Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi, passed away on 13 May at the age of 73. Sheikh Khalifa had been president since November 2004 and was the eldest son of the UAE’s founder Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Since suffering a stroke in January 2014, Sheikh Khalifa stepped back from most day-to-day duties, with his brother Muhammad bin Zayed taking an increasingly visible role as de facto leader of Abu Dhabi and the UAE in recent years.

The ruler of Dubai, UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Muhammad bin Rashid, will now serve as acting president until the Federal Council – a body constituting the rulers of the UAE’s seven emirates – elects a new president within 30 days. It is widely expected that Muhammad bin Zayed will be selected. (CONTINUED - 234 WORDS)