The late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the eldest son of the founder of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan – May God have mercy on him – is the second president of the country after his father, as he was elected on November 3, 2004, as President of the Gulf state that was founded on December 2, 1971.
His mother is Sheikha Hessa bint Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He was born on September 7, 1948, in Al Muwaiji Castle in the city of Al Ain in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the country, and lived with his family in the castle itself, where he received his school education at the Al-Nahyaniya School established by Sheikh Zayed, and spent most of his childhood in the oases of Al Ain and Al Buraimi accompanied by his father, who ruled the Al Ain region at that time.
Sheikh Khalifa remained loyal to his father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan – may God have mercy on him – in his mission to improve the lives of the tribes in the region and establish the authority of the state, which had a great impact on his education, just as Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan adhered to public councils.
He was appointed as the representative of the ruler of Abu Dhabi in the eastern region, and head of its legal system in August 1966. He was also appointed Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi on the first of February 1969, and he headed the first local council of ministers for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi on the first of July 1971, In addition to the defense and finance portfolios in this Council, he became Deputy Prime Minister of the Federal Cabinet on January 20, 1974, and then Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces in 1976.
When Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan moved to Abu Dhabi to become the ruler of the emirate in August 1966, he appointed his son Sheikh Khalifa – who was 18 years old at the time – as his representative in the Eastern Province and head of the courts. He considered this authorization as evidence of his father’s confidence in him.
On February 1, 1969, Sheikh Khalifa was nominated, Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and on the following day, he assumed the duties of the Defense Department in the Emirate. Sheikh Khalifa established the Department of Defense in Abu Dhabi, which later became the nucleus that formed the UAE armed forces. On July 1, 1971, and as part of the restructuring of the Abu Dhabi government, he was appointed the Ruler of Abu Dhabi and the local minister of defense and finance in the emirate.
On December 23, 1973, Sheikh Khalifa assumed the position of Deputy Prime Minister in the second cabinet.
Shortly, on January 20, 1974, he assumed the duties of the presidency of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which replaced the local government in the emirate.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed supervised the Executive Council in achieving comprehensive development programs in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and ordered the establishment of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority in 1976, intending to manage financial investments in the emirate, to ensure a stable source of income for future generations.
Khalifa bin Zayed was elected President of the State on November 3, 2004, following the death of his father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan on November 2, 2004.
Sheikh Khalifa was known to practice several hobbies, including fishing and falconry (hunting), which was reflected in his many interests, especially through his support for several environmental projects, including breeding and liberation programs for falcons and bustards in the regions of the Arabian Peninsula. and Central Asia. And the appointment of a Minister of Environment in the first government that was formed during his reign.
Sheikh Khalifa is a sports fan, and his other hobbies include literature and history.
In several cases, the country has witnessed a wide development renaissance. In 2005, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed ordered the implementation of a comprehensive infrastructure throughout the country and directed the allocation of 16 billion dirhams ($ 4.3 billion) to develop infrastructure and service facilities in the northern emirates to advance economic progress. and social development in these areas, to keep pace with the civilized and urban development witnessed by the other emirates. Until 2013, more than 24 ports were completed, the Sheikh Khalifa Hospital was built in Ras Al Khaimah, and thousands of homes were built, in addition to several highways, intersections, and tunnels.
His era of empowerment began in 2006, with the birth of the Federal National Council, which is an advisory council comprising 40 members, including women, where he worked on organizing the first electoral process that year to involve children in the political process and contribute to making their future and the future of future generations.
Parliamentary work during the era of the late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan witnessed a qualitative leap in the level of performance and influence at the legislative and supervisory levels.
According to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), the Federal National Council moved during the era of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the stage of complete empowerment to become a mainstay in decision-making and an active partner in making the future of the UAE.
The political empowerment program launched by the late in 2005 constituted the roadmap towards activating the role of the Federal National Council and enabling it to be a supportive, guiding, and supportive authority for the executive authority, and for it to be a council of greater ability, effectiveness, and adherence to the issues of the country and the concerns of citizens, and through which the values of participation and the Shura approach from through a regular gradient trajectory.
During the era of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE witnessed the organization of 4 electoral cycles for membership of the Federal National Council, during which the Shura approach, which has long characterized the country, was dedicated.
The first elections for the Federal National Council were held in December 2006, following Resolution No. 3/ of 2006 issued by the President of the State, and based on Resolution of the Federal Supreme Council No. /4/ of 2006, which determined the method for selecting representatives of the UAE in the Federal National Council.
The number of members of the electoral bodies of all emirates reached 6,595 members, distributed among all emirates, and the number of candidates for membership of the Federal National Council from all emirates of the country reached 456 candidates.
The voting process was conducted electronically, and computer technologies were used to record and store the data of candidates and voters and to verify their identities.
Emirati women had a prominent presence in these elections, as they witnessed the victory of the first Emirati woman to become a member of the Council through the election, and eight members were appointed by the rulers of the Emirates. Thus, in 2006, women occupied nine seats in the Federal National Council or 22.5%, and they are among the highest rates in the world.
The Federal National Council elections that took place on September 24, 2011, represent the second experiment, and one of the important stages in the political empowerment program in the United Arab Emirates, in which the segment of citizens participating in the selection of their representatives in the Federal National Council was significantly increased.
The number of electoral college members was 135,308, while the initial number of candidates was 469, including 85 female candidates, distributed across the emirates. The list of voters in each emirate was 54% male and 46% female.
The 2011 elections witnessed the use of social networking sites, Twitter and Facebook, by candidates for electoral promotion and addressing voters.
The electronic voting system was also adopted in 13 electoral centers at the state level, and in the third elections in 2015, the early voting process was applied for the first time in the country until the election day, which came on October 3.
The number of members of electoral bodies increased to about 224,000 voters, which is half the number of eligible voters, of whom women represented 48 percent.
The number of participating voters reached 79,157, while the number of candidates in the electoral race reached 330 candidates from all emirates. The elections were also marked by the large participation of the elderly.
In 2019, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s decision to represent women equally with men in the Federal National Council was a turning point in the process of supporting Emirati women.
The council elections in that year witnessed an increase of 48.5 percent in the number of voters compared to the previous session, which highlights the citizen’s keenness to contribute effectively to the decision-making process and improve parliamentary work in the UAE.
Foreign policy during the era of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed witnessed a balance in relations with the countries of the region and the world. The UAE also worked to raise dealings with countries to the levels of comprehensive partnership, and to strengthen relations with the Gulf Cooperation Council and Arab countries, in addition to the historic event of the UAE and Israel agreeing to direct relations full binary.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, named the tallest tower in the world after Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as his name was to be Burj Dubai. The most expensive point in the world must be associated with a great name and personality, and I now announce the opening of Burj Khalifa bin Zayed as the tallest man-made skyscraper,” in 2010. At the end of January 2014, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed fell ill as a result of a stroke.
The rulers of the Emirates and many officials confirmed that the country had lost, with the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a leader, and symbol, who devoted his life to serving the state, noting that he led the nation’s march and worked on the country’s renaissance.
Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah affirmed that the UAE and the Arab and Islamic nations have lost an outstanding leader, a wise man, and a generous person with his character and his giving to his country, religion, and nation and the world at large.
Leaders, officials, and leaders around the world mourned the President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who passed away today, Friday, according to what the official news agency announced.
United State of America (USA)
US President Joe Biden mourned UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, saying he was a “true partner and friend of the United States.”
“We will honor his memory by continuing to strengthen the relations between the governments and peoples of the United States and the United Arab Emirates,” he added.
The Queen of Britain, in a tweet on her official account on Twitter, expressed her sadness at the death of the President of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, saying: “It saddens me to hear the news of the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates.”
She added: “Your esteemed brother devoted his life to serving the people of the United Arab Emirates and his relationship with its allies and friends.”
And she continued, “It will be remembered for a long time by all those who work for regional stability and understanding between nations and religions.”
In his obituary to Sheikh Khalifa, the British Prime Minister said: “I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Abu Dhabi.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin mourned Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, praising the great efforts of the late in strengthening friendly relations between the two countries.
The Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajraf, mourned Sheikh Khalifa, stressing that the late contributed to supporting and consolidating the march of the Gulf Cooperation Council, saying: “We lost, with his departure from, a Gulf, Arab and international leader, and pioneer.”
Amin Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, mourned the late President of the UAE, expressing his “sincere condolences to the state, leadership, government, and people, in this great loss.”
The Secretary-General directed “the flag of the Arab League should be flown at half-mast for three days in mourning for the soul of the deceased Arab nation.”
A statement from the Saudi Royal Court said: “The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and His Royal Highness Prince Muhammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister, received with great sadness and great sorrow the news of the death of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan – The President of the United Arab Emirates, may God have mercy on him, and may he rest in peace.”
According to the statement published by the official news agency “SPA”, the King and the Crown Prince “expressed deep condolences and sympathy to the government of the United Arab Emirates, the honorable Al Nahyan family and the brotherly Emirati people, and to the Arab and Islamic nations on the death of a leader who gave a lot to his people, his nation and the world.”
The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs also said, in a statement published on its Twitter account: “We express our sincere condolences and sympathy to the government and people of the sisterly United Arab Emirates on the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed – may God have mercy on him – and we ask God to bless the deceased with his mercy and satisfaction.”
The King of Bahrain, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, also mourned Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed and declared official mourning and flags at half-mast in the Kingdom of Bahrain for three days.
The Kuwaiti News Agency, KUNA, said that the Emir of the country “expresses in two cables of condolences to the Vice President of the UAE and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi his deep sadness and affection for the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed and orders the declaration of 40 days of official mourning and the flags at half-mast.”
Sultanate of Oman
The Sultan of Oman, Haitham bin Tariq, announced the official mourning and the flags at half-mast in the public and private sectors and the Sultanate’s embassies abroad for three days, starting today, Friday, until next Sunday.
The Emir of Qatar also mourned Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, President of the Emirates, saying: “With great sadness, we received the news of the death of my brother Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and I express to his honorable family and the brotherly people of the Emirates my deepest condolences and sympathy.”
He ordered the declaration of mourning in the country for 3 days, and the flags at half-mast in mourning.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi mourned Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, noting that the late was loving Egypt and its people in all circumstances and conditions.
The Egyptian president wrote on his official page on the social networking site Facebook: “I mourn with sincere sadness and sorrow a man of the most precious men, and one of the greatest leaders, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, who passed away after a long journey of giving, in which he gave a lot to his country. and his nation, until the UAE became a model for development and modernity in our region and the world.”
He added: “Sheikh Khalifa was truly a lover of Egypt and a loyal friend in all circumstances. In my name and the name of the people of Egypt, I offer my condolences to the leadership, state, and people of the United Arab Emirates in this great affliction.”
The King of Jordan, Abdullah bin Al Hussein, mourned the President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the Jordanian Royal Court quoted in a tweet about King Abdullah: “May God have mercy on Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, we have lost a dear brother and an outstanding leader who inherited Wisdom on the authority of his late great father, Sheikh Zayed, who devoted his life to serving his country and the Arab and Islamic nations. We offer our condolences to our people in the UAE with this great loss, and we pray to God to bless him with His mercy.”
Iraqi President Barham Salih wrote: “With great sadness and sorrow, we received the news of the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the sisterly United Arab Emirates, who was known for his wisdom and giving for the sake of his homeland and the Arab and Islamic nation. With this great affliction.”
In a telegram of condolence sent to Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, and published by the Maghreb Arab News Agency, the Moroccan monarch, King Mohammed VI said: “I received with great sadness and deep regret the news of the bereavement of your venerable princely family in the loss of those covered by God’s pardon and consent, your accepted brother, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates.
The President of Algeria, Abdel Majid Tabun, mourned Sheikh Khalifa, saying: With this tragic tragedy, I extend, in my name and on behalf of the Algerian people, my sincere condolences and sympathy to the sisterly Arab Emirates, leadership, and people, hoping that God Almighty would bless the deceased with his vast mercy.
In my cables of condolences to the Vice President of the United Arab Emirates and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Lebanese President Michel Aoun mourned the death of the President of the State, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan: Lebanon misses, in the absence of Sheikh Khalifa, a president defending just Arab causes, and a sincere brother who loved Lebanon and the Lebanese who exchanged love and loyalty to him.
Mauritania mourned the Emirati president, and an official statement stated: “According to a presidential decree issued today, Friday, a three-day national mourning was declared throughout the national territory, following the death of the President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, may God have mercy on him.”
The President of the Libyan Presidential Council, Mohamed Al-Manfi, mourned the President of the Emirates. He was also mourned by the head of the Libyan unity government, Abdel Hamid Al-Dabaiba.
The Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, mourned, and the official Palestinian news agency “Wafa” said: “President Mahmoud Abbas mourns the State of the Emirates and its brotherly people, and the peoples of the Arab and Islamic nations and the world, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the sisterly United Arab Emirates.”
Wafa added: “The President extends his heartfelt condolences to Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, the sons of Sheikh Khalifa, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the State of.”
In turn, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of the UAE, mourned: “I received with great sadness and sorrow the news of the death of the President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, my dear brother Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. I ask God for mercy, and I offer my sincere condolences to the people of the UAE Sister United Arab Emirates.”
Head of the Presidential Leadership Council in Yemen, Rashad Al-Alimi, said: “With great sadness, I received the news of the death of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, the Arab leader who was an example to defend the causes of his nation and the prosperity of his people. In the alliance to support legitimacy, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and the brotherly Emirati people.”
He added: “The world and Yemen, in particular, have lost an exceptional man and a great leader defending the causes of his people and his Arab and Islamic nation, whose position has been firmly established in our collective memory due to his immortal positions inherited from the well-remembered His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God have mercy on him and all his honorable family.”
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed offered condolences on the death of the late Emirati president.
On the 13th of May, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Ruler of Abu Dhabi, and the Sheikhs of the Al Nahyan family performed the funeral prayer for the body of the late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, President of the UAE, at the Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed I Mosque in the capital.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and the Sheikhs carried the body of the deceased to his final resting place and were buried in Al Bateen Cemetery in Abu Dhabi.