Sheikh Khalifa served as the president of the UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi from November 3, 2004. He was elected to succeed his father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, who served from 1971 until his death on November 2, 2004.
Written by Kanishka Singharia | Edited by Chandrashekar Srinivasan
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan, ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the United Arab Emirates died on Friday at the age of 73. The cause of death was not immediately revealed, although he had been ill for a long time. The Ministry of Presidential Affairs has announced 40 days of mourning. Flags will be flown at half-mast and ministries, departments, federal and local institutions will suspend work starting Friday, the Khaleej Times reported.
5 things to know about Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan
*Sheikh Khalifa was born in 1948 in the inland oasis of Al Ain, near the border with the sultanate of Oman. He was named after his great-grandfather – Sheikh Khalifa bin Shakhbut al Nahyan and was the eldest son of UAE founder and first president Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan.
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*Sheikh Khalifa served as the president of the UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi from November 3, 2004. He was elected to succeed his father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, who served from 1971 until his death on November 2, 2004.
*Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed suffered a stroke in 2014 and had surgery. He continued to hold ceremonial powers and occasionally offered rulings but his half-brother, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, had power and will likely succeed him.
*Sheikh Khalifa held the largest and wealthiest of the seven sheikhdoms that comprise the UAE. According to business publication Forbes, he controls 97.8 billion barrels of reserves (oil) and runs one of the largest sovereign wealth funds, with reported assets of $830 billion.
*Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan’s name is most familiar for its connection to the world’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The name of the tower was switched from the Burj Dubai to Burj Khalifa in 2010 in a show of gratitude towards the late ruler, whose oil-rich emirate helped bail Dubai out during a financial crisis.
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