The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, will hand over power to the Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. The 61-year old Emir told his decision to the ruling family and top advisers in a meeting held on Monday.
Sheikh Hamad is due to address the nation today, which is declared a public holiday for the country, the official Qatar News Agency reported.
According to a palace statement, the citizens of Qatar would be received on Wednesday to swear allegiance to the new emir.
In 1995, Sheikh Hamad, with the support of the armed forces, the cabinet, and neighboring states, had seized power from his father Sheikh Khalifa in a bloodless coup. Sheikh Hamad introduced policies in political and economic liberalization that saw Qatar transitioning into a major contributor in both regional and international scenes.
Sheikh Tamim, 33, is the Emir’s second son with wife Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. Sheikh Tamim who is British-educated serves as the country’s deputy commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Analysts say that the new emir will not steer away much from his father’s policies and vision for the country.