Khalifa bin Zayed;UAE President dies at 73

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Mr Bin Zayed, who was 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 facto ruler.

Khalifa bin Zayed, President of United Arab Emirates, has died, Emirati state news agency WAM reported.

He was 73.

“The Ministry of Presidential Affairs announced that there will be 40 days of official mourning with flags at half mast and three days closure of ministries and official entities at the federal and local levels and the private sector,” the agency wrote on Twitter on Friday.

Mr Bin Zayed, who has 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 facto ruler.

There was no immediate announcement about the successor.

Before his demise, he was rarely seen in official photos or at public events for many years.

He succeeded his father and the UAE’s founder, Sheikh Zayed, in 2004. He suffered a stroke a decade later, keeping him largely out of public sight ever since.

The world’s tallest tower in the UAE’s emirate of Dubai is named the Burj Khalifa after the late ruler.

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