14 May 2022
The Diplomatic Informer Magazine SA wishes to extend our deepest condolences to the Rulers and the Royal family, the government and the people of the United Arab Emirates on the death of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. May the almighty have mercy on his soul. May his soul rest in peace.
The Ruler and President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan was the eldest son of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, widely known as the country’s founding father by Emiratis passed away at the age of 73.
His Highness Sheikh Khalifa was born in 1948 in the inland oasis of Al Ain, near the border with the sultanate of Oman. He was trained at Sandhurst, the royal military academy in England.
In 1969, Sheikh Khalifa was named as Abu Dhabi Prime Minister and Chairman of the Emirate’s Department of Defence, which later became the core of the UAE’s armed forces.
During his tenure, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa helped to boost the UAE’s regional profile and oversaw much of the country’s blistering economic growth and his name was immortalised on the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.
After suffering a stroke and undergoing emergency surgery in 2014, a decade after becoming President, he ceased having any involvement in the day-to-day affairs of ruling the country.
The last several years of his life saw his brother Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, rise to become the ruler and decision-maker of major foreign policy decisions. UAE recently marked its 50th anniversary.
The UAE has announced a 40-day period of mourning and a three-day suspension of work across the government and private sector. Flags will be flown at half-mast.
In his tweet Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed: “The UAE has lost a loyal son, and the leader of its blessed empowerment journey,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed wrote on Twitter after his brother’s death was officially announced on state media.
“Khalifa bin Zayed, my brother, supporter and mentor, may Allah Almighty grant you eternal peace.”
Dignitaries from around the world also have expressed their condolences on social media.
US President Joe Biden expressed his and First Lady Jill Biden’s sympathies on social media.
“Jill and I were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan,” he wrote.
“Sheikh Khalifa was a true partner and friend of the United States, and we will honour his memory by continuing to strengthen ties with the government and people of the UAE.”
Queen Elizabeth II offered her sympathies through a statement on social media, saying the President “devoted his life to serving the people of the United Arab Emirates and his relationship with its allies and friends”.
Messages of condolences also poured in from around the region and the world, foremost from leaders of Arab countries supported by Abu Dhabi.