Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, died today Friday, according to the Emirati state news agency WAM. He was 73 years old.
“The Ministry of Presidential Affairs declared on Twitter that there will be 40 days of formal mourning with flags at half mast and three days of closure of ministries and official bodies at the federal and municipal levels, as well as the private sector.”
The ruler, who had been battling illness for several years, had long ceased having involvement in day-to-day affairs, with his brother, Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, seen as the de-factor ruler.
There was no immediate announcement about the successor.
Born in 1948, Sheikh Khalifa was chosen in 2004 to succeed his long-serving father Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan who ascended the throne in 1971.