Sheikh Khalifa, the President of the United Arab Emirates, has died.
The announcement was released by the state news agency Wam on Friday afternoon.
The funeral will take place on Friday after the maghrib prayer, with funeral prayers being held in all mosques across the UAE.
The Ministry of Presidential Affairs said there will be 40 days of official mourning with flags at half-staff, and three days of closure of ministries and official entities at the federal and local levels as well as the private sector. The official period of mourning will begin on Saturday, with normal business hours resumed on Tuesday.
On Saturday, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, will receive condolences from the Rulers of the Emirates and senior officials at Mushrif Palace.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Dubai’s Vice President, and Ruler expressed his sorrow at the news.
“It is with great sorrow and grief that we mourn to the UAE people, Arab and Islamic nations and the world the death of President of our country Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the leader of our journey,” Sheikh Mohammed wrote on Twitter.
“May Allah bless his soul with ease on his new journey into the hereafter and grant him the highest ranks of paradise.
“Grant us, his people, his family, and his loved one’s patience and solace. To God, we belong and to Him, we shall return.”
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid published a message in honor of the UAE President on social media.
“To God, we belong and to Him, we shall return,” Sheikh Mohamed wrote.
“The UAE lost its righteous son, the leader of the ’empowerment stage’ and the trustee of its blessed journey.
“Khalifa bin Zayed, my brother, my mentor, and my teacher, may God have mercy on you with his vast mercy and grant you his satisfaction and paradise.”
The Supreme Council will have one month to gather and select the President’s successor, according to the UAE Constitution. The new President will be chosen by the Federal Supreme Council members.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid will acquire full presidential responsibilities during this time. The new President will be chosen by the Supreme Council and will serve for five years before being eligible for re-election.
The council convened on December 3, 2004, one day after Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father, died, and overwhelmingly elected Sheikh Khalifa to the office of President.
Within 24 hours, it is likely to be decided who would succeed Sheikh Khalifa as Ruler of Abu Dhabi.