UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan passes away at the age of 73

The ruler took office in November 2004. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif conveys his condolences

Sheikh KKhalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan – File Photo

UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan passes away at the age of 73

His Majesty According to the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and ruler of Abu Dhabi, passed on Friday.

“The Ministry of Presidential Affairs condoles the people of the UAE, the Arab and Islamic nations, and the globe on the death of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of the UAE,” said a statement released by the Emirates News Agency (WAM).

The Ministry of Presidential Affairs declared 40 days of mourning following the death of the 73-year-old leader. Flags across the country will be flown at half-mast, while government and local offices will be closed.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan took office on November 3, 2004, succeeding his father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who had previously served as the country’s first president.

Sheikh Khalifa’s era was marked by a dramatic restructuring of both the federal administration and the government of Abu Dhabi. Under his leadership, the country experienced fast development as he launched the UAE government’s first strategic plan to achieve balanced and sustainable development.

Sheikh Khalifa, as king, was keen to carry on his father’s legacy, stating that “[it] will continue to be the beacon guiding us into the future, a prosperous future where security and stability will prevail.”

Furthermore, the president was in charge of directing the development of the country’s oil and gas sector, as well as downstream industries that contributed to economic diversification.

In addition, the ruler launched the process of direct elections in the UAE by establishing a mechanism to evolve the nomination system for members of the Federal National Council.

During his reign, the northern emirates saw development as he paid visits around the region to develop building projects pertaining to housing, education, and social services.

As news of Sheikh Khalifa’s death broke, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif turned to Twitter to express his condolences.

“I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, President of the UAE. The UAE has lost a visionary leader, and Pakistan has lost a wonderful friend. We extend our heartfelt condolences and sympathy to the UAE government and people. May Allah grant his soul eternal rest!” The Tweet stated.

The army chief offered his condolences as well.

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