Three days of mourning as UAE royal dies

Sheikha Mariam bint Salem Al Suwaidi was widow of the Ruler's father

Sharjah has declared three days of mourning after the death of Sheikha Mariam bint Salem Al Suwaidi, wife of the Ruler's late father.

Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, performed funeral prayers for Sheikha Mariam at King Faisal Mosque in Sharjah on Tuesday evening.

The emirate's Crown Prince, Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah Sheikh Abdullah bin Salem Al Qasimi prayed alongside the Ruler.

Sheikh Dr Sultan and other officials then went to Al Jubail Cemetery, where the body of Sheikha Mariam was laid to rest.

The Ruler of Sharjah began accepting condolences on Wednesday after isha prayers at the house of the late Sheikh Humaid bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, in Al Yash.

The home will also be open for condolences on Thursday.

The UAE flag flew at half-staff from Wednesday. Radio stations typically halt live programming and play classical music and prayer as a mark of respect.

In the past, federal ministries and government departments closed, although this practice has declined in recent years and schools have typically remained open.

After the death of the UAE's Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed, in November 2004, the official mourning period was set at 40 days.