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Sheikh Khaled Abu Dhabi is made crown prince by the UAE president.

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DUBAI: Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of the United Arab Emirates, on Wednesday selected his brothers to high-ranking positions and anointed his eldest son Sheikh Khaled as the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich capital of the Gulf state. Prince Mohammed appointed his brother Sheikh Mansour to serve as vice president of the UAE alongside Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum last year after years of leading the US-allied OPEC oil giant. This looked to further consolidate authority in Abu Dhabi, the political capital of the UAE federation of seven emirates due to its enormous oil resources. The commercial and touristic centre of the Gulf is Dubai. Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE’s national security adviser who oversees a vast economic empire, and Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan were named by Sheikh Mohammed as deputy rulers of Abu Dhabi.

He maintained “some power-sharing balance, but mainly inside (Abu Dhabi’s) Al Nahyan clan” by appointing important brothers to new positions, according to Cinzia Bianco, research fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, on Twitter.

Sheikh Khaled’s selection as crown prince mirrors a tendency in most Gulf Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, towards straight lineage – sons over brothers – for succession.

Since Sheikh Mohammed’s father established the UAE federation in 1971, Abu Dhabi has presided over it.

According to observers, Sheikh Mohammed, also known as MbZ, has been preparing his son for leadership roles in the business, government, and the security sector, including intelligence.
Prior to taking over after his brother’s death in May, MbZ had been the de facto ruler for years. This was at a period of poor relations between the UAE and the US over what was viewed as the latter’s withdrawal from the area.

As the UAE and Bahrain established connections with Israel in 2020 to form a new anti-Iran axis in the region, he oversaw a realignment of the Middle East while still interacting with Tehran to defuse tensions with an eye towards economic interests.

Moreover, the UAE has strengthened connections with China and Russia.
The nation, which has less than 10 million citizens, takes pride in its economic and political stability. Millions of expatriate workers live there, making up the majority of the workforce, and it has one of the highest per-capita income levels in the world.

Sheikh Khaled was appointed as president of Abu Dhabi’s executive council by MbZ in a separate decree on Wednesday, marking the most recent restructuring at significant organisations in the emirate, one of the richest state investors in the world.

Sheikh Tahnoun was appointed chair of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the biggest sovereign wealth funds in the world, earlier this month. The second-largest sovereign wealth fund in Abu Dhabi, Mubadala, appointed Sheikh Mansour to the position of chairman.

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