'Golden boy' of Ajman killed in dune buggy accident

Ruler and Crown Prince of Ajman lead funeral prayers for respected academic who described as a 'renaissance man' by his peers.

Thameer Saeed Salman, vice president of administrative and financial affairs at Ajman University of Science and Technology, who has died in a dune-buggy accident. Paulo Vecina/The National )
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ABU DHABI // The vice president of Ajman University of Science and Technology has died after a dune-buggy accident in Al Ain.

Thamer Saeed Salman, a 35-year-old Emirati father of three, was well known in the community as an educator, businessman and philanthropist.

The Ruler of Ajman, Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid, joined mourners in performing funeral prayers for Mr Salman at the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Al Jurf yesterday, the state news agency, WAM, reported.

Prayers were also performed by Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, the Crown Prince of Ajman, and Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Foreign Minister.

After the prayers, Mr Salman was buried in Al Jurf cemetery. Sheikh Humaid and Sheikh Ammar offered condolences to his family.

Mishaal Al Gergawi, a friend who was with Mr Salman the day he died, described him as a "renaissance man".

"He ran his family business, which was mainly the university," he said. "He played a huge role in turning it around, making it profitable."

Mr Salman came from a distinguished local family - his father is a former Minister of Education - and was "a very successful businessman in his own right," Mr Al Gergawi said. He recently founded Ajman Academy, a K-12 international school.But he was also simply a generous, kind and humble man, Mr Al Gergawi said.

"He was impressive. He could discuss military infrastructure, he could discuss golden-age Islamic poetry and literature. He was our go-to guy for TV series. If it was good, he would tell us."

The accident happened on Friday, while Mr Salman was enjoying a weekend in Al Ain with friends.

He hit a steep dune, Mr Al Gergawi said. "He banged his head and he also hit his rib on the steering wheel."

Friends gave him first aid while they waited for a helicopter to take him to hospital, but they were unable to save him.

He was buried yesterday in Ajman.

"He was a golden boy," Mr Al Gergawi said, describing Mr Salman as a role model for Emiratis.

Condolences were posted on Twitter from Mr Salman's family and friends.

Ajman University will close for a day of mourning today.