I found an interesting paragraph published in Zawya by David Roberts, deputy director for the Royal United Services Institute (Qatar). It eloquently describes the locus of power in Qatar, painting in broad strokes the areas of interest and influence of each actor.
“While Hamad Bin Kalifah Al Thani, the emir, remains in broad strategic control, Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the crown prince, is increasingly active and is behind several recent sporting ventures, including the acquisition of Paris St Germain football club. Hamad Bin Jassem Al Thani, prime minister and foreign minister, is the key player in the Qatar Investment Authority, while Sheikha Moza, the emir’s second wife, is the guiding force behind the social and educationally-focused Qatar Foundation. Sheikha Mayassa, the emir and Moza’s daughter, is in charge of museums and art projects.” Zawya Nov 1, 2012
A healthy question, best asked in a narrowly defined context relevant to your business: who else?
A risky question, best asked when deciding on your entry point in Qatar’s business landscape: which one?
These questions reflect a hypothesis I have only reconfirmed in the past decade. In some countries, your choice of a local partner is tantamount to making a political choice, not a business decision.
In the Middle East, this is more likely to be true than in most other places. In Qatar, the key decision-makers are related by blood. But are they also united by a shared vision?
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