Ageing Gulf Arab rulers swiftly congratulated Qatar’s young new emir on his accession on Tuesday, but will be in no rush to emulate his father’s abdication — for them, hereditary rule is for life.
The ascent to power of Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim, 33, provides a stark contrast to other Gulf Arab states whose youthful populations are ruled by kings or princes in their 60s, 70s and 80s.
This is sure to stir the interest of young Arab royals around the Gulf impatient for plum state jobs shared out in royal deliberations far from the public eye.
And in time, as Tamim’s profile grows, his rule may raise expectations of more youth-friendly policies in Gulf societies where almost a third of the population is under 15.
Since Arab uprisings in 2011, Gulf states have also worked harder to provide more jobs to Internet-savvy populations, who are outspoken online.
But reverence for age, and a view of Qatar as an irrelevant maverick, mean other Gulf states are unlikely to follow the example set.