The United Arab Emirates (UAE) finance minister and the deputy ruler of the emirate of Dubai, Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has been reported to have passed on after protracted illness at the age of 75.
Hamdan, who assumed office as the country’s finance minister about 50 years ago, was said to have been unwell for some months and had surgery abroad last October to correct the deficiencies.
The deputy ruler’s death was announced on Wednesday in a statement released by the Dubai ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum through his official social media handle.
According to the ruler, funeral prayers for the deceased deputy ruler will be restricted to family members due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Following the development, the Dubai government has announced 10 days of mourning with flags to be flown at half-mast and closure of government institutions for three days beginning from Thursday.
It would be recalled that in 2008, Dubai’s ruler established the line of succession in the emirate by naming his son Hamdan, 38, as crown prince. His other son Sheikh Maktoum is also a deputy ruler of Dubai.
The emirate, part of the UAE federation, is the Middle East’s business, trade and tourism hub.