Dubai: Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance and Industry Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, 75, passed away.
His brother, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, shared the news through the official Twitter account.
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," according to a tweet by Dubai Media Office.
Dubai has 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.
Sheikh Hamdan was the second son of former ruler of Dubai, the late ruler Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
After early schooling at the Al-Ahlia school in Dubai Sheikh Hamdan had higher studies at the Bell School of Languages in Cambridge.
Sheikh Hamdan became the UAE's first minister of Finance and Industry in 1971, a position he occupied until his death. He played an indispensable role in developing the country's financial policies and government spending.
Sheikh Hamdan presided over Dubai Municipality as chairman, and the Information and Health Departments, Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai Aluminium (DUBAL) and Dubai Natural Gas Company Limited (DUGAS) among others.
He was the president of the governing board of the Dubai Ports Authority and was also the UAE's chief representative at the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund and to the Arab states.
Sheikh Hamdan was appointed as the Deputy Ruler of Dubai in January 1995. Sheikh Hamdan is also credited with funding many scholarships for students from around the world at Al Maktoum Institute.
In 2006, Sheikh Hamdan received three certificates from the Royal British College, making him the first personality to attain such a distinction from the College. He was granted the Honorary fellowship for Internal Medicine from the Royal British College-London, the Honorary fellowship for Internal Medicine from the Royal British College-Edinburgh, and the Honorary fellowship for Internal Medicine and Surgery from the Royal British College-Glasgow.
The Sheikh was also known for his passion for horses, hunting and dhow racing.