Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the 7th Emir of the State of Qatar, is the second son of Shiekh Khalifa Bin Hamad Al-Thani. His Highness quietly took power from his father on June 27, 1995, continuing the rule of the Al-Thani family that began nearly two centuries ago.
Born in 1950 in Dohar, His Highness completed his studies at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the UK. He is married to three consorts: HH Sheika Mariam Bint Hamad Al-Thani, now divorced; HH Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, who will participate in the event with His Majesty; and HH Sheikha Noora Bint Khalid Al-Thani. His Highness has ten sons and six daughters.
In his efforts to modernise the country during his tenure, the country, which two decades ago was amongst the poorest in the region, has grown into one of the richest by exploiting its large oil and gas fields.
Sheikh Hamad is best-known internationally as the funder of the Qatari satellite TV station Al Jazeera, which gained an international reputation when it became the only broadcaster to operate from Afghanistan and the first to record statements by Osama bin Laden following the beginning of US strikes against Afghanistan in 2001. His Highness is interested in youth welfare.
HH Sheikha Mozah graduated with a BA in sociology from the University of Qatar. She has played an important role in activities for society since 1995 and has been the leader of many organisations including the Supreme Council for Family Affairs and Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development.
His Highness visited Thailand in 1999. This is the first time for Her Highness to visit.
The State of Qatar:Located in the Middle East, a peninsula bordered by the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia. The government is a traditional monarchy. Oil and natural gas revenues have brought Qatar among the highest per capita incomes in the world. In addition, the tourism industry was started in 1989.
Qatar and Thailand established formal relations on Aug 7, 1980. At present, Thailand exports equipment, canned seafood, ready-to-wear clothing and auto parts and imports chemicals and petroleum.