By Feature Editor Kim Hyung-dae
Deputy Ruler and Finance Minister Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid of the United Arab Emirates died at the age of 75. This was reported by Korean-language economic-business daily, Maeil Business Newspaper, reported this morning (March 25).
Expressing a sad-stricken condolence message for the late Deputy Ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, was quoted as sadly expressing, “Today, we lost the faithful personality of the UAE who was dedicated to giving and loving of the country” (English translation of the Maeil report).
UAE media Al Jazeera had a detailed account concerning the passage of the late Deputy Ruler.
According to the Al Jazazeera report, Sheikh Hamdan, also the UAE’s finance minister, was the brother of the current ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
On March 24, Sheikh Mohammed posted a picture of his brother saying: “We belong to God and to Him we shall return … May God have mercy on you, my brother, my support and my companion.”
Born on Dec. 25, 1949, Sheikh Hamdan was the second son of late ruler Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
He grew up in what was known as the Trucial States, a collection of Arab sheikhdoms along the southern shore of the Persian Gulf that had been part of a British protectorate since 1820.
According to Al Jazeera Sheikh Hamdan held the post of finance minister since his appointment in the first cabinet in 1971 upon UAE’s formation by the late ruler, Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan.
According to Maeil Gyeongje, the UAE hoists the National Flag for 10 days in a condolence form and all activites at the government and public offices are closed for 10 canlendar days as a token of expression of condolences for the late Deputy Ruler.
The late Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid is credited with turning Dubai into a world center of trade and business, and to have led Emirati delegations to the International Monetary Fund and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Fund for international development.
According to Al Jazazeera, Sheikh Hamdan controlled a wide array of conglomerates reaching across Dubai’s economy, such as the Dubai Ports Authority, Dubai World Trade Center and Dubai Natural Gas Company Limited.
Like his brother, he became a big name in horse racing out of the UAE, founding Shadwell Racing in 1981, an operation with a legacy of producing star thoroughbreds, Al Jazazeera said.