Saud bin Muhammed Al Thani

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Sheikh Saud Al Thani in 2002.

Saud bin Muhammad bin Ali bin Abdullah bin Jassim bin Muhammed Al Thani (28 February 1966 – 9 November 2014)[1][2] was a Qatari prince[3] who served as minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage.

By the turn of the 21st century, Shaikh Sa’ud had established an international reputation as an avid art collector, both for his own collection as well as those of several state-owned museums he oversaw in Qatar.[4]


Culture and art[edit]

As Minister of Culture, Arts, and Heritage[5] from 1997, he was entrusted with creating the collections to fill an ambitious program of world-class museums in Qatar, including a Museum of Islamic Art a combined Qatar National Library and Natural History Museum, a Museum of Photography,[6] and a Museum of Traditional Clothes & Textiles.[7][8] He was dismissed from his post in 2005.[4]

Various collections[edit]

He collected Leica APO-Telyt-R 1:5.6/1600mm lens,[9] furniture, vintage cars, natural history, jewellery, even bicycles, but it was sometimes unclear if the collections he had assembled belonged to him or to Qatar.[2]

Wildlife preservation[edit]

Al Thani founded the Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation (AWWP), a private conservation and endangered species breeding center in Qatar, which focuses on breeding and preservation of rare bird species, particularly the Spix's macaw.[10] Al Wabra is also an important centre for endangered Arabian species such as the Arabian sand gazelle and the Arabian oryx[11]

Photography competition[edit]

The Sheikh also founded the Al-Thani Awards in 2000.[12] It claims to be the biggest photography competition in the Middle-East with roughly 54,000 entrants in 2010.[13]

Private life, death[edit]

He was married to Sheikha Amna bint Ahmad bin Hassan bin Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani.

In the chapter "Goldeneye" from the book Travels with Myself (from Tahir Shah), the author narrates a visit to Saud's home and his magnificent art collection.

Saud bin Muhammed Al Thani died in London on 9 November 2014.[2]


  • Hamad bin Saud
  • Sara bint Saud
  • Moza bint Saud


  1. ^ Vitello, Paul (November 17, 2014). "Saud bin Mohammed al-Thani, Big-Spending Art Collector, Is Dead". New York Times. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "One of the world's top collectors Sheikh Al-Thani dies suddenly, aged 48". The Art Newspaper. 10 November 2014. Archived from the original on November 11, 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  3. ^ "Qatari prince denies poaching". BBC News. 31 March 1999. Retrieved 20 June 2009.
  4. ^ a b Riding, Alan (10 March 2005). "Qatar's official art buyer is out of the picture". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 June 2009.
  5. ^ "Cultural agreement between Qatar, Sudan". Arabic News. 1 June 2003. Archived from the original on August 19, 2005. Retrieved 20 June 2009.
  6. ^ Death of Sheikh Saud bin Mohammed Al-Thani, aged 48 Posted by Michael Pritchard on November 10, 2014 at 21:00. Accessed 11 November 2014
  7. ^ "Sheikh Saud's London spending spree". The Art Newspaper. 2004-06-02. Archived from the original on May 24, 2006.
  8. ^ "Qatari declared world's most active art collector". Daily Star (Lebanon). 2004-07-19.
  9. ^ World's Most Expensive Camera Lens It was delivered in 2006 on special order from a rich photography aficionado and former Minister of Culture, Sheikh Saud Bin Mohammed Al-Thani of Qatar, at a price of 16 million Hong Kong Dollars - the equivalent of 2,064,500 US dollars Peter Walkenhorst 10-Feb-2015
  10. ^ "Sheikh goes from collector to conservationist in effort to save the world's rarest parrot". 2009-09-10.
  11. ^ "The Shiekh Who Talked to the Animals, Eluxe Magazine".
  12. ^ Al-Thani Awards Archived 2010-12-31 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "XPRESS photographer snaps up award". Gulf News. 22 January 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2010.