DUBAI, July 7 The president of the United Arab
Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, is in good
health, his brother, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, said on
Monday, after speculation on social media about his condition.
OPEC member UAE, a key Western ally, is a major oil exporter
and a regional financial, trade and tourism hub.
There has been speculation on social media in recent days
about the health of the 66-year-old president, who underwent
surgery after a stroke in January.
The WAM state news agency quoted Abu Dhabi's crown prince,
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan, as saying his brother was
"well and his health was good".
"(Sheikh Mohammed) urged all to be careful and to seek
accuracy when conveying information so that the use of modern
technology and social media contributes to everything that is
for the good of our society," WAM quoted Sheikh Mohammed as
Sheikh Khalifa has not been seen in public for months but
state media regularly carry news of him conducting official
business, such as issuing new laws or approving foreign aid
Born in 1948, Sheikh Khalifa is known as a pro-Western
moderniser who has ruled the UAE since the death of his father
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahayan in 2004.
He is also the ruler of oil-producing Abu Dhabi, the richest
and most powerful of the UAE emirates, which also include Dubai,
Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Umm al-Quwain and Ras al-Khaima.
Abu Dhabi, operates a sovereign wealth fund that is one of
the world's biggest investors.
Sheikh Mohammed, 52, has for much of the past decade led
negotiations on behalf of the UAE government in sectors ranging
from energy and defence to investment, domestic politics and
The UAE is an ally of the United States and has used its
formidable foreign currency reserves to back the military rulers
of Egypt against the Muslim Brotherhood opposition.
It is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council along with
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman, and has a very
large expatriate population. The UAE exported around 2.6 million
barrels a day of oil in 2013, official figures show.
(Reporting by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Yara Bayoumy and Gareth