Following news of the death of His Highness Sheikh Saqr Al Qasimi, the ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, Arabian Business reviews key events in his life
1920: His Highness Sheikh Saqr Al Qasimi, the great-great-great-great-grandson of Sheikh Rahma bin Mattar bin Qayed – the founder of the Al Qasimi state in what is now the Northern Emirates – is born in Ras Al Khaimah City.
Sheikh Saqr was given a religious and academic upbringing, and memorised many verses from the Holy Quran and the Hadith. He was taught by a number of prominent local Islamic scholars, as well as teachers from the Saudi city of Najd.
1948: Sheikh Saqr becomes the Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah. Since 1948, the Sheikh has worked to promote national unity amongst the various tribes of the emirate. He has also masterminded the transformation of Ras Al Khaimah into a vibrant and diversified economy, focusing on progress in social, educational and scientific development.
1965: Sheikh Saqr is elected as chairman of the Trucial States Council, made up of the rulers of the various emirates. He stayed in this role until independence was declared, and played a vital role in the establishment of the modern UAE, which was formed after Britain ceded sovereignty of the country.
1971: The UAE, under the stewardship of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, declares independence from the UK. Sheikh Saqr is elected to the Federal Supreme Council.
2010: The Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah passes away at the age of 90 after several months of illness. He was the world’s longest-serving monarch, and the last surviving Ruler to have been in power at the creation of the UAE in 1971.
By the time of Sheikh Saqr’s death, Ras Al Khaimah’s burgeoning economy had diversified into cement, pharmaceuticals, and glass, and the emirate is also building a regional manufacturing and shipping hub. Its gross domestic product accounts for 1.5 percent of the UAE's economy.
Ras Al Khaimah also has its own sovereign wealth fund, the Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA), which has a portfolio of around $2bn.
Sheikh Saqr’s son, His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, has succeeded his father.