Dubai ruler’s eldest son dies of heart attack aged 33

Three days of mourning declared as Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum laid to rest

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The Independent Online

The eldest son of the ruler of Dubai – one of the richest royals in the world – has died of a heart attack aged 33.

Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, eldest son of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is vice-president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai, died on Saturday morning.

The young prince’s body has been laid to rest at the Umm Hurair cemetery in Dubai after funeral prayers led by his father.

Crown prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed paid tribute to his brother on Instagram, posting a photograph with the caption: “Today, I lost a best friend and a childhood companion...my dear brother Rashid. You will be missed.”

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Crown prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed (right) and the emirate's deputy ruler Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, carry the body of their late brother (AP)

Hundreds of relatives and officials gathered inside the Zabeel Mosque in Dubai to pay their respects to the ruler's son.

His coffin, wrapped in the Emirati flag, was carried in by several of his brothers.

An official release by the Court of the Ruler of Dubai said: “God bless the deceased young man. We belong to Allah and to Him we shall return.”

Flags are flying at half-mast across the emirates as the oil-rich nation observes three days of mourning.

Middle Eastern leaders, including King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia and Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, have offered condolences to Sheikh Mohammed, who is one of the most influential figures in the region.

After attending school in Dubai, Sheikh Rashid graduated from Sandhurst military academy, in Berkshire, in 2002.

Known for his love of horses, the prince won two gold medals riding in endurance races at the Asian Olympics in 2006.

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Golfer Robert-Jan Derkson receives a trophy from Sheikh Rashid in 2003 (Getty)

A keen sportsman, he was a founding member of Dubai Sports and Cultural Club, which he chaired until 2005, and supported Manchester United.

He also contributed to Dubai Cares, a charitable organisation that aims to tackle child poverty.

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