Image 1 of 7: Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani arriving at the Elysee Palace for a lunch with French President Nicolas Sarkozy (AFP)
Image 1 of 7: Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani (R) standing next to his son Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (L) before the Emir Cup final match between Al-Sadd and Al-Rayyan at Khalifa stadium in Doha (AFP)
Image 1 of 7: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) meets with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (C) at the Crown Prince's home, the Sea Palace, in Doha (AFP)
Image 1 of 7: Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani celebrates with the Qatar team after the gold medal match between Qatar and Iraq (Getty)
Image 1 of 7: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) meets Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad on February 6, 2012 in Doha, Qatar (Getty)
Image 1 of 7: Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani is greeted by Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso before a meeting in Tokyo (Getty)
Image 1 of 7: Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani (R), the Heir Apparent & Chairman of the Board of Directors, DAGOC waves to the crowd during the Closing Ceremony of the 15th Asian Games Doha (Getty)
The reins of power in Qatar have been transferred from father to son. In a rare demonstration of a peaceful power transition in the region, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani takes over from his father, who's thought to be suffering from a health condition.
Like father like son
Tamim inherits his place at the top of a rising Gulf giant, however his father Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani is expected to remain influential from behind the scenes. Propped up by abundant natural gas reserves and an international portfolio of real estate and business investments, Qatar's burst on to the global diplomatic stage, most recently pulling strings in the anti-Assad uprising in Syria.
Driving his father's car
Tamim's been heavily involved throughout Qatar's sporting an diplomatic rise and is expected to continue driving the Gulf state along the same road.