What to know

Meet 5 Influential Qataris

These influential Qataris have helped transform the tiny desert state and put it on the map as an international influence.

Within a few years, Qatar has transformed quicker than any other country in the world. Today, the country is a leader in education, technology and business, and is home to one of the world’s most modern cities, Doha, and it’s in part thanks to these five very influential Qataris.

Nasser Ghanim Al-Khelaifi

Nasser Al-Khelaifi - Wikimedia

This former professional tennis player currently runs beIN Media Group, one of the largest sports entertainment networks in the world. He is also chairman of Qatar Sports Investments, president of Qatar Tennis Federation and vice president of the Asian Tennis Federation for West Asia.

Al-Khelaifi was named the most powerful man in French football by L’Equipe in 2016, for his role as chairman and CEO of Paris-based football club Paris Saint-Germain.

He is also on the FIFA Club World Cup organizing committee.

Akbar Al Baker

Akbar Al Baker - Wikimedia

Akbar Al Baker is the brains behind the success of Qatar Airways, which in matter of decades rose to international standards. He also oversaw the development of Hamad International Airport, the national carrier’s home airport and central hub for international travel between Asia, Europe and Africa.

He put the name and logo of Qatar Airways on the shirts of the one the world’s most popular sports team, FC Barcelona.

Hussain Ali Al Abdullah

Hussain Ali Al Abdulla

Hussain Ali Al Abdullah in on of the few people to sit on the board of the Qatar Investment Authority who does not belong the royal family.

He is accredited for founding the QIA, arguing that the country needed to invest outside of their fuel-dependant economy for future generations. The QIA today owns shares in real estate, energy and tourism in countries like USA, the UK and Russia.

Hassan Al Thawadi

Hassan Al Thawadi - FIFA

As secretary general of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, Al Thawadi is responsible of delivering the FIFA 2022 World Cup. It will make Qatar the smallest country by area to ever host a World Cup, as well as the only Middle Eastern and Arab country in the history of FIFA to do so.

The whole world is eagerly anticipating the outcome of the games, as Qatar is pouring billions of dollars into developing mega-projects to accommodate the tens of thousands of fans that will be flying into Doha to witness the event.

Saad Al Muhannadi

Saad Al Muhannadi - MarhabaQatar

Saad Al Muhannadi took on one of the most important roles in Qatar when he accepted the position as President of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development in 2013. However, his work with Qatar Foundation did not start there.

His was previously the Vice President for Capital Projects and Facilities Management and led the development of the required Qatar Foundation’s infrastructure to achieve Qatar’s goal of transforming itself from a carbon-based to a knowledge-based economy.

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