Born in Dubai in 1956, H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi was educated at Al Qassimiya Primary and Al Siddique Secondary schools in Ras Al Khaimah before attending the American University of Beirut in 1973. He later transferred to the University of Michigan in the United States, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Economics.
Upon his return from the United States in 1978, H.H. Sheikh Saud was appointed Chief of the Ruler’s Court. In 1986 he became the Chairman of the Ras Al Khaimah Municipal Council, where he continued his work to improve the Emirate’s infrastructure and governance practices.
During this period, H.H. Sheikh Saud also founded RAK Ceramics and restructured Julphar Pharmaceuticals and RAK Rock to ensure that both became the industry leaders they are today.
H.H. Sheikh Saud was named Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah on 14 June, 2003.
As Crown Prince, H.H. Sheikh Saud oversaw the introduction of free zones and industrial parks, efficient business licensing procedures and offshore corporate registration.
On 27 October, 2010, H.H. Sheikh Saud succeeded his father, the late Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, to become the Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah. As Ruler, he has continued to expand and diversify Ras Al Khaimah’s economy, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to improving the wellbeing of the Emirate’s inhabitants and enhancing the quality of its social services.
Under H.H. Sheikh Saud’s guidance, Ras Al Khaimah Government has adopted an institutional approach to commerce and trade, which has had a tremendously positive effect on government procedures in the Emirate, guaranteeing efficiency, quality, transparency and improving the ease of doing business.
H.H. Sheikh Saud has also strived to make high-quality education and healthcare services available to Ras Al Khaimah’s people. The Emirate now has more than 100 public and private schools, with curriculums ranging from the United Kingdom and United States to International Baccalaureate, to Indian and Pakistani programs. It also hosts numerous institutions of higher learning, including the American University of Ras Al Khaimah, the University of Bolton (UK) and École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland). Training for doctors and nurses is offered through the RAK Medical and Health Sciences University (RAK MHSU), with a number of graduates then moving on to the state-of-the-art RAK Hospital, Saqr Hospital, Ibrahim bin Hamad Obaidullah Hospital and Shaam Hospital, which are among the many advanced institutions delivering modern and reliable healthcare across the Emirate.
In recognition of his leading role in spearheading the sustainable development of Ras Al Khaimah, H.H. Sheikh Saud received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Bolton (UK) in 2010; an Honorary Fellowship of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (India) in 2013; and an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Economics from Incheon National University (South Korea) in 2018 – a year in which he was also named ‘Visionary Leader of the Year’ by Arabian Business.