Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan is the President of the United Arab Emirates and emir of Abu Dhabi.

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His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (Arabic: خليفة بن زايد بن سلطان آل نهيان‎; born 25 January 1948; referred to as Sheikh Khalifa) is the President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE)[2] and emir of Abu Dhabi. He succeeded to both posts on 3 November 2004, taking rule over from his father Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who had died the day before. He had effectively been acting president earlier, since his father was in ill health. Khalifa is also chairman of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD). His family wealth in March 2012 is estimated to be $37.5 billion.[citation needed]

Biography

1966–1971

The eldest son of Sheikh Zayed, Khalifa was appointed as Ruler's Representative in the Eastern Region of Abu Dhabi (the mayor) and as Head of the Courts Department in Al Ain in 1966, as his father Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan became the new ruler of Abu Dhabi. Zayed was the Ruler's Representative in the Eastern Region. Few months later the position was handed to Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan[3]

On 1 February 1969, Sheikh Khalifa was nominated as the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and on the next day he was appointed as the Head of the Abu Dhabi Department of Defense, in which post he oversaw the building up of the Abu Dhabi Defense Force, ADDF, which later became the nucleus of the UAE Armed Forces.

Sheikh Khalifa has two sons, Mohammad Al Nahyan and Sultan Al Nahyan [4]

Independence in 1971

Following the establishment of the UAE in 1971, Sheikh Khalifa became the Prime Minister of Abu Dhabi (and head of Abu Dhabi Cabinet, under his father), Minister of Defense of Abu Dhabi and Minister of Finance of Abu Dhabi. Following the reconstruction of the Cabinet of the United Arab Emirates including the abolishing of Abu Dhabi Cabinet and setting up of Executive Council of Abu Dhabi, he became the 2nd Deputy Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates on 23 December 1973 and Chairman of Executive Council of Abu Dhabi on 20 January 1974, under his father.

In May 1976, he became deputy commander of the UAE armed forces, under the President.

He also heads the Supreme Petroleum Council in the late 1980s (until today), which enjoys wide powers in energy matters.

He was the Chairman of the Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency, ERWDA.

Presidency (2004–)



Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan with then President of Russia Vladimir Putin on 10 September 2007.

He succeeded to both posts on 3 November 2004, replacing his father Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who had died the day before. He had effectively been acting president earlier, since his father was ill during the period prior to his passing.

On 1 December 2005, the President announced that half of the members of the Federal National Council, the closest body the country has to a parliament, will be indirectly elected. However, half of the council's members will still need to be appointed by the leaders of the emirates. The 40-member FNC serves in an advisory capacity. The elections were set to take place in December 2006.

On 4 January 2010, the world's tallest man-made structure, originally known as Burj Dubai, was renamed to Burj Khalifa, in honor of the Sheikh [1].

Sheikh Khalifa is known for his interest in sports traditional to UAE, chiefly horse and camel racing. He is generally regarded as a pro-Western modernizer. Early in his term, in April 2005, he authorized a 100% salary increase for employees of the state.

In 2010, Khalifa was described in a recent WikiLeaks cable signed by the U.S. ambassador as a "distant and uncharismatic personage."[5]

In recent times, there have been questions over his health as he has not been seen in public for a number of months since returning from receiving medical treatment in Europe for an undisclosed condition. In 2011 he sent in the UAE's Air Force and Navy to support the Anti - Gaddafi forces against Muammar Gaddafi alongside NATO, Qatar, Sweden and Jordan.

Seychelles

Seychellois government records show that since 1995 Sheikh Khalifa has spent $2 million buying up more than 66 acres of land on the Seychelles' main island of Mahé, where his palace is being built. [6] Since 1995 the Seychelles' government has received large aid packages from the UAE; the UAE has pledged more than $130 million in social service and military aid, including patrol boats for the Seychelles' antipiracy efforts. In 2008, the UAE came to the indebted Seychelles government's aid, with a $30 million injection. [6]

Khalifa paid $500,000 for the 29.8-acre site of his palace in 2005, according to the sales document. A Seychelles planning authority initially rejected the palace's building plans, a decision overturned by President James Michel's cabinet. [6] A month after the start of construction of the palace, the national utility company warned that the site's plans posed threats to the water supply. Joel Morgan, the Seychelles' minister of environment, said the government did not tender the land because it wanted it to go to Khalifa. Morgan said "the letter of the law" might not have been followed in the land sale. [6]

On 13 February 2010, the sewage system set up by Ascon, the company building the palace, for construction workers building the palace, overflowed, sending rivers of waste through the region, home to more than 8000 residents. [6] Local government agencies and officials from Khalifa's office responded quickly to the problem, sending in technical experts and engineers. Government officials concluded that Ascon ignored health and building codes for their workers, and fined the company $81,000. Ascon blamed the incident on "unpredicted weather conditions".[6]

Khalifa's presidential office offered to pay $15 million to replace the water-piping system for the mountainside. [6] Government officials and residents say Ascon has offered to pay roughly $8,000 to each of the 360 households that the government says have been affected by the pollution.[6]

Philanthropy

According to Forbes, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the world's third wealthiest monarch, with an estimated wealth of US$19 billion.[7]

On 30 April 2007, Johns Hopkins Medicine announced a "magnificent" and "transformational" gift by Sheikh Khalifa,[8] most of which, made in honor of Sheikh Khalifa’s father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, was planned to support construction of the Johns Hopkins Hospital’s new cardiovascular and critical care tower (also to be named after Sheikh Zayed). Additionally, some funds would be directed to cardiovascular as well as AIDS research.

He also founded the Khalifa Award for Education and finances a major housing programme in Sheikh Khalifa City (Gaza Strip).

A building in the theology department at the University of Wales is named after him, due to his being a benefactor.

MD Anderson Cancer Center announced on 19 January 2011 that they received $150 Million From Abu Dhabi Charity;.

The Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Charity Foundation has pledged $150 million to the University of Texas, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center to establish a cancer treatment clinic, the Emirates News Agency reports.

The largest grant in the center's history will support construction of a state-of-the-art facility to house the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Specialty Institute for Cancer Diagnosis and the Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Pancreatic Cancer Center. The grant also will fund a number of annual fellowships and will be used to endow an oncology chair named after Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, a cancer research chair named after Sheikh Khalifa University, and a scientific and medical research chair named after Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Speaking at a signing ceremony, M. D. Anderson Center president John Mendelsohn said that the funding will be channeled into research programs dedicated to discovering new and more effective ways of diagnosing and treating cancer.