UAE President's brother laid to rest, as country mourns



UAE President`s brother laid to rest, as country mourns Abu Dhabi: Sheikh Ahmed, the billionaire young brother of UAE's President was on Wednesday laid to rest here amid a nationwide mourning, days after he was killed in a tragic plane crash in Morocco.

The 41-year-old managing director of a sovereign wealth fund worth hundreds of billions of dollars had died when the glider carrying him crashed into a lake near a dam in Morocco last Friday.

A number of ministers, high ranking officials, and foreign ambassadors, along with citizens joined President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for the funeral prayers of Sheikh Ahmad bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque this afternoon.

His father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahayan, the founder of UAE, is buried at the mosque.

Sheikh Ahmad's flag-draped body was then taken to a nearby cemetery, where he was laid to rest, the Emirati WAM news agency reported.

The aircraft of Sheikh Ahmed had crashed into a reservoir, 10 km south of the Moroccan capital Rabat but his body was recovered only yesterday after massive search operations.

The pilot of the glider, a Spaniard had however escaped the crash.

A three-day national mourning was announced in the country and the flags are to fly at half mast.

Born in 1968, Sheikh Ahmed was ranked No 27 on Forbes list of the world's most powerful people last year.

His sovereign wealth fund is believed to have assets of around USD 500-700 billion, ranging from Citigroup bonds to a stake in Britain's Gatwick airport to residential property in major cities.

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), of which Sheikh Ahmad was the managing director, is one of the world's largest investors.

The son of UAE's founder president Sheikh Zayed, Ahmad was also the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Zayed Foundation for Charity and Humanitarian Works.

In 2008, his elder brother, Sheikh Nasser bin Zayed Al-Nayahan had died in a similar accident when his helicopter crashed into the Gulf.

PTI