The United Arab Emirates finance minister and the deputy ruler of the emirate of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al-Maktoum, has died, Dubai’s ruler said on Twitter on Wednesday.
Sheikh Hamdan, aged 75, was the brother of the current ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum. Finance minister since 1971, he had been unwell for some months and had surgery abroad in October.
“Funeral prayers will be restricted to family members due to the (COVID) pandemic,” Dubai Media Office tweeted.
Dubai announced 10 days of mourning with flags to be flown at half-mast as of Wednesday and a closure of government institutions in the emirate for three days as of Thursday.
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.