UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan passes away
Abu Dhabi, May 13, 2022
United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan passed away today, an official announcement said.
He was 73.
WAM, the official Emirates News Agency, quoted a statement from the Ministry of Presidential Affairs as saying that the UAE would observe a 40-day national mourning, with the flag flown at half-mast, starting today.
Work will be suspended at all ministries, departments, and federal, local and private entities for three days, the statement added.
Sheikh Khalifa was the eldest son of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first President of the UAE, a federation of seven emirates -- Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm al Quwain and Ajman.
He succeeded his father as the President of the UAE and the Ruler of Abu Dhabi on November 3, 2004 upon the death of Sheikh Zayed.
Born on February 7, 1948 in Al Ain, Sheikh Khalifa received his school education in that oasis town in the UAE.
He became the representative of the ruler of Abu Dhabi in the Eastern Province and the president of its legal system in August 1966.
He was named the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi on February 1, 1969. He became Deputy Prime Minister in the second UAE Federal Cabinet in January 1974 and the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces in 1976.
He oversaw the setting up of the Abu Dhabi Defence Force (ADDF), which later became the nucleus of the UAE Armed Forces.
In January 1974, he was appointed as the first Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, which replaced the emirate's local cabinet. The council oversaw extensive development programmes in Abu Dhabi, including the construction of housing, water supply system, roads and general infrastructure that led to the emergence of the city of Abu Dhabi into the modern city that it is today.
Sheikh Khalifa was also in charge of establishing Abu Dhabi Investment Authority in 1976. This authority manages the financial investments of the emirate to ensure a stable source of income for generations to come.
He also established the Abu Dhabi Department of Social Services and Commercial Buildings (known as Khalifa Committee) in 1981. The department provides loans to citizens for construction.
In 1991, he created the Private Loans Authority to ensure that citizens were able to build the properties they needed, both for residential and for investment purposes. He was until 2006 the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), which oversees the country's international development assistance programme.