UAE president names son crown prince of Abu Dhabi

UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan named his son the crown prince of Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, a post that traditionally designates the next in line for the presidency of the oil-rich and powerful Gulf sheikdom.

Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed is the eldest son of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed. He sits on Abu Dhabi’s powerful Executive Council and Emirates’ national security body. The new appointment puts the 43-year-old ahead of a more established and senior Emirati ruling family for possible succession.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, often referred to as “MBZ” and the UAE’s long-term de facto ruler, was named president last May when his half-brother Sheikh Khalifa died after ill health sidelined him for of years.

In another shakeup, the Emirati ruler named his brother Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan as vice president of the UAE, alongside the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The 53-year-old Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the owner of Manchester City football club.

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Tahnoun bin Zayed, who is the UAE’s national security adviser, was named deputy ruler of Abu Dhabi alongside Hazza bin Zayed, another brother of the president.

The security chief, known for his trademark aviator sunglasses, was appointed chairman of Abu Dhabi’s $790bn sovereign wealth fund earlier this month. Tahnoun is already chairman of the International Holding Company (IHC), a sprawling conglomerate whose market capitalization is $236bn more than Walt Disney or McDonald’s.

Tahnoun and Mansour are two of six brothers, known as the Bani Fatima, born to Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of the UAE, and his third wife, Sheikha Fatima. Among them is the Emirati President, Mohamed bin Zayed.

The UAE’s global boom has increased in recent years. Dubai has attracted everyone from western businessmen and social media influencers to Russian oligarchs. Like its Gulf neighbours, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the UAE has also benefited from rising energy prices, exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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