Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of the United Arab Emirates, appointed his eldest son Khaled as crown prince of Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, placing him as next in line to take over as the leader of the federation.
The state-run WAM news agency announced the appointment of Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as crown prince late Wednesday, without providing further details. After Sheikh Mohammed, who is commonly known as MBZ, ascended to the presidency last year, rumors swirled about whether he would make one of his brothers his heir. In that case, the front-runners would have been Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed, the powerful national security chief, Sheikh Mansour, the owner of the Manchester City football club, or the foreign minister, Sheikh Abdullah. Sheikh Khaled was appointed chairman of the country’s intelligence agency in 2016.
The United Arab Emirates, a close U.S. ally, is best known as the home of Dubai, a major international hub for business and travel. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first president of the UAE and the driving force behind its creation, ruled from 1971 until his death in 2004.