A Leader in economic & legal reform: remembering the late Amir of Kuwait H.H. Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah

Philip Kotsis - Partner, Co-Head of Office - Kuwait - Corporate / Mergers and Acquisitions / Commercial

Lulwa Al Hammad - Associate - Corporate / Mergers and Acquisitions

A true Statesman, Humanitarian and Advocate for peace and unity

On 29 September 2020, the people of Kuwait learned of the death of their beloved Amir, H.H. Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Not only was the impact of his passing felt in the State of Kuwait, but also the world over, as the late Amir was a revered and respected statesman, humanitarian, and advocate for peace.

The late Amir, also known as the “Dean of Diplomacy” was able to position Kuwait in the eyes of the international community as a peacemaker, and a leader of a country that was focused on mutual co-operation and respect. Much of his success in making Kuwait a leader in this arena can be attributed to his 40 year tenure as Kuwait’s Foreign Minister, a post he held prior to his succession to Amir in 2006. His desire for diplomacy was evidenced in his role as a mediator in recent GCC disputes.

The Late Amir was adamant in his belief of togetherness and co-operation amongst the six GCC countries, and stressed the importance of unity between the GCC to maintain global peace and security. This can also be demonstrated by the 2018 summit held in Kuwait to help rebuild and restructure Iraq, which resulted in billions of dollars of funding for Kuwait’s neighbouring country. The Amir was also a key supporter in the recognition and support for Palestine wishing to see an end to the ongoing conflict.

Not only was the late Amir concerned with bridging and growing relations amongst the Gulf states, but it is clear that his humanitarian efforts had a worldwide impact as evidenced by the mourning seen in all corners of the globe. His Highness was a generous supporter of disaster relief and was constantly ensuring that donations, whether they be in the form of money or supplies, were sent to those in need which, in turn, has saved tens of thousands of lives worldwide. The honours and awards granted to the late Amir are far from few, including the very recent Legion of Merit which was presented by U.S. President Donald Trump in recognition of his steadfast partnership with the United States. His Highness was honoured and his achievements were also recognised on numerous occasions by the United Nations, and in 2014, he was honoured by the United Nations as a “Humanitarian Leader,” for his generous efforts in supporting humanity worldwide.

 

Leading Kuwait’s surge in legal and economic reform

In parallel with his global accomplishments and in recognition of his humanitarian and peace efforts, the late Amir vaulted Kuwait forward on the domestic front with groundbreaking and forward thinking legal and economic plans and reforms.

During his leadership as Amir, Kuwait experienced a much needed and welcomed surge in legal reform that positively impacted, improved, and increased Kuwait’s legal and regulatory regime across numerous governmental authorities and sectors. This not only included the reform of existing laws and the introduction of countless new ones, but also included the establishment of a number of governing authorities to provide oversight and regulation. These include authorities such as the Capital Markets Authority, Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority, Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects, Competition Protection Authority, and the Communication and Information Technology Regulatory Authority, to name just a few.

Along with the introduction and modernisation of new laws and regulations, the vision of His Highness to transform Kuwait into an international centre for commerce and industry by 2035 is already being implemented through Kuwait’s National Development Plan.

The National Development Plan, based upon the vision of the late Amir, seeks to implement over 150 projects in the infrastructure, oil and gas, healthcare, transportation, electricity, housing, energy, and other sectors. Kuwait’s commitment to building its infrastructure and expanding its oil sector projects was firmly set in motion under the late Amir, and based upon his vision, and the commencement of the National Development Plan, His Highness has not only raised the bar in terms of Kuwait’s expectations moving forward, but has made possible countless opportunities for Kuwait companies, its citizens, and has widened the possibilities for foreign investors and investment within Kuwait.

 

A true Leader who will forever be remembered in our hearts

His mark as a true leader will not only be determined by the recognition of his efforts as a statesman, humanitarian, peace advocate, and not only for his strides in legal and economic reform but also in his ability to lead in times of adversity, and when a nation looks to its leader for strength and hope, that sets someone like the late Amir apart from others. The late Amir was revered for such accomplishments, which he carried out with dignity and respect. Kuwait will never forget the manner in which he carried himself and was seemingly able to embrace each and every individual within the borders of Kuwait. A perfect example of his ability to embrace and care for his nation was seen in his sincere and inspiring statements and actions in 2015 following the horrific bombing of a mosque in Kuwait City. The late Amir arrived on the scene within minutes of the tragedy, without any security arrangements, and declared “these are my children”, a statement that will forever live on in the hearts of all citizens and residents of Kuwait.

The legacy of the late Amir, H.H. Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, will continue to be remembered and carried out by the people of Kuwait, and the rest of the world. On behalf of Al Tamimi & Company we extend our most sincere and heartfelt condolences to the royal family and the people of Kuwait and offer our best wishes to Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah in his new role as Amir and Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in his new role as the Crown Prince.