- The UAE govt has announced three days of public holiday and 40 days of mourning.
- Khalifa, who was born in 1948, came to power in 2004 as the second President of the UAE.
- He is expected to be succeeded as ruler of Abu Dhabi by his half-brother Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.
DUBAI: United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has died, state news agency WAM reported on Friday.
“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,” a Wam statement read.
Following his demise, the UAE government announced three days of public holiday and 40 days of mourning.
Khalifa, who was born in 1948, came to power in 2004 in the richest emirate Abu Dhabi and became the head of state. According to Khaleej Times, he was elected to succeed his father, the late His Highness 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.
Now after his demise he is expected to be succeeded as ruler of Abu Dhabi by his half-brother Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.
Mohammed bin Zayed has been the de facto ruler of the US-allied UAE, particularly after Khalifa suffered a stroke in 2014, following which he has rarely been seen in public.
Sheikh Khalifa was the second President of the UAE and the 16th Ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
He was the eldest son of Sheikh Zayed.
The publication reported that Sheikh Khalifa presided over a major restructuring of both the federal government and the government of Abu Dhabi since becoming the president of the UAE.
During his tenure, the UAE has witnessed an accelerated development that ensured decent living for the people calling the country home.
After being elected President, Sheikh Khalifa launched his first strategic plan for the UAE government to achieve balanced and sustainable development, placing the prosperity of UAE citizens and residents at the core.
He also steered the development of the oil and gas sector and the downstream industries that have contributed successfully to the country’s economic diversification.
He undertook extensive tours throughout the UAE to study the needs of the Northern Emirates, during which he gave instructions to build a number of projects related to housing, education and social services.
Additional input from Reuters