DUBAI (Reuters) – The ruler of Sharjah, the third largest of the United Arab Emirates, has appointed Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed al-Qasimi as deputy ruler as well as chairman of the Sharjah Petroleum Council, state news agency WAM said.
The appointments came in decrees on Monday by the conservative emirate’s 82-year-old ruler Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed al-Qasimi, who has led Sharjah since 1972. The emirate’s previous deputy ruler died last year.
Sharjah, which straddles the interior of the Arabian peninsula that runs north towards the Strait of Hormuz, was rocked by a coup attempt in 1987 in which Abu Dhabi and Dubai – the UAE’s most powerful states – backed opposite sides.
Ruler Sheikh Sultan had two sons, both of whom died, the youngest in 2019 and the other 20 years earlier.
His new U.S.-educated deputy has held several senior posts, such as chairman of the Sharjah Media Council and of the Sharjah National Oil Company.
The UAE federation, founded in 1971, groups seven emirates including business and tourism hub Dubai and the capital Abu Dhabi, which holds most of the Gulf Arab state’s oil wealth.
(Reporting by Ghaida Ghantous)