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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Shaikh Mohammed: A leader keen on fostering trade and political ties across region

Shaikh Mohammed, who was named Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi in November 2004, is the third son of Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, the founder of the UAE
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ABU DHABI: Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan was elected as the President of the United Arab Emirates on Saturday unanimously by the Federal Supreme Council, made up of rulers of the UAE's seven emirates. He has also been named as Ruler of Abu Dhabi.


Shaikh Mohammed, who was named Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi in November 2004, is the third son of Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, the founder of the UAE.


He has been serving as deputy commander of the armed forces and chairman of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi.


Born in the capital on March 11, 1961, Shaikh Mohammed was sent to military school in Britain, where he graduated from the famed Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1979.


He rose through the ranks to become air force commander, deputy chief of staff and finally chief of staff in January 1993, and a year later was promoted to the rank of general.


Shaikh Mohammed has forged links in world capitals and particularly in the West. He is believed to have taken the decision to deploy troops in Yemen in 2015 as part of a Saudi-led military campaign.


His ambitions have been on display in recent years as the UAE built its profile as a regional player.


He was the first Gulf leader to strike a deal normalising relations with Israel, breaking with the decades-old Arab League consensus to isolate Israel until it agrees to the establishment of a Palestinian state.


Under his leadership, Abu Dhabi has fostered trade and political ties across the region.


In 2017, he announced that Abu Dhabi's Grand Mosque, also known as Shaikh Zayed Mosque after his father, would be renamed the Mariam Umm Issa (Mary, Mother of Jesus) mosque as a means to "consolidate bonds of humanity between followers of different religions".


The UAE has in short order built a nuclear power programme and sent a man to space.


And in July 2020 it joined another elite club by sending a probe to Mars, to mark the 50th anniversary of its unification.


An avid football fan, Shaikh Mohammed is president of the local club in the oasis of Al Ain.


He is married to fellow royal Shaikha Salama bint Hamdan al Nahyan. The couple has four sons and five daughters. - Agencies


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