(MENAFN- Gulf Times)
* 9th anniversary of His Highness the Amir's accession to rein
*Achievements and successes beyond expectations in political, economic, social and sports fields
'If we make major investments and do not obtain appropriate results, we should not pass over that unnoticed.' This is what was stated in the speech of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, on Wednesday, June 26, 2013, on the occasion of his assumption of power in the country.
Nine years after His Highness the Amir took office on June 25, 2013, the results achieved have exceeded all expectations and exceeded aspirations until the State of Qatar became under his wise leadership in the ranks of developed countries at all levels.
The 9th anniversary of the Amir's accession to the reins of government comes at a time when Qatar is reaping more political, economic, social and sports achievements and successes, as a result of plans, strategic visions and aspirations for the future of a nation that walks the path of excellence and a continuation of the advanced and enlightened thought set by His Highness the Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the builder of the modern renaissance of Qatar.
Nine years ago, Qatar, under the leadership of His Highness the Amir, embarked on a new journey for economic, social, cultural and sports advancement and in various fields, until the name of Qatar became frequent in all international forums as a role model for growth and development.
The Amir's achievements during the nine years were not limited to the local issue, but extended to reach all parts of the world, to clearly reflect the originality and genius of the continuous journey of work and effort initiated by the founder Sheikh Jassim bin Mohamed bin Thani, may God have mercy on him, passing through all the leaders of Qatar who walked the path and achieved the desired goal.
It is the honour, dignity and elevation of everyone who resides on this good land.
Since the beginning of his rule on June, 25, 2013, His Highness the Amir has been keen to invest in the human person and put him on the list of priorities, and despite the advanced stages that the State has made in achieving comprehensive development and economic advancement, the ambitions of the wise leadership are limitless, as it seeks in a manner that for the sake of the dignity and well-being of the human being on this earth, his dignity, his rights, his wishes and his aspirations.
During those nine years, the Amir was able to move the Qatari economy to an advanced level, as the latest expectations indicate that the gross domestic product will record a growth rate of 4.9% during the current year, at a time when the world is suffering from a decline in performance and a significant rise in inflation rates.
Under the Amir's rule, Qatar has been able to become a magnet for the world in the field of energy, and perhaps last week alone witnessed a global competition to obtain a share of the North Field expansion investments.
The State, under the leadership of the Amir, has proven over the past years its full entitlement to host the FIFA World Cup, which will start next November, after the State fulfilled all its pledges a full year before the tournament, and is now decorated to receive teams and fans from all over the world, to be witnesses to the scale of development and achievement in a perfect edition of the most famous world tournament.
The past nine years have been full of political activity for Qatar at home and abroad at all levels, which reflects the active role of the State and the position it enjoys among countries, peoples, international organisations and institutions, and at the top of this activity, the foreign participations made by His Highness the Amir, during which he received a warm reception and an unparalleled welcome.
During that period, His Highness, since assuming the reins of government, issued several directives, which varied in their fields and topics, and most of them came either as an initiative to strengthen the pillars of national development or provide a decent life for citizens, or in response to challenges or crises facing humanity in various parts of the world.
In the local issue, on December 22, 2013, His Highness the Amir directed the allocation of 750 shares, fully paid for by the government, to each of the categories benefiting from social security, as well as to each individual from the category of people with special needs in the Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding Company, in order to achieve the policy of the State of Qatar in caring for people with special needs.
On November,1, 2014, and in the interest to achieve the National Development Strategy that was developed 2011-2016, and in the speech delivered by His Highness during the 43rd ordinary session of the Shura Council, instructing the government to set plans that include a realistic timetable for resolving the issues of warehouses, logistic areas, economic zones, manufacturing plan, licensing factories necessary for the State, resolving workers' housing issues, and a plan to promote the economic and commercial sectors, activate the stock market, start the first agricultural and food cluster project, and develop a strategy for tourism with a slew of tourism projects that will be completed during the next two years.
Based on the directives of His Highness the Amir regarding diversifying the base of the Qatari economy and supporting the competitiveness of the private sector, which leads to an increase in commercial traffic and support for the local product, and diversification of non-hydrocarbon investment methods, His Highness the Amir announced on July 15, 2015 the launch of the largest logistical project -- in the south of the country -- to increase the trade movement, support the local product, and diversify non-hydrocarbon investment methods, to diversify the base of the Qatari economy and support the competitiveness of the private sector.
On July 21, 2017, His Highness the Amir delivered a historic speech to citizens and residents of Qatar, in which he emphasized removing obstacles to investment, preventing monopoly, diversifying sources of income, opening the economy to initiatives and investment, especially food and medicine, and investing in development, especially human development, allocating gas revenues for future generations, deepening bilateral co-operation and communicating with bilateral agreements with countries of the world, paying attention to educational attainment in all disciplines, diligence, creativity, independent thinking, and presenting constructive initiatives.
On March,15, 2020, His Highness the Amir directed officials to provide the necessary services to citizens and residents, foremost of which is providing them with security and protection from the emerging Coronavirus pandemic to ensure the continuation of their normal lives. His Highness the Amir also directed the initiation of a package of precautionary decisions and measures, to combat the spread of Covid-19, as well as a package of decisions related to the economic and financial sector, providing financial and economic incentives in the amount of QR75bn to the private sector, and the Central Bank to establish the mechanism to encourage banks to postpone loan installments and private sector obligations with a grace period of six months, and to direct Qatar Development Bank to postpone installments for all borrowers for a period of six months.
In addition to directing government funds to increase their investments in the stock exchange by an amount of QR10bn, and the Central Bank to provide additional liquidity to banks operating in the country, and exempting food and medical commodities from customs duties for a period of six months, provided that this is reflected in the selling price to the consumer, and exempting a number of sectors from fees of electricity and water for a period of six months, and an exemption from rents for logistics areas and small and medium industries for a period of six months.
On April 9, 2022, His Highness the Amir issued an Amiri decision to increase pensions, and the two laws of social insurance and military retirement for QR15,000, with the addition of a special allowance of QR (4,000) as compensation for the housing allowance, provided that the pension does not exceed the amount of QR(100,000).
His Highness' patronage included the issuance of the two laws, to increase the insurance coverage on the income of the Qatari citizen, by adding the housing allowance to the salary of the subscription account for the civil employee, adding the housing allowance and the specialisation allowance for the military, with coverage rates not less than 70% and not exceeding 87% of the total monthly salary of employee or military.
Support for Palestine
His Highness the Amir's directives in regional and international affairs had a prominent role in alleviating the suffering of many countries in the region, the most prominent of which was the continuous support for the Palestinian people. On May 26, 2021, His Highness the Amir directed to allocate a grant of $500mn for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, and on March 22, 2020, His Highness the Amir directed to provide $150mn over a period of 6 months, in support of the Palestinian brothers in the Gaza Strip, in order to complement the efforts of the State of Qatar to alleviate the suffering of the brotherly Palestinian people, and in support of the United Nations relief and humanitarian programs in Gaza Strip, including financial assistance in support for the people and in the fight against the outbreak of Covid-19.
On May 6, 2019, His Highness the Amir directed the allocation of $480mn in support of the Palestinian brothers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, based on the bonds of brotherhood and the ties of Arabism and religion between the Qatari and Palestinian peoples. It is no secret to anyone the great Qatari role in supporting the countries of the world during the Covid-19 crisis, as Qatari medical aid covered dozens of countries, and also during the Afghanistan crisis, during which Qatar played a remarkable role that included securing the exit of foreign nationals and their safe return to home.
In addition to the directives of His Highness the Amir to send international Qatari search and rescue teams and groups of the Internal Security Force 'Lekhwiya' and teams from the Civil Defence of the Ministry of Interior to participate in search and rescue operations during countries' exposure to natural disasters as a result of fires or earthquakes.
On economic affairs, the State of Qatar has overcome the entire challenges that faced the global economies during the past years since His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani assumed office, laying the foundation for a new phase that evidently adopts rapprochement and contributes to achieving the economic diversity, which have substantially consolidated Qatar's status as one of the most powerful regional economies and promising at the international level.
Qatar has offered a sophisticated economic model, thanks to the policies it has adopted during the past years, with the guidance and oversight provided by His Highness the Amir that manifestly consolidated Qatar's status as a primary economic hub in the region. Qatar managed to overcome a multitude of regional and international challenges and laid the foundations of a new economic phase through which the State moved to count on its own capabilities and support the national products, in addition to strengthening its openness to its various trade partners worldwide.
The great role of His Highness's directives remains abundantly clear to overcome Covid-19 pandemic fallout, where His Highness the Amir issued directives to safeguard the economic structure of the state, support the affected sectors and reduce the risks of the pandemic, address its repercussions on business environment, ensure the stability of markets and provide basic food commodities in tandem with the competencies entrusted to it, in addition to boosting coordination with the concerned authorities to overcome the repercussions, discussing implementation of subsidy packages mechanisms with exemptions made to the affected sectors, as well as following-up the performance of national industries.
In spite of the economic repercussions of Covid-19 pandemic that have patently affected all countries worldwide, without exception leading to the decline in the growth of major global economies, as Qatar remains one of the most powerful regional economies, and among the most promising economies at the global level, thanks to the approach charted by His Highness the Amir, to achieve Qatar National Vision 2030, which is devoted to diversifying the national economy and transition to a new knowledge-based economy.
Qatar, and under His Highness the Amir's directives adopted an approach that contributes to achieving a balance between the oil-based economy and the real economy that depends on non-oil sectors, where this approach had been utilised for directing the vital resources of oil and gas toward subsidising the programs that are aimed at achieving the economic diversification. Qatar was keen to support the national efforts dedicated to advancing the Qatari industries and expanding their range in order to contribute to achieving sufficiency from one hand and supporting the economic growth of the non-oil sectors in commensurate with the country's economic diversification plans to achieve the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030 on the other hand.
During the past nine years, Qatar sought to accelerate the pace of initiatives, programs and laws that support the national economy and stimulate production and investment , and has been committed to encouraging Qatari exports competitiveness based on infrastructure and sophisticated logistics services, in addition to operationalising the regional and international networks with the objective of establishing more expanded and competitive supply chains, striking regional and international trade deals that essentially support the status of Qatar in the main markets, stimulating the local investors and direct them towards utilising the promising opportunities offered by a range of vital selected sectors.
The strategy considered the development of legislative and organisational framework that attracts foreign investment, boost partnership between the public and private sectors, develop patents and convert them into competitive trade commodities, in addition to proceeding with the implementation of the programs that are aimed at encouraging the private sector and providing optimal business environment, as well as carrying out a number of crucial programs and projects.
We are currently witnessing the beginning of the 10th year since His Highness the Amir has assumed the office, and we are also witnessing the onset of the third National Development Strategy (2023-2027), and it has been announced recently to develop the private sector strategy through coordination with various concerned authorities based on the development goals that have been accomplished, which are considered the fruit of the effective partnership between the public and private sectors and the entire concerned authorities to support the development process of Qatar for the sake of achieving its national vision 2030.
His Highness the Amir has been committed to creating an attractive investment environment, through His Highness's directives to issue a package of laws to stimulate foreign investments by counting on advanced legislation, such as the law regulating the investment of non-Qatari capital in economic activity, the law regulating partnership between the public and private sectors, in addition to the law regulating non-Qatari ownership of real estate and utilisation.
Qatar worked to lay out the supporting legislative frameworks that support the attractiveness of the business environment, such as the issuance of a law regulating the investment of non-Qatari capital in economic activity and a law regulating partnership between the public and private sectors, in addition to investment in vital and important sectors, including health and technology, development of free zones, and the continued expansion of Hamad International Airport and Hamad Port, in order to consolidate the economic openness of the State and the strengthening of its trade relations with various countries.
These efforts have led to a substantial increase in the volume of domestic and foreign investment over the past years, especially with regard to foreign direct investment, which rose in 2021 by 27% compared to 2020. The curve of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Qatar has taken an upward trend thanks to the business environment, the advanced infrastructure, and the balanced performance of the financial sector, which directly affected the country's gross domestic product, which is anticipated to rise up to 4.9% in 2022. The projections also indicate that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will rise from $161bn in 2021 to $201bn in 2025, and is anticipated to reach $172bn in 2022, followed by $181bn in 2023 and $191bn in 2024.
Qatar strives toward consolidating its leadership and economic power through pursuing development policies that consolidate the private sector and support economic diversification, in addition to international co-operation and partnership to lift a multitude of challenges, including Covid-19 pandemic. Under His Highness the Amir's directives, Qatar proceeded with its process to achieve its National Vision 2030 counting at the same time on an inspirational model in crisis management, which has significantly contributed to ensuring the sustainability of economy and continuity of business, and subsequently enabling the achievement of recovery and restoring the growth during a short time. The local industries contribution has been elevated under His Highness to the fourth rank in GDP, and the country still has much to do in the field of diversifying sources of income, however the mission is not confined to the state, but rather to the role of the private sector as well.
Based on His Highness's directives, Qatar pursues the investment in a host of sectors, in addition to expanding its current projects utilising the financial surpluses arising from high oil prices. In this direction, His Highness has been committed to directing Qatar Investment Authority's focus on investments in technology and health sectors, in addition to the technologies that primarily help move ahead with Qatar's economic projects, where there are currently Qatari investments in the United States, Asia and Europe in the technology sector.
Qatar Investment Authority invests in renewable energy and energy storage facilities generated from renewable sources, in addition to the existing partnerships that are being dealt with various sectors that would be successful and forming emulated experience, anticipating that Europe is braced for a period of economic recession due to the energy crisis.
The consecutive national development strategies have made a substantial progress in economic infrastructure sphere, including private sector development through organising partnership between it and private sector to contribute to achieving growth and economic diversification in the pursuit of achieving Qatar national vision 2030.
Under His Highness, Qatar attained a high profile on the international map in the field of maritime transportation and logistic services through the instrumental role played by Hamad Port, Qatar main gateway with the world thanks to the strategic role of this port in supporting the strategic plan of the Ministry of Transport and Communications aimed at transforming Qatar into vibrant regional trade hub in the region. The port remains one of the most important ports in the Middle East region with a trade share of more than 28%. It also offers direct and indirect shipping services to roughly 100 marine destinations worldwide at competitive prices. The port has handled more than 6mn containers and more than 13mn tonnes of general cargo since the onset of its operations.
Experts testify the status that Qatar has occupied in the energy field, particularly with regard to LNG, as the consecutive global crises have highlighted Qatar as a trustful player in LNG market. Qatar has increased its production of LNG in fulfilling the global demand, as Qatar intends to remain at the forefront of gas producers for at least the next 20 years, capitalising on the increased demand as the world shifts from dependence on oil and coal to clean energy.
In February of last year, QatarEnergy announced the final investment decision in the project to expand the production of LNG from the eastern sector of the north field, which will raise the production capacity of Qatar from LNG in 2025 from 77mn tonnes annually to 110mn tonnes annually.
QatarEnergy is seeking to develop the north field in two phases, and during the past period we have seen many major energy companies globally scramble to obtain contracts in expansion plans, and there are many countries that rushed to sign agreements to buy and sell Qatari gas before production commences.
In addition, under His Highness, Qatar Energy signed agreements to increase its fleet of LNG carriers, by signing agreements to build 100 LNG carriers at an estimated cost of about QR 70 billion within three agreements with the three major Korean shipyards.
Since His Highness has assumed office in Jun. 25, 2013, Qatar has been facing a multitude of challenges, however, its succeeded in building modern state capable of harmonizing national constants with international developments in various fields thanks to its wise leadership, insightful vision, and commitment to its values and principles.
Since the first day of assuming office, His Highness the Amir, with the experience he gained from political work and held many important positions in the state, has been committed to proceeding with charting the policies that respect the international law and upholding its obligations according to UN charter. His Highness succeeded, based on this vision, in putting the country in premium position among the world countries, in addition to establishing cooperation relationships based on mutual respect and Non-interference in the internal affairs of the majority of countries that respect international law.
Today, Qatar is proud of the high level attained by Qatari diplomacy, which is consistent with the progress the country has witnessed in all fields. The Qatari diplomacy has succeeded in preserving the country's interest and represented it in the best way on the international arena, and during the past period it proved its ability to forestall malicious campaigns targeting Qatar's progress and prosperity, under the leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, and it managed to alter numerous positions through dialogue and diplomacy.
In light of the bilateral steadfast diplomatic relations of the state of Qatar with the vast majority of countries, its partnership with the influential powers in the world, its prestigious role in the United Nations and International organizations, in addition the perfect and unique status of the state of Qatar and its gracious people from all walks of life and his solidarity with all the measures and decisions taken by the state leadership represented in His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Qatari diplomacy does not face any challenges pertaining to the situation in the region, the crises it faces, as well as the common international challenges, which the Qatari diplomacy is working to solve and mitigate by the available means and on the basis of international cooperation, through the regional and international organizations to which the country belongs.
His Highness the Amir adopts a constant message in all international and regional events, of bringing peace and resolving differences through dialogue. His Highness always calls for ensuring that peace prevails, especially in the region, by addressing the root causes of instability, and working constructively towards finding peaceful solutions to existing disputes and disagreements where possible.
Qatari mediation efforts have become renowned for its success in resolving disputes that threaten security, stability, and peace. The strength of diplomacy and dialogue is evident in Qatar's role as an international player in resolving conflicts in the region and the world. Since 2013, the State of Qatar has been able to mediate more than 10 major regional and international issues, with its track record of successes in the field of mediation, such as Sudan, in Libya, and between the US and the Taliban, where this last effort succeeded in ending a 20-year war in Afghanistan.
Qatari diplomacy bright during the Afghan peace process, hosting and facilitating talks between various Afghan factions and the United States and others, as well as evacuating thousands of Afghan citizens and foreigners wishing to leave Kabul after the Taliban took over, with the majority of them settling as guests in Qatar for a few days before continuing on their way to their final destinations, the evacuation of civilians took place under dangerous conditions and many challenges, and Qatar operated an air bridge to transport relief materials to the Afghan people.
Doha was transformed into an international hub through the leaders, delegations, and senior officials who visited the city over the years, or the phone calls they made with His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to express their thanks and appreciation for the Qatari efforts in the evacuation process.
Proceeding from Qatar's efforts during the Afghan crisis, and what the world witnessed for the great Qatari role in responding to calls to intervene and evacuate their nationals from Afghanistan, and at the forefront of these was the United States. In response, US President Joe Biden officially announced the designation of the State of Qatar as a major non-NATO ally of the United States following talks with His Highness the Amir. His Highness was the first GCC leader to visit the White House during Biden's term.
Biden said at the time that the designation was a recognition of the US' interest in enhancing defense and security cooperation with Qatar, and a reflection of the strength of bilateral ties.
Qatar succeeded in 2021, through its mediation efforts, in restoring diplomatic relations between the Republic of Somalia and the Republic of Kenya, to achieve international peace and stability.
During the reign of His Highness the Amir, Qatar was and remains a pioneer in supporting joint Arab action on Arab issues, foremost of which is the Palestinian cause and achieving stability in Syria and Libya, and it has a long and rich record that calls for pride. The State of Qatar views with concern the dangers threatening the Arab world and works with all available means to confront them and ward off their dangers.
Despite the magnitude of the challenges facing the Arab region, the Palestinian issue remains the top crisis that the international community has not been able to make progress on. No progress has been made in peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis. His Highness the Amir has been consistent in calling for a two-state solution to the issue based on UN resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.
His Highness continued his support for the Palestinian cause in order for the Palestinian people to obtain their legitimate rights with a clear political action plan and within a specific timetable, leading to the implementation of the two-state solution and achieving security and stability in the region.
Qatar has also been and still supports the brotherly Syrian people, and affirms that a military solution is not the answer, it's rather a political process that leads to a political transition in accordance with the Geneva-1 and the full implementation of Security Council Resolution 2254, which guarantees Syria's national and regional unity, sovereignty and independence and meets the aspirations of the Syrian people. The Syrian people. Since the beginning of the crisis and the resulting massive human suffering, the State of Qatar has taken the initiative to do its duty, as it is among the largest donors providing humanitarian assistance for the benefit of Syrian refugees and displaced persons.
Qatar was always committed to Libya's stability. This was reflected in the Libyan political agreement in Skhirat and, more recently, the Libyan political dialogue forum, which was held in Tunisia last year, and as a result, representatives of the interim executive authority were elected and the State of Qatar renewed its support for the Libyan Government of National Unity in order to restore stability and security in Libya. The State of Qatar also supported the efforts of the United Nations to enhance stability in Libya.
Qatar views peace comprehensively; its initiatives to achieve peace include all areas that contribute to achieving peace, in accordance with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations. Hence, the state has paid great attention to participating in international efforts to support the role of mediation and preventive diplomacy, which constitutes a fundamental pillar in the work of the United Nations. Qatari mediation has achieved positive results that contributed to the peaceful settlement of many disputes. This is in addition to the great contributions of the State of Qatar in the field of development, especially the provision of education in conflict areas as it is a major tool for peacebuilding.
The State of Qatar also plays an active and responsible role in the international multilateral action to establish and enhance peace and security in the world, through the implementation of political, economic and cultural initiatives, and development and humanitarian aid in cooperation with partners in the international community.
Over the past nine years, the Shura Council witnessed important stages of development, which had a role in the continuation of the country's comprehensive development. On Oct. 2 of 2021, the first elections were organized to choose two-thirds of the 30 members of the Shura Council, and Qatari people demonstrated their awareness and capacity for the practice of shura-based democracy, and their readiness for popular participation in decision-making according to the vision of His Highness the Amir.
In his comprehensive speech during the opening of the first ordinary session of the first legislative term, corresponding to the 50th annual session of the Shura Council, His Highness the Amir of the country expressed his confidence that the members of the Council will carry their legislative tasks responsibly and will cooperate with the cabinet to serve the interests of the people.
His Excellency Speaker of the Shura Council Hassan bin Abdullah Al-Ghanim stressed that the State of Qatar, thanks to the wise leadership of His Highness the Amir of the country, is living a renaissance, and directed towards real popular participation that was sincerely embodied in the recent Shura Council elections. Which took place in a free, transparent and fair atmosphere, with an official and popular will, recognized locally, regionally and internationally.
His Excellency told Qatar News Agency (QNA), in remarks made to mark nine years since His Highness the Amir assumed reins of government, that Qatar has assumed a prestigious international position at all levels, and has become an active member of the international community. It has an influential and prominent role, which has earned it respect and trust. It also became a trusted partner globally in tackling the world's problems, especially with regard to issues of international peace and security.
His Excellency the Speaker of the Shura Council congratulated the Qatari people on the anniversary, and on their wise leadership, which devotes all its effort, thought and time to serving them, defending their rights, and providing them with a decent life. He stressed that the leadership and the people's support and close cohesion between them enhances the nation's value with its leadership and achievements, in anticipation of a brighter and more prosperous future.
His Excellency added that this calls for everyone to do their part earnestly in order for the country to continue its road to glory that the leadership planned and is reflected in Qatar National Vision 2030.
His Excellency pointed out that as a result of all these policies and lofty directives, the State of Qatar came at the fore and achieved high rankings in many global competitive, economic, and security indicators. The latest of which was its first place in the Global Peace Index in the Middle East and North Africa, and 23rd place on the Global level out of 163 countries
His Excellency the Speaker of the Shura Council concluded his statement by emphasizing that the blessed era will continue with the determination and directives of the people of Qatar, which means the continuation of work and overcoming challenges in a changing world and volatile international policies, so that Qatar continues to be a source for calm in these turbulent times globally, an advocate for peace and freedom where justice and the rule of law reign.
His Highness the Amir has attached great importance to the environment and sustainable development, represented in the inclusion of environmental protection as one of the most important pillars of Qatar National Vision 2030. which included clear plans and programs aimed at preserving and protecting the environment and its natural balance, in order to achieve comprehensive and sustainable development for all future generations.
To implement this approach, His Highness the Amir ordered the creation of a Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and launched the Qatar National Environment and Climate Change Strategy, which aims to protect and enhance the Qatari environment to preserve the quality of life of the Qatari people and ensure long-term economic resilience, it has also joined many international conventions that enhance efforts to protect the environment and its sustainability. The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change is making intensive efforts to preserve vegetation cover, rehabilitate the Qatari land, and assess the environmental impact of projects and programs that potentially affect the environment and thus the health of community members as well.
His Highness the Amir's interest in the environment and sustainable development is not limited to the local issue only. His Highness was keen to play a regional and international role in this regard, to announce the initiative of the 'Global Dryland Alliance' in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly in 2014.
The Global Dryland Alliance was established in October 2017, with the participation of 11 countries, namely Qatar, Benin, Burkina Faso, Morocco, Tunisia, Iraq, Senegal, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, and Tanzania, among its many activities, the Alliance is exploring ways to address the challenges arising from phenomena such as climate change and desertification.
The alliance contributes to making dryland countries food secure, leading to more stability and peace in the world, and cooperates with partners locally, regionally, and internationally to find, publish, and implement solutions to meet the challenges of agriculture, water and energy in dryland countries.
In addition to the initiative to plant a million trees, the initiative to establish a green belt around the city of Doha and its suburbs, which was identified by the second national development strategy, will contribute to reducing the effects of the factors causing desertification, such as dust-laden winds and sand encroachment, in addition to the aesthetic character that these green areas will give.
Work is also underway to complete projects to rehabilitate the Qatari mainland and meadows at a constant pace, the areas affected by desertification and its repercussions are being rehabilitated and planted with trees in the Qatari environment in a way that harmonizes the preservation of vegetation cover and the consolidation of the natural and cultural heritage.
During the reign of His Highness the Amir, Qatar achieved self-sufficiency with 127 percent in fresh poultry, 106 percent in fresh milk, and 45 percent in table eggs, and this percentage will rise to 65 percent by the end of this year, in addition to reaching 100 percent in the production of vegetables in winter, achieving a production rate of 100 percent in fish and dates, and 21 percent in the production of red meat, knowing that the target percentage is 30 percent.
Qatar ranked 37th globally, outperforming 76 countries around the world in the Global Food Security Index, the country has also occupied a prominent position and advanced ranks in some important components within the global competitiveness indicators such as low unemployment rate, annual inflation rate, financing technical development, cyber security, sustainable development, and others.
During the past nine years, ten state-of-the-art hospitals and many new specialized facilities were opened, while the number of hospitals affiliated with Hamad Medical Corporation increased to 14, and the number of primary health care centers in the public sector has now increased to 28 centers affiliated with the Primary Health Care Corporation and 4 other centers run by the Qatar Red Crescent.
Ambulance services and surgical facilities have developed, which has contributed to making the State of Qatar one of the best countries in the world in the field of traffic safety. The post-accident response has been improved to reduce deaths and serious injuries, as the phone response time to the accident is about 6 seconds, and the time to reach the accident site inside Doha is 7 minutes, and outside Doha is 8 minutes in 91 percent of cases.
The State of Qatar has spared no effort in responding quickly to face the serious repercussions of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, and has adopted a strategy based on three main axes, which is to protect all members of society by strengthening the health sector, provide the necessary support to the economy to reduce the negative effects of the pandemic and contribute to international efforts to tackle the virus by providing assistance to relevant countries and international organizations.
The measures adopted by the state succeeded in limiting the spread of (Covid-19) among members of society, mitigating its effects on various aspects of life, and reducing the death rate, due to complications of the disease to the minimum, as one of the lowest death rates caused by (Covid-19) in the world was recorded, more than 85.6 percent of the population received the vaccination with two doses of the vaccine, which is one of the highest rates of vaccination against 'Covid-19' in the world, and the provision of the third booster dose has been started for people who have been six months since receiving the second dose, The State of Qatar ranked fifteenth for the countries that dealt with the Corona virus epidemic in the best way, and it is the only Arab country that was included in this classification, in the German magazine Der Spiegel.
We are now on the cusp of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 for the first time in the Middle East, to reflect the Arab and Islamic civilization and highlight the authentic Qatari identity to the world, everyone, both citizens and residents, has witnessed the remarkable changes that the country has gone through during the past decade, which confirms the importance of the role played by hosting the World Cup as one of the most important motives for bringing about these fundamental changes in the country's development process.
From the beginning, the sustainability strategy for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 was to host a distinguished tournament that sets new standards for social, human, economic and environmental development. His Highness the Amir was keen on the participation of local companies in this strategy by providing opportunities for local companies, businessmen and local and Arab human cadres to innovate and enriching mutual experiences.
His Highness the Amir also affirms on all occasions the State of Qatar's commitment to making the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 a World Cup that reflects its own identity and the Arab identity in general, from this standpoint, Arab, Qatari and Islamic culture played a key role in the biggest and most important inspiration during the preparation stages for the tournament, starting from the planning and design stages to the implementation stage.
Under the rule of His Highness the Amir, the transport sector witnessed a great development to keep pace with the comprehensive renaissance and sustainable development that the State of Qatar is experiencing. Qatar has made great strides in the field of sustainable transport, which reflects the great ambitions in the field of transition to clean and renewable energy.
Qatar seeks to achieve comprehensive development, which requires providing a new, sustainable, and effective means of transportation for individuals that contribute to achieving these development goals, the Qatar Railways Company (Qatar Rail) was established to be responsible for designing and developing the railway network in the country, and then managing, operating, and maintaining it upon completion.
Qatar Rail has worked to develop successful solutions to transportation challenges in Qatar through two major projects, the Doha Metro, which is an advanced railway network that extends mostly underground to connect the main areas within the capital, Doha and its suburbs, and the Lusail Tram, a tram network that provides a convenient means of transportation within New Lusail City.
In just three years since the launch of the metro's trial operation services, and thanks to the support and guidance of His Highness the Amir, the public transport system in the country has witnessed a qualitative leap in parallel with a remarkable success march and continuous operational achievements recorded by the Doha Metro year after year.
Under the rule of His Highness, the State of Qatar witnessed an increasing and diversified growth in the number of higher education institutions in cooperation with the world's most reputable international higher education institutions, bringing the number of these institutions in 2021 to 32 institutions concerned with higher education, it offers 365 academic programs in various specialized educational tracks to provide a range of educational options for students wishing to complete their university studies, in addition to sending students to study in educational institutions outside the country.
Qatar has achieved a steady growth in the number of scientific research institutions and centers, bringing their number to 33, with various interests in various topics such as environment and energy, medicine, entrepreneurship and computing, social, humanitarian, and educational studies, technological innovations, and sustainable development.
In contrast to the Qatari schools spread throughout the country, the state has been keen to provide many private schools that follow international curricula, or curricula specific to the country in which its citizens live in Qatar, the number of private schools and kindergartens in the country is about 328 schools and kindergartens that offer different international educational curricula and various study materials, in addition to many academic activities that respond to the aspirations of students and their families. The number of students in these schools is 203,939 male and female students, representing more than 85 nationalities, 33% of Qatari students study in private schools.
His Highness the Amir was born on June 3rd, 1980, in Doha, Qatar, where he received his primary and secondary schooling. He then joined Sherborne School in the United Kingdom, where he continued his secondary schooling and graduated in 1997, His Highness then pursued his higher education in the United Kingdom, where he attended the Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst, graduating in 1998, after graduating from Sandhurst, His Highness joined Qatar's Armed Forces, combining both military academic study and practical and on the field experience.
On August 5, 2003, His Highness was appointed Heir Apparent and Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. During his tenure, he chaired a number of bodies and supreme councils in different fields, such as the Supreme Education Council, the Supreme Council of Health, the Supreme Council for the Environment and Natural Reserves, the Supreme Council for Information and Communication Technology, Board of Directors of Qatar Investment Authority, Supreme Committee for Development Planning, Board of Trustees of Qatar University, and the Qatar Leadership Center.
His Highness the Amir had a remarkable and constructive contribution to Qatar National Vision 2030, as he was entrusted by His Highness the Amir at the time to chair the Supreme Committee for planning the vision of the country until launched in 2008. His Highness the Amir is still following up the implementation of the vision at the present.
Believing in the importance of future generations to be knowledgeable of the history of Qatar and the feats and eternal values of its founding ancestors, His Highness the Amir oversaw the launch of Qatar National Day. It is considered one of the most prominent things overseen by His Highness during his tenure as the Heir Apparent, aiming that future generations will incarnate, preserve, and keep echoing those values.
His Highness the Amir contributed as well to the launch of the National Sports Day as he believed in the importance of health for the individual and society.
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani assumed his duties as Amir of the State of Qatar on 25th June 2013, following the announcement of His Highness the Father Amir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, in an address to the Qatari people, of his decision to hand over power to his Heir Apparent and the pledge of allegiance to His Highness Sheikh Tamim by the Qatari people as the new Amir.
His Highness the Amir received many international medals and awards in recognition of his contributions in humanitarian areas and international issues, as well as for his efforts in promoting friendship and cooperation between nations and peoples.
Perhaps what was stated in the speech of His Highness the Amir on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 in the opening of the 43rd Session of the Advisory Council 'Plans are not drawn up for the purpose of completing a procedure as a formality only, plans are drawn up to be implemented' the most prominent evidence that words are corroborated by deeds, the State of Qatar, under the rule of His Highness, has been able to implement plans and maintain achievements.
Last updated: June 25 2022 12:17 AM