burj Al Arab stands amid a large number of hotels populating that area of Jumeirah Beach, and is arguably one of the most iconic structures in Dubai.

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