Sheikh Ali Rashed Ali Saeed Al Maktoum: From “singer-songwriter with a dedicated following in the Philippines” to Dubai’s “prominent ruling family member”

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Alira gained a strong following within the Filipino community after his rendition of Tagalog songs went viral in 2022.

2nd April 2024 – (Hong Kong) Sheikh Ali Rashed Ali Saeed Al Maktoum, a prominent member of Dubai’s ruling family, has recently garnered attention for his endeavours in Hong Kong. However, according to an exclusive report by SCMP, it has now come to light that before venturing into the world of finance and establishing a US$500 million family office in the city, the prince had gained fame as a singer-songwriter with a dedicated following in the Philippines.

Investigations conducted by the Post have revealed that Sheikh Ali was also known by the name Alira. A comparison of videos and a now-unavailable website showcasing Alira’s showbiz career revealed a striking resemblance between the two identities. The connection between Sheikh Ali and Alira emerged just a day after his family office issued a statement reaffirming their commitment to proceeding with the Hong Kong venture, despite a two-month delay in the opening ceremony.

The official website of Alira, which is currently inaccessible, previously displayed photos of the artist resembling the prince, albeit without his traditional Arabic robe. The website introduced him as an “Emirati singer and songwriter” with a global following. It highlighted his performances in Tagalog, Hindi, English, and French, and provided information on his music, which was available on platforms like Spotify and iTunes.

Alira gained a strong following within the Filipino community after his rendition of Tagalog songs went viral in 2022. In an interview with GMA Pinoy TV in July 2023, he expressed his passion for music and described it as a means of connecting with people and spreading love. Alira emphasised his goal of making people happy, proud, and loved, expressing a desire to explore and appreciate the cultures of the countries he sings for.

During his visit to Hong Kong, Sheikh Ali expressed his interest in exploring partnerships, joint ventures, and investments in various sectors such as real estate, tourism, fintech, and artificial intelligence. He emphasised the importance of collaboration in making a positive impact.

The Post conducted facial comparison analyses using two different websites, confirming that Sheikh Ali and Alira were indeed the same person. Social media platforms and overseas news outlets also provided additional information supporting the connection between the singer-songwriter and the Dubai prince.

While Alira’s music career has been on hiatus since 2023, his performances and songs had garnered significant attention. His involvement in the UAE music industry and the establishment of Here4U Entertainment, an event and talent management company under the Private Office of Sheikh Ali Rashed Al Maktoum, further demonstrate his commitment to the arts.

SCMP has reached out to various individuals and organisations, including the Emirati Musicians’ Association, Ryan Melad (Chief Marketing Officer of Sheikh Ali’s private office), and the Dubai-based private office itself, seeking verification and additional details. The family office’s opening ceremony, initially scheduled for last Thursday, has been postponed to late May due to unforeseen private matters in the United Arab Emirates.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Ali Rashed Ali Saeed Al Maktoum postponed a press conference in Hong Kong where he was set to announce the opening of a family office with a US$500 million investment. The delay was “due to an urgent matter requiring his return to Dubai”, leading to market speculation. The family office later stated that the opening ceremony would take place in late May 2024, attributing the delay to unforeseen personal emergencies. They expressed interest in development opportunities in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and the Asian region, and had been exploring opportunities in Beijing, Nanjing, Fuzhou, Nansha, and Chengdu. The family office acknowledged the attention received and expressed commitment to promoting global partnerships and seeking investment opportunities for regional prosperity and ecological well-being.