The president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, dies at the age of 73

“The Ministry of Presidential Affairs mourns the people of the United Arab Emirates, the Arab and Islamic nations and the whole world. The leader of the nation and patron of its march, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the State, has passed away alongside the Lord today, Friday May 13, “said WAM.

“The Ministry of Presidential Affairs announces an official mourning and flags at half mast for the late His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, may God have mercy on him, for a period of 40 days, starting today, and suspending him work in ministries, departments, federal and local institutions and in the private sector for 3 days, starting today (Friday), ”WAM said in a tweet.

Sheikh Khalifa’s role has been largely ceremonial since he suffered a stroke and underwent surgery in 2014. His brother and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, has been widely regarded as the de facto leader. of the United Arab Emirates, handling day-to-day day-to-day affairs for the Gulf state.

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

Born in 1948 in the eastern region of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa was the eldest son of Sheikh Zayed. Prior to his role as president, he was Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and headed the Abu Dhabi Supreme Oil Council, which designs oil policy.

As president he led one of the largest investment funds in the world, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, managing hundreds of billions of dollars in assets.

One of the tallest buildings in the world, the Burj Khalifa, got its name after the UAE government saved Dubai from its debt and, as a sports fan, backed the takeover of the Premier League football team English Manchester City.