Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani

H.H. The Emir of Qatar

 

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (born 3 June 1980) is the Emir of the State of Qatar. He is the fourth son of the previous Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. He became Emir of Qatar on 25 June 2013 after his father's abdication. Sheikh Tamim has held a variety of government posts within Qatar and also worked to promote numerous sporting events within the country.

Sheikh Tamim received his education at Great Britain's Sherborne School in Dorset, where he received his A Levels in 1997. He then attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, graduating in 1998.

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.Since then he was groomed to take over rule, working in top security and economics posts.

Sheikh Tamim promoted sport as part of Qatar's bid to raise its international profile. In 2005, he founded Qatar Sport Investments, which owns Paris Saint-Germain F.C. among other investments. In 2006, he chaired the 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. 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.

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History
Evidence of early habitation in Qatar that can be traced as far back as to the 4th century BC appeared in many artifacts such as inscriptions, rock carvings, flint spearheads and examples of pottery which were all uncovered by the Danish (1965), the British (1973) and the French (1976) expeditions. Researchers knew al-Wasil hills since 1957 as an important site of Stone Age archeology. About 200 archeological sites of the prehistoric age were discovered during the eight years of the work of the Danish expedition from 1965 to 1975. Several sites of various periods in the Stone Age were discovered to the east of Um Bab. Other sites were found in the southernmost border near Soudanthil. An important site for the manufacture of flint tools, which probably goes back to the Mesolithic Stone Age, was discovered at Umm Tag to the south west of Dukhan; and new sites were discovered to the south east of Mesaieed. The archeological surveys revealed that the Ubaid civilization, which flourished in southern Iraq and the northern parts of the Arabian Gulf, had also reached the Qatar peninsula.

In the 5th century BC, the Greek historian Herodotus referred to the seafaring canaanites as the original inhabitants of Qatar. Further, the Geographer Ptolemy showed in his map of the Arab world 'gatara' as believed to refer to the Qatari town of Zubarah, which has acquired the fame of being one of the most important trading ports in the gulf region at the time.

Location
Qatar is an independent state in the Southern Arabian Gulf surrounded by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Iran. The country is situated midway along the western coast of the Arabian Gulf between latitudes 24.27° - 26.10° North and longitude 50.45° - 51.40° East. It is approximately 11,437 square kilometers on a low-lying limestone peninsula projecting northward about 160 kilometers into the Gulf. The coastline is 550 kilometers long and bounds the country to the west, north and east. The capital of Qatar is Doha.

Economy
Qatari economy has witnessed an impressive growth in the last eight years, based on the report of the recent World Economic Forum. Today Qatar is one of the world’s fastest growing economies as well as one of the most competitive Qatar was ranked 14th and the highest in the MENA region in the World Economic Forum competitiveness index (source: World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012), and was also placed 38th overall in the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) in 2012. 

The Qatari economy soared in 2011 having grown solidly over the past decade based on the solid foundation of Qatar's production of liquefied natural gas reaching 77 million tons per year - the first country in the world in this industry to achieve such volumes Thanks to the wisdom and vision of the previous Emir His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar saw the launch of at least 10 strategic installations in the areas of oil and gas and petrochemical industries, as well as aluminum and power generation projects at a total cost of more than 65 billion riyals (17.8 billion dollars) during the same year..

In terms of the strategic directions of the national development of Qatar, the services sector is the main engine of the economy after 2011. Qatar has seen strong growth in the sectors of transport, communications, business and financial services during this period, while the activities associated with the World Cup 2022 will provide new opportunities in the tourism sector and in other areas as well. In addition , Doha’s new airport will provide an active center for air transportation, and the amendments to the law of foreign direct investment made in early 2010 - which allow foreign ownership of projects and companies by 100% in the sectors related services - may also contribute to the growth of the service sector. This will then have the effect of increasing its contribution to GDP by the year 2016 to 40%, compared to 36% in 2009. Qatar is also looking ahead to a very prospective future with its Sports Facility Projects, Rail and new Sea Port.

Political Structure
Qatar is officially a hereditary ‘Constitutional Monarchy’ with its ruler taking the title ‘Emir’. Succession is within the Al Thani family; if there is no Al Thani son in the immediate line to serve as Heir Apparent, power can be transferred to another member of the Al Thani family, chosen by the Emir. The country’s first (provisional) constitution was written in 1970 and amended in 1972. A 150-article permanent constitution became effective on 9 June 2005.

Religions
Islam is the official religion of the country, and the Shariah (Islamic Law) is the principal source of legislation in the country.

Languages
Arabic (official), English commonly used as a second language

Local Time
3 hours + Greenwich Mean Time.

Topography
Qatar generally consists of flat rocky surfaces. It does, however, include some hills and sand dunes which reach an altitude of 40m above sea level in the western and northern parts of the country.

Qatar is characterized by a number of geographical features which are peculiar to the western side of the Arabian Gulf. These include rainwater-draining basins found mainly in the north and central areas of the country. These two areas are considered the most fertile and have attracted heavy agricultural investment.

Climate

Qatar benefits from year-round sunshine, with temperatures ranging from 25ºC (74ºF) up to 45ºC (113ºF) in summer. The best months to enjoy Qatar's pleasant weather are between October and May. The climate of Qatar is typical of hot and arid desert lands, pleasant in winter and extremely hot in summer. Short transitional periods separate the two main seasons. The air temperature in January averages a high of 22°C and has an average low of 13°C. The minimum overnight low at this time of year has been known to fall as far as 6°C. The temperature also falls heavily after sunset in the desert, where winds can be cold.
 

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