Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the longtime ailing president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Abu Dhabi, died on Friday, the Ministry of Presidential Affairs said. He was 73 years old.
The ministry has declared 40 days of mourning and suspended work in all ministries and the private sector for three days starting Friday, during which the flag will be hoisted at half-mast.
The Ministry of Presidential Affairs extends its condolences to the people of the United Arab Emirates, the Arab and Islamic nations and the people of the world on the death of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, “the official WAM news agency said in a statement. .
Sheikh Khalifa was the eldest son of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding president of the United Arab Emirates. He has been the President of the United Arab Emirates and the ruler of Abu Dhabi since November 3, 2004. He was elected successor to his father, who served as the first president of the United Arab Emirates from 1971 until his death on November 2, 2004.
Sheikh Khalifa’s role has been much more formal since he suffered a stroke in 2014. His brother and Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed of Abu Dhabi is widely regarded as the de facto leader of the UAE, which he manages every day. The subject of the day for the Gulf state.
Born in 1948, Sheikh Khalifa was the second president of the United Arab Emirates and the 16th ruler of Abu Dhabi. He was the eldest son of Sheikh Zayed.
Since becoming President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa has presided over a major restructuring of both the federal government and the Abu Dhabi government.
Under his rule, the UAE has witnessed an accelerated development that has ensured decent living for those who call the country home, the Khaleej Times reported.
Sheikh Khalifa led the development of the oil and gas sector and the low-level industries which have successfully contributed to the economic diversification of the country.
He made extensive trips across the UAE to study the needs of the UAE, during which time he directed the construction of several projects related to housing, education and social services.
Sheikh Khalifa oversaw much of the UAE’s economic growth, and his name became immortal in the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, a decade ago after bailing out debt-ridden Dubai during its financial crisis.
He held several positions and in 1976 became the Deputy Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. In November 2004, Sheikh Khalifa succeeded his father, Sheikh Zayed, as the ruler of Abu Dhabi and President of the United Arab Emirates.