'Owner of a big heart': Tributes pour in for Sheikh Saeed bin Zayed on social media

The former representative of the Ruler of Abu Dhabi is remembered as someone 'who used to influence with his humility and smile'

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Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Thu 27 Jul 2023, 1:02 PM

Last updated: Thu 27 Jul 2023, 11:10 PM

Tributes have poured in for the late Sheikh Saeed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, former representative of the Ruler of Abu Dhabi on social media.

Emirati Mohamed AlJneibi, a former basketball player at Al Wahda club, took to social media platform X (formerly Twitter), to call him a visionary.


"Sheikh Saeed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was one of the most instrumental sports visionaries in the UAE. Having been a Basketball player at Al Wahda club, I remember vividly first hand how he (as club owner) would come sit and chat with us and ask how we were doing in sports and academia."

"The club would provide tutors to many young athletes on top of the other support areas to help create a talent pool of some of the best champions this country had seen and across different areas. To me, he was a father figure who sometimes would be in the pitch or in the basketball court, with the people he cared the most. May Allah bless and rest his soul. Abu Dhabi has lost a very special person today. My sincerest condolences to the entire Al Nahyan royal family on the loss of Sheikh Saeed bin Zayed."


Sports Lover

A video shared by user @Jmhoor_alwahda shows players of the Al Wahda football club saluting him in between a game from the field. He wrote that "the club and the platform in his days are not forgotten" and prayed "May God have mercy on the kind-hearted person who sowed joy and laughter in us since childhood."

Born in 1965 in Al Ain, Sheikh Saeed was appointed as the Representative of the Ruler of Abu Dhabi in June 2010. An avid sports lover, he was the president of Al Wahda from 1990 to 2014 and was a regular at the games of the club.

Platform X user @bujsem recalled and paid tribute to the football loving Sheikh.

"His name was associated with a lot of memories for football fans, in particular, the fans of Al-Wahda whose glories and championships were behind him. No one will forget the great challenges in the Grand Emirates Classico between Al Ain and Al Wahda. May God forgive this smile, and may God dwell him in the spacious gardens."

Another commentator Khalifa Al Shaibani, posted a video of a match that Sheikh Saeed sponsored for a retired UAE footballer.

"Sheikh Saeed bin Zayed took many stances and initiatives, in various humanitarian, social and sports fields. One of these sports initiatives was when he sponsored and embraced the retirement match of UAE football star, Zuhair Bakhit. He was always an early supporter of athletes of all ages."

Another social media user @HamedAljneibi posted a tribute in Arabic, describing the late Sheikh Saeed bin Zayed as the 'owner of a big heart' and as someone 'who used to influence with his humility and smile'. He ended the tweet by saying, "Farewell Abu Zayed. I will never forget you as long as I live."

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