Dubai: Indian and Pakistani community members in Dubai yesterday expressed deep grief over the demise of Shaikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

They said the sudden death is a great loss to the country and the Arab world.

Tanveer Khawaja, Chairman Pakistan Business Council, said: "He was a true friend of Pakistan and the community living in Dubai. He always supported us."

Shahab Haider, Chairman of the Professionals Wing of the Pakistan Association, said the news of Shaikh Maktoum's death was shocking for all. "Under his leadership, Dubai grew leaps and bounds. His support to help Pakistan community grow in Dubai was tremendous as he provided equal opportunities to grow our businesses and be part of development of Dubai in particular and the UAE in general," said Haider, who is living in Dubai since 1975.

Shahidul Islam, General Secretary of Pakistan Association in Dubai, said Shaikh Maktoum developed Dubai into a secure, peaceful and business-friendly city.

Abdul Nabi Bangash, President of Pakistan United Forum, said: "Dubai is second home for Pakistanis. We will miss our leader."

B.R. Shetty, an Abu Dhabi-based Indian businessman, said Shaikh Maktoum was a very pious person. "I met him in London. He immediately recognised me and came forward to meet me. He was am extremely humble and simple human being."

Sunil Bhatia, a Dubai-based Indian businessman, said: "It is very unfortunate."

P.K. Mohammad, president of Dubai Arts Lovers Association, said all members expressed their sorrow and condolences over the demise of Shaikh Maktoum.

Khushi Khatwani president of the Indian Association Dubai said: "In him, we have lost a great leader, a true friend who had always been a great support to the Indian community living and working in the UAE."