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Tributes flow for ‘noble knight’ Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed

DUBAI // The late Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed has been remembered as a “noble knight” who raised the flag of the UAE, as tributes continued to flow after his death on Saturday.

Condolences were offered on Sunday at Zabeel Palace to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, for the death of his eldest son after a heart attack at the age of 33.

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Among those offering their sympathies were Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region, and Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed, National Security Adviser.

Also present were Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed, Deputy National Security Adviser.

Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu’alla, Ruler of Umm Al Quwain, and Sheikh Rashid bin Saud Al Mu’alla, Crown Prince of that emirate, also passed on their condolences at the palace.

King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain and King Abdullah II of Jordan gave their messages of sorrow, as did Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, Pakistani leader Nawaz Sharif, Tunisian president Beji Caid Essebsi, Lebanese prime minister Tammam Salam, and Prince Khalid Al Faisal, Governor of Mecca, representing Saudi King Salman.

There were also representatives of the leaders of Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Azerbaijan.

Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister for Cabinet Affairs, recalled that Sheikh Rashid was very enthusiastic about the launch of Dubai Cares in 2007.

Mr Al Gergawi said he urged his siblings to travel abroad to support its efforts to improve children’s access to quality primary education in developing countries.

He said Sheikh Rashid had a very strong personality but, like all the other members of Al Maktoum family, he was humble, and inherited high ambitions from his grandfather, the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed, and a passion for sports and horses from his father.

Sheikh Rashid was a keen and successful international horseman, winning two gold medals at the 2006 Doha Asian Olympics in the 120-kilometre Endurance Individual Team Mixed events.

Saeed Al Tayer, managing director of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, said: “With the passing of Sheikh Rashid, the UAE has lost a noble knight and an international athlete whose achievements raised the UAE flag in the international and regional equestrian world.”

He passed his condolences to Sheikh Mohammed, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, to all the Maktoum family and to the people of the UAE.

Sheikh Rashid was a philanthropic role model who extended his helping hand to the needy, Mr Al Tayer said.

“May Allah rest his soul in eternal peace and make his abode in His spacious gardens with the Prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous,” he said.

“Excellent are those as companions. Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to him we will return.”

Mr Al Tayer’s sentiments were echoed by senior military leaders, police and security agency officials, dignitaries and citizens.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, member of the Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Retirement Pensions and Benefits Fund, mourned Sheikh Rashid and extended his sympathies to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and his family.

“The country has lost a strong man who was raised to love his country and upheld the values of a noble family to become an exemplary humble and ethical man,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa.

Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum Al Maktoum began to receive condolences from ladies on the death of her son on Sunday and would continue to do so on Monday at Zabeel Palace, after asr prayers until 9pm.

Those also present included Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, Sheikh Maktoum, Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed – Chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation – Sheikh Saeed bin Mohammed and Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed.

Ahmed Al Jarwan, Speaker of the Arab Parliament and member of the most recent FNC, also passed on his condolences

During the meetings, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid thanked the heads of states, officials and delegation members for their sincere feelings.

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(via The National)