Last modified: 22 November 2020

The country

The state is known as Dawlat Qatar in its national language. This means the State of Qatar. The country is being reigned by the Al-Thani dynasty.

Already some 50.000 years ago small groups of Stone Age inhabitants resided at the Qatar Peninsula. It was used as rangeland for nomadic tribes. The area was ruled among others by the Abbasids (750-1258), the Portuguese (1517-1538) and afterwards the Ottomans. The Al-Thani family, that had lived in Qatar since the early 18th century, gained the power in 1913, after the Ottomans left the country. Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al-Thani was recognised as the ruler of Qatar by the British and the Ottomans and in 1916 signed a treaty with Great Britain in exchange for British military protection.

In 1968 Qatar joined plans of the seven states that now form the United Arab Emirates to form a union. In 1971 they still hadn’t agreed on terms of union and Qatar declared itself fully independent as a separate entity as of 3 September 1971. Emir Ahmed bin Ali Al-Thani was already deposed by his cousin and Heir Apparent Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al-Thani in 1972. In his turn the Emir’s son Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa deposed his father on 27 June 1995 in a bloodless coup.


The current sovereign is Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of Qatar. He was born at Doha on 3 June 1980. He had been Crown Prince since 5 August 2003.

He is the son of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of Qatar (1952- ) and his second wife Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Al-Misnad (1959-).


Tamim succeeded his father, who abdicated on 25 June 2013.

Other details

The King is a Muslim (Sunni).

Marriage and descendants

Sheikh Tamim has three wives. He is married to Sheikha Jawaher bint Hamad Al-Thani since 2005.

Their children:

  • Sheikha Al Mayassa (born 2006)
  • Sheikh Hamad (born 2008).
  • Sheikha Aisha (born 2010).
  • Sheikh Jassim (born 2012).

He is married to Sheikha Anoud bint Mana Al-Hajri (born 1990) since 2009.

Their children:

  • Sheikha Naylah (born 2010).
  • Sheikh Abdullah (born 2012).
  • Sheikha Rouda (born 2014)
  • Sheikh Al-Qaqaa (born 2015)
  • Sheikha Moza (born 2018).

He is married to Sheikha Noora bint Hathal Al-Dosari since 2014.

Their children:

  • Sheikh Joaan (born 2015).
  • Sheikh Mohammed (born 2017)
  • Sheikh Fahad (born 2018)
  • Sheikha Hind (born 2020)

Heir to the throne

The Emir is expected to appoint one of his own children as heir to the throne in the future.

The present deputy emir and unofficial successor is Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani. He was born in Doha on 9 February 1988.

He is a son of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of Qatar (1952- ) and his third wife Sheikha Noora bint Khalid Al-Thani (1959-).

He was appointed the deputy emir of Qatar on 11 November 2014.

Sheikh Abdullah is married to Sheikha Al-Maha bint Muhammad Al-Attiyah.

Their children:

  • Sheikh Hamad
  • Sheikh Tamim (born 2015)

Postal address

Diwan Emiri
Royal Palace


The State of Qatar is an independent Arab state. Its religion is the Islam. It has a democratic political system. The Emir is the Head of the State. His person is secure and should be respected. The Emir is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, has the right to supervise them, to be assisted by the Defence Council under his direct supervision. The formation of the Defence Council and the definition of its authority shall be as per an Emiri Decision. He has the following powers: formulating the general policy of the State with the assistance of the Cabinet, endorsing and issuing laws (no law shall be issued unless endorsed by the Emir), convening meetings of the Council of Ministers whenever public interest so requires and he shall chair all sessions he attends, appointing civil and military personnel and terminating their services according to the law, accepting the credentials of diplomatic and consular missions, pardoning convicts or reducing punishments in accordance with the law, bestowing civil and military honours in accordance with the law, establishing and organising ministries and other government agencies and defining their authorities, establishing and organising agencies to give him opinions and consultation to guide the policies of the State and to supervise these agencies and to define their authority, and any other powers in accordance with this Constitution and the law.

The rule of the state is hereditary within the Al-Thani family. Only male descendants of Hamad bin Khalifa bin Hamad bin Abdullah bin Jassim can succeed. The Emir himself appoints the Heir Apparent. In case he has no male offspring, the Emir can appoint another member of the family as Heir Apparent. An Heir Apparent has to be appointed with an Emiri Order after he has consulted the ruling family and other notables in the country. The Heir Apparent must be a Muslim and from a Qatari Muslim mother. After the Heir Apparent has been appointed he shall take the following oath before the Emir: “I swear by Almighty Allah to respect the Islamic Shariah, the Constitution and the law, and to protect the independence of the country, and preserve the sanctity of its territory, and protect the people’s freedom and interests, and shall be loyal to the Emir and the nation.” The Heir Apparent shall handle the authority and power if the Emir is absent from the country, or if a temporary obstacle prevents the Emir from doing his duties. If the Heir Apparent is unable to replace the Emir, the Emir may appoint a deputy from the ruling family with an Emiri order to carry out some of his duties and functions. The Emir must appoint a Ruling Family Council, established by an Emiri Decision. The members of the family who are seated in this Council will decide on the vacancy of the Emir post in case of his death or a disability preventing him from doing his duties. The Cabinet and the Advisory Council shall announce after a joint in-camera session the vacancy of the post, and the Heir Apparent shall be declared as Emir of State of Qatar. In case the Heir Apparent is not yet 18 years old when declared the Emir of Qatar, a Council of Guardians, three to five members selected from the ruling family, will manage the ruling of the country.


The Emir is Sheikh … (personal name) bin … (father’s name) Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, and is styled His Highness. His consort is … (personal name) bint … (father’s name and surname), and is styled Her Highness. The heir apparent is Sheikh … (personal name) bin … (father’s name) Al-Thani, Crown Prince of the State of Qatar, and is styled His Highness. The other children of an emir are … Sheikh(a) … (personal name) bin(t) … (father’s name) Al-Thani and are styled His/Her Excellency. Other members of the family in male line are Sheikh(a) … (personal name) bin(t) … (father’s name) Al-Thani.

The Emirs of Qatar

Ahmad bin Ali bin Jassim Al-Thani (1920-1977)1960/71-1972
Khalifa bin Hamad Al-Thani (1932-2016)1972-1995
Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani (1952- )1995-2013
Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani (1980- )2013-


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