It is run by Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser al-Missned, the wife of Qatar ruler Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani. The foundation funds numerous universities, research institutes and community development projects in Qatar.
It is understood that ‘seven or eight agencies’ were in the Qatar capital of Doha last week to discuss the tender. These are understood to have included Bell Pottinger, Fleishman-Hillard, Brunswick and Ketchum.
Bell Pottinger currently holds the main contract with the foundation, while Ketchum and Hill & Knowlton handle some project work. The new tender will see this format restructured into three distinct PR briefs.
Agencies are expected to be able to pitch for any or all of the three briefs.
An insider said the three briefs involve ‘building the Qatar Foundation brand with media, thought-leaders and businesses, international outreach in multiple markets, internal comms and change management, and ad hoc support to the institutions and centres that belong to Qatar Foundation’.
The pitch is understood to be coming up because there is a statutory requirement in Qatar for all public contracts to be re-tendered every two years.
Chime Communications chairman Lord Bell declined to comment on what work Bell Pottinger has been doing for the Qatar Foundation since it was appointed five years ago, but it is thought to include strategic advice globally and in the region.
Bell Pottinger’s current brief has been extended for completion in September and the new agency format is expected to take over from there.
Qatar has the world's third-largest natural gas reserves.