A new deputy ruler has been appointed for the emirate of Sharjah, according to the United Arab Emirates’ official news agency WAM.
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Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed al-Qasimi has been made the deputy ruler of the emirate, which is the UAE’s third-largest after Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Al-Qasimi was also appointed chairman of Sharjah’s Petroleum Council after previously having been deputy chairman since 1999.
He was educated at the University of Arkansas and the University of Detroit Mercy in the US, receiving a master’s degree in management.
The sheikh has held a number of board roles in various businesses over the years. He was made chairman of Sharjah National Oil Corporation in 2010, chairman of waste management company WEKAYA in 2010, and chairman of property developer Arada in 2016, to name a few.
Native to an emirate that has, in recent years, become known for its fostering of culture and the arts, al-Qasimi is also a keen photographer, according to an interview with Hadara magazine.
He founded the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB) in 2012 – an organization that functions both as a tool for government communications and as an incubator for creative talent.
The bureau was behind the creation of the Roman-style Al Majaz Amphitheatre built on an artificial island in Sharjah’s creek, and it also hosts the Xposure photography festival.
Al-Qasimi called the SGMB “one of the things that I’m most proud of having established” in his interview with Hadara.
Sharjah is currently ruled by 82-year-old Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed al-Qasimi, who has led the emirate since his brother Sheikh Khalid was killed in a 1972 attempted coup, only months after the founding of the UAE.
The current ruler is the 18th in an unbroken line from the al-Qasimi family stretching back to the 1600s, according to his official website.