Sheikha Hessa, mother of Sheikh Khalifa, dies

The Ministry of Presidential Affairs announced three days of official mourning starting Sunday

UAE president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, attends the final session of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Kuwait City on December 15, 2009. Energy-rich states of the Gulf do not feel threatened by Iraq's plans to massively expand its oil production, Kuwait's foreign minister said. The GCC alliance is made up of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. AFP PHOTO/YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP PHOTO / YASSER AL-ZAYYAT
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Sheikha Hessa bint Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, the mother of Sheikh Khalifa, President of the UAE, and the first wife of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, founding President of the UAE, has died, it has been announced.

The Ministry of Presidential Affairs issued a statement on Sunday saying, "In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE, mourns the death of Her Highness the late Sheikha Hessa bint Mohammed Al Nahyan, who passed away today."

The ministry declared three days of official mourning beginning on Sunday during which UAE flags will be flown at half mast.

Condolences flooded in on social media from the public and the country's leaders.


Read more: 

UAE leaders pay tribute to late Sheikha Hessa, mother of Sheikh Khalifa 

The UAE's official mourning period explained


Sheikha Hessa was the daughter of Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the great granddaughter of Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa, known as Zayed the First.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan was born at Qasr Al Muwaiji in Al Ain in 1948, the home of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed the First, which passed to his son, Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa.