The Dynamic Amir of the State of Qatar

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani

Qatar is a diversified country in the Middle East. The history of Qatar, in many ways, is the history of the Bedouin, who lived a semi-nomadic life in the desert. There are few pieces of evidence and according to them, Qatar played a significant role in the early spread of Islam. Even the Portuguese only left forts in most of the countries in the Gulf. In the 16th century, the Turks assisted drive out the Portuguese. Therefore Qatar remained under the nominal rule of the Ottoman Empire otherwise the realistic governance belonged to the local sheikhs for more than four centuries. The historical perspectives of Qatar changed in the mid-18th century with the influx of the alluring Al Thani family, which are still in the power.

Being part of the ancient Tamim tribe of central Arabia, Al Thani were initially nomadic Bedouin, but the region’s thin vegetation compelled them to settle in the peninsula’s coastal areas around Zubarah. In the mid-19th century the first Al Thani emir, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Thani, established his capital at Al Bida, thus laid foundations of modern Doha. In 1867 Sheikh Mohammed reinforced signed a treaty with the British to strengthen his position against other local tribes. In 1872, the second Al Thani emir, Jasim, permitted the Turks to construct a garrison in Doha (Doha Fort), but later Turks were expelled under the third Al Thani emir, Sheikh Abdullah. It happened when Turkey entered WWI on the opposite side to Britain. Subsequently, the British assured Qatar’s safety in exchange for a guarantee that the ruler would not be in any contract or agreement with other foreign powers without British consent. For this purpose an agreement was signed which remained active until the sovereignty was announced in 1971.

The former Amir of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani was an iconic leader. He was indeed the planner of the contemporary revival of Qatar. During his regime, the country witnessed enormous economic, social and cultural progress. Further, the State of Qatar extended its status among the Arab and international community. The GDP augmented by more than 24 folds, and per capita GDP by about six-folds, while gross value added in the hydrocarbon sector jumped from 11 billion 403 billion Qatari Riyals. On 25 June 2013, His Highness Sheikh Hamad handed over the powers of leadership to his successor Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad. On 25th June 2013, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani assumed his duties as Amir of the State of Qatar. HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was born on June 3rd, 1980 in Doha, Qatar.

He attained his primary and secondary school education from Doha. Later he joined Sherborne School in the United Kingdom from where he graduated in 1997. Later to pursue his higher education, he attended the Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst from where he graduated in 1998. After graduating from Sandhurst, he joined Qatar’s Armed Forces, combining both military academic study and practice and on the field experience. On August 5, 2003, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad was chosen Heir Apparent and Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. During his term, he chaired several bodies and supreme councils in different fields. These included the Supreme Education Council, the Supreme Council of Health, Supreme Council for Information and Communication Technology, Board of Directors of Qatar Investment Authority, the Supreme Council for the Environment and Natural Reserves, Board of Trustees of Qatar University, Qatar Leadership Center and Supreme Committee for Development Planning.

He is the head of all these bodies contributed remarkably and constructively to accomplish the Qatar National Vision 2030. He shaped the vision when he chaired the Supreme Committee for planning the vision of the country. The vision later launched in 2008. The implementation process is still being monitored by the current Amir of Qatar. In order to revive the history of Qatar and encouraging involvement of the future generations into it, HH the Amir oversaw the launch of Qatar National Day. This step was taken to remember the eternal values of its founding ancestors. Youth empowerment is also one of his top priorities. He also contributed to the launch of the National Sports Day. There are numerous health-related initiatives taken by HH Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad. As far as the political and diplomatic affairs are concerned, the current Amir played a constructive and positive role to bridge gapes among several disputing political parties. All this happened through political dialogues. After assuming his charge in 2013, His Highness became the Head of State and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, in addition to his chairmanship of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the Supreme Council for Economic Affairs and Investment, and the National Security Council. It was his services and audacity that the state of Qatar got hold of high ranks in the international and regional indicators. For instance, Qatar ranked the first in capital flows, gross domestic product per capita, political and legislative areas as well as the low unemployment rate.

On the regional horizons, Qatar has ranked the first in the global peace index, humanitarian affairs, the Higher education Quality report, and human development index. All these achievements have been attained under the leadership of the His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. While talking about the development goals of Qatar, Qatar National Vision 2030 seems to be an evident phenomenon. This main purpose of this vision is to focus on the progress of the country as well as its citizen. The building of institutions is also one of the major tasks assigned under this vision which is based on the rational management of resources, serving the public interest, and keenness on the welfare of the citizen, professional standards and benchmarks of output and competence. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani’s future vision for the state is based on the comprehensive development plan.

He believes in an integrated and balanced development which is indeed a key to establish a modern state as per needs of the contemporary world. It is also imperative to get the capability to achieve the stature which a country wants to owe. He exactly knows the people of Qatar want a decent standard of living, without abandoning the genuine Qatari Arab individuality as well as the utter tolerant Islamic faith. Under the leadership of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani’ Qatar has managed its universal competitiveness and its comparatively high indicators in the field of human development. According to the Human Development Report for 2013 by the UN Development Programme, Qatar has also achieved the uppermost human development ranking among the Arab Gulf countries. This shows that how he rightly identified the strengths as well as the weakness to overcome and move forward in order to continue with the ongoing development. Amir of Qatar is particularly focusing on the private sector which is an evident partner in development. It is also imperative to diversify income sources or increasing the state’s productive base. To encourage this sector, it is essential to remove obstacles and provide sufficient inducements. This is how Qatar is trying to have a successful collaboration with the private sector. The business community and the Chamber of Commerce in the country are cooperating with the government and are providing all essential suggestions and solutions to facilitate the private sector. Under the patronage of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, UNODC’s Global Judicial Integrity Network launched many initiatives in 2020.

In 2017 economic recovery in most countries including developed countries like the US, the eurozone, and Japan started recovering. Though, this recovery did not include the Middle East, North Africa, or the GCC countries as well as the state of Qatar. Yet the Economic growth in Qatar was the least affected. In the same year, a drop in Qatar’s hydrocarbon production was coupled with approximately 4% growth in GDP from other sources. It depicted how Economic diversification plays a role in overall growth and settlements. Qatar has rightly and successfully encountered the impacts of the blockade to a huge degree. Therefore economic institutions and financial markets share remained optimism. There is another very important enhancement in lessening the oil dependence in the country. Qatar National Vision’s aim to accomplish economic diversification by reducing dependence on oil and gas is a very significant segment. Reducing the oil or gas dependency is a new thought among the Gulf States which provides an opportunity to explore other avenues for constant and stable growth. In 2018 Qatar has achieved success at many fronts. The success included various local and foreign sectors.

No doubt Qatar is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Qatar is the world’s leading liquefied natural gas producer and has turn out to be the main force in foreign investment. The achievements also included other spheres of politics, culture, society and legislation. The Amir of Qatar is also a trusted name when it comes to humanitarian support. As per the directions of the Amir, Qatar has initiated many financial and material support projects and initiatives, including food, fuel, medicine, relief supplies for the people belongs to different areas of disasters in Syria, Palestine, Yemen, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Afghanistan, Kosovo followed by the tsunami in the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Qatar has also provided relief to the Rohingya refugees coming from Myanmar to border areas of Bangladesh. His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has received many medals and awards in acknowledgement of his charity in the humanitarian fields as well as for becoming a bridge between Qatar and other countries of the world to establish friendly ties.


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