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Sheikh Hamdan, Dubai’s Deputy Ruler and world’s influential figure in horse racing, passes away

Sheikh Hamdan had been the UAE’s finance minister since 1971.

Sheikh HamdanSheikh Hamdan, Dubai's Deputy Ruler Passes Away - OyeYeah News

Dubai’s Deputy Ruler Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al-Maktoum, and the world’s most influential figures in horse racing, passed away on Wednesday,

Sheikh Hamdan, 75, was the older brother of the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum. He was also the United Arab Emirates’ long-serving finance minister.

As being reported, Sheikh Hamdan was unwell for the past few months and also had surgery abroad in October.

Dubai’s government has announced 10 days of official mourning with flags to be flown at half-mast and closure of its institutions in the emirate for three days as of Thursday.

According to the Dubai Media office, the funeral prayers for the deceased have been restricted to family members only due to the pandemic circumstances.

Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed shared the sad news of his brother’s demise and bid him farewell in a tweet. 

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nayhan, also UAE’s de facto ruler in a tweet said: “Today we lost one of the UAE’s faithful men after a life rich with giving and true patriotic work.”

Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum has also been one of the most prominent and influential figures in international horseracing for more than four decades.

Sheikh Hamdan enjoyed considerable success with his runners, including two Derby, wins with Nashwan (1989) and Erhaab (1994) and numerous other Classics such as the 2,000 Guineas, 1,000 Guineas, Oaks, Irish Derby, Irish 2,000 Guineas, Irish 1,000 Guineas, and Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, as well as a string of other Group 1s in Britain, Ireland and France.

He was the champion Flat owner in Britain nine times (1990, 1994, 1995, 2002, 2005, 2009, 2014, 2019, and 2020).

His horses also triumphed in major international contests, landing the owner two Melbourne Cups with At Talaq (1986) and Jeune (1994), as well as a Breeders’ Cup Classic with Invasor (2006), the Belmont Stakes with Jazil (2006), and the Dubai World Cup with Almutawakel (1999) and Invasor (2007).

Reacting to the death news, Charlie Hills trainer of Battaash paid his last tribute to Sheikh Hamdan in a tweet.

“From a phone call when we went into lockdown in January to check my family was OK, to taking James and Eddie onto the podium after Battaash won his first Nunthorpe – just a couple of examples of the kindness of Sheikh Hamdan. Our sport has lost one of its finest,” he said.

Sheikh Hamdan’s first choice jockey Jim Crowley also paid his respects in a tweet.

So very sad of the passing of HH Sheikh Hamdam bin Rashid al Maktoum, You would not meet a more honest and loyal man, I will be forever grateful to him, it’s been an honuor and a privilege to ride for him, my thoughts are with his family Rest in peace,” he said.

the authorSaman Siddiqui
Saman Siddiqui, A freelance journalist with a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication and MS in Peace and Conflict Studies. Associated with the media industry since 2006. Experience in various capacities including Program Host, Researcher, News Producer, Documentary Making, Voice Over, Content Writing Copy Editing, and Blogging, and currently associated with OyeYeah since 2018, working as an Editor.