In recent years, Qatar’s growing economic and political clout has largely been credited to the country’s Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and the Prime Minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani.
But the profile of Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has also been rising lately, the Financial Times asserts:
Sheikh Hamad recently joked about his son’s growing importance with a visiting official, telling him the crown prince was in charge of day-to-day management of the gas-rich Gulf state.
Surely, said the foreign visitor, the emir himself must still be making most decisions and the 32-year-old Sheikh Tamim could not be 100 per cent in charge. “Would you accept 80 per cent?” the emir replied.
FT says that Sheikh Tamim, second son of first lady Sheikha Moza and brother of art world darling Sheikha Al Mayassa, has been involved in a slew of recent policy initiatives, including:
The recent salary increases of army personnel, “cementing the loyalty of the officer class;”
Helping to repair ties with Saudi Arabia by building up relations with some of its power brokers; and
Furthering Qatar’s goals toward food security, working on 2022 World Cup plans and overseeing the activities of the supreme health, economic and education councils.