Emirati Leader to Return Home Sunday, Three Months after Operation in US
Emirati President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan is due home Sunday after having left a US hospital where he underwent a kidney transplant operation three months ago, the official WAM news agency said.
"Sheikh Zayed will return home today after undergoing successful surgery in the United States," the agency said.
Sheikh Zayed's imminent return to Abu Dhabi on the eve of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan dominated the Emirati press Sunday.
The authorities have been preparing a welcome party for the 82-year-old president, who has been recuperating since the operation in Cleveland, Ohio, on August 28 and has been out of the Gulf state since July 13 when he left for Europe.
The air of the Emirati capital will be "fragrant" with French perfumes for three days to hail the return, according to newspapers.
A contract was negotiated with a French company to supply a variety of perfumes to fill the air and to be sprayed through the many fountains of the tree-lined streets of Abu Dhabi, the Khaleej Times reported in September.
Sheikh Zayed has been president since the federation of seven emirates was formed in 1971 and guided its transformation from a largely Bedouin society to one of the world's richest states thanks to its oil wealth.
Dubai's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid al-Maktoum ordered on Saturday the release of 350 common-law prisoners to mark Sheikh Zayed's return -- ABU DHABI (AFP)
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