The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani has told members of the ruling family that he will step down in favour of his heir apparent.
Khalifa Al Thani met royals and prominent members of Qatari society on Monday, and announced plans for a transition to his son, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
Sheikh Hamad has been in power since 1995, during which Qatar has evolved into an important player on the regional and international political scenes.
Abdullah al-Athbah, the managing editor of Al Arab newspaper, earlier told Al Jazeera that he did not expect to see a change in policy after the succession.
“The heir apparent has been very close to his father and Sheikh Jassim,” he said, referring to the prime minister. “I don’t think there will be a big change in policy, foreign or domestic.”
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, 33, is the second son of the emir and Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser.
Sheikh Hamad is due to address the nation on Tuesday.