ABU DHABI: United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has died, state news agency WAM reported on Friday.
“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,” WAM said.
Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, said UAE lost “righteous son and leader.”
He continued: “The Emirates has lost its virtuous son and leader of the ‘stage of empowerment’ and the trustee of its blessed journey.
“His stances, achievements, wisdom, generosity and initiatives are in every corner of the nation… Khalifa bin Zayed, my brother… may God have mercy on you and grant you access to paradise.”
Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum said: “It is with great sorrow and grief that we mourn to the UAE people, Arab and Islamic nations and the world the death of President of our country Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the leader of our journey.”
He continued: “May Allah bless his soul with ease on his new journey into the hereafter and grant him the highest ranks of paradise.”
The ministry announced 40 days of mourning with flags at half-mast from Friday, with work suspended in the public and private sector for the first three days, starting Saturday.
Sheikh Khalifa took over as the UAE’s second president in November 2004, succeeding his father as the 16th ruler of Abu Dhabi.
2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the UAE and Japan.