DUBAI, Reuter — The ruler of Dubai, Sheik Rashid ibn Said al Maktum, vice president and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, has died, Dubai television said Sunday.
Rashid, born in 1914, became ruler in 1958 and vice president and prime minister of the federation when Dubai merged with the six other members of the-then Trucial States to form the United Arab Emirates in 1971.
His eldest son and heir, Crown Prince Sheik Maktoum ibn Rashid Maktoum, is one of the UAE's two deputy prime ministers.
Dubai is the UAE's second largest oil producer after Abu Dhabi.
Sheik Rashid assumed effective control of Dubai under British rule long before his father, Sheik Said al-Maktoum, died in 1958.
He played a key role in establishing the UAE in 1971 but spent the last nine years of his life secluded in his palace, incapacitated by a series of strokes. Friends said he was still alert and in touch with the affairs of the emirate.
His wife, Sheika Latifa, a member of Abu Dhabi's ruling family, died in 1983.
Sheik Rashid will be buried today, Dubai television said.