The United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has named his eldest son Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed as the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich capital of the Gulf state. The appointment, announced on Wednesday, places Sheikh Khaled as next in line to take over as the leader of the federation.
Sheikh Mohamed, who is also the ruler of Abu Dhabi, also appointed three of his brothers to key positions in the emirate and the country. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who owns the Manchester City football club, was named as vice president of the UAE alongside Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is the UAE’s national security adviser and chairman of the ADQ sovereign wealth fund, and Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, were named as deputy rulers of Abu Dhabi.
Sheikh Khaled, who was previously appointed chairman of the country’s intelligence agency in 2016, is seen as a close confidant of his father and has been involved in several strategic initiatives and diplomatic efforts. He has also overseen the development of Abu Dhabi’s technology sector and innovation ecosystem.
Sheikh Mohamed became ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the UAE, which groups rulers of the seven emirates of the UAE federation, last May after the death of his half-brother, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who had ruled Abu Dhabi since 2004. The UAE, a close US ally, is best known as the home of Dubai, a major international hub for business and travel.
During Sheikh Mohamed’s rule, the UAE cultivated close ties with neighbouring Saudi Arabia, initially joining it in its war against Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels before exiting the conflict years later. The UAE has sought to project military power across the region and has played a role in mediating regional disputes. In 2020, the UAE normalised relations with Israel in the first of the so-called Abraham Accords, followed by Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan.
The appointment of Sheikh Khaled as crown prince and the reshuffle of top roles reflect Sheikh Mohamed’s vision to consolidate his authority and prepare for a smooth succession. They also signal his intention to maintain Abu Dhabi’s dominant role in the UAE federation and its foreign policy direction.
About Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed al nahyan:
Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed al nahyan is the new crown prince of Abu Dhabi, the capital and the largest emirate of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He was appointed by his father, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al nahyan, the president of the UAE and the ruler of Abu Dhabi, on 29 March 2023.
Sheikh Khaled is the eldest son of Sheikh Mohamed and his wife, Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan al nahyan. He was born on 8 January 1982 in Abu Dhabi. He has a brother, Sheikh Theyab, and seven sisters.
Sheikh Khaled received his education at the American University of Sharjah, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in international relations, and at King’s College London, where he earned a doctorate in war studies in 2014.
Sheikh Khaled has a distinguished career in the fields of security, governance and innovation. He is the head of national security and the deputy national security adviser of the UAE. He is also the chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, the executive authority of the emirate, and the chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, which oversees the implementation of strategic plans and policies.
Sheikh Khaled is also a member of several boards and councils that are responsible for advancing the UAE’s vision and interests in various domains. He is a member of Abu Dhabi’s Supreme Council for Financial and Economic Affairs, which sets the fiscal and economic policies of the emirate. He is a member of the board of directors of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), which manages the oil and gas resources of Abu Dhabi. He is also the chairman of several boards, such as the UAE Genomics Council, which aims to enhance health care through genomic research; the Executive Committee of ADNOC’s board of directors, which oversees ADNOC’s operations and performance; and the Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), which leads the research and development agenda of Abu Dhabi.
Sheikh Khaled is known for his passion for jiu jitsu, a martial art that he practices regularly. He is also an avid reader and a supporter of cultural and humanitarian initiatives. He is married to Sheikha Fatima bint Suroor al nahyan, and they have three children: Shamma, Mohammed and Salama.
Sheikh Khaled’s appointment as crown prince reflects his leadership qualities, his achievements and his vision for Abu Dhabi’s future. He is widely respected and admired by his people and his peers in the region and beyond. He is expected to continue his father’s legacy of transforming Abu Dhabi into a global hub of innovation, prosperity and stability.