UAE leader names his son as Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi
Published on: March 31, 2023 07:00 (EAT)
The leader of the United Arab
Emirates on Wednesday named his eldest son as crown prince of Abu Dhabi and his
likely successor as president of the second biggest Arab economy.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al
Nahyan (MBZ), president of the UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi, named Sheikh Khaled
bin Mohamed as crown prince of the emirate, state-run WAM news agency reported.
The move comes 10 months after
MBZ became president of the Persian Gulf nation after the death of his brother
Oil-rich UAE is a member of
the OPEC oil cartel and controls some of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth
The nation is a federation of
seven emirates, each with its own ruling family, which also includes the
regional business and tourism hub Dubai.
MBZ also appointed his brother
Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed as vice president of the UAE, a position he will share
with the ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister of the UAE Sheikh Mohammed bin
Rashid Al Maktoum (MBR), 73, who is also his father-in-law.
The position was
previously held solely by the ruler of Dubai.
Sheikh Mansour, 52, has been
deputy prime minister of the UAE since 2009, and this month became the chairman
of Mubadala, one of the UAE’s sovereign wealth funds that manages $17 billion
worth of assets.
Sheikh Mansour is also the owner of the Premier League’s
Manchester City Football Club.
Two brothers of the president,
Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed and Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed, were named deputy rulers
of Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
Sheikh Tahnoun is the UAE’s
national security adviser and chairman of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority,
which has assets worth $790 billion, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund
Cinzia Bianco, a visiting
fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said the naming of a
second vice president for the first time indicates an attempt by Abu Dhabi to
centralize power “in an inclusive way.”
The appointment of Sheikh Mansoor Bin
Zayed to the position alongside Dubai ruler MBR was likely intentional, she
said, given that he is MBR’s son-in-law.
“The overall aim of all of these
appointments is to centralize without disrupting the unity and the
fragmentation within the different royal families of the UAE too much,” she
The UAE president wanted to
give prominent positions in Abu Dhabi to members of his family because “having
leading position in Abu Dhabi is having a leading position over the entire
country,” she said.
Bader Al-Saif, assistant
professor of history at Kuwait University, said on Twitter that the sharing of
the vice president position between Dubai and Abu Dhabi doesn’t necessarily
chip away at Dubai’s role since MBR already serves as prime minister.
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