President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of United Arab Emirates (UAE) is dead.
The state news agency WAM reported this on Friday morning.
“The Ministry of Presidential Affairs condoles the people of the UAE and the Islamic world… on the passing of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan on Friday, May 13,” WAM said.
Commenting on the tragic news, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, said UAE lost a righteous son and leader.
The ministry announced 40 days of mourning with flags at half-mast from Friday, with work suspended in the public and private sector for the first three days.
Sheikh Khalifa took over as the UAE’s second president in November 2004.
He succeeded his father as the 16th ruler of Abu Dhabi.
Under the constitution, vice-president and premier Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, would act as president until the federal council which groups the rulers of the seven emirates meets within 30 days to elect a new president.
Khalifa, born in 1948, had rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2014 and his half-brother Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, known as MbZ, has been the de facto ruler of the U.S.-allied UAE, an OPEC oil producer.