The United Arab Emirates’ president Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan passed away on Friday, a report from state TV said. He was 73.
“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,” Emirati state news agency WAM reported.
The government announced that three days of public an expression of and honor would be observed following the demise of Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Forty days of mourning will be announced as well.
“The Ministry of Presidential Affairs announced that there will be 40 days of official mourning with flags at half mast and three days closure of ministries and official entities at the federal and local levels and the private sector,” Wam added.
Khalifa, who was born in 1948, came to power in 2004 in the richest emirate Abu Dhabi and became the head of state.
Khaleej Times reported that he was elected to succeed his father, the late His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who served as the United Arab Emirates’ first president since the formation of the union in 1971 until he passed away on November 2, 2004.
After Khalifa’s death, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan has been designated the successor to the throne of Abu Dhabi by his half-brother.
Mohammed bin Zayed was the de-facto ruler of the Union of Abu Dhabi emirates, specifically following injuries to Khalifa in 2014. He has since rarely been seen in public.
Sheikh Khalifa was the second President of the United Arab Emirates and the 16th Ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. He was the son of Sheikh Zayed.