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Ruler of Abu Dhabi

H.H Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
The President of the United Arab Emirates
Ruler of Abu Dhabi

HH Sheikh Khalifa, the eldest son of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, was born in 1948 in Al Ain, in the Eastern Region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. He was named after his great grandfather, Sheikh Khalifa bin Shakhbout. His mother is Sheikha Hesa bint Mohamed bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, one of the cousins of his father, the late Zayed bin Sultan.

Symbolising the intrinsic traditions of generosity, benevolence and courage, HH Sheikh Khalifa is a distinguished leader of the Al Nahyan family. Although there was no formal system of education at the time, he received his early education in Al Ain, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi’s second-largest city and the traditional home of many of the local tribes.

Brought up in this singular environment, the young Sheikh Khalifa was raised in the noble traditions of his people, able to interact daily and directly with them and listen to their hopes and aspirations.These traits of leadership became clear during the early stages of state formation and nation-building of the modern UAE, when HH Sheikh Khalifa became able to answer the needs of the people as he leading initiatives, assumed roles and responsibilities assigned to him by his late father.


September 18, 1966:
Appointed as both the Ruler's Representative in the Eastern Region and Chairman of the Courts.

February 1, 1969:
Named the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

February 2, 1969:
Appointed Chairman of the Defence Department, upon the formation of the Abu Dhabi Defence Force.

July 1, 1971:
Chaired the first Abu Dhabi Ministerial Council. By this point, he also held the portfolios of Defence and Finance.

February 20, 1974:
Appointed the first Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.

Appointed as Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, following the historic decision by The Federal Supreme Council leading to the unification in that year of the Emirates’ armed forces formations, under one leadership and one national flag.

November 3, 2004:
The Federal Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates elected His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan as the President of the UAE after the sad demise of his father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.