Qatar: Country and Foreign Investment
Government and Judiciary
The government of Qatar is based on a traditional monarchy, whereby the Emir (presently Amir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani) is head of state. The Prime Minister is Abdallah bin Nasir bin Khalifa Al-Thani and the Deputy Prime Minister is Ahmad bin Abdallah al-Mahmud.
The Emir is assisted by the Council of Ministers, which is responsible for proposing draft laws and regulations; carrying out State policies; and monitoring execution of the law and legal judgments, and of State expenditure.
The Advisory Council (Majlis al-Shura) consists of 45 members, 30 of whom are elected, and 15 appointed. The Advisory Council members debate public-interest matters submitted to them by the Council of Ministers; the Advisory Council’s views and recommendations are usually taken into account by the Emir before making a final decision on policy.
In 2013 Qatar had its first legislative elections; 30 members were elected by the public and 15 members were appointed by the Emir.
Qatar is divided into nine municipalities: Ad Dawhah, Al Ghuwayriyah, Al Jumayliyah, Al Khawr, Al Wakrah, Ar Rayyan, Jarayan al Batinah, Madinat ash Shamal, and Umm Salal. In addition, Mesaieed is managed separately by the Mesaieed Industrial City, a subsidiary of Qatar Petroleum.
Until October 2004, Qatari laws operated on a two-tier system: Sharia law was administered at the local level, while the civil courts operated on the English model. A new unifying law has since come into force, under which the Court of Cassation was established to hear appeals. Islamic Sharia is the principal source of legislation.