Rulers of Al-Sabah Family

Name of Ruler

Period of Rule

Name of Ruler

Period of Rule

Name of Ruler

Period of Rule

Sheikh Sabah Al-Awal (Sabah the First)

1718 – 1762

Sheikh Muhammad Bin Sabah

1892 – 1896

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Salem

1950 – 1965

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Sabah

1762 – 1813

Sheikh Mubarak Bin Sabah

1896 – 1915

Sheikh Sabah Bin Salem

1965 – 1977

Sheikh Jaber Bin Abdullah

1813 – 1859

Sheikh Jaber Bin Mubarak

1915 – 1917

Sheikh Jaber Bin Ahmad

1977 – 2006

Sheikh Sabah Bin Jaber

1859 – 1866

Sheikh Salem Bin Mubarak

1917 – 1921

Sheikh Saad Bin Abdullah

2006 – 2006

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Sabah

1866 – 1892

Sheikh Ahmad Bin Jaber

1921 – 1950

Sheikh Sabah Bin Ahmad

2006 – 2020

Sheikh Nawaf Bin Ahmad


Sheikh Mishal Bin Ahmad


Based on the Amiri Order issued on the 27th of Sha’ban, 1438 AH, which corresponds to the 23rd of May 2017, Al-Sabah Family Tree, prepared by Sheikh Nayef Ahmad Abdullah Al-Malek Al-Sabah, has been approved to be the official family tree and the reference for the ancestors of the ruling family of the State of Kuwait. The family tree includes males and females of Al-Sabah family with the eldest on the left and the youngest on the right, including family members born until 25/2/2015. It was prepared by Sheikh Nayef Ahmad Abdullah Al-Malek Al-Sabah, in coordination with Sheikh Khalid Mubarak Abdullah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al Sabah, and Sheikh Khalid Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah Al-Nasser Al-Sabah, Chief of the Protocol and Chamberlain Affairs in Al-Diwan Al-Amiri, and in accordance with the data of the Public Authority for Civil Information.

The first edition of Al-Sabah Family Tree was previously prepared by Sheikh Nayef in 1978 and was revised by the late Sheikh Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah and the late Haji Ahmad Yaqoub Al-Mahmeed, with reference to the limitation of succession of the late Sheikh Jaber bin Abdullah bin Sabah Al-Awal in 1945, as well as the book titled “History of Kuwait” by the late Mr. Abdulaziz Al-Rasheed. Three editions of the family tree were previously issued in 1988, 1998, and 2008.

In the middle of the 17 th Century, the Arabian Peninsula suffered a wave of severe drought and famine. This led a group of families, the most prominent of which were Al Sabah, Al Khalifah and Al Jalahma, to leave Al-Haddar area in Nejd seeking a new homeland that would provide them with a better life. This group was called "Al Utub", an expression derived from the word "ataba" meaning those who migrated from one place to another. The families migrated from Al-Haddar area of Nejd in the center of the Arabian Peninsula along the Ahsa'a road, and settled in Al-Zubara in Qatar, where they stayed for a period of no less than 50 years acquiring the maritime skills. Later, in 1701, Al- Utub left this town aboard a fleet of 150 ships heading to Al-Mikhraq in the north of the Arabian Gulf on the outskirts of Basrah. Later, they sailed to Al-Subbiya which located on the northern coast of Kuwait’s Bay. Soon after, realizing the importance of this area, Al-Utub settled down in Al Qurain, which was originally a commercial port and a fishing site. Al Qurain was developed and grew to become known as "Kuwait"; a diminutive of “Al-Kut” which means a castle or fort. After Al-Utub settled in Al Qurain for a period, they began forming a tripartite alliance among the three prominent families in 1716: Al Sabah family headed by Sulaiman bin Ahmad who took over the affairs of the government; Al Jalahma family headed by Jaber Al Ataby who was responsible for maritime affairs; and Al Khalifah family headed by Khalifah bin Mohammad who were entrusted with commercial affairs. In 1718, after Sheikh Sulaiman bin Ahmad passed away, the people of Kuwait chose his grandson, Sheikh Sabah bin Jaber bin Sulaiman bin Ahmad of Al Shamlan, descendent of Jumailah, a branch of Eneza Tribe, descendant of Asad, a tribe of the Adnani Arabs of Rabi'ah, to be their first ruler. It is noteworthy that his father, Sheikh Jaber passed away in Al-Zubara.

Historical Documents, Museums and Libraries Center Al Diwan Al Amiri

The Second Ruler Of Kuwait

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Sabah

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Sabah came to power after his father passed away in 1762. He was known for his political experience leading Kuwait to a prominent standing in the region. During his reign, Kuwait’s maritime and commercial potential considerably increased, meanwhile Kuwait’s 1st and 2nd Walls were constructed to protect the country against foreign threats.


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