United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has passed away on Friday at the age of 73, UAE state news agency WAM reported.
A period of mourning will begin effective immediately for 40 days, where flags will be at half-mast, the Presidential Affairs Ministry said, according to WAM. Work in ministries and government departments on federal and local levels, as well as in the private sector, will also be suspended for three days effective immediately.
Khalifa bin Zayed is the eldest son of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding leader of the UAE. As the 16th emir of Abu Dhabi and president of the UAE, he has been the leader of the country since 2004 when he was first elected president – the second in the UAE’s history. He has served in that capacity for over 17 years.