Condolences started pouring in on Wednesday for Bahraini Prime Minister, His Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, who passed away aged 84 after ruling the island for nearly five decades.
One of the world’s longest serving Prime Ministers, Prince Khalifa took over office as the PM on 10th January, 1970, one year before Bahrain gained independence from the British, and paved the way for the country to become a regional hub for trade, tourism and motorsports.
Photograph credit: Pixabay
During his rule, the island made notable achievements like ranking the 23rd most richest country in the world with a $50,870 GDP per capita; thanks to an established oil and aluminium export economy, playing host a booming tourism industry that attracts 12 million people and more annually, its capital, Manama earning the accolade as the ‘Capital of Arab Tourism for 2013’ by the Arab League and Asian Tourism, followed by the renowned Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix being a mainstay on the F1 Calendar.
Prior to Bahrain’s independence, Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa rose to Bahraini politics as a member of the education council from 1956-58, followed by chairing the council for three years. In 1961, Prince Khalifa was appointed the director of the Department of Finance and President of the Electricity Board, followed by Chair of the Manama Municipal Council and head of Bahrain’s Monetary Council, and Chairman of the Administrative Affairs Council. In the post-independence era, Prince Khalifa become the head of the State Council and head of the Supreme Defence Council.
Photograph credit: Bahrain News Agency
Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa passed away at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota on Wednesday, 11th November, following condolences and tributes from world leaders. Prime Minister and Vice President His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum led condolences from the UAE, saying he led the country’s “developmental journey that contributed to shaping Bahrain’s modern history.”
(Featured photograph credit: Bahrain News Agency)