He also enjoys a reputation for modesty and has largely maintained a low profile.
Major policy changes are not expected during his reign, even after the Gulf underwent a seismic shift with Kuwait's neighbors, the UAE and Bahrain, opting to establish relations with Israel.
Read also: Israel and UAE Peace Deal Delight World Leaders and Angers Palestinians
Normalization with the Jewish state is highly unpopular among the Kuwaiti public, which largely supports the Arab world's historic position of demanding a resolution of the Palestinian cause before making diplomatic concessions to Israel.
Despite expectations of a smooth succession, there could be more spirited debate over who the new crown prince should be.
Kuwait's constitution stipulates that the ruler should be a descendant of the nation's founder, Mubarak al-Sabah, but the throne has alternated between the descendants of his sons, Salem and Jaber, for four decades.
Contestants for the newly vacated role of crown prince include Sheikh Sabah's son and former deputy prime minister Nasser Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, a Kuwaiti political heavyweight.
"Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmed should be viewed more as a caretaker than as a watershed new leader," said Cinzia Bianco, a research fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.
"Behind the scenes, however, younger princes would likely continue to compete to succeed him."
(Writer & Editor: SL-DM/SLS/KIR, Agence France-Presse)
Source: http://u.afp.com/3DrPDapatkan update berita pilihan dan breaking news setiap hari dari Kompas.com. Mari bergabung di Grup Telegram "Kompas.com News Update", caranya klik link https://t.me/kompascomupdate, kemudian join. Anda harus install aplikasi Telegram terlebih dulu di ponsel.