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UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan passes away

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), whose modernization policies helped turn his country into a regional power, has died at the age of 73.

State news agency WAM quoted a statement from the UAE Presidential Affairs Ministry as saying that Sheikh Khalifa passed away today, May 13.

Authorities have declared an official national mourning and the whole country will fly the flag at half-mast in memory of the late president for a period of 40 days, starting from May 13. Ministries, departments, sectors, federal and local agencies as well as the private sector will be closed for 3 days in memory of Sheikh Khalifa.

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UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan during his lifetime. Photo: Onmanorama News

According to CNN, Sheikh Khalifa’s role has been largely symbolic since he suffered a stroke and underwent surgery in 2014. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, his younger brother and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, is well known. The viewer is the de facto leader of the UAE, handling day-to-day affairs for the Gulf state.

Sheikh Khalifa was appointed the second president of the UAE in 2004, succeeding his father and the nation’s founder, Sheikh Zayed al Nahyan.

Born in 1948 in eastern Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa is the eldest son of Sheikh Zayed. Before taking over as president of the UAE, he was crown prince of Abu Dhabi and headed the Abu Dhabi Supreme Petroleum Council, the body that drafts the country’s energy policies.

As president, he heads one of the world’s largest hedge funds, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, which manages hundreds of billions of dollars in assets.

Burj Khalifa, one of the tallest buildings in the world, is named after him after the UAE government rescued Dubai from debt. As a sports fan, he supported the acquisition of English football club Manchester City.

Tuan Anh

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