The President of the UAE and the emir of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, passed away on May 13 at the age of 73.
“The Ministry of Presidential Affairs offers condolences to the people of the UAE, Arab and Muslim countries as well as world on the passing of Emir Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the UAE,” a statement said.
The UAE’s Ministry of Presidential Affairs has announced 40 days of national mourning with the flag at half-mast from May 13. All work in the public and private sectors was suspended for the first three days, according to AFP.
UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has passed away
The late Sheikh Khalifa has rarely appeared in public since 2014, when he had to undergo surgery after a stroke, although he continues to make decisions. His younger brother, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of Abu Dhabi, has been seen as a key player in the de facto leadership of the UAE in recent years.
Sheikh Khalifa has been the President of the UAE and the emir of Abu Dhabi, one of the emirates that make up the UAE, since November 3, 2004.
He was elected to succeed his father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who was the first president of the UAE since its incorporation in 1971 until his death on November 2, 2004.
Born in 1948, Sheikh Khalifa is the second president of the UAE and the 16th emir of the emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Since becoming president of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa has presided over a major restructuring in both the UAE government as well as the Abu Dhabi government. Under his leadership, the UAE has seen rapid development, according to the newspaper Khaleej Times.
Sheikh Khalifa has promoted the development of the oil and gas sector and related industries, contributing to the diversification of the country’s economy.