Abu Dhabi (UAE) – The president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan passes away at the age of 73.
“The Ministry of Presidential Affairs expresses condolences to the people of the UAE and the Islamic world… on the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan on Friday, May 13,” said the official WAM news agency.
The ministry declared 40 days of mourning beginning Friday, with flags flying at half-mast and work suspended in public and private sectors for the first three days.
Sheikh Khalifa became the UAE’s second president in November 2004, succeeding his father as the 16th ruler of Abu Dhabi, the wealthiest emirate in the federation. He has not been seen in public since 2014 when he underwent surgery after suffering a stroke, but he has continued to issue rulings.
On 3 November 2004, he took over as Emir of Abu Dhabi and President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), succeeding his father, Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who had died the day before. He had been acting president since his father became ill and died.
Khalifa was re-elected as President for a second five-year term in 2009. During his presidency in February of 2022, the UAE signed partnership agreements with Israel on tourism and healthcare.