x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Body of Emirati boy who fell into the Nile found

The uncle of Hamad Abdulla Al Ali, 6, said this afternoon the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had confirmed his boy's body had been found.

Hamad Abdulla Al Ali, from Sharjah, fell into the water during a night cruise with his family on Friday
Hamad Abdulla Al Ali, from Sharjah, fell into the water during a night cruise with his family on Friday

The body of a six-year-old Emirati boy who fell into the Nile last week has been found.

Hamad Abdulla Al Ali, from Sharjah, fell into the water during a night with his family on Friday night in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

His uncle, Ibrahim Al Ali, yesterday said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had informed him Hamad's body had been found 25km downstream from where he was last seen.

"I cried all night thinking about him," said the boy's uncle Ibrahim Al Ali.

Hamad, the youngest of five, was standing on the seats on the back of the boat when he lost his balance, his uncle said.

"His father wanted to jump in after him but they told him it was too dangerous. The dark waters at night and the fast currents of the river would have probably killed anyone who went after him," he said.

Hamad's father, Abdulla Al Ali, a lawyer who heads the Abdulla Al Ali and Associates law company in Dubai, was too upset to talk to his brother on the phone.

"He has not been able to sleep since and has been crying for his son," said Ibrahim Al Ali, who added that he too had been unable to stop crying.

"Hamad was loved and spoiled by all as he was the youngest. He was your average six-year-old who loved bikes."

Muhammed Latif, who has been the public relations officer at Mr Al Ali's company for more than 20 years, said the whole office was distraught.

"Hamad was Mr Abdulla's favourite child and he was the most similar to his father. It's terrible that this has happened, especially as it was not in his country."

Mr Latif said Mr Al Ali had been on holiday in Egypt for 15 days with his wife and three of his five children, Hussam, Hind and Hamad.

The other two children, Mohammed and Reem, had stayed in the UAE.

After receiving a call from Mr Al Ali about Hamad's accident, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs worked with the Ministry of Interior to send a search and rescue team to Eygpt.

Juma Mubarak Al Junaibi, undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the ministry had instructed the UAE Embassy in Cairo to work with Egyptian authorities to search for the child.

A spokesman for the Egyptian Embassy in Abu Dhabi said a team of divers from the UAE had arrived in Cairo yesterday morning to help in the search.

tsubaihi@thenational.ae