Saeed Ahmed Khalifa Al Otaiba-1716977993781
Saeed Ahmed Khalifa Al Otaibi passes away in Dubai on Wednesday, May 29.

Abu Dhabi: Emirati poet Saeed Ahmed bin Khalaf Al Otaiba, one of the pioneering figures in Abu Dhabi, passed away on Wednesday.

He was a close companion of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan from his youth and during the early days of Sheikh Zayed’s rule over the city of Al Ain.

President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan condoled his passing, saying: "May God have mercy on Saeed bin Ahmed Al Otaiba, who worked with dedication as a close companion of the late Sheikh Zayed. I extend my sincere condolences to his family at this difficult time."

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, also paid tribute to the late Saeed Ahmed bin Khalifa Al Otaibi.

“May God have mercy on Saeed bin Ahmed Al Otaiba and grant him the highest place in paradise. May Allah grant his family patience and solace. Al Otaiba was a key figure in the economic development in the country, a living memory of the capital, and one of the pioneers alongside the late Founding Father,” Sheikh Mohammed said in a post shared on his X account.

Al Otaiba witnessed the early development of the UAE. He played a pivotal role in laying the foundation for the economic renaissance achieved by the country.

Al Otaiba served as chairman of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry since 1971 and later as chairman of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

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Saeed Al Otaiba was born in the Al Dhahr neighbourhood of Abu Dhabi. During his childhood, he received his early education in the Holy Quran and basic literacy at Al Katatib traditional Islamic education.

Saeed Al Otaiba was involved in the pearl industry and trade, given his family’s prominence in the region. His family owned numerous boats, which were utilised for various purposes such as pearl diving, trade, and transporting goods from India, Iran, and Basra.