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Dubai ruler takes journalist out for a spin

Published: Updated:

The ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid al-Maktoum, took the BBC’s Jon Sopel on a tour of his grandfather’s house and part of Dubai’s desert.

The ruler spoke about his childhood memories and the house in which he grew up and joked that he was not a very good driver, then adding that he was a “very good driver, don’t worry,” before taking Sopel out on a trip to the desert.

Driving in a Mercedes 4x4, with a single digit number plate, Sheikh Mohammad – as he is referred to locally – spoke about his vision for Dubai and how it was inspired by travels to Europe.

When asked how the public convey their grievances to their leader, the sheikh responded that “everybody knows the number” of his mobile phone. “I have two numbers, one private and one for the public,” he said.

With more than 2.5 million followers on Twitter, Sheikh Mohammad explained that it was a good way to keep the public updated.