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UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan dies at 73



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e uae president khalifa bin zayed al nahyan dies at

By Chinelo Obogo

The President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and longtime ruler Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has died at the age of 73, UAE state media has announced.

The Ministry of Presidential Affairs has announced 40 days of mourning for his passing. Flags will be flown at half-mast and ministries, departments, federal and local institutions will suspend work starting today. The private sector will observe three days of mourning.

Khalifa bin Zayed is the eldest son of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding leader of the UAE.

He has been the leader of the country since 2004 when he was first elected president and has served in that capacity for over 17 years as the 16th emir of Abu Dhabi.

He helped transform the UAE into a thriving regional power and a major business and technology hub. It was in his time that the UAE normalised ties with Israel in the historic Abraham Accords.

In 2014, he suffered a stroke and, while stable, most authority was given over to his half-brother, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

 Khalifa bin Zayed will be succeeded temporarily by the emir of Dubai and vice president of the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum until the federal council which groups the rulers of the seven emirates meets within 30 days to elect a new president.