Sheikh Khalifa in 2004 succeeded his father, the late UAE founding president
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, as ruler of Abu Dhabi -- the largest and wealthiest of the seven-member United Arab Emirates.
Sheikh Khalifa has previously made only one public appearance since undergoing an operation following a stroke in January 2014, marking the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday last year.
Khalifa has withdrawn from day-to-day decisions, allowing his half-brother and crown prince, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, to assume greater power.
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