|Biographical detail : ||World’s oldest and longest serving monarch
Mounting a palace coup that saw the forced abdication of his uncle, Sheikh Saqr assumed the throne of Ras al-Khaimah in 1948. In the pre-oil era the country struggled with the collapse of the pearling industry and tough economic conditions after the Second World War.
The transformation into a modern state took place when Ras al-Khaimah joined the United Arab Emirate in 1972, a year later than the other six members of the federation. Sheikh Saqr oversaw the progress of his state.
While Ras al-Khaimah was supported by the oil wealth of Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital, it possessed only modest hydrocarbon reserves of its own. The emirate’s development focussed on basic industries, notably agriculture and quarrying rock from the Hajjar mountain range. He also initiated by courting resort developers.
Born in Qassimi families, a dynasty that has ruled the area since the 18th century and emerged as a key maritime power. Sheikh Saqr who had fascination with history was credited with uniting the disparate tribes that inhabited the remote and mountainous territory.