The United Arab Emirates UAE President, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan has died at age 73.
The State’s media reported Friday, that the UAE leader died after battling illness for several years.
“The Ministry of Presidential Affairs condoles the people of the UAE and the Islamic world… on the passing of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan on Friday, May 13,” the official WAM news agency said.
The Ministry has subsequently announced 40 days of mourning with flags at half-mast from Friday, with work suspended in the public and private sectors for the first three days.
Sheikh Khalifa took over as the UAE’s second President in November 2004, succeeding his father as the 16th ruler of Abu Dhabi, the federation’s richest emirate.
He has rarely been seen in public since 2014, when he had surgery following a stroke, although he has continued to issue rulings.
His brother, Abu Dhabi, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, has been considered as the UAE’s de facto ruler in recent years. AFP