Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has named his son Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.
Ten months after his ascension to President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohamed announced this appointment on Wednesday, 29 March, adding the appointment of his brother, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, as Vice-President of the UAE.
This move has been widely regarded as a terrain preparation for his son, Sheikh Khaled, to succeed him as President of the United Arab Emirates, which is one of the countries with the most oil in the world.
As such, they are an influential member of OPEC, the global oil cartel that controls the prices of this crucial commodity. At this particular moment, where one of the world’s biggest sources of oil has been effectively cut off from the biggest markets of Western nations like the US and EU, it is essential for the rest of OPEC members to maintain solid leadership.
The United Arab Emirates is a nation that was created in its current format in January 1972 – a federation of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm Al Quwain.
Abu Dhabi acts as the capital of the federation, and these new appointments are widely regarded as an attempt to centralise power “in an inclusive way,” according to Cinzia Bianco, a visiting fellow at the EU Council of Foreign Relations.
Other appointments announced on Wednesday also included Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed and Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed as deputy rulers of Abu Dhabi. The two royals are brothers to the current President of the UAE, who also serves as the Ruler of Abu Dhabi.
Coincidentally, the UAE’s capital has also been home to King Juan Carlos of Spain, who moved there in August of 2020 and was joined not too long ago by his first grandson, Felipe Juan Froilán de Marichalar (Infanta Elena’s eldest child).