UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan dies aged 73

United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has died, Emirati state news agency WAM reported. He was 73.

“The Ministry of Presidential Affairs ordered 40 days of formal mourning with flags at half mast and three days of closure of federal, state, and local ministries and official organizations, as well as the business sector,” the agency posted on Twitter on Friday.
Sheikh Khalifa had been rarely seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2014, with his brother, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed (known as MBZ), seen as the de facto ruler and decision-maker on major foreign policy decisions, including joining the Saudi-led war in Yemen and spearheading an embargo on Qatar in recent years.

“The United Arab Emirates has lost its noble son and leader of the ’empowerment phase’ and custodian of its beautiful path,” MBZ wrote on Twitter, praising Khalifa’s wisdom and charity.


According to the constitution, Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, would serve as president until the federal council of the seven emirates meets in 30 days to pick a new president.

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