Royal photographer Noor Ali Rashid dies

The official royal photographer for the UAE for the past 50 years died yesterday afternoon in his house in Sharjah.

The UAE photographer Noor Ali Rashid died yesterday afternoon in his house in Sharjah. The 80-year-old photographer had appeared in good health, according to his son, Naushad Rashid. "He woke up before iftar, got out of bed, and suddenly passed away. Maybe it was a heart problem," he said, adding that his father had heart surgery two years ago. Noor Ali Rashid had worked for 50 years as the official royal photographer for the UAE, and met several international figures and celebrities as he travelled the world with the royal entourage. He met Queen Elizabeth II during a trip to Buckingham Palace, took tea with the former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, sat in on talks with the late Palestinian Liberation Organisation chairman Yasser Arafat and shared a joke with the former US president Bill Clinton.

He recently wrote a number of books for Sheikh Sultan al Qassimi, the Ruler of Sharjah, about the UAE and its rulers, including Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan the late founder of the UAE, his son Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed the current President of the UAE, Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid. The books were published and are available in bookstores. Naushad Rashid said: "Two days ago we went to Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak's palace to greet him for Ramadan, and my father got up and started taking pictures. He kept taking pictures until the last day of his life."

Mr Rashid was born in December 1929 in the Gwadar province of what was India and is now Pakistan. He is survived by his wife Zahra Ghuloum, 75, six children and 11 grand children. "He was generous, and loved by many people, he was very appreciated by the royal family and the UAE," added his son. Mr Rashid will be buried tomorrow after Friday prayers.