The president of the oil-rich Gulf state, who rarely appeared in public, is likely to be replaced by his brother, Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, who was already seen as the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates. Joined.
“The Ministry of Presidential Affairs has mourned before the people of the United Arab Emirates, the Arab and Islamic nations and the world the death of the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan,” the official WAM news agency tweeted.
The ministry announced 40 days of mourning, with flags at half-staff from Friday and work suspended in the public and private sectors for the first three days.
He has rarely been seen in public since 2014, when he underwent surgery after a stroke, although he has continued to make rulings. His cause of death was not immediately released.
The United Arab Emirates, a former British protectorate founded in 1971, has risen from a desert outpost to a prosperous state in its short history, buoyed by its oil wealth and Dubai’s rise as a commercial and financial hub.
“Emirates has lost its virtuous son and leader of the ’empowerment stage’ and the trustee of his blessed journey,” Mohammed bin Zayed tweeted on Friday.
“Your postures, achievements, wisdom, generosity and initiatives are in every corner of the nation… Khalifa bin Zayed, my brother… may God have mercy on you and grant you access to paradise.”
He came to the rescue of Dubai when it was hit by the global financial crisis in 2009, extending a multimillion-dollar lifeline to the debt-laden emirate.
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