The President of the United Arab Emirates died and his powerful younger brother is expected to succeed him at the head of the OPEC’s third largest oil producer.
The Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyanwhich directed the UAE during the global financial crisis Y oversaw its rapid economic transformationheld the position since 2004. He was 73 years old.
the sheikh Khalifa was also the ruler of Abu Dhabithe largest and richest of the seven emirates that make up the UAE. His younger brother, Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyanit is planned to be become president of the country Y ruler of Abu Dhabi.
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“Khalifa bin Zayedmy brother, my mentor and my teacher, may God have mercy on you and take you to his good grace and to paradise,” he wrote. Sheikh Mohammed On twitter. It is unclear who will succeed him as Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.
MBZas is commonly known Sheikh Mohammedhas been the de facto leader of the UAE for years due to poor health of Sheikh Khalifa. The succession is not expected to bring about a significant change in policy direction, including oil policy.
The Sheikh Mohammed already controls the country’s energy policy and oil wealthwhich is estimated to amount tol 6% of all world reserves. The crown prince is also president of the national oil company of the UAE and direct the Abu Dhabi Supreme Council for Financial and Economic Affairswhich makes it the most powerful man in the country long before his brother’s death.
“Functionally it changes little; MBZ has been running the show almost since the beginning,” Ryan Bohl, Middle East analyst at Stratfor Worldview, wrote on Twitter. “But it is the end of an era for the UAEmarked by a second gold rush for the services and knowledge sector”.
The UAE announced 40 days of mourning and the closure of the public and private sector for three days starting Saturday.
Who was Sheikh Khalifa?
the sheikh Khalifa I was born in 1948 in the oasis of Al Ain, near the border with the sultanate of omn.
He became Prime Minister of Abu Dhabi in 1969, when the area was part of a British protectorate. After independence, in 1971, he was Minister of Defense and assumed other official functions.
He had eight children – two sons and six daughters – with his wife, Shamsa bint Suhail Al Mazrouei. The couple also had several grandchildren.
When the global financial crisis sun dubai in 2009, the sheikh Khalifa he spent billions of dollars rescuing the dazzling emirate, which was then still building what would become the world’s tallest tower. In his honor, the tower was renamed Burj Khalifa.
Crown Prince since 2004, he is expected to MBZ formally assume the functions it has performed for years, helping to improve the image of UAE What socially liberal and business-friendly oasis in a turbulent regionwhile maintaining a tight control of dissidence and covers the country with surveillance of high technology.
Although he rarely grants interviews and makes few public speeches, under the direction of MBZthe oil pass toaccelerate his transformation from regional business center to key political actor, one that stomps on the international scene.
It is an economic and political role that the neighboring power, Saudi Arabiais trying to snatch him away.
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Young for an Arab leader, this 61-year-old enjoys the washington trust and has also used the economic weight of the UAE to forge Influential alliances from Moscow to Beijing. As a soldier, he has also made the nation’s military one of the best equipped and trained in the country. middle East.
Under his rule, this country of 10 million people, situated on one of the world’s major waterways, has developed an assertive foreign policy and has focused on neutralizing all shades of political Islam at home and abroad, especially since the uprisings of the Arab Spring 2011.
In recent years, the crown prince has also tightened his control over politics and UAE oil productionnaming in 2016 Sultan Al Jaber, of the sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment as CEO.
Since then, the company has sold stakes in key assets, raising more than $20 billion and attracting new investors to the country. He is spending billions to pump more oilwith a crude oil production capacity that will increase by around 25% to 5 million barrels per day in 2030.
The country is also increasing the natural gas production capacity and intends to export more fuel, while committing to reduce its carbon footprint. The UAE are developingor solar and nuclear generation plants to reduce emissions and meet its goal of zero emissions by 2050, the first announced by a major producer of gulf crude.