Leaders

Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani

Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani

Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani
تميم بن حمد آل ثاني
Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani 2015.jpg
Sheikh Tamim in November 2015 at the Mexican National Palace in Mexico City
 
Emir of Qatar
Reign 25 June 2013 – present
Predecessor Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
Deputy Emir Abdullah bin Hamad Al Thani
Prime Ministers
 
Born (1980-06-03) 3 June 1980
Doha, Qatar
Spouse Sheikha Jawahir

bint Hamad bint Suhaim Al Thani (2005–present)
Anoud bint Mana Al Hajri (2009–present)
Noora bint Hathal Al Dosari (2014–present)

Issue  
Full name
Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa

bin Hamad bin Abdullah bin

Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani

House Thani
Father Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
Mother Moza bint Nasser Al Missned

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (Arabic: تميم بن حمد آل ثاني‎‎) is the eighth and current Emir of Qatar. He is the fourth son of the previous Emir, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. He became Emir of Qatar on 25 June 2013 after his father’s abdication. Tamim has held a variety of government posts within Qatar and also worked to promote numerous sporting events within the country. As of 2013, Tamim is the youngest reigning monarch among the GCC countries and the youngest current sovereign worldwide.

Early life and education

Tamim bin Hamad was born on 3 June 1980 in Doha, Qatar. He is the fourth son of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and second son of Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Al Missned, Hamad’s second wife. Tamim was educated at Great Britain’s Sherborne School (International College) in Dorset,and at Harrow School, where he sat his A-Levels in 1997. He then attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, graduating in 1998.

Career of Sheikh Tamim

Sheikh Tamim was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Qatar Armed Forces upon graduation from Sandhurst. He became the heir apparent to the Qatar throne on 5 August 2003, when his elder brother Sheikh Jassim renounced his claim to the title. Since then he was groomed to take over rule, working in top security and economics posts.

In 2009, he was appointed deputy commander-in-chief of Qatar’s armed forces.

Sheikh Tamim promoted sport as part of Qatar’s bid to raise its international profile. In 2005 he founded Oryx Qatar Sports Investments, which owns Paris Saint-Germain F.C. among other investments.

The best sport personality in the Arab world

In 2006, he chaired the organizing committee of the 15th Asian Games in Doha. Under his leadership, all member countries attended the event for the first time in its history. That year Egypt’s Al Ahram voted Tamim “the best sport personality in the Arab world”.

Under his guidance, Qatar won the rights to host the 2014 FINA Swimming World Championships and the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Tamim is a member of the International Olympic Committee and the National Olympic Committee chairman. He headed Doha’s bid for the 2020 Olympics. The country will host the football World Cup in 2022. Qatar is expected to spend about $100 billion on infrastructure to prepare for the event.

Sheikh Tamim heads the Qatar Investment Authority board of directors. Under his leadership, the fund has invested billions in British businesses. It owns large stakes in Barclays Bank, Sainsbury’s, and Harrods. The fund also owns a share of Europe’s fourth tallest building, the Shard.

Tamim has also held a number of other posts including

  • Head of the Upper Council of the Environment and Natural Sanctuaries.
  • Chairman of the Supreme Council for the Environment and Natural Reserves.
  • Chairman of the Supreme Education Council.
  • Chairman of the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology.
  • Chairman of the board of directors of Public Works Authority (Ashghal) and the Urban Planning and Development Authority (UPDA).
  • Chairman of the board of regents of Qatar University.
  • Deputy chairman of the Ruling Family Council.
  • Vice president of the Supreme Council for Economic Affairs and Investment.
  • Deputy chairman of the High Committee for Coordination and Follow Up.
  • Member of “Sports for All”.

Reign

the best sport personality in the Arab world
Sheikh Tamim with U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, 10 December 2013

On 25 June 2013, the Emir of Qatar and Tamim’s father, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, revealed his plans to step down as Emir in a meeting with his close relatives and aides.Tamim then became the Emir of Qatar after his father handed over power in a televised speech.

He was the first ruler, in a succession of three Qatari rulers from the Al Thani family, to ascend to power without resorting to a coup. According to The Economist, of his previous sibling rivals to the throne, “One played too much, the other prayed too much.”

The transition of power was expected to be smooth, as family members hold many of the nation’s top posts.

Strong Sheikh

Moreover, according to a diplomatic source close to the Al Thani family, Sheikh Tamim has “a strong personality” that allowed him to “establish himself within the ruling family” despite not being the family’s first choice for Emir.

Diplomats quoted by the BBC argued that Jassim, who served as crown prince for eight years, had hoped to expand his political powers. According to a report by Stratfor, Jassim had no allies among the military forces or secret police at the time of the 2013 political transition, and thereby few chances to overturn Hamad’s decree.

Tamim is described as friendly, confident, and open by those who know him. He is also described as savvy, careful, and calculating. In addition, he is considered to be a pragmatist, and to have “excellent relations” with the West including the United States and France.

Political analysts expect Tamim to be more conservative and risk averse than his father.Preserving a national identity grounded in traditional values is expected to be Tamim’s first priority.

Domestic policy

Since his accession to power, the government has expanded the roads around the capital, developed a new metro system, and completed the construction of a new airport.

 A new reform

A new reform of the Qatari administration was launched towards increased efficiency and discipline. Moreover, the Foreign Minister post has passed to a non-royal (Khalid al-Attiya). This is a significant change in the direction of meritocracy given that during the previous administrations the prime minister, traditionally a royal, tended to double as foreign minister.

Tamim also took credit for some initiatives directed at countering local sensitivities arising from the Arab Spring upheaval. He announced that the government would establish a directive to lower the price of foodstuffs sold by companies working with the country’s National Food Security Programme and anticipated social allowances and pension increases.

 Diversify the country’s economy

According to his inaugural speech to the nation held on 26 June 2013, Sheikh Tamim will continue to  away from hydrocarbons. On that occasion, he declared that people are Qatar’s “most important asset” and that their interests would be the government’s top priority.

In 2014 Tamim passed new cybercrime legislation, which was said to be part of an agreement among Gulf states to criminalize online insults of the region’s royal families.

The cybercrime law outlaws the spreading of “false news” as well as digital material that violates the country’s “social values” or “general order.” The legislation made it illegal to incite, aid and facilitate the publication of offensive material. The law has been criticized by those who say that it can be used to strip people of their human rights based on the misinterpretation of online chatter.

Amnesty International called the law “a major setback for freedom of expression in Qatar,” while other critics suggest that the new law will violate provisions of the country’s constitution that protect civil liberties.

Younger generation of ministers

In January 2016, Tamim shook up the cabinet put in place by his father. He named a new foreign minister, replacing Khalid al-Attiyah with Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, changed the defense minister and appointed a new female minister.

Tamim also merged several ministries, including communication, transport and culture, and youth and sports. Journalists have speculated reasons behind the cabinet shake up. And many have come to the conclusion that the reorganization was either an economic move.That meant to save the country money at a time where the falling price of gas has forced the country to scale back its workforce or for reasons of political stability.

According to others the appointments show that the emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, is trying to make the government his own by bringing in a new, younger generation of ministers that are more loyal to him than to his father.

Foreign policy

The young Emir’s transition to power was welcomed by leaders across the World, who expected Tamim to continue the good work in the footsteps of his father and increase Qatar’s role in vital international affairs including the Syrian crisis and Darfur agreement.

Hamad Al Thani
Hamad Al Thani with Argentinian president Mauricio Macri at the Presidential Residence of Olivos in Buenos Aires, July 2016.

In his inaugural speech to the nation, Tamim vowed that he would continue to pursue a central role for Qatar in the region but that he will not “take direction” in foreign affairs. He confirmed that he will commit to the highest possible level of integration with his Gulf neighbors.

 Gulf Cooperation Council

In fact, during his first months in charge he has prioritized the Gulf. In late October 2013, only a few months after taking charge, Sheikh Tamim took a regional tour of the Gulf. Even before his accession to power, he formally represented his father at the annual Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit in Bahrain in December 2012 as well as in welcoming delegates to the Arab League Summit in Doha in March 2013.

Working in a government security post, he promoted stronger ties with Saudi Arabia, a neighbour and often contentious rival to Qatar.Tamim considers Qatar’s rivalry with Saudi Arabia unproductive, as has been the case in the so far unsuccessful attempt to build a cohesive Syrian opposition.

Relations With West

In October 2014 Sheikh Tamim met U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and Queen Elizabeth II on his first official visit to the UK. Qatar and the U.K. anticipated a Qatari-British Economic Forum to explore mutual investment opportunities. Up to and during this meeting The Telegraph newspaper launched a campaign to urge Cameron to discuss Qatar’s funding of Islamic extremists with Tamim. The Telegraph’s “Stop The Funding Of Terror” campaign highlighted the role played by Qatar and other Gulf states, alleged allies in the war against Isil and al-Qaeda, in allowing the financing of terrorism.

On 25 March 2015, Sheikh Tamim visited India and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said that the government “trusts” the Indian economy so they would invest in India.

Egypt

Qatar has heavily invested in loans and aids to Egypt during the Muslim Brotherhood’s government. In August 2013, Qatar joined a U.S.-led attempt to mediate the escalating tension between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military. Speaking at Georgetown University during his first visit to the United States, Tamim reiterated that Qatar will not interfere in Egypt although he condemned what happened in Egypt after the 2013 uprising.

Since Mohamed Morsi’s removal from office, the new government has turned down Qatari offers for financial aid. Qatar’s continued support for the Muslim Brotherhood resulted in a diplomatic rift between Doha and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates in 2014, culminating in the withdrawal of the latter three countries’ ambassadors in March of that year.

Syria

Qatar called for a military intervention of the Arab countries to end the bloodshed in Syria in 2012. Analysts expected that he would have been under immediate pressure to reduce Qatar’s support for the rebels in the Syrian Civil War, which Tamim had previously supported. In fact, Sheikh Tamim took a step back after taking charge, primarily in response to the irritation voiced by Western powers at Qatar’s operation to arm Syrian rebel groups which had been directed randomly.

Recently, under the protection of a joint initiative with Saudi Arabia and Turkey promoted by Sheikh Tamim, Qatar has provided Syrian rebels with new weapons and forged a new opposition coalition in Syria known as “Army of Conquest.” The Sheikh has also renewed his country’s support for the Syrian people’s demands for justice and freedom during a meeting with the chief of the Syrian National Coalition Khaled Khoja and his delegation in April 2015.

Turkey

Tamim signed a military cooperation agreement with Turkey during an official visit to the country in December 2014. The agreement aims to promote cooperation in military training and the defense industry, and allows for the deployment of the Turkish Armed Forces to Qatar and the Qatari military to Turkey.

On 2 December 2015, Tamim signed a number of agreements with president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Cooperative agreements in education, maritime transport and correspondence pacts between intelligence agencies were signed. An agreement was also reached by Turkey to purchase liquefied natural gas from Qatar over a lengthy duration.The two leaders also announced the planned creation of a Turkish military base in Qatar; a first for Turkey in the Persian Gulf.

United States

Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani
Sheikh Tamim meets with President Donald Trump, 21 May 2017

In July 2014 Tamim renewed the defense agreement with the U.S. and confirmed Qatar’s cooperation with the United States in the Combined Air Operations Center (CENTCOM) at Al Udeid Air Base.

Sheikh Tamim visited with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House on a visit to Washington, D.C. on 24 February 2015, according to a statement issued by the Office of the White House Press Secretary.

Doha-based analysts described the task before him during the visit as one of balancing the need to maintain strong relations with the United States against the desire for Qatar to control its own foreign policy, which is sometimes at odds with the United States on key regional issues. He declared that the U.S.-Qatari “strategic partnership has deepened in recent years, in spite of the regional unrest” and reiterated his commitment to support a more comprehensive approach to the strategic challenges facing the Middle East.

Personal life and Family

On 8 January 2005, Sheikh Tamim married his second cousin, Sheikha Jawahir bint Hamad bin Suhaim Al Thani.

They have two sons and two daughters:

  • H.E Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (born 2006)
  • H.E Sheikh Hamad bin Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (born 10 October 2008).
  • H.E Sheikha Aisha bint Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (born 2010).
  • H.E Sheikh Jassim bin Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (born 12 June 2012).

sheikh tamim childrenSheikh Tamim has a second wife, Anoud bint Mana Al Hajri, whom he married on 3 March 2009. She is the daughter of Mana bin Abdul Hadi Al Hajri, Qatari Ambassador to Jordan.They have four children, two daughters and two sons:

  • Sheikha Naylah bint Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (born 27 May 2010).
  • Sheikh Abdullah bin Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (born 29 September 2012).
  • Sheikha Rodha bint Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (born January 2014).
  • Sheikh Al-Qaqa bin Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (born October 2015).

Sheikh Tamim also has a third wife Noora bint Hathal Al Dosari, whom he married in March 2014. They have two sons:

  • Sheikh Joaan bin Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (born 27 March 2015).
  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (born 17 July 2017)

Tamim participates in competitive sport. He was filmed playing badminton and bowled with former Egyptian military chief Mohammed Hussein Tantawi. He has a strong interest in history and his nation’s heritage. Sheikh Tamim is fluent in English and French.

Criticism

Support to Islamists

Qatar has for many years supported a spectrum of Islamist groups around the region. Especially since the beginning of the Arab Spring upheaval in 2011, the country has provided diplomatic and medical initiatives, and warnings to Islamist groups.

With regard to Qatar’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood, Qatar welcomed Brotherhood cadres since the 1950s. Sheikh Hamad was one of the first foreign leaders to visit Mohamed Morsi after his electoral success in June 2012. Qatar provided a substantial financial boost to Morsi’s Freedom and Justice Party, and Brotherhood opponents argued that Morsi’s narrow election victory was achieved through Qatari funding. After Morsi’s election, Qatar contributed a total of USD 5,5 billion dollars to the Muslim Brotherhood administration.

Qatar has provided loans and massive investments to Ennahdha-led government in Tunisia, and to Islamist parties in Yemen and Morocco.

The country’s support for Islamist causes and for organizations that oppose the absolute rule of the Gulf’s hereditary rulers provoked tensions with the GCC countries.

In March 2014 Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar. Officially, the decision was motivated by Qatar’s refusal to ratify the agreements of non-interference in domestic policy within the GCC in December 2013. 

Labor issues

According to the German regional public service television channel “WDR” several of its reporters were detained for several days in Qatar for collecting evidence on the conditions of migrant workers.

The Guardian has reported that Nepalese migrants building the infrastructure to host the 2022 World Cup died at a rate of one every two days in 2014. Human Rights Watch’s “2014 World Report” confirmed the dangerously insecure conditions of the migrant workers, who sometimes live in unsanitary conditions and are subject to arbitrary restrictions on the right to leave Qatar, exploitation and abuse by employers.

In response, Qatar commissioned an investigation by the international law firm DLA Piper that resulted in laws that require contractors to provide improved living conditions and ban them from seizing passports. The Emir of Qatar reformed by law the kafala system the following year.

 

Titles, styles, honours and awards

Styles of
Emir of Qatar
Emblem of Qatar.svg
Reference style His Highness
Spoken style Your Highness

Titles and styles

  • 3 June 1980 – 27 June 1995: Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani
  • 27 June 1995 – 5 August 2003: His Excellency Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani
  • 5 August 2003 – 25 June 2013: His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Crown Prince of Qatar
  • 25 June 2013 – Present: His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar

Foreign honours

  •  Bahrain: Member exceptional class of the Order of Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa
  •  France: Grand Cross of the Order of the Legion of Honour
  •  Italy: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
  •  Kuwait: Collar of the Order of Mubarak the Great
  •  Singapore: Member first class of the Order of Nila Utama
  •  United Arab Emirates: Collar of the Order of Zayed
  •  Tunisia: Grand Cross of the Order of the Republic

Awards

  •  Egypt
    • Al-Ahram Newspaper: “Best Sport Personality in the Arab World” – 2006
  •  International Olympic Committee
    • Olympic Council of Asia: Recipient of the “OCA Award of Merit”

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