On 25 June 2023, the nation is marking the 10th anniversary of HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani handing over power to his son, HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, assuming his duties as Amir of the State of Qatar.
In a speech broadcast on Qatari television, HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani said it was time for a new generation to take over.
The now-43-year-old Sheikh Tamim became the Amir of Qatar when he was just 33 years old. He is recognised as one of the youngest national leaders in the world.
The son of the former Amir of Qatar, HH The Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, HH Sheikh Tamim was born on 3 June 1980 and received his early education in Qatar.
He was then educated at Sherborne School and Harrow School in the UK and attended the Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst. After Sandhurst, he joined Qatar’s Armed Forces to further his military and academic study.
In August 2003, HH Sheikh Tamim was named Heir Apparent and Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, replacing his elder brother, HH Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani. During this time, he chaired a number of government entities and contributed to Qatar National Vision 2030, the latter of which he continues to do to this day.
He was also involved in the launch of both Qatar National Day and National Sport Day. Sport is an important issue for the Amir, both at home and abroad. He founded Oryx Qatar Sports Investment, which owns Paris Saint-Germain FC, chaired the organising committee for the 15th Asian Games, and oversaw the successful hosting of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM.
Becoming the Amir of the State of Qatar led him to also assume the role of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, as well as Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Economic Affairs and Investment, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), and the National Security Council.
Since his appointment in 2013, Qatar has become an important regional and international figure, seeing gross domestic product per capita increase and registering one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world. The nation is one of the largest producers of LNG, and while this contributes hugely to the state budget, the Amir is actively driving forward plans to base an economy on non-hydrocarbons, for the financial security of the country’s citizens.
Domestically, since his accession, the country has witnessed significant investment in infrastructure, including the excellent new metro system, the construction and expansion of Hamad International Airport (HIA), and the massive overhaul of the nation’s road network. A slew of new schools, healthcare centres and hospitals have been constructed, offering greater accessibility and choices to all citizens, residents and visitors.
New cybercrime legislation has been passed, as well as a Public Private Partnerships law. In early 2021, HH the Amir issued a decree to hold the first-ever legislative elections to the Consultative Assembly of Qatar in the following October.
Many laws protecting workers’ rights have been enacted, regulating working hours, minimum wages, annual leave, exit visas for most workers, and the removal of no objection certificates from employers, effectively marking a new era for Qatar’s labour force.
Qatar’s global profile is increasingly being raised thanks to the Amir’s contributions to humanitarian and international issues. He has excellent relations with the West and speaks English and French fluently. He has received a number of medals and awards in recognition of his promotion in fostering friendship and cooperation between nations.
Efforts include contributing to the United Nations Trust Fund for Counter-Terrorism, speaking at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos in 2022, and re-establishing relations between Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt following the end of the blockade in January 2021.
HH Sheikh Tamim has many siblings striving to make Qatar a leading nation in education, arts and culture, tourism and more. HE Sheikh Khalifa is the Minister of Interior, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa is the chairperson of Qatar Museums (QM), HE Sheikha Hind is the Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation (QF), HE Sheikh Joaan is the President of Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC), HE Sheikh Mohammed is the vice chairman of the Qatar Investment Authority board of directors and a member of the board of trustees at QF, and HE Sheikh Jassim is the patron of Aspire Academy and member of the board of trustees at QF.
According to the Amiri Diwan, HH Sheikh Tamim has three wives and 12 children, with his first wife Sheikha Jawaher bint Hamad bin Suhaim Al Thani serving as consort.
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