Dubai (Web Desk): United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has passed away at the age of 73, state news agency WAM reported on Friday.
“The Ministry of Presidential Affairs condoles the people of the UAE, the Arab and Islamic nation and the world over the demise of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of the UAE,” a Wam statement read.
Following his demise, the UAE government announced three days of public holiday and 40 days of mourning.
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.
Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed, who was born in 1948, came to power in 2004 in the richest emirate Abu Dhabi and became the head of state.
According to Khaleej Times, Khalifa was elected to succeed his father, the late His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who served as the UAE’s first president since the union in 1971 until he passed away on November 2, 2004.
Now after his demise he is expected to be succeeded as ruler of Abu Dhabi by his half-brother Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.
Mohammed bin Zayed has been the de facto ruler of the US-allied UAE, particularly after Khalifa suffered a stroke in 2014, following which he has rarely been seen in public.
Sheikh Khalifa was the second President of the UAE and the 16th Ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. He was the eldest son of Sheikh Zayed.