Sheikh and President of the United Arab Emirates Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has died at the age of 76, reports the official news agency W.A.M. announced Friday.
Born in 1948, Khalifa has been President of the United Arab Emirates since 2004. He was also Emir of Abu Dhabi. It is not known what caused the death of the sheikh.
Vice President and Prime Minister Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum is now interim president and will take over until the country elects a new leader. To this end, the seven rulers of the emirates will meet within 30 days.
Khalifa is expected to be replaced by his half-brother and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi. The crown prince was already considered the de facto leader of the United Arab Emirates. Khalifa suffered a heart attack in 2014 and has barely appeared in public since then.