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

The National - News - - FRONT PAGE - JU­MAN JAR­AL­LAH

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.

Ha­mad Al Man­soori for the Min­istry of Pres­i­den­tial Af­fairs

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

Wam

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

Mo­hamed Al Ham­madi / Min­istry of Pres­i­den­tial Af­fairs

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

Rashed Al Man­soori / Min­istry of Pres­i­den­tial Af­fairs

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

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