President Sheikh Mohamed on Sunday visited the family of Sheikh Rakkad Al Ameri after his death on Tuesday in Germany.
Sheikh Rakkad was a close aide to UAE Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and a former minister of public works and housing.
He was in Germany receiving treatment. He had a heart attack in 2014 and received treatment in the UK and UAE but never fully recovered.
His eldest son, Mohamed Al Ameri, 39, was inconsolable.
“I am speechless. This is very difficult for us to process. I lost a father, a friend and a mentor. I have lost a huge part of me that can never be replaced,” he told The National.
Born in Al Ain in 1960, Sheikh Rakkad, a father of eight, was one of the heads of Al Ameri family. He held a bachelor's degree in political science and was the minister of public works and housing from 1990 to 2003.
He was also the acting minister of petroleum and minister of health before 2003.
But after the death of Sheikh Zayed, he resigned from every government post.
“Rarely had I seen my father without a book in his hands," said his son, who has four children. “Whether it was psychology or history or a book on politics, he was always reading.”
UAE Rulers and Emiratis from all over the country came to offer their condolences this week.
“He was a man like no other,” said Bureir Fashakh Al Ameri, 40, a friend of Sheikh Rakkad.
“He took me under his wing when I was 6 and I never left him since.
“We never lost hope. Three months ago we went to Germany for what we hoped was a new therapy that would help him but this is God’s will.
“It is hard to imagine that he is no longer with us. All hope is gone and we lost our father. Sheikh Rakkad supported everyone and everyone knew him for his generosity, humbleness and kindness.
“I remember him telling me to never overcomplicate things and to use reason before passion whenever making a decision.
“He always said life was like a rope, the more you knot it, the more complicated it becomes so let it loose. I can't imagine life without his presence.”
Also offering their condolences were Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed, Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed and Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad, Adviser for Special Affairs at the Presidential Court.