Risk Management Report - Qatar
Politics: The Al-Thani family has ruled Qatar since the mid-19th century, reinforced by the British empire’s recognition of its right to govern; independence was declared in 1971. In recent decades, the peninsula has gained hugely in power, confidence and wealth, thanks to ‘Father Emir’ Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani’s drive to develop gas reserves. The population has boomed, from around 111,000 in 1970 to 2.2m today (around 85% expatriate). Between 1995 and 2013, Sheikh Hamad and prime minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim remodelled Qatar as an ultra-modern city state, with a multi-facted foreign policy, funded by extreme wealth. Relations with Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) members deteriorated as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain took umbrage at Doha’s support for Islamists, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood.