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His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahayan (Arabic: ????? ?? ???? ?? ????? ?? ?????, born 1948) is the current president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He succeeded to the post on 3 November 2004, replacing his father Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahayan, who had died the day before. He had effectively been acting president earlier, since his father was in ill health. He is also the hereditary emir and ruler of Abu Dhabi. Following the establishment of the UAE on 2 December 1971, Sheikh Khalifa became deputy prime minister of the federal state under his father, who was president. In May 1976 he became deputy commander of the UAE armed forces. He also heads the Supreme Petroleum Council, which enjoys wide powers in energy matters. Sheikh Khalifa is known for his interest in sports traditional to UAE, chiefly horse and camel racing. A building in the theology department at Lampeter is named after him, due to his being a benefactor. He is generally regarded as a pro-Western modernizer. Early in his term, in April 2005, he authorized a 15-25% salary increase for employees of the state. On 1 December 2005 the President announced that half of the members of the Federal National Council, the closest body the country has to a parliament, will be indirectly elected. However half of the councils members will still need to be appointed by the leaders of the emirates. The 40-member FNC serves in an advisory capacity. The elections have been set to take place in December 2006.

 


Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khalifa_bin_Zayed_Al_Nahayan