UAE RULERS ATTEND FUNERAL FOR SHEIKH SULTAN BIN ZAYED
▶ Hundreds of mourners join royals at funeral prayers for much-loved leader at mosque in Abu Dhabi
UAE Rulers gathered in Abu Dhabi yesterday to lay to rest Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed.
Beneath overcast skies, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, led members of the country’s royal families as they performed funeral prayers for his brother about midday.
Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed the First Mosque in Al Bateen was packed for prayers attended by the Rulers of Sharjah, Ajman,
Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah, other dignitaries and scores of officials.
Sheikh Mohamed and Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, were pictured carrying Sheikh Sultan’s body out of the mosque after the prayers. The body was taken to Al Bateen Cemetery, across the road, where Sheikh Sultan was laid to rest. There he was surrounded by his sons and extended family who covered his body and recited a final prayer over him, their sandy hands cupped before their faces.
Earlier, traffic was rerouted to make way for a convoy of cars surrounded by police patrols, and carrying representatives from each of the emirates, that weaved through the streets of Abu Dhabi to reach the mosque.
After the funeral, Al Mushrif
Palace was opened for condolences. Well-wishers offered their condolences at the palace between asr and maghrib prayers (3.20pm and 5.40pm).
The Nahyan family will continue to receive condolences
today and tomorrow between 10am and midday prayers, and again between asr and maghrib.
Sheikh Sultan, the President’s Representative, died on Monday while receiving medical treatment abroad.
His body was returned to the UAE on Tuesday.
Sheikh Sultan, the second son of Sheikh Zayed, the UAE’s Founding Father, was born in Al Ain in 1955.
He was educated at Millfield School in Somerset, England, attended Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was a former Deputy Prime Minister. He served as President’s Representative until his death.
Sheikh Sultan was known as the “father of heritage” for his love of Emirati culture and tradition. He was patron of an annual heritage festival held at Sweihan racecourse in Abu Dhabi.
The Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan Heritage Festival included camel and Saluki races, a camel beauty contest and markets that sold handicrafts and hosted traditional events.
Since Sheikh Sultan’s death was announced on Monday, along with three days of mourning, sheikhs, Emiratis and residents have paid tribute to him.
Eissa Al Falahi, who was Sheikh Sultan’s aide for 40 years, described him as a warm person who felt a deep connection with the people and the country’s history. He would open his doors to meet Emiratis almost every day at his majlis and hear their concerns.
“He was accessible and you could walk into his majlis any time you wanted. There were no restraints or barriers between the people and him. If you needed him and wanted to see him, he was there,” he said.
“He loved camel racing, falconry and horse riding. During his younger days, he rode camels and cared for them.”
Sheikh Sultan’s love for tradition culminated in the founding of the Emirates Heritage Club in 1993. The President’s Representative remained head of the club until his death.
He was also a humanitarian, helping to send Emiratis abroad for medical treatment and sponsoring the education of those in need.
“There will never be another man like Sheikh Sultan. He left a gaping hole in our hearts,” Mr Al Falahi told The National.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed, right, carry the body of Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed, President’s Representative, at his funeral in Abu Dhabi yesterday
Members of UAE’s royal families perform funeral prayers at Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed the First Mosque in Al Bateen yesterday. Burial took place at the Al Bateen Cemetery after the prayers
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and Sheikh Saif bin Mohamed Al Nahyan among the mourners at Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed’s funeral
Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed at the funeral prayers of Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed, the President’s Representative
Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed