Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah dies

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A banner bears the pictures of Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed al-Qassimi (L) and his son and Crown Prince Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al-Qassimi in Ras. (AFP/Getty Images)

A banner bears the pictures of Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed al-Qassimi (L) and his son and Crown Prince Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al-Qassimi in Ras. (AFP/Getty Images)

The ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, the UAE's fourth largest emirate, died on Wednesday after several months of illness, the state news agency said.

His Highness Sheikh Saqr Al Qasimi will be succeeded by his son, the Crown Prince Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi.

His Highness Sheikh Saqr Al Qasimi, believed to be in his 90s, ruled the northern emirate of Ras Al Khaimah for more than 60 years. Sheikh Saqr was the world's longest serving monarch, having taken office in 1948, and the last surviving ruler to have been in power at the creation of the UAE in 1971.

He had been in hospital for several months.

His son, His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, was appointed Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler in June 2003.

Official mourning has been declared with effect from Wednesday for a week, through which flags will be flown at half mast. Government ministries and institutions will be closed.

Ras Al Khaimah sits on the Strait of Hormuz, through which 40 percent of the world's seaborne oil passes.

The emirate's economy is based on industries like cement, pharmaceuticals, and glass, and building a regional manufacturing and shipping hub. Its gross domestic product accounts for 1.5 percent of the UAE's economy.

The emirate has its own sovereign wealth fund, the Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA), which has a portfolio of around $2bn.

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Posted by: muhammed Hashim

There is huge change in this period. RAK has developed in the last few years, and i wish more success in our city

Posted by: RUPESHE

salam to such Man ,who has done all possible progress in desert.

Posted by: Peter Johnston

May he rest in peace. He was the Ruler of RAK for so many years, and through so many changing times ... it will be interesting to see if the older Crown Prince would attempt to challenge his younger brother for the role as the new Ruler of RAK.

Posted by: Bill Gottfried

We are hopeful that all will be well and peaceful during this period of mourning, we wish all the the citizens of Ras Al Khaimah all the very best of peace, health, safety, tranquility, and success in the days ahead.
Your Friends in the U.S. send their very best regards for continued peace, success, and prosperity.
Bill Gottfried
Houston, Texas

Posted by: Dr. Sarmad Malik

I have had wonderful years of living in RAK and the credit goes to the ruler His Higness Sheikh Saqr Al Qasimi. In my opoinion RAK is one of the best emirates to live in and often mention this to our friends in Canada.
His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi is a visionary leader and has taken RAK to a leading progressive industrial hub. I have had the privelege and honour of meeting him while working in RAK. The progress of RAK is a testimony to his progressive leadership.
Wishing all the success and peace to people of RAK and their leader.

Posted by: Mohammed Akbar

We, the people of Algeria, stand side by side with our sister country, the UAE and its people on this sad day. HH Sheikh Qasr is one of the founding fathers of this great nation. May Allah bless his soul and grants patience to his family and ppl of UAE.

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