Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the eldest son of the ruler of Dubai, has died at the age of 33. According to WAM state news agency, Sheik Rashid passed away on Saturday of a heart attack.
His funeral was held on the same day and prayers were said at the Zabeel Mosque in Dubai, after which the young royal was laid to rest at the Umm Hurair cemetery.
His father Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was pictured arriving at the mosque for the ceremony, and later accepted messages of condolences from visitors at the Zabeel Palace.
Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum lost his eldest son on Saturday
A three-day mourning period was declared in Dubai and flags have been flying at half mast. An official release by the Court of the Ruler of Dubai said: "God bless the deceased young man. We belong to Allah and to Him we shall return."
Sheikh Rashid's brother Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum – the Crown Prince of Dubai – paid tribute to his older sibling on Instagram.
Sharing a photo of the late royal, he poignantly wrote: "Today, I lost a best friend and a childhood companion... my dear brother Rashid. You will be missed."
Sheikh Rashid died of a heart attack at the age of 33
Although Sheikh Rashid was one year older and the eldest of Sheikh Mohammed's 24 children, he was not chosen to succeed his father. Instead Hamdan was named the successor in 2008.
Rashid nonetheless was a well-known figure in the UAE, primarily for his sporting achievements. He took part in a number of international and local Equestrian Endurance competitions; his greatest achievement was perhaps winning two gold medals at the 2006 Asian Games.
Rashid was also a huge football fan and known to support Manchester United.
After being educated at the Rashid School for Boys in Dubai, the royal moved to the UK where he attended the Sandhurst Military Academy – the same place where Princes William and Harry trained.