The United Arab Emirates president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has died, with the country now entering a 40-day period of mourning.
Sheikh Khalifa, who ruled the country for 18 years, was 73 – as yet, the cause of his death has not been shared with the public.
The Ministry of Presidential Affairs announced his death in a statement that read: “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.”
The Dubai Media Office shared a statement on Twitter to say the country would be entering a period of state mourning, during which flags will fly at half-mast, while work in both the public and private sectors will take a three-day break from today.
The statement read: “The Ministry of Presidential Affairs announces 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 work in ministries, departments, federal and local institutions, and the private sector for three days, starting today.”
The Ministry of Presidential Affairs has declared official mourning for UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for 40 days from today.— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) May 13, 2022
Sheikh Khalifa was President of the UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi since November 3, 2004.
The world’s tallest tower in the UAE’s emirate of Dubai is named the Burj Khalifa in honour of Sheikh Khalifa.
Sheikh Khalifa was in steered the country as it faced the worst days of the global financial crisis.
It’s believed his younger brother, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, will succeed him.
Sheikh Khalifa had not been involved with the day-to-day affairs of the country in recent years, with Sheikh Mohammed acting as the country’s de facto ruler, after his brother had a stroke in 2014.
As well as his brother, Sheikh Khalifa leaves behind his wife Shamsa bint Suhail Al Mazrouei and eight children: Sultan, Mohammed, Shamma, Salama, Osha, Sheikha, Lateefa and Mouza.
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