Sheikh Rashid's public-facing roles were limited to positions such as president of the Dubai Cultural and Sports Club and, briefly, president of the UAE National Olympic Committee, and an association with Dubai Cares, the emirate's child education charity.
He found greater success as a sportsman, winning accolades for his horsemanship, including the individual gold in the 120km endurance ride at the 15th Asian Games in Qatar in 2006.
He competed in horse racing competitions around the world and owned Zabeel Racing, the Dubai stables where his horses were trained.
He also played football at home, and was said to be a supporter of Manchester United.
Following his death a three-day mourning period was declared across the UAE, and dignitaries from around the Gulf have offered condolences to his family.