House of Thani

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House of Thani
Emblem of Qatar.svg
Emblem and Flag of Qatar
Flag of Qatar.svg
Parent houseBanu Hanzala[1]
Foundedc. 1847
FounderMohammed bin Thani
Current headTamim bin Hamad
TraditionsIslam (Sunni)

The House of Thani (Arabic: الثاني, romanizedAl Thani) is the ruling family of Qatar, with origins tracing back to the Banu Tamim tribal confederation.[2]

History and structure[edit]

The Al Thanis[3] can be traced back to Mudar bin Nizar, who settled at Gebrin oasis in southern Najd (present-day Saudi Arabia) before he moved to Qatar.[4] Around the 17th century, the tribe lived in Ushayqir, a settlement north-east of Riyadh. They settled in Qatar around the 1720s. Their first settlement in Qatar was in the southern town of Sikak, and from there they moved north-west to Zubarah and Al Ruwais.[5] They settled in Doha in the 19th century under their leader Mohammed bin Thani.[4] The group was named after the father of Mohammad, Thani bin Mohammad.[4]

The family is made of four main factions: Bani Qassim, Bani Ahmed, Bani Jaber, and Bani Thamer.[6][7] As of the early 1990s, the number of the family members was estimated to be about 20,000.[7]

The leadership transitions in 1913, 1949, 1960, and 2013 were aII abdications.[6] These abdications were to a nephew in one incident and sons in the others.[6][8]


List of Emirs:

Family tree[edit]

'Genealogical table of the Ruling Āl Thāni (Ma’ādhīd) Family of Dōhah in Qatar', produced in 1915.
House of Thani
bin Thani

r. 1847-1878
bin Muhammad

r. 1878-1913
bin Jassim

r. 1913-1949
bin Abdullah

r. 1949-1960
bin Abdullah
bin Ali

r. 1960-1972
bin Hamad

r. 1972-1995
bin Khalifa

r. 1995-2013
bin Hamad

r. 2013-present

Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani Branch[edit]

The Ahmed bin Muhammed Al Thani Branch[edit]

The Fahad bin Muhammed Al Thani Branch[edit]

The Jaber bin Muhammed Al Thani Branch[edit]


In 1995, many royal family members staged a successful coup against the then King, King Khalifa Al Thani. His son, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani became the King. A few months later, there was a failed coup.

Over the years, the Qatar government has revoked the nationality of many Qatari citizens.[11] Criticism of the Royals and other government entities can land people in trouble.[12] Many citizens have protested against the government over discriminatory practices.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Banu Tamim tribe". 28 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Meet the world's other 25 royal families". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 4 July 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  3. ^ Althani, Mohamed (2013). Jassim the Leader: Founder of Qatar. Profile Books. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-78125-070-9.
  4. ^ a b c "Line of succession: The Al Thani rule in Qatar". Gulf News. 24 June 2013. Archived from the original on 27 June 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  5. ^ Mohamed Althani, p. 26
  6. ^ a b c Kamrava, Mehran (Summer 2009). "Royal Factionalism and Political Liberalization in Qatar". The Middle East Journal. 63 (3): 401–420. doi:10.3751/63.3.13. S2CID 154521643. Archived from the original on 13 July 2015. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  7. ^ a b Helen Chapin Metz, ed. (1993). "The Al Thani". Persian Gulf States: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress. Archived from the original on 14 October 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  8. ^ Crystal, Jill (July 1989). "Coalitions in Oil Monarchies: Kuwait and Qatar". Comparative Politics. 21 (4): 427–443. doi:10.2307/422006. JSTOR 422006.
  9. ^ "File 160/1903 'Persian Gulf: El Katr; appointment of Turkish Mudirs; question of Protectorate Treaty with El Katr' [170v] (345/860)". Qatar Digital Library. 20 August 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  10. ^ "Qatari emir Sheikh Hamad hands power to son Tamim". BBC News. 25 June 2013. Archived from the original on 25 June 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  11. ^ "Qatar move to revoke citizenship of clan chief draws flak".
  12. ^ "Qatar, the Gulf emirate famed for openness, is silencing critics". The Economist. 13 February 2020.
  13. ^ "Qatar: Election Law Exposes Discriminatory Citizenship". 9 September 2021.

External links[edit]