Global Tributes as UAE President Goes Home

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said the United Arab Emirates has lost “its righteous son” following the passing of the country’s President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Sheikh Khalifa, who served as the president of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi since November 3, 2004, died at the age of 73, Emirates News Agency WAM reported on Friday.Advertisement

“The Emirates lost its righteous son, the leader of the ‘empowerment stage’ and the trustee of its blessed journey… His stances, achievements, wisdom, giving and initiatives in every corner of the country,” Sheikh Mohammed said in a tweet.

“May God have mercy on you with his vast mercy and enter you into his paradise.”

The Ministry of Presidential Affairs also gave a brief statement, saying the UAE people, Arab and Islamic nations and the world is mourning the death of the president who “who moved next to his Lord satisfactorily on Friday, May 13th…wishing Allah Almighty to grant him eternal peace and the UAE people patience and solace.”

Global tributes

Tributes from world leaders and heads of state also poured in on Friday, with Sheikh Khalifa described as a dedicated leader whose legacy would live on.

Omani president Sultan Haitham bin Tarik issued royal orders declaring official mourning and flags at half-mast for three days following the death of Sheikh Khalifa.

A statement read: “With great emotion and grief, His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq al-Mu’azzam received the news of the death of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the sisterly Arab State of the United Arab Emirates, who was one of the sisterly Arab leaders of the United Arab Emirates.

“Those who worked to serve their Arab and Islamic nation and led the sisterly United Arab Emirates with determination and perseverance until it became a landmark referred to in all fields.

“The Sultanate shares the grief of the leadership, government and people of the brotherly United Arab Emirates in their great affliction… We belong to God and to Him we shall return.”

Bahrain also ordered three days of mourning, according to a public statement.

It read: “At an order by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the Royal Court has mourned late His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE.

“The Royal Court paid homage to the late UAE President who passed away after a life rich in achievements to serve the UAE people as well as the Arab and Islamic nations. It extended most sincere condolences to the Al Nahyan family and the UAE people, praying to Allah the Almighty to bless the deceased with mercy and rest his soul in vast paradise.”

Kuwait’s leadership also offered similar condolences.

Biden: ‘He was a true partner of the US’

In a statement, US President Joe Biden said: “Jill and I were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan. Sheikh Khalifa was a true partner and friend of the United States throughout his decades-long tenure as President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, and in his earlier role as Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. On behalf of the American people, I offer my condolences to Sheikh Khalifa’s family and all Emiratis as they mourn this great loss. We will honour his memory by continuing to strengthen the longstanding ties between the governments and people of the United States and the United Arab Emirates.”

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett also shared a statement on Twitter reading: “On my behalf and that of the Government and citizens of Israel, I express condolences to my friend Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the Gov. & people of the UAE on the passing of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE. Sheikh Khalifa’s great legacy and deeds were appreciated by many in Israel. The State of Israel stands alongside the UAE and its people at this difficult time.”

India’s PM Narendra Modi also shared his condolences, saying in a statement: “I am deeply saddened to know about the passing away of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed. He was a great statesman and visionary leader under whom India-UAE relations prospered. The heartfelt condolences of the people of India are with the people of UAE. May his soul rest in peace.”

Pakistan President Nawaz Sharif said this his country had lost a “true friend.”

“I express deep sorrow and grief over the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE. My heartfelt condolences to the government and the people of the United Arab Emirates. Pakistan has lost a true friend. May Allah rest his soul in peace.”

Across the UAE, residents took to social media to speak off the loss of their much-loved President.

Khalifa al-Gaz, wrote on Twitter: “A sorrowful day for all Emiratis.”

Born in 1948, Sheikh Khalifa was the second president of the UAE and the 16th Ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

He was the eldest son of Sheikh Zayed.

Since becoming the president of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa has presided over a major restructuring of both the federal government and the government of Abu Dhabi.

Some of Sheikh Khalifa’s most notable roles were his chairmanships of Abu Dhabi’s Supreme Petroleum Council, founded in 1988, and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, which he was instrumental in creating in 1976.

His key objectives as the president of the UAE were to continue on the path laid down by his father Sheikh Zayed, whose legacy, he said, “will continue to be the beacon guiding us into the future, a prosperous future where security and stability will reign.”

Sheikh Khalifa steered the development of the oil and gas sector and the downstream industries that have contributed successfully to the country’s economic diversification.

The Ministry of Presidential Affairs declared official national mourning for the death of the president for 40 days from Friday.

Work in both public and private sectors will be suspended for three days, the Dubai Media Office clarified.

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