UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed dies age 73, MbZ expected to take the throne
UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan has died aged 73, state news agency WAM reported on Friday.
Sheikh Khalifa was also ruler of Abu Dhabi emirate, although real power rested with his half-brother Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, particularly after Khalifa suffered a stroke in 2014.
Under the constitution, vice-president and premier Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, will act as president until the federal council which groups the rulers of the seven emirates meets within 30 days to elect a new president. MbZ is likely to take over the throne, analysts have said.
The Ministry of Presidential Affairs has mourned to the UAE people, Arab and Islamic nations and the world the death of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who passed away on Friday, 13th May, 2022, wishing Allah Almighty to grant him eternal peace#WamNews pic.twitter.com/F1gHCWbZ3L— WAM English (@WAMNEWS_ENG) May 13, 2022
Khalifa, who was born in 1948, came to power in 2004 in the richest emirate Abu Dhabi and became the head of state.
During his time on the throne - and MbZ's de-facto rule - the UAE became one of the most autocratic states in the Middle East and pursued a regional policy that crushed pro-democracy movements in the Middle East.