June 2, 2023

The appointment of Sheikh Khalid bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, the son of the President of the Emirates, to the position of Crown Prince of the influential Emirate of Abu Dhabi opens up the opportunity for the young politician to lead the wealthy state of the Persian Gulf in the future.

His appointment comes as part of a series of political changes that are most notable during the era of the oil nation’s president, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as he took office in May 2022, following the death of his brother. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Government news agency WAM reported on Twitter: “As Ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the President of the State issues an Emir Decree appointing Khalid bin Mohammed bin Zayed as Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi.”

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed himself held this position before he became president. His accession to the presidency last year sparked speculation about who would succeed him as Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

Gulf expert Bader Al-Saif, associate professor of history at Kuwait University, tweeted: “This move was expected (…) as it follows a pattern (…) in other Gulf countries.”

She added that the appointment “provides more stability and a smoother succession” given that “the consolidation of power between Mohammed bin Zayed’s brothers is no secret. The decrees confirm this.

And Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed decided, according to WAM, to appoint his brother Mansour bin Zayed as Vice President of the state along with the rulers of Dubai and the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Sheikh Mansour holds the position of Deputy Prime Minister, is the owner of the English football club Manchester City.

He also issued two Emir decrees appointing two of his brothers, Hazza bin Zayed and Tahnoun bin Zayed, as Deputy Rulers of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

In addition to being a national security adviser, Sheikh Tahnoun holds several positions in the oil-rich country, including chairing the board of directors of its sovereign wealth fund and most recently behind the UAE’s campaign to reform relations with Qatar, Turkey and Iran. .

The UAE, one of the world’s largest oil producers and an ally of the US, Russia and China, has become a major power in the Middle East with the decline of traditional centers of gravity such as Egypt and Iraq in recent years.

The appointment of Sheikh Khalid bin Mohammed was welcomed by other rulers of the Persian Gulf, including in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as well as by the leaders of six other emirates of the UAE.

Sheikh Khalid bin Mohammed (41) served as a member of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Head of the Executive Office of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. He is a member of the board of directors of state oil giant ADNOC.

He has been actively involved in youth and environmental projects, as well as in sports, promoting jiu-jitsu and helping to host NBA games in the capital of the UAE.

Emirati political science professor Abdul Khaleq Abdullah told AFP that Sheikh Khalid bin Mohammed had already represented his father on foreign trips in preparation for taking over the leadership.

He said that while he would be working directly with his 62-year-old father, who was still in the early stages of his presidency, he had plenty of time to study.

“He was trained for this position,” he said. Everyone who has closely watched him over the years knows that he is ready for this and suitable for this job,” he said, adding, “He has earned his father’s trust. He communicates easily with people (…), which is very important.”

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has always been considered a strong man and the de facto ruler of the country, behind its diplomatic ascent many years ago, even before he became president.

Sheikh Mohammed became crown prince in November 2004 and is the third son of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of the Emirates. He has also served as Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.

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