The President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has died aged 73, leaving behind a fortune of £120 billion.
Longtime leader of Abu Dhabi and half-brother of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour died on Friday, according to state media.
A statement from the Ministry of Presidential Affairs said it “condoles to the people of the UAE, the Arab and Islamic nation and the world on the death of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE.”
The leader has been battling an illness for several years, state media reported.
The country now enters a 40-day mourning, a three-day labor ban and all flags are flown at half-mast.
Sheikh Khalifa has been President of the UAE since 2004 after the death of his father.
Born in 1948, he was the country’s second President and the 16th leader of Abu Dhabi.
He has long been absent from the day-to-day affairs of the country’s government as his brother, Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, was seen as the de-factor ruler.
Sheikh Khalifa has rarely been seen in public since 2014 when he underwent surgery after a stroke.
There was no immediate announcement about his successor – but Mohammed bin Zayed is in line to take the top job.
The world’s tallest building in Dubai is named after the late ruler Burj Khalifa, whose oil-rich emirate helped save Dubai during a financial crisis.
The Abu Dhabi royal family, led by Sheikh Khalifa, is said to be worth a staggering £120 billion.
The Sheikh was also chairman of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, which controls assets worth more than £571 billion.
His brother Sheikh Mansour has amassed a £17 billion fortune of his own thanks largely to his booming International Petroleum Investment Company.
Under the constitution, Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, will serve as President until the Federal Council meets within 30 days to elect a new President.
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/5330693/uae-president-sheikh-khalifa-bin-zayed-al-nahyan-dead/ Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and brother of the Man City owner, has died at the age of 73