Prince Mohamed bin Zayed or MbZ was elected President of the UAE on Saturday (14/5). He was elected a day after his former leader and brother, Sheikh Khalifa, died.
MbZ was elected by the Supreme Federal Council to become ruler of the oil-rich country founded by his father in 1971.
The meeting between MbZ and members of the Supreme Federal Council comprising the rulers of the UAE’s seven emirates was held today, as the country enters a period of mourning for his half-brother Sheikh Khalifa.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, died on Friday (13/5) at the age of 73 after undergoing intensive care. Sheikh Khalifa himself was appointed President of the UAE in 2004, replacing his father who was the country’s pioneer, Zheikh Zayed Al Nahyan.
But de facto MbZ for the last 10 years has led the UAE as his brother’s health continues to deteriorate.
MbZ is called the pioneer of modernization in the UAE and has made various breakthroughs for his country, one of which is opening the tourism sector as an alternative foreign exchange earner besides oil and gas.
Under his leadership, the UAE has also sent missions to Mars, sent astronauts into space, and opened the first nuclear reactor. The UAE is also Saudi Arabia’s closest ally, is close to Israel, and is involved in the Iranian-backed war in Yemen.