United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has appointed his eldest son Sheikh Khaled as the crown prince of Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, according to a presidential decree, making him the next leader of the emirate. rich oil.
Sheikh Khaled, 41, is married to Sheikha Fatima bint Suroor Al Nahyan. They have one son and one daughter. He graduated from the American University of Sharjah and earned a PhD from the War Studies Department of King’s College London in 2014, according to Gulf News.
Since then, he has held several top positions across Emirati institutions. In 2016, he was named chairman of the State Security Department and a year later he was appointed deputy national security adviser. As of 2019, he is a member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and chairman of the powerful Abu Dhabi Executive Office, a government body that oversees the implementation of strategic and executive plans in the emirate.
Sheikh Khaled also sits on the board of the state oil company, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. During his tenure at the oil giant, he launched many renewable energy and green hydrogen projects as the UAE moved towards sustainable energy.
Local news site Khaleej Times reports that Sheikh Khaled oversaw the inauguration of several youth and cultural programs. As a jiu-jitsu practitioner, he tried to host world sporting events in the UAE. In 2021, he attended the signing ceremony of a partnership agreement between the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism and the National Basketball Association (NBA), which saw Abu Dhabi host the first NBA games in the Gulf region in October 2022.
Although Sheikh Khaled has made several achievements in the Emirates, he was one of the many politicians mentioned in the Pandora Papers, a leak of almost 12 million documents in 2021 that revealed politicians who have evaded taxes. According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Sheikh Khaled was a business partner in an offshore investment company along with Singaporean billionaire Ong Beng Seng and Emirati billionaire Ali Saeed Juma Albwardy.
Leaders from across the Gulf including Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman congratulated Sheikh Khaled on his appointment.
In a separate decree, Sheikh Mohamed, also known by his initials MBZ, named his brother Sheikh Mansour as UAE vice president. He also appointed his other brothers, Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as deputy rulers of Abu Dhabi.
The recent appointments reflect the President’s efforts to centralize power in oil-rich Abu Dhabi. He has been the de facto leader of the Emirates since his brother and former ruler of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Khalifa suffered a stroke in 2014. After the death of the latter in May 2022, Sheikh Mohamed became the president of the UAE.
The Gulf nation has transformed over the past decades from a desert to a major financial and business hub in the region.
During Sheikh Mohamed’s rule, the UAE has strengthened its alliance with fellow oil giant Saudi Arabia and joined the Arab coalition fighting in Yemen before gradually withdrawing its forces. In 2020, along with Bahrain, the UAE agreed to establish full diplomatic ties with Israel and signed a US-brokered treaty known as the Abraham Accords, which was seen as a way to strengthen the face of opposition against Iran’s growing influence in the region .