Jun 18, 2019

As Qatar’s development toward becoming a more attractive foreign investment destination continues unabated, the government has sought to streamline the competencies of the various Ministries in line with Qatar National Vision 2030. Pursuant to this goal we understand that on November 5, 2018 the Amir of Qatar, H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani issued Amiri Decision No. 68 of 2018 (“Decision”) amending some provisions of Amiri Decision No. 16 of 2014, effectively reshuffling the Cabinet and changing the competencies of some ministries. Among the changes introduced by the Decision was the change of the name of the Ministry of Economy and Commerce to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Further, the name of the Ministry of Energy and Industry was changed to the Ministry of Energy Affairs. In addition to the name changes, each Ministries’ respective competencies were also changed to reflect their new focus areas.

By realigning and consolidating the responsibilities of these two Ministries, the Decision clarifies the respective administrative procedures for both Ministries, and by doing so such changes should positively influence the respective sectors as it will ease and facilitate the procedures for business owners.

However, the changes were not limited to the structure and competencies of the Ministries. Other orders were issued appointing former businessmen to positions in the Cabinet. H H the Amir issued Order No. 7 of 2018 appointing the former CEO of Qatar National Bank (which is the Middle East‘s largest lending bank and is 50 percent owned by the Qatar Investment Authority), H E Ali bin Ahmed Al-Kuwari as the Minister of Commerce and Industry. In addition to his role as a board member of the QIA, the former CEO of Qatar Petroleum H E Saad Al-Kaabi was also appointed to the Cabinet as the Minister of Energy Affairs.

Other notable appointments include the following: the former CEO of Qatar Railways Company H E Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Turki al-Subaie was appointed as the Minister of Municipality and Environment, and H E Yousef bin Mohamed Al-Othman Fakhro was appointed as Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs. In addition to that, Order No. 5 of 2018 appointed the former Minister of Justice, H E Dr. Hassan bin Lahdan Al-Muhannadi, as the Chief of the Court of Cassation, making him the Head of the Supreme Judiciary Council.

By Rana ElBashir – Trainee
Esraa Mohamed – Associate
Michael Earley – Senior Associate