DUBAI: United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has appointed his son Sheikh Khaled as crown prince of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the Gulf Arab state that is an OPEC oil producer and key regional player, state media said on Wednesday.
Known by his initials MBZ, Sheikh Mohammed, who is also ruler of Abu Dhabi, appointed his brother Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan as vice president of the UAE alongside Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
He named his other brothers Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan as deputy rulers of Abu Dhabi.
MBZ became ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the UAE, which groups rulers of the seven emirates of the UAE federation, in May after the death of his half-brother, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, who had ruled Abu Dhabi.
MBZ had wielded power behind the scenes for years and led a realignment of the Middle East that created a new anti-Iran axis with Israel.
Earlier this month, Abu Dhabi, which controls several sovereign wealth funds that together make it of the world’s wealthiest state investors, announced a reshuffle at the top of its two biggest state funds.
Sheikh Tahnoun, who is also the UAE’s national security adviser and controls a sprawling business empire, was named chair of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), among the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds. He remains chairman of the emirate’s third largest state fund, ADQ.
MBZ also replaced himself with Sheikh Mansour, owner of Manchester City football club, as chairman of Mubadala, Abu Dhabi’s second biggest sovereign wealth fund.