The president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has died.

Sheikh Khalifa died on Friday, aged 73 after a long battle with an illness.

The UAE government’s state-run news agency announced his death in a brief statement.

Khalifa suffered a stroke In January 2014 but was in a stable condition. He ceased having involvement in the daily affairs of ruling the country assumed a lower profile in state affairs but kept ceremonial presidential powers. 

His half-brother, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who was perceived as the de facto ruler carried out public affairs of the state and day-to-day decision-making of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Khalifa will be remembered as the president of the UAE who oversaw much of the country's blistering economic growth.

His name has been immortalized in the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, after bailing out debt-crippled Dubai during its financial crisis over a decade ago.


The UAE's Ministry of Presidential Affairs announced a 40-day period of mourning and a three-day suspension of work in all ministries and the private sector beginning Friday. The flags in the UAE will also be flown at half-staff.

Khalifa is survived by eight children; two sons and six daughters, with his first wife, Sheikha Shamsa bint Suhail Al Mazrouei. He is also survived by several grandchildren.