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Saoud bin Abdul Rahman Al-Thani (born 19 February 1970)[1] is a Qatari sports administrator and member of the ruling family of Qatar. He is the former secretary general of the Qatar Olympic Committee. He is now an ambassador of Qatar to Germany .


Born in Doha, he completed an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at New Mexico State University in 1993 before going on to gain a masters degree in Sports Management from the University of Lyon. He served in the Qatar Armed Forces before becoming involved in national level sports administration positions.[2]

His first major organisational projects came as Director General of the committees for the 2004 Gulf Cup of Nations and the 2005 West Asian Games, as well as being a committee member for the 2006 Asian Games.[2] He became the secretary general of the Qatar Olympic Committee, president of the Qatar Basketball Federation and vice-president of the International Fencing Federation (FIE).[3] He is a regular sportsman with particular interests in tennis, shooting sports, soccer and swimming.[4]

Saoud Al Thani played a role in the winning of bids for Doha's first world level sports competitions including the 2014 FINA World Swimming Championships (25 m),[5] the 2015 World Men's Handball Championship, 2016 UCI Road World Championships,[6] 2018 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships and the 2019 World Championships in Athletics (being the bid leader for the latter).[7][8] These projects formed part of the Qatar National Vision 2030, a long-term government plan to develop the nation's economic and cultural wealth through the proceeds of its oil resources.[3][9]

In response to criticism that Qatar had built world class sports facilities but had not delivered world class home-grown performers, he pointed to Qatar's small native population of 300,000 people, young athlete performances at the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics, and the comparative lack of success of larger nations, such as India.[10] He also promotes the participation of Qatari women in sport, noting the increased investment in women's sport in the country and participation of its female athletes at the 2011 Pan Arab Games and 2012 London Olympics.[3][11]

In May 2015 he was replaced as Secretary general of the Qatar Olympic Committee by Thani Al-Kuwari.[12][13]

He is also a director of Amyris, a firm that specialises in renewable-based products.[14]


  1. Sheikh Saoud Abdul Rahman H. A. AL-THANI. Ocasia. Retrieved on 2014-11-18.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Vice-President of Honour of the FIE since 2008. FIE. Retrieved on 2014-11-18.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 VIP Interview HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani. The Business Year (January 2014). Retrieved on 2014-11-18.
  4. Qatar Olympic Committee: Mobilizing enthusiasm and desire into a national sporting vision. Forbes Custom. Retrieved on 2014-11-18.
  5. Mackay, Duncan (2012-04-04). Doha awarded 2014 World Short Course Swimming Championships . Inside the Games. Retrieved on 2014-11-18.
  6. 2016 Road World Championships head to Qatar, but doubts over 2014 edition in Spain. (2012-09-20). Retrieved on 2014-11-18.
  7. Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdul-Rahman Al-Thani : Hosting of World ART CH 2018 indicate the success of Qatar. Qatar Gym (2014-05-12). Retrieved on 2014-11-18.
  8. Doha to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships. IAAF (2014-11-19). Retrieved on 2014-11-18.
  9. Pillars of Qatar National Vision 2030 Archived 2012-11-13 at the Wayback Machine.. Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics. Retrieved on 2014-11-18.
  10. SHEIKH AL THANI: Qatari sport is a work in progress..... Sports Features (2014-09-17). Retrieved on 2014-11-18.
  11. Qatar to send first women to London. ESPN (2012-02-20). Retrieved on 2014-11-18.
  12. "Dr. Thani Al Kuwari appointed as QOC Secretary General". Qatar Olympic Committee. 2015-05-11. Retrieved 2016-02-11. 
  13. Butler, Nick (2015-05-11). "Emir replaced as Qatar Olympic Committee President by Sheikh Joaan". Inside the Games. Retrieved 2016-02-11. 
  14. H.E. Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani. Forbes. Retrieved on 2014-11-18.

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