Qatari cabinet reshuffled

by  — 28 March 2016

In what has been widely viewed as an exercise in consolidation, HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani reshuffled the Qatari Cabinet in January. Analysts feel that following falling energy prices, this, being the first such exercise since the Emir took office in June 2013, is an attempt to bring structural rationalisation in the government.

Former Foreign Minister Dr. Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah is new Minister of State for Defence Affairs, as well as a member of the Council of Ministers.

The reshuffle has resulted in an 18 ministry-cabinet in total. The decree merged several ministries, including Communication and Transport and Culture, Youth and Sports, heralding the possibility of many job cuts.

There have been some notable changes such as the replacement of Foreign Minister Dr. Khalid Al Attiyah with Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani who has been promoted from Assistant Foreign Minister for International Cooperation Affairs. Al Attiyah is the new State Minister for Defence Affairs while HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani also holds the post of Defence Minister.

The outgoing Minister of State for Defence Affairs, Hamad Bin Ali Al Attiyah, was appointed as an adviser to HH the Emir for defence affairs, with rank equivalent to the prime minister, state media agency QNA revealed. The new cabinet also has a female minister, Dr. Hanan  Al Kuwari who was the managing director of Hamad Medical Corporation. She has replaced Abdullah bin Khalid Al Qahtani as Minister for Public Health.

The titles of several of the members of the new cabinet suggest changes too. Below is the full list of new appointments, according to QNA:

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Minister of Foreign Affairs;

Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah, Minister of State for Defence Affairs, as well as a member of the Council of Ministers;

Salah bin Ghanem Al Ali, Minister of Culture and Sports;

Issa bin Saad Al Naimi Juffali, Minister for Administrative Development and Labour and Social Affairs;

Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti, Minister of Transport and Communications;

Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Rumaihi, Minister of Municipality and the Environment; and

Hanan Al Kuwari, Minister of Public Health.

 HH The Emir Sheikh Tamim has said that Qatar needed to diversify its income and he urged an end to corruption. He said citizens should not “fear or panic” about the tumbling price of hydrocarbons. “As citizens your responsibilities are greater due to the low oil prices; however, citizens’ welfare and way of life should not be affected by the situation,” he said in a speech carried by QNA.

Analysts commenting on the shake- up have attributed it as an effort to deal with falling hydrocarbon prices which is prompting Qatar and its neighbours to reassess their spending plans to contain budget deficits.  The Edge reported in its January 2016 edition that Qatar’s 2016 budget is set to post a deficit of QAR46.5 billion.

The Wall Street Journal has quoted Ibrahim Fraihat, a senior foreign policy fellow at the Brookings Institution in Qatar, as saying that the consolidation could reflect an adjustment to declines in energy prices and a longer-term push to trim bureaucracy.

“I think there is a tendency to cut costs and be more efficient in the government reshuffle,” he said.

The appointments also show that HH The Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani is putting his stamp on government and bringing in a new, younger generation of ministers, Fraihat added. 

Like this story? Share it.




3-6 April IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference


11-12 April Arab Future Cities Summit 2016

Ritz-Carlton, Doha

11-12 May Future BIM Implementation

InterContinental Hotel The City

13-16 April Qatar Pool & Spa

Doha Exhibition Center

14-18 April Office World Exhibition (OWE)

Doha Exhibition Centre

view all events ›