Sheikh Khalifa: key milestones in his life

The President led from 2004 until his death on Friday, May 13

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Sheikh Khalifa served as the UAE's second President for almost two decades.

Succeeding his father, UAE Founding Father the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Sheikh Khalifa oversaw many moments of historic progress in the Emirates.

Here, The National takes a look at the key moments in the life of Sheikh Khalifa.

1946: Sheikh Zayed settles in Al Ain after being made Ruler’s Representative in the Eastern Region.

1948: Sheikh Khalifa, Sheikh Zayed’s first son, is born in Al Muwaiji fort, Al Ain. He is educated in the first local school established by his father.

1966: Aged 18, Sheikh Khalifa is appointed Ruler’s Representative in the Eastern Region after his father becomes Ruler of Abu Dhabi and moves to the capital.

1969: Appointed Crown Prince, Sheikh Khalifa moves to Abu Dhabi to take command of the emirate’s newly formed army.

1971: Following the foundation of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa is appointed Deputy Prime Minister in the first federal Cabinet.

July 15, 1971: Sheikh Khalifa launches the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development to help developing countries with assistance in the form of concessionary loans, developments grants and equity participation.

HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai presented the first copy of his new book "Flashes of Inspiration" to HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi. (WAM) *** Local Caption ***  a18a793e-7a3c-452a-81f7-5169e5663259.jpg

1974: The Executive Council replaces local Cabinet as executive authority for local government of Abu Dhabi; Sheikh Khalifa is named its first president.

1976: Sheikh Khalifa is promoted to Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, with special responsibility for training and equipment.

1976: Sheikh Khalifa is instrumental in the foundation of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority “to invest funds on behalf of the government of the emirate of Abu Dhabi to make available the necessary financial resources to secure and maintain the future welfare of the emirate”.

1979: Sheikh Khalifa’s maternal grandfather, Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa, dies. The senior member of the Al Nahyan family taught Sheikh Khalifa much about leadership as a young man.

1979: Sheikh Khalifa establishes the Khalifa Housing Fund to finance the construction of residential and commercial buildings for nationals at low cost. He is credited with kick-starting the construction boom in Abu Dhabi.

1981: Sheikh Khalifa sets up the Abu Dhabi Department of Social Services and Commercial Buildings, popularly known as The Sheikh Khalifa Committee, to provide loans to nationals for construction projects. More than Dh35 billion has been lent, helping to create more than 6,000 multi-storey buildings in the Emirate.

December 1, 1985: Sheikh Khalifa announces the UAE is to build a new naval base to “ensure sovereignty over territorial waters, protect our coasts of some 400 nautical miles and preserve our national resources, much of which are located offshore in the Gulf”.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, visits President Sheikh Khalifa to wish him well on the second day of Eid Al Adha. Wam

Late 1980s: Sheikh Khalifa becomes Chairman of the Supreme Petroleum Council.

November 1, 2004: Sheikh Khalifa is appointed as Interior Minister.

November 2, 2004: The UAE's Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed, dies at 86.

November 3, 2004: The Federal Supreme Council elects Sheikh Khalifa as President of the UAE, for an initial term of five years, renewed in 2009. Sheikh Mohamed succeeds him as Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

December 1, 2005: Sheikh Khalifa announces that half the members of the Federal National Council will be elected.

December 2, 2005: “The years ahead require a bigger role for the Federal National Council,” Sheikh Khalifa says in his National Day address. “We will embark on a march that culminates in more participation and interaction from all the citizens of the country ... today, we stand at a threshold of a new era, whose ultimate objective is to entrench the rule of law and due process, accountability, transparency and equal opportunity.”

February 2007: Sheikh Khalifa sets out a strategic vision for the future, designed to ensure the welfare of citizens, in policy agenda issued by Abu Dhabi Executive Council. In a speech to the Federal National Council he commits the UAE government to a political system based on “consultation, justice and security", which enables all citizens – men and women – to “actively and positively participate in running their country”.

May 1, 2007: Johns Hopkins Medicine in the US announces a “transformational” financial gift from Sheikh Khalifa in memory of his father, Sheikh Zayed.

May 13, 2007: Sheikh Khalifa welcomes Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for a two-day visit to Abu Dhabi, the first by an Iranian president since 1979.

June 3, 2007: Sheikh Khalifa launches the Dh2bn Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development to develop small to medium-sized business and “to create a new generation of Emirati entrepreneurs”.

January 4, 2010: Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest building, is renamed Burj Khalifa in honour of the President.

January 25, 2014: It is announced the President has suffered a stroke and undergone surgery.

July, 2017: President Khalifa is shown receiving rulers and members of the Supreme Council at Al Bateen Palace.

May 13, 2022: State news agency Wam announces the death of President Sheikh Khalifa.

Updated: May 24, 2022, 8:56 AM
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