Skyrocketing Pilbara gold explorer Artemis Resources is one step closer to royalty with its appointment of a Dubai prince to the board.

The junior explorer today announced the appointment of Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Al Maktoum as a director, the second cousin once removed of Mohammed bin Rashin Al Maktoum, the current ruler of Dubai.

Artemis (ASX:ARV) shares rose 11 per cent to 33.7c following the news.

Aretemis shares have increased five-fold since mid-July, when Artemis and Canadian mining giant Novo Resources kickstarted the Pilbara gold rush with a legendary announcement regarding a gold nugget find at their Purdy’s Reward site south of Karratha, WA.

Investor interest in gold juniors exploring the Pilbara has been at fever-pitch ever since.

The Sheikh is best known for founding the A1 Grand Prix in 2003.

In his role as founder, president and chairman he brought a new form of motorsports to the world in 2003, a competition that continues to be held since he left the board in 2006.

He was formerly director of Shadar Holdings, a company that helped to establish Virgin Megastores and bring fashion brands such as Promod, Pull and Bear and Bershka into the UAE, culminating in his appointment as CEO of the Year by CEO Middle East in 2009.

Artemis chairman David Lenigas said the company would leverage the Sheikh’s experience.

“His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Hasher al Maktoum is an exceptional appointment to the board of Artemis Resources and, with his extensive international business experience, will be of great assistance to the company as the board endeavours to create shareholder value,” he said.

The Sheikh is President of Al Fajer Group, Chairman of Dubai International Holdings, Chairman of Manannan Hydro Limited and is a Non-Executive board member of the Commercial Bank of Dubai.

Artemis shares were trading at 30.5c at open on Thursday, continuing to rise since the company’s discovery at Purdy’s reward in July when it was just 6c.