The Bani Sultan and the Transformation of Abu Dhabi

  • Andrea B. Rugh


This chapter continues the Nahyan story by spotlighting three of Zaid I’s grandsons. Two, Shakhbut and Zaid, were sons of Sultan and a third was their cousin, Muhammad Khalifa, who stepped aside to support Shakhbut as ruler. Shakhbut and Zaid, are inexorably linked. As brothers they shared the same fate of losing their father and as rulers they provide contrasting examples of leadership qualities. Intelligent but weak, Shakhbut found it difficult to respond to modern changes, while Zaid, like his namesake Zaid I, saw changes as opportunities. Zaid oversaw the transformation of Abu Dhabi from a little known traditional society to one of the most modern states in the world. His son Khalifa succeeded him in 2004.


Saudi Arabia Birth Order Political Culture Tribal Leader Deputy Prime Minister 
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© Andrea B. Rugh 2007

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  • Andrea B. Rugh

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