Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan served as president of the United Arab Emirates, emir of Abu Dhabi, and supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
From the late 1980s to the present, he served as chairman of the Supreme Petroleum Council.
When his father, Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, suffered health issues in the late 1990s, Khalifa assumed several functions of the presidency in a de facto capacity as crown prince.
Meet Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Ash-Shaykh Zyed bin Suln l Nahyn was the driving force behind the foundation of the United Arab Emirates, merging seven emirates and becoming the Union’s first Ras (president), a position he maintained for nearly 33 years (1971 until his death in 2004).
For more than 30 years, he was the king of Abu Dhabi (6 August 1966 – 2 November 2004).
After staging a bloodless coup against Zayed’s elder brother, Shakhbut bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the British placed him as king of Abu Dhabi.
Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan had four sons, the youngest of whom was Zayed. From 1922 till his death in 1926, his father was the king of Abu Dhabi.
Zayed was the eldest of four siblings. Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan Al Nahyan, his eldest brother, succeeded their uncle, Saqr bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as ruler of Abu Dhabi.
His mother was Sheikha Salama bint Butti. She got a pledge from her sons that they would not use violence against one another, which they kept.
Sheikh Zayed’s grandfather, Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, ruled the emirate from 1855 to 1909.
The sheikhdom of Abu Dhabi was one of seven Trucial States along the Persian Gulf’s lower coast at the time of Sheikh Zayed’s birth.
Meet Hassa bint Mohammed Al Nahyan
Sheikha Hassa bint Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan was the first wife of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder and first President of the United Arab Emirates.
Sheikh Khalifa II, the current president of the United Arab Emirates and emir of Abu Dhabi, was her son (born 1948).
Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, her father, was her husband’s first cousin and a key member of the House of Al Nahyan until his death in 1979.
Sheikha Hassa bint Saqr Al Nahyan, who was also Sheikh Zayed’s first cousin, was her mother.
As a result, Sheikha Hassa bint Mohammed and her husband, Sheikh Zayed, were once-removed double first cousins.