Hamdan bin Rashid al-Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai, one of the seven entities within the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and for decades one of the most influential figures in international horse racing, died today, March 24, Reuters reported.
Sheikh Hamdan, 75, was the brother of the current ruler of Dubai, Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum. He had been ill for several months and underwent surgery abroad in October.
The deceased founded his first racing stable, Shadwell Racing, in Britain in the 1980s and turned it into a “racing empire” with his horses in blue and white silks that won major international competitions more than once. According to local media, he owned eight stud farms around the world.
The UAE’s de facto ruler, Abu Dhabi Emirate Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, wrote earlier Wednesday on Twitter:
“Today we lost one of the UAE’s loyal men after a life full of charity and true patriotic work.”
According to Emirati state media reports, memorial prayers for Sheikh Hamdan, who also served as the UAE’s longtime finance minister, will be restricted to family members because of the pandemic coronavirus infection Covid-19.
Dubai announced a 10-day mourning period with flags at half-mast and the closure of government offices in the emirate for three days beginning March 25.