Qatar has established itself as a leading regional figure in media over the past two decades after it established the global news network, Al Jazeera, in 1996. In addition to Al Jazeera Media Network, Qatar is home to beIN Sports and other major local news and media outlets including Qatar Media Corporation (QMC), Qatar TV and more, creating a thriving media industry in Qatar and the region. The country is also home to several media publications, including newspapers, magazines, and film and publication houses, as well as radio channels. Accessible to the multi-cultural community of Qatar, TV and radio channels as well as the local publications offer their services in Arabic, English, French, Hindi, Malayalam and other languages widely spoken by the expat communities.
To support the growth of the local film community, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani established Doha Film Institute (DFI) in 2010 as Qatar’s first independent, not-for-profit cultural organisation dedicated to film financing, production, education and film festivals. Qatar is home to a rich community of actors, singers and comedians, recognised by both the Qatari and non-Qatari communities.
Here are some of the most well-known Qatari personalities in the media, film and entertainment industries (in alphabetical order).
Abdulaziz Al Ishaq is a Qatari journalist at Al Raya and a columnist at Saqr Magazine. He has a master’s degree in mass communication from Qatar University. Abdulaziz has held a number of positions in various institutions: he served as a producer and presenter at Al Jazeera Children, the presenter of ‘Lakum Al Qarar’ on Qatar TV, the director of the office of the Qatari Minister of Culture, and the director of the office of the Secretary-General of the National Council for Culture, Arts and Heritage. Furthermore, Abdulaziz chaired the Media and Rights Division of the Qatar Marine Festival Organising Committee and was the Editor-in-Chief of Al ‘Asima. He writes regularly for the Qatari daily Al Watan.
Adel Al Ansari
Adel Al Ansari is a well-known Qatari actor. He appeared on TV for the first time when he was five years old in a children’s show on Qatar TV called ‘Ya Hala’. He then starred in the play ‘Who Finally Laughs’ at the Doha Players’ Theatre, before going back to TV and ‘Dohat Al Asdika’ (‘Garden of Friends’), which ran for nine years on a local channel. Adel continued his love of acting by starring in numerous plays and TV series. One of his biggest successes was when he played the main character for the opening ceremony of the 15th Asian Games in Qatar in December 2006. He was previously the Ambassador for Qatar National Bank (QNB) and starred in their commercials for two years. Adel graduated from Qatar University with a degree in architecture then continued his education by obtaining a degree in history from the Beirut Arab University in Lebanon.
Dana Al Fardan
Dana Al Fardan is Qatar’s only female contemporary composer. The songwriter and symphonic artist is the CEO of DNA Sounds, an independent record label based in London and Doha. A member of one of Qatar’s most prominent and wealthy families, Al Fardan of the Alfardan Group, Dana has also recently become the Vice President of Alfardan Jewellery. Dana works closely with the internationally renowned Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO), who regularly perform her music in Doha. Her fourth album, Sandstorm, was recorded with a string ensemble comprising QPO members, at Doha’s Katara Studios, a world-class recording facility. Members of the orchestra played alongside the London Metropolitan Orchestra at the iconic Theatre Royal Haymarket in London, debuting a full programme of Dana’s repertoire and bringing Qatari music to a UK audience for the first time, to rapturous response. danaalfardan.com
Dr Khalid Mubarak Al Shafi
Dr Khalid Mubarak Al Shafi is the Editor-in-Chief of The Peninsula newspaper. Since his appointment in 2016, Dr Khalid has further expanded The Peninsula, incorporating separate signatures for Business and Sport to meet the growing demand of these communities. Dr Khalid holds a PhD with First Honours in media. He joined Qatar News Agency (QNA) in 1991 as a reporter, and then later took the helm of the news agency as Managing Editor. In 2009, Dr Khalid moved to the Ministry of Economy and Commerce as Director of Public Relations and Communication. Later, he served at the Foreign Ministry as media expert at the Office of the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, a post he served until a new assignment as the Deputy to the Head of Qatari mission in Bangkok as a consultant. Dr Khalid continued working as a media expert and consultant in Qatar Media Corporation until he became Acting Editor-in-Chief of The Peninsula in September 2015. In addition to being the Editor-in-Chief, Dr Khalid has been working as an assistant professor at the Department of Mass Communication at Qatar University since 2015.
Fahad Al Kubaisi
Fahad Al Kubaisi is a Qatari singer, record producer, fashion model and human rights activist. He was the first Gulf singer to be nominated at the Grammy Awards – his album ‘Enta Eshq’, was nominated for World Music Album at the 60th Grammy Awards held in New York City in January 2018. fahadalkubaisi.com
Faisal Abdulhameed Al Mudahka
Faisal Abdulhameed Al Mudahka has been the Editor-in-Chief of the Gulf Times newspaper since 2017. A highly qualified communications and journalism expert with an administration background, Faisal holds an EMBA degree from HEC Paris, high certificates in Public Diplomacy and a degree in Business and Marketing. Prior to joining Gulf Times, Faisal worked in several organisations in the public and private sectors.
Fatma Al Remaihi
Fatma Al Remaihi is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Doha Film Institute (DFI), where she was previously appointed as the Director of Programmes. Fatma also serves as the Director of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival and Qumra, and further builds on DFI’s fundamental goals of promoting a strong film culture in Qatar through film appreciation, education and financing initiatives. Fatma, who graduated from Qatar University with a degree in English Literature, has been part of DFI’s team since 2009, when she joined as Cultural Advisor to the first edition of the Doha Tribeca Film Festival. After gaining valuable experience in several key departments of the organisation, she led a Community Outreach team in the delivery of a variety of initiatives and events to appeal to the wide array of audiences in Qatar. Under her leadership, DFI established a new film fund dedicated to supporting Qatari talent and delivered a successful second edition of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival. In addition, she launched the vision and format for Qumra, which is dedicated to the development of emerging filmmakers.
Hamad Al Amari
Known by his stage name, The Qatari Guy, Hamad Al Amari is an Irish-Qatari stand-up comedian and a popular choice for hosting corporate events and conferences. In addition to being a comedian, he is also an actor, director and producer who took part in the making of Dari Qatar. Hamad is also a well-known foodie and the brand ambassador of Baba Chapatea.
Khalifa Al Haroon
Also known as Mr Q, Khalifa Saleh Al Haroon is the founder of I Love Qatar (ILQ) and Team974, and co-founder of The Social Studio and RaqamiTV. Khalifa is one of Qatar’s most well-known media personalities. His content network includes online programmes Qatar Events, Qatar News and the fast-growing YouTube channel QTips. He was once listed in Arabian Business’ 100 Most Powerful Arabs Under 40. In addition, he was named Entrepreneur of the Year by government ministry ictQatar in 2011, Young Achiever of the Year by Arabian Business in 2014, is an ambassador for Qatar’s National Cancer Programme, a board member of the Internet Society (ISOC), and Vice President of the Entrepreneurs Organization (Qatar).
Mohamed Al Linghawi
The late Mohamed Al Linghawi was a well-known Qatari TV presenter, actor and comedian. He passed away in 2015 at the age of 49. Mohamed started his career as a sports commentator in 1988 but left the job in 2004. Later, he started presenting children’s TV programmes, which became popular locally. He was best known for the successful competition programme Baba Lingha. In addition, he acted in a number of TV series for children. After his passing, Doha Film Institute (DFI) held a tribute night in his honour in the presence of his wife and daughter, who accepted an award on his behalf, among Qatar’s leading artists, actors and filmmakers.
Mohamed Saadon Al Kuwari
Mohamed Saadon Al Kuwari is a widely known and respected senior sports presenter with beIN Sports. He is a former professional tennis player on the ATP Tour and Qatar Davis Cup representative. The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), the body responsible for delivering the infrastructure required to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup QatarTM, has recently unveiled Mohamed as an official ambassador. He has been a long-standing supporter of the 2022 World Cup and the SC, and has supported numerous initiatives in the past. In addition to his extensive journalism career, Mohamed is also an entrepreneur who recently established Eden Cafe at The Pearl-Qatar.
- Abdullatif Al Mahmoud – CEO of Dar Al Sharq Group
- Asma Al Hamadi – TV presenter at Al Jazeera Arabic and former Qatar TV presenter
- HE Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Attiyah – chairman of the Gulf Times newspaper
Other notable personalities:
- AbdulAziz Al Ajail – blogger, influencer, foodie and traveller @zozalajil
- Amal Al Muftah – film director, and winner of the ‘Young Talent of the Year’ award at the Qatar Today Women of the Year 2017 awards and ‘Best Narrative Award’ for her film, Smicha, at the Ajyal Youth Film Festival 2017
- Amal Al Shammari – founder of Embrace Doha and winner of ‘Hospitality Pioneer of the Year’ award at the Qatar Today Women of the Year 2017 awards
- AJ Al Thani – film director and writer
- Jassim Al Rumaihi – film director and former film director at Al Jazeera Arabic
Did we miss anyone? Share your suggestions in the comment box below!
This is part of Marhaba‘s ‘Who’s Who in Qatar’ series. Learn more!
Author: Ola Diab
Copyright © Marhaba Information Guide. Reproduction of material from Marhaba Information Guide’s book or website without written permission is strictly prohibited. Using Marhaba Information Guide’s material without authorisation constitutes as plagiarism as well as copyright infringement.