Dubai ruler moves up a notch

The death of United Arab Emirates President HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi looks likely to increase Dubai's influence in the Gulf region. Sheikh Zayed had been head of the UAE since it was formed in 1971 but he will now be replaced - initially on a temporary basis - by HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai. The rulers of the seven emirates will soon meet to decide on the new ruler but Sheikh Maktoum is obviously the frontrunner for the job.

Sheikh Zayed (86) is credited with having modernised the Gulf region, developing the oil industry and establishing the union between the emirates when the British withdrew in 1971.

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