Sheikh Suhail bin Mubarak Al Ketbi, the uncle of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and brother of Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Mother of the Nation, has died.
Sheikh Suhail died at the age of 73 in a London hospital on Sunday after a long illness. Local Arabic media said that he suffered from diabetes.
UAE officials took the lead as they paid tribute to Sheikh Suhail on social media.
"May God have mercy on our dear great Suhail bin Mubarak Al Ketbi," Sheikh Mohamed said on Twitter.
"He is gone from us and left a profound trace of sincere love in the hearts of those around him.
"We pray to Allah the Almighty to rest his soul [...] and grant his family patience and solace."
Dr Hyat Khatab, director of Sheikha Fatima's office in the 1970s, said she had known Sheikh Suhail for about 50 years
"I was living with them in the palace and Suhail was a dear brother to me as well," she told The National.
“He was his sister’s guardian angel and a very wise, kind-hearted man.”
Dr Khatab said Sheikh Suhail accompanied his sister on all her travels and Sheikh Zayed, the Founding Father, considered him a "dear brother".
She said he played an active role in the lives of his nephews, who saw him as a role model.
"The death of Suhail is a great loss to the family and, for me, I lost a very dear brother and I feel sorry for his wife who is also a good friend to me.
"My last memories of him are when I saw him in the hospital in London last month and he was fighting hard to survive. He was always a fighter and a courageous person."
On Sunday, the Ministry of Presidential Affairs office also offered its condolences.
Sheikh Suhail's name began to trend on Twitter as users posted pictures of him with a young Sheikh Mohamed.
Sheikh Suhail's family was from Al Ain.
His son, Hamad, died of a heart attack in London in 2010.