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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

The UAE's official mourning period explained

The death of Sheikha Hessa bint Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan is being marked with three days of mourning 

The UAE flag flies at half-mast in Abu Dhabi during a three-day mourning period declared after 45 Emirati soldiers died in Yemen in September 2015. Ravindranath K / The National
The UAE flag flies at half-mast in Abu Dhabi during a three-day mourning period declared after 45 Emirati soldiers died in Yemen in September 2015. Ravindranath K / The National

On Sunday, the death of Sheikha Hessa bint Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, the mother of Sheikh Khalifa, was announced, as was an official three-day mourning period.

The UAE implements this period as a mark of respect when a member of the royal families of the Eemirates passes away.

During official mourning, flags fly half-mast and radio stations will play classical music for the duration.

Most live entertainment, including radio broadcasts, are also cancelled.

State-owned television stations typically follow suit.

In the past during official periods of mourning, federal ministries and government departments were closed, though this has declined in recent years and schools have typically remained open.

Following the death of Sheikh Zayed in November 2004, the official mourning period was set at 40 days, in line with the teachings of Islam.

Government departments and schools closed for eight days and the private sector shut for three.

Being the Founding Father of the UAE, his passing affected the entire country.

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