President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates, one of the richest monarchs in the world, has died at the age of 73 leaving his half-brother Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan now in charge of the state affairs.
Sheikh Khalifa had been president of UAE since 2004, though retreated from official duties to ceremonial events only after suffering a stroke in the year 2014 that saw him rarely seen in public albeit he continually issued rulings.
Sheikh Khalifa was also the ruler of Abu Dhabi, other than heading the UAE, the world-renowned oil-rich capital of the seven emirates that comprise the UAE.
The al-Nahyan family is believed to have a fortune of over $150bn.
The Sheikh whose soul now rests in peace took over as the UAE’s second president in November 2004 that was after succeeding his father as the 16th ruler of Abu Dhabi.
The sad news of his demise has been announced this afternoon by the official WAM news agency.
Following this occurrence, the ministry of presidential affairs has declared 40 days of mourning as flags shall be at half-mast from Friday while work is to be suspended in the public and private sectors for the first three days.
The Sheikh is to be remembered for having presided over the government’s major restructuring of both the federal government and that of Abu Dhabi during his first decade of tenure in office.