Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa (Arabic: خليفة بن سلمان آل خليفة) (born 24 November 1935) has been the Prime Minister of Bahrain from 1970, taking office nearly two years before Bahrain’s independence on 16 December 1971.
He is the longest-serving current prime minister in the world. He still retains his post, although under the 2002 Constitution he has lost some of his powers, with the King having the authority to appoint and (along with the Bahraini parliament) dismiss ministers. He is the paternal uncle of the reigning King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
Early life and education
Prince Khalifa was born in Bahrain, the second son of Salman ibn Hamad Al Khalifa, Hakim of Bahrain, and wife Mouza bint Hamad Al Khalifa. He was educated at Manama High School and Rifa’a Palace School in Bahrain.
Prince Khalifa was a member of the education council from 1956 to 1957 and chair between 1957 and 1960. Next he became the director of the finance department (1960–1966), president of the electricity board (1961), chair Manama municipality (1962–1967), head of the Bahrain monetary council (1965), chair of the joint committee for economic and financial studies, committee for the register of commerce, administry council (1967–1970), Bahrain monetary agency, president of the state council (1970–1973), head of the state council (1970) and head of the supreme defence council (1978).
Prince Khalifa was appointed as prime minister by his brother Emir Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, in 1971. Therefore, he was assigned the control of government and economy, while his brother, Emir, involved in diplomatic and ceremonial affairs.
In 2011, reporter Bill Law stated that Prince Khalifa is hardliner, whereas Crown Prince Salman is reformer and the King is somewhere in the middle of them.
Marriage and children
Prince Khalifa married his cousin Sheikha Hessa bint Ali Al Khalifa, the fourth daughter of Ali bin Hamad Al Khalifa in Muharraq. They had three sons and one daughter:
- Sheikh Mohammad bin Khalifa Al Khalifa (died 14 June 1974).
- Sheikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa – Deputy Prime Minister. He married Sheikha Zayn bint Khalid Al Khalifa with whom he has three sons and one daughter:
- Sheikh Khalifa bin Ali Al Khalifa.
- Sheikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa.
- Sheikha Minwa bint Ali Al Khalifa.
- Sheikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa.
- Sheikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa.
- Sheikha Lulwa bint Khalifa Al Khalifa – honorary president of the Al Noor beneficence society. She married Sheikh Rashid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, artist and patron of the arts (born 1952). They have three sons and three daughters.
Shaikha Dheya bint Ebrahim Al Khalifa – niece of Prince Khalifa and President of Riyada Group of Companies. Famous for her business activities as a member of the Royal family and Head of Riyada Group in Russia. She has political and business contacts with Russian Ministries, business community, engineering companies. In 2014 during Rhodian Forum gave an opinion on the beginning of the Third World War and the necessity of the dialogue. Enlisted as one of the “Most Powerful Arab Women” in 2014 according to Forbes.
Titles, styles and honours
Khalifa bin Salman
|Reference style||His Royal Highness|
|Spoken style||Your Royal Highness|
Titles and styles
- 24 November 1935 – 20 February 1942: Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa
- 20 February 1942 – 21 October 2009: His Excellency Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa
- 21 October 2009 – present: His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa
Prince Khalifa was raised to the personal title of Prince with the style of “His Royal Highness” on 21 October 2009.
- Member 1st Class of the Order of Khalifa (19 October 1976)
- Collar of the Order of Khalifa, 19 December 1979
- Member Exceptional Class of the Order of Shaikh ‘Isa bin Salman al-Khalifa (21 October 2009)
- Member 1st Class of the King Hamad Order of the Renaissance (13 December 2009)