Ras Al Khaimah: His Highness Shaikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, on Wednesday honoured an Indian employee who retired after serving the Ruler’s Office for 38 years.
The Ras Al Khaimah Media Office posted a video of the Ruler’s warm interactions with Cholakkal Kalayangal Aboobacker on social media.
The Ruler thanked Aboobacker for his efforts and dedicated service, which will be remembered by everyone. He wished Aboobacker success in his life and a safe return to his family in India, the post said.
Speaking to Gulf News later, the 61-year-old, who was seen all smiles throughout the video, said: “It will remain the most special day of my life.”
Hailing from Malappuram in the south Indian state of Kerala, the grandfather-of-two said he flew into Dubai from erstwhile Bombay (Mumbai) in September 1980.
“For about 10 months I did some odd jobs in a hotel and a hospital. A friend of mine, who was working with the Ruler’s Office, then helped me a get this job.”
Learning Arabic back home stood in good stead for securing the job, said Aboobacker who can speak, read and write in Arabic.
Seeing the Ruler at close quarters is nothing new to Aboobacker. He has served gahwa, the traditional Arabic coffee, to the Shaikh Saud and his father late Shaikh Saqr bin Mohammad Al Qasimi umpteen times at the majlis of the royal palace.
But, he never imagined one day he will be the centre of attraction at the same majlis where he had seen all UAE leaders.
“I have also seen founding father of the country Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Oman’s Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, and many leaders and diplomats from various countries. All those are unforgettable moments in my life.”
“Can you send some rain?”
Aboobacker said he found Shaikh Saud very friendly and jovial during the special farewell he received.
“I was excited and a bit nervous. But, he was very friendly and jovial. He asked me if I can send some rain from Kerala once I reach there and he also asked me the Malayalam word for mango. You know everyone loves Indian mangoes.”
The Ruler also enquired about his health and family and conveyed his best wishes for his future, he said.
“I also thanked him for everything that I have got from here. I have spent most part of my life here. I raised my three children with my earnings from here.”
He said he had brought his family to Ras Al Khaimah 10 years ago. “They stayed here for about six years and then went back. My elder son and daughter are already married and settled. Now I need to marry my youngest daughter off.”
He said he opted to retire voluntarily due to his health conditions. “I have diabetes and hypertension.”
Though his visa was valid for two more years, Aboobacker decided to call it a day and fly back home. He will be leaving the UAE for good in a few days.