Broad International Engagement at Web Summit Qatar 2024

Broad International Engagement at Web Summit Qatar 2024 By Fathimath Nasli - February 28, 2024
Broad International Engagement at Web Summit Qatar 2024

Web Summit Qatar 2024

Activities of the Web Summit Qatar 2024 continue at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center with a broad international engagement of entrepreneurs, investors, startups and technology experts from around the world. Running for four days, the event marks the summits debut in the Middle East and Africa.

The summits organizing committee announced that 15,453 attendees from 118 countries have gathered at the event. A whopping 1,043 startups from 81 countries are presenting their innovations, joined by 401 high-profile investors, 148 partners, and 380 speakers, 30% of whom are women. Of the total startups, 10% hail from Qatar, while 20% come from Africa and 50 percent from the wider MENA region.

Sheikh Jassim bin Mansour bin Jabor Al-Thani, Director of the Government Communications Office and Chairman of the Web Summit Qatar 2024 Organizing Committee, said: "Hosting Web Summit Qatar signifies a milestone in our nations ongoing journey to forge the future, showcasing Qatar's growing status as a place where people, ideas and inspiration come together to envision the next digital revolution." "The tremendous turnout in attendees and ticket purchases demonstrates the high demand for such events in the region, as well as Qatar's potential as a hub for SMEs and innovators. More so, on its very first day, we set several new records in Web Summit history, including the biggest startup participation in a first-year edition, the largest presence of startups from Africa, and more," he added.

For her part, Web Summit CEO Katherine Maher said: "Over the last few years, we noticed a growing presence from the Middle East at our events. Dynamic founders, investors and entrepreneurs from the region were contributing to our events in such a meaningful way, we knew that it was time for us to bring an event here. Web Summit Qatar represents a brand-new opportunity to connect a new generation of entrepreneurs, investors and changemakers." The events second day featured a special address by HM Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan who expressed delight at attending the summit.

HM called for an immediate end to the war on Gaza, as well as an end to the obstruction of desperately needed aid delivery, noting: "Difficulty in understanding the conflict arises from incomplete narratives and differing starting points. Echo chambers reinforce individual convictions, hindering a comprehensive understanding." Among the key speakers of the day was HE Secretary-General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy Hassan Al Thawadi. During his discussion, HE Al Thawadi highlighted Qatars capacity to host major global events as a testament to the legacy of the FIFA World Cup and the human legacy it left in Qatar and globally.

HE added: "We sent people, en masse, to every event that you can imagine, whether it was the 2018 Russia World Cup, the 2014 Brazil World Cup, the Olympics or the Champions League, to immerse not just as observers, but as actual workforce. So, by the time we got to 2022, we had a workforce and a nation that understood what it takes to host major events. From day one, I have always said that the one element of legacy that will always be the most impactful is human legacy." Local speakers also led various sessions, sharing their experience and insights on their subject-matter expertise and on building a vibrant tech ecosystem in Qatar. Speaking during a session on the role of Middle Eastern funds in the global economy, Qatar Investment Authoritys CIO of the Americas Mohammed Al Sowaidi said: "The engagement of various sovereign wealth funds and government entities in the venture funds industry affirms the value of venture capital in the MENA region and showcases the potential to build scalable businesses here." In addition, big names like Meta, 500 Global, Warner Music Group and Tubi Media Group took the stage, revealing their companies latest innovations and discussing trending topics in technology.

The second day also saw the signing of significant Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) between global tech leaders and Qatar-based entities, aimed at boosting innovation and entrepreneurship. These included agreements between Qatar Development Bank (QDB) and Saudi-based Raed Ventures, QDB and Global Ventures.

HE Minister of State and Chairman of Qatar Free Zones Dr. Ahmed Al Sayed, and CEO of Qatar Free Zones Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Faisal Al-Thani signed two memorandums of understanding with tangible AI and digitalization leader ZE-KI, American biotech company Gingko Bioworks. Nasser Al Taweel, Deputy CEO of Qatar Financial Center, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with financial infrastructure solutions provider Partior.
Furthermore, Ooredoo signed an MoU with Microsoft to develop and co-design state-of-the-art hybrid multi-Cloud environment, and another agreement with Cisco.

The high-profile agreements show the success of Web Summit Qatar 2024 in catalyzing new partnerships between international tech giants and local entities.

Running until Thursday, the Web Summit Qatar 2024 is on track in bringing together the brightest minds to forge new digital frontiers and strengthen Qatar's knowledge-based economy, as part of its national vision for 2030 and beyond.

Source: QNA

By Fathimath Nasli - February 28, 2024

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