DUBAI: United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan passed away at the age of 73 on Friday, Private News channel reported.
The Ministry of Presidential Affairs announced official mourning and flags at half-mast for a period of 40 days, starting Friday. Work will also suspended in ministries, departments, federal and local institutions, and the private sector for three days.
According to Reuters, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who was born in 1948, came to power in 2004 in the richest emirate Abu Dhabi and became the head of state. He is expected to succeeded as ruler of Abu Dhabi by his half-brother Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.
Mohammed bin Zayed has the de facto ruler of the U.S.-allied UAE, particularly. After Khalifa suffered a stroke in 2014, following which he has rarely seen in public.
Under the constitution, vice-president and premier Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, will act as president until the federal council which groups the rulers of the seven emirates meets within 30 days to elect a new president.