Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Khalifa, ailing for a long time, breathed his last on Friday

India is observing one-day national mourning on Saturday as a mark of respect to Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi who passed away on Friday.

The National Flag will be flown at half-mast on the day of mourning throughout India on all buildings where the National Flag is flown regularly and there will be no official entertainment on the day, a communication issued by the Union Home Ministry said.

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have expressed condolences at the demise of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

In their messages, they noted that Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan was a statesman and a visionary leader and recalled his contribution to the strengthening of India-UAE bilateral relations and the welfare of the Indian community in UAE.

Expressing his grief over the demise of the UAE President, Prime Minister Modi in his tweet said, “I am deeply saddened to know about the passing away of HH Sheikh bin Zayed. He was a great statesman and visionary leader under whom India-UAE relations prospered. The heartfelt condolences of the people of India are with the people of UAE. May his soul rest in peace.”

Sheikh Khalifa, 73, was ailing for a long time. He died on Friday. He was the eldest son of the UAE's founder President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

As per media reports, the UAE monarch, who was born in 1948, is expected to be succeeded by his half-brother Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan as the next ruler of Abu Dhabi.

The ruler of the kingdom is largely credited with helping to bring the UAE to global prominence and leading the country through turbulent times during the 2008 financial crisis.