Nation mourns Shaikh Saqr

RAS AL KHAIMAH - Emiratis and residents in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) expressed sorrow and turned emotional after hearing of the death of His Highness Shaikh Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.

By Sebugwaawo Ismail

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Published: Thu 28 Oct 2010, 8:56 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:36 PM

Shaikh Saqr’s demise is a loss for the entire UAE, Junaid Shaikh, CEO of Media Investment Administration, RAK Media City, said. “We are shocked and sad, as we deeply mourn his demise as he was the pioneer to the growth of Ras Al Khaimah. We are also reminded about his role in the Peace Treaty which was signed in 1968 with the British. The vision of success and growth of Ras Al Khaimah was at the centre during Shaikh Saqr’s regime,” Junaid said.

Khalifa receives cables of condolences

The President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan received cables of condolences on the death of His Highness Shaikh Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi from Sultan Qaboos bin Saeed of Oman, Emir of Kuwait Shaikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, President of Sudan Omar Hassan Al Bashir.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, also received a cable of condolences from the Sudanese President.

Egyptian President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak sent a cable of condolences to Shaikh Khalifa on the death of Shaikh Saqr.

Mubarak expressed heartfelt condolences and sympathy to Shaikh Khalifa and the government and people of the UAE.

He prayed to Allah Almighty to rest Shaikh Saqr’s soul in peace.

“His decision to nominate Shaikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi as the Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler in 2003 was hailed by everyone in the GCC, the evidence of which is seen in the success of RAK. It must be noted that during Shaikh Saud’s accession as Crown Prince, the RAK Government asked the World Bank to conduct a study on the foreign investment avenues available in the emirate and formulated a comprehensive master plan for development,” he added.

“In 2005, the RAK Government and World Bank organised a conference called ‘Live and Invest in Ras Al Khaimah’ to present before investors the vast potential that the emirate holds for investment. His reform initiatives resulted in a dramatic jump of GDP per capita in Ras Al Khaimah from Dh35,000 to Dh52,000 in the years between 2001 and 2006,” Junaid said.

“In 2005, the Shaikh established the Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA) to implement and manage RAK’s vigorous developmental and infrastructural overhaul. RAKIA has managed to attract investments worth $3 billion to Ras Al Khaimah, resulting in the setting up of over 400 industrial establishments and creating more than 70,000 jobs as on May 2010.”

Mohammed Hassan, an Emirati resident of Khozam, said they have lost their father and a great leader. “Shaikh Saqr will be remembered for the great love towards his people and the enthusiasm for their well being. He wanted prosperity for all Emiratis and he always encouraged them to work hard,” he added.

Major Marwan Al Mansoori, a senior RAK Police officer, said Shaikh Saqr has been the soul of RAK and his death is a great loss for the emirate.

“As the founding father of Ras Al Khaimah, Shaikh Saqr has done a lot of commendable work for the emirate during his reign and has greatly contributed much to the development of infrastructures, security, economic development and for the togetherness of people. We pray to the Almighty God to rest his soul in eternal peace,” said Major Mansoori.

Ahmed Al Shihy, an Emirati resident of Al Rahba who was grieved with the news of the Ruler’s death, said Shaikh Saqr was a kind, caring and a generous leader who loved to associate with all people.

“The Ruler’s Court was open at all times and the Shaikh could welcome people of all walks of life irrespective of their nationalities or their social classes. He always listened to poor and needy people who came to him and would ensure that their problems were solved,” he said.

“I remember Shaikh Saqr attending burial and wedding parties of his people, including the poor,” added Al Shihy.

Abdul Rahim Shahin, a Palestinian living in RAK, said he has never come across a social and loving leader like Shaikh Saqr. “We used to go to his palace every Friday and had lunch with him on the same dining table despite the fact that he was a Ruler. Many poor people of different nationalities could visit his palace and dine and also socialise with him,” said Shahin.

Another Emirati Salah Mohammed Al Ostad, 33, said Shaikh Saqr had great love for the education and encouraged Emirati boys and girls to go to school.

“He paid special attention to education and government assistance was provided for students every day they spent in schools, so as to encourage parents who hesitated to send their children to schools,” said Al Ostad.

Noordin Ismail Khalid, a Sudanese who has stayed in RAK for more than 30 years, said that he will always remember Shaikh Saqr for his love for God and Islam.

“During his reign, he promoted the Islamic religion among his people and always gave top priority to religious issues. Shops, public and private offices were being closed across the emirate during the time for prayers. May the Almighty rest his soul in peace,” said Khalid.

Ahmed Saad, an Egyptian, said Shaikh Saqr was among the first rulers to initiate the annual Holy Quran Awards for those who excelled in reciting and memorising the holy book.

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