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Sheikh Zayed greeted at Heathrow Airport, June 1969 (Original print out on Baryt paper)


On occasion of the 52nd National Day on 2 December 2023 an unusual picture of the founding father of the nation, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (1918–2004) arriving at Heathrow Airport, is presented.

Sheikh Zayed's first official visit to the UK in June 1969 lasted four days, but was prolonged for two weeks privately.


As impressive as the picture is, the text on the back of the photo is also worth reading and sescribes the man to the point:

“In the hour it took him to get from London s Heathrow Airport to the Dorchester Hotel yesterday, the Sheikh of Abu-Dhabi's personal fortune went up by another £10,000.

Not that anybody bothered to point this out to the man now in Britain on a four day official visit.

Its the sane every hour of every day of the year adding up to an annual income of £80 million for the 51-year-old ruler of the state on the Persian Gulf.

The source of it, of course, is the oil. But there is a difference between Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nihan [sic!] and some of the other oil rich rulers of the area.

He prides himself on spending every penny of his income - and just about all of it on his people.

His philosophy is simple: The money belongs to my people. I organise the wealth, they enjoy it.

And enjoy it they do. The state's population of around 40,000 has the highest income per head of any country in the world.”

Photo shows Heathrow airport, the Sheikh receives a subject’s greeting...a kiss on the