Profile: Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed, Deputy Ruler of Abu Dhabi

He holds a number of senior roles in the public and private sectors in the emirate

Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed was named Deputy Ruler of Abu Dhabi  Photo: Supreme Council for National Security
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Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed was named Deputy Ruler of Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

He has served as National Security Adviser since 2016, when the late President Sheikh Khalifa appointed him to the position, reporting directly to the chairman of the Supreme Council for National Security.

Sheikh Tahnoun, 54, who is brother of President Sheikh Mohamed, also holds senior roles in high-profile businesses in the emirate.

He is chairman of the board of directors of First Abu Dhabi Bank, which was created from the merger of National Bank of Abu Dhabi and FGB.

Speaking after the merger in 2017, Sheikh Tahnoun said the launch of the new bank was “an exciting milestone, as we establish a new identity which draws on past achievements, while symbolising our vision for the fut­ure”.

“FAB represents the genesis of a story, built upon our sturdy Abu Dhabi roots and is set to spark a movement dedicated to helping everyone we interact with, to grow stronger,” he said.

Sheikh Tahnoun is chairman of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the world's biggest sovereign wealth funds, which makes investments across asset classes such as equities, fixed income, infrastructure, private equity and property.

He has served as chairman of International Holding Company since 2020 and holds the same role at Abu Dhabi's leading artificial intelligence and cloud computing group, G42.

He is also chairman of Abu Dhabi-based investment and holding company, ADQ, one of the biggest holding companies in the region with investments in energy and utilities, food and agriculture, health care and life sciences, and transport and logistics.

Sheikh Tahnoun is also chairman of Abu Dhabi’s Royal Group, which is active in a number of sectors, including property, construction, food and beverages, hospitality, aviation and health care.

The group has more than 60 companies under its umbrella and employs 20,000 people.

Key role in UAE development

As National Security Adviser, Sheikh Tahnoun has had a prominent role in the progress and development of the UAE.

Following the signing of the Abraham Accords, he met with Yossi Cohen, head of Israel's Mossad security service, in the UAE.

Sheikh Tahnoun affirmed that the UAE was committed to the principles of peace and tolerance, as well as promoting diplomacy that will contribute to the enhancement of stability in the region.

"The UAE will spare no efforts in delivering that goal," he said.

Sheikh Tahnoun said that rapid scientific and technological progress required a sincere quest for best possible practices and expertise from countries to ensure a better future for people in the region.

He has met senior government officials on numerous occasions in recent years, including UK prime minister Boris Johnston in 2022 and the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim.

Sheikh Tahnoun has a black belt in jiu-jitsu and has been integral to the growth of mixed martial arts in the UAE and the region.

After watching his first UFC in 1993, he studied the combat sport in the US, before setting up Abu Dhabi Combat Club and the ADCC World Submission Fighting Championships.

Updated: March 30, 2023, 2:06 PM