Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan was a key figure in his country’s history and one of the world’s richest monarchs. But he had a stroke in 2014 and had stepped back from many public duties.
The ailing ruler of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a key figure in his country’s history and one of the world’s richest monarchs, died on Friday, the state-run Emirates News Agency reported. He was 73.
No cause of death was given, but Sheikh Khalifa had a stroke in 2014 and subsequently stepped back from many of his public duties. The government announced that government offices and private businesses would close for three days beginning Friday and that a 40-day mourning period would be observed across the Persian Gulf nation.
Sheikh Khalifa became the United Arab Emirates’ head of state after the death of his father in 2004 and held an array of weighty titles, serving as the country’s president; the prince of Abu Dhabi, the emirate of its capital city; and the head of its armed forces, investment fund and petroleum council.