Abu Dhabi: UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan passed away on Friday, May 13. He was 73.
Al Nahyan had been battling illness for several years.
“The Ministry of Presidential Affairs condoles the people of the UAE, the Arab and Islamic nation and the world over the demise of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of the UAE,” Emirates News Agency (WAM) statement read.
It also announced official mourning and flags at half-mast for a period of 40 days, starting Friday.
Work will also be suspended in ministries, departments, federal and local institutions, and the private sector for three days.
His half-brother, Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan took to Twitter and wrote, “We belong to God and to Him we shall return.. The Emirates lost its righteous son, the leader of the “empowerment stage” and the trustee of its blessed journey.. His stances, achievements, wisdom, giving and initiatives in every corner of the country.. Khalifa bin Zayed, my brother, my mentor and my teacher, may God have mercy on you with his vast mercy and enter you into His good pleasure. and his madness.”
Taking to Twitter, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, its Minister of Defence, as well as the Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai wrote, “Oh God, we witness that Khalifa bin Zayed fulfilled his trust.. and served his flock.. and loved his people.. Oh God, his people have been satisfied with him.. be satisfied with him.. and cover him with your mercy.. and put him in your spacious gardens.. and inspire us and inspire his people, family and loved ones patience and solace.. we belong to God and to Him we shall return .”
Sheikh Khalifa served as the UAE President and Abu Dhabi Ruler since November 3, 2004. He was elected to succeed his father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who served as the UAE’s first president since the union in 1971 until he passed away on November 2, 2004.
Born in 1948, Sheikh Khalifa was the second president of the UAE and the 16th ruler of Abu Dhabi, capital city of the UAE. He also served as the chairman of the Supreme Petroleum Council since the late 1980s.
Khalifa is considered one of the world’s richest monarchs, and was head of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, which managed $875 billion in assets, the largest amount managed by a head of state in the world.
In 2018, Forbes named Khalifa in its list of the world’s most powerful people.