Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, Emir of Abu Dhabi (Arabic:الشيخ زايد بن سلطان آل نهيان), (1918 — 2 November 2004), the principal architect of the seven United Arab Emirates, was the ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the UAE for over 30 years (1971-2004).
Sheikh Zayed was the youngest son of Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the traditional ruler of Abu Dhabi from 1922 to 1926. He was named after his famous grandfather, Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, who ruled the emirate from 1855 to 1909. On August 6, 1966 he succeeded his brother, Sheikh Shakhbut Bin-Sultan Al Nahyan, as emir of Abu Dhabi after the latter was deposed in a bloodless palace coup. Zayed was first appointed (by the other six Sheikhs on the Supreme Council) to the presidency of the UAE in 1971 and was reappointed on four further occasions: 1976, 1981, 1986, and 1991. He was considered a relatively liberal ruler, permitted private media, however they are expected to practice self-censorship and avoid criticism of Zayed or the ruling families