Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan the Ruler’s Representative of the Eastern Region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, passed away today May 1, 2024. Sheikh Tahnoon is the brother-in-law of the founding father of the UAE president Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan through his sister Sheikha Hassa’s marriage to Sheikh Zayed.

Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi holds a position of unparalleled prominence in the Middle East, attracting the attention of money managers and financiers worldwide. For those flying into the United Arab Emirates from Hong Kong, London, or New York, even a brief 10-minute encounter with him is highly coveted. A fortunate few may find themselves invited aboard his superyacht, Maryah, where Sheikh Tahnoon enjoys a game of chess against the backdrop of the shimmering Persian Gulf. With his sleek and athletic figure, adorned with trademark sunglasses, he oversees a vast empire of state assets and private funds exceeding a staggering $1.5 trillion. The prospect of securing even a fraction of this wealth for investment promises substantial fees and returns.

However, gaining access to Sheikh Tahnoon is no easy task. In any realm where coveted rewards are at stake, the importance of the right introduction cannot be overstated. In the bygone era of Chicago ward politics, the mantra was “We don’t want nobody nobody sent.” In Silicon Valley, the pathway to riches winds through the corridors of the Stanford University admissions committee and the cliques of venture capital incubators. Yet, the concentration of state power and financial influence in the UAE elevates the importance of personal connections. Sheikh Tahnoon, in his mid-50s, not only manages his family’s vast fortune but also serves as one of Abu Dhabi’s deputy rulers, a brother of the UAE’s president, and the son of the nation’s founding father. Additionally, he holds the esteemed position of national security adviser. In essence, he is not the type of individual one simply contacts through a front desk to request an appointment.