Shaikh Khalifa: Know more about the leader, his personal life
12th anniversary of the Presidency of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
November 3 marks the 12th anniversary of the Presidency of His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan - marking as many years of progress and prosperity across the seven emirates.
It was on November 2, 2004, when Shaikh Khalifa succeeded his father, late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan as president of the UAE, Ruler of Abu Dhabi and Commander of the Armed Forces.
Shaikh Khalifa is the second President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the 16th Ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the largest of the seven Emirates which comprise the UAE.
Born in 1948, in the Eastern Region of Abu Dhabi, Shaikh Khalifa is the eldest son of Shaikh Zayed and Her Highness Shaikha Hessa bint Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
His full name is Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan bin Zayed bin Khalifa bin Shakhbout bin Theyab bin Issa bin Nahyan bin Falah bin Yas.
Shaikh Khalifa is married to Her Highness Shaikha Shamsa bint Suhail Al Mazrouei, and together they have eight children: two sons and six daughters. He is also a grandfather to several grandchildren.
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.
After his father's passing and his accession to the role of the President of the UAE, Shaikh Khalifa launched an initiative to evolve the nomination system for members of the Federal National Council, which was seen as a first step towards the establishment of direct elections in the UAE.
The leader who listens
Shaikh Khalifa is renowned as being a good listener, modest, affable and interested in his people, frequently conducting direct outreach through official missions and other occasions. As a result he is much loved and revered.
His hobbies include fishing and falconry, both pastimes he developed a love for from his late father.
These interests have extended to personal support he has given to a number of environmental initiatives, including breeding and release programmes for falcons and the Houbara Bustard in the Arabian Peninsula and Central Asian regions.
The president is also interested in a variety of other sports, especially football, where he enjoys inaugurating or attending the main sporting events.
He has championed and honoured the successes of Emirati sporting teams at the local, regional and international levels.
The Ruler is also fond of reading history and literature.
Key positions held
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.
1976: 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 Shaikh 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.
(source: cpc.gov.ae, uaepresident.ae)
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