He was, said Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, “loyal and helpful" to the country and to his father, Sheikh Zayed.
Sheikh Mubarak bin Qarran Al Mansoori, whose death was announced on Monday, was known as a man always open to those who sought his advice and his help.
It was at Sheikh Mubarak’s suggestion that the Zakat Fund, which offers and promotes charitable giving and assistance with a wide range of projects, was founded by Sheikh Zayed in 2003.
Long before that, Sheikh Mubarak was known as someone to go to if you needed help. He acquired the title 'sheikh' as head of Al Mansoori tribe, an honorific confirmed by Sheikh Zayed.
As The National noted in an appreciation earlier this year: “If you needed a house, or were a widow in desperate need of assistance during the days of Sheikh Zayed, you would know Sheikh Mubarak Al Mansoori.”
Born in 1939 in Al Dhafra, he accompanied Sheikh Zayed throughout his younger years.
Of his late father’s old friend, Sheikh Mohammed said on Twitter: “The UAE has lost today one of its loyal and great figures.”
Sheikh Mubarak was, the Crown Prince went on to say, "the loyal and helpful friend who accompanied the founding father on his journey. People sought wisdom and counsel from a renowned person such as himself".
It is only months since his contribution to the country was honoured with a Abu Dhabi Award in March, for which he was put forward by his sons.
He is survived by five sons and six daughters.
The citation for the award described Sheikh Mubarak as “amongst the most powerful and influential Emiratis whose achievements are recognised on a national level".
“An up close observer of Zayed’s era, he witnessed the ambition and efforts of the visionary leader who sought to establish the UAE union,” it said.
Sheikh Mubarak became Chairman of the Western Region Judicial Department’s Conciliation Committee in 2007 and was a member of the National Conciliation Council
Interviewed by The National after receiving the award in March, Sheikh Mubarak recalled: “I was with Zayed during the very beginning - during the Bedouin times to the urban times. In the UAE and abroad and because of Zayed, the UAE has always had a good reputation and is respected by everyone.”
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Coming in the Year of Zayed, the award meant a lot to him, Sheikh Mubarak said.
“It was a privilege to be his companion and to contribute in any way but it was all due to the generosity and legacy of Zayed," he said.
His son, Qarran, described his father as always helping others. “He was always sitting with Sheikh Zayed at the majlis asking him for help on behalf of Emiratis who couldn’t reach the president."
It was at Sheikh Mubarak’s suggestion that the Zakat Fund was started, Qarran told The National.
"They were at the majlis and my father told Sheikh Zayed that there were so many people in need, so why not establish the Zakat Fund – a charity dedicated to helping others," he said.
His sons had recommended him for the award.
“It was our way of thanking him for all his efforts and saw it as an encouragement to everyone to do good.”
“I remember being at a majlis with my father when I was young and everyone had something he wanted to ask from Sheikh Zayed, so my father responded and said why is everything on Shiekh Zayed?”
“And so he suggested a Zakat Fund where businessmen and anyone who wanted to donate could contribute. In its first year donations totalled Dh70 million.
“You could see the happiness in his eyes. He would quickly run to help people and wouldn’t let their matters be held up in bureaucratic procedures," he said.