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Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani

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  • Khalifa bin Hamad Al thani
  • خليفة بن حمد آل ثاني
Emir of Qatar
Reign22 February 1972 – 27 June 1995
PredecessorAhmad bin Ali Al Thani
SuccessorHamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
Born(1932-09-17)17 September 1932
Al Rayyan, Qatar
Died23 October 2016(2016-10-23) (aged 84)
Doha, Qatar
Al Rayyan Cemetery
FatherHamad bin Abdullah Al Thani
MotherAisha bint Khalifa Al Suwaidi
ReligionSunni Islam

Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad bin Abdullah bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani GCB GCMG (Arabic: خليفة بن حمد آل ثاني; 17 September 1932[1][2] – 23 October 2016) was the Emir of Qatar from 27 February 1972 until he was deposed by his son Hamad bin Khalifa in a coup on 27 June 1995.[3][4]

He died during the reign of his grandson, the current Emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Early years[edit]

Sheikh Khalifa was born in Doha in 1932.[5][6] He was the son of Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani and grandson of Emir Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani.


In 1957, Khalifa was appointed Minister of Education.[7] Then, he was appointed Deputy Emir.[7] He was named as the heir apparent on 24 October 1960.[8] In the 1960s, he also served as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.[7]

On 22 February 1972, Sheikh Khalifa became the Emir of Qatar, seizing power from his cousin, Emir Ahmad bin Ali Al Thani in a bloodless coup d'état.[9] While many Western news outlets referred to it as an overthrow, the Qatari population merely considered it to be a succession of power.[8] His initial activity was the process of the reorganization of the government.[6] He also limited the financial privileges of members of the ruling family.[8] Next, he appointed a foreign minister and an adviser to himself regarding the day-to-day affairs.[6] On 19 April 1972, he amended the Constitution and expanded the Cabinet by appointing more ministers. Diplomatic relations were also established with a number of foreign countries at the ambassadorial level.[citation needed]

Khalifa's reorganization of the system of government saw a dramatic shift in the hierarchy of authority. He immensely reduced the traditional powers afforded to the heir-apparent while projecting all of the power onto himself.[10]

On 18 July 1989, the cabinet was reshuffled for the first time, replacing most of the previous ministers and making it consist of 15 ministers. The Cabinet was again reshuffled under his premiership on 1 September 1992, expanding it to 17 members.[11]

The state revenue from the oil sector had increased as the result of the rising of a number of production sharing agreements with foreign oil companies. Two production-sharing agreements were signed with the Standard Oil Company of Ohio in January 1985 and Amoco in February 1986. In January 1989, another production sharing agreement was signed between Qatar and the French state-owned oil company Elf Aquitaine. In the middle of 1991, production of gas in the Qatar North Field, the world's largest single field of non-associated gas (proven gas reserves of around 250 trillion cubic feet and probable reserves of 500 trillion cubic feet), commenced. While the search for finding more oil deposits in Qatar continued, Qatar built an industrial base in order to reduce dependence on the oil sector.[citation needed]

Dethronement and death[edit]

While Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani was staying in Geneva, Switzerland, in June 1995, his son Hamad bin Khalifa seized power in another bloodless coup d'état.[12] The son accused his father of treason and demanded that Interpol arrest him. The former Emir charged his father with 4 counts that include his execution.[4] Khalifa lived in France until he returned to Qatar in 2004.[13] He died on 23 October 2016 at the age of 84.[14][15]

Marriages and children[edit]

Sheikh Khalifa had five sons and twelve daughters from four wives.

  • Sheikha Amna bint Hassan bin Abdullah Al Thani
    • Sheikh Abdelaziz bin Khalifa, Petroleum and finance minister (1972–1992)
    • Sheikha Maryem Bint Khalifa
    • Sheikha Noora bint Khalifa
    • Sheikha Hissa bint Khalifa
    • Sheikha Jafla bint Khalifa
    • Sheikha Moza bint Khalifa
  • Sheikha Aisha bint Hamad Al Attiyah
  • Sheikha Rudha bint Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani
    • Sheikha Aisha Bint Khalifa
    • Sheikha Sheikha bint Khalifa
    • Sheikh Abdullah Bin Khalifa
    • Sheikha Amna Bint Khalifa
    • Sheikha Muna bint Khalifa
    • Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa
    • Sheikha Lolwa Bint Khalifa
    • Sheikha Amal Bint Khalifa
    • Sheikha Al Anoud bint Khalifa
  • Sheikha Moza bint Ali bin Saud Al Thani
    • Sheikh Jassim bin Khalifa
    • Sheikha Nouf bint Khalifa


  1. ^ "من هو أمير قطر الراحل الشيخ خليفة بن حمد آل ثاني؟".
  2. ^ "من "خليفة" إلى "تميم".. 48 عاما من انقلابات الأسرة الحاكمة في قطر". 22 February 2020.
  3. ^ "Thani, Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad al-". Hutchinson Encyclopedia. Farlex.
  4. ^ a b ""Lack of origin" sits on the throne of Doha. A Qatari newspaper reminds us of the meanness of "Hamad": The son accused his father of treason and demanded that Interpol arrest him. The former Emir charges his father with 4 charges that include his execution. And Qatari: "Ibn al-Haram" naturally betrays brothers - the seventh day". Retrieved 19 March 2023.
  5. ^ "Qatar rulers". Rulers. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  6. ^ a b c "Line of succession: The Al Thani rule in Qatar". Gulf News. 24 June 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  7. ^ 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. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  8. ^ a b c Helen Chapin Metz, ed. (1993). "The Al Thani". Persian Gulf States: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress.
  9. ^ "Qatar PM seizes power from cousin". Ottawa Citizen. Beirut. AP. 23 February 1972. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  10. ^ Al-Kubaisi, Mohammed Ali M. (1984). Industrial development in Qatar: a geographical assessment (PDF). Durham E-Theses, Durham University. p. 77.
  11. ^ "Sheikh Khalifa Bin Hamad Al Thani (1972–1995)". Qatar News Agency. Archived from the original on 3 August 2009.
  12. ^ "Prince deposes father in Qatar". Deseret News. 27 June 1995. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  13. ^ "The Late His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad al-Thani was the architect of the modern Qatar". Qatar Day. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  14. ^ "Qatar: Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani passes away". Al Jazeera. 23 October 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  15. ^ "Qatar's former ruler Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad al-Thani dies". The Guardian. 23 October 2016.
Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani
Born: 1932 Died: 23 October 2016
Regnal titles
Preceded by Emir of Qatar
Succeeded by