May 13: The United Arab Emirates’ long-ailing ruler, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nayhan, died Friday, the government’s state-run news agency announced in a brief statement. He was 73.
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, including flags to be flown at half-staff.
He had long ceased having involvement in day-to-day affairs, with his brother, Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, seen as the de-facto ruler. There was no immediate announcement about the successor.