The UAE has declared a 40-day period of mourning following the death of its president.
Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has died.
This was reported by the state news agency WAM on Friday morning.
“The Ministry of Presidential Affairs expresses its condolences to the people of the UAE and the Islamic world… on the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan on Friday, May 13,” WAM said.
In response to the tragic news, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan stated that the UAE had lost a righteous son and leader.
The ministry declared 40 days of mourning beginning Friday, with flags flying at half-mast and work suspended in the public and private sectors for the first three days.
In November 2004, Sheikh Khalifa became the UAE’s second president.
He succeeded his father as Abu Dhabi’s 16th ruler.
According to the constitution, vice-president and premier Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, would serve as president until the federal council, made up of the rulers of the seven emirates, met within 30 days to elect a new president.
Khalifa, who was born in 1948, has been rarely seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2014, and his half-brother Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, also known as MbZ, has been the de facto ruler of the US-allied UAE, an OPEC oil producer.