WAM described the vote as unanimous among the rulers of the country’s sheikhdoms, which also includes the city of Dubai.
“We congratulate him, and we pledge allegiance to him, and our people pledge allegiance to him,” Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, tweeted after the vote.
“The whole country is led by him to take it on the paths of glory and honour, God willing.”
The UAE as a whole is observing a three-day mourning period, with businesses shut across the country and performances halted in Khalifa’s honour. Electronic billboards all showed the late sheikh’s image in Dubai on Friday night as flags flew at half-mast.
Mohammed, 61, had been serving as the UAE’s de facto president since a 2014 stroke led his half-brother, Khalifa, to disappear from public view. Under his leadership, the UAE took on a more military focused approach, joining Saudi Arabia in its bloody, years-long war in Yemen that still rages.
Mohammed has been suspicious of the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran, likely organising a campaign targeting Islamists in the UAE after the 2011 Arab spring and urging the west to take a harder line toward Tehran over concerns about its nuclear programme and its support of paramilitary groups throughout the region.
However, since the coronavirus pandemic the UAE under Mohammed sought to rehabilitate ties to Iran and Turkey, which has backed Islamists in the region.