Director of Government Communications Office discusses Web Summit Qatar 2024 with Qatar News Agency

26 February 2024

Ahead of Web Summit Qatar 2024’s kick-off today, Qatar News Agency sat down for an exclusive interview with Sheikh Jassim bin Mansour bin Jabor Al Thani, Director of the Government Communications Office and Chairman of the Web Summit Qatar 2024 Organising Committee, to discuss the State of Qatar’s hosting of the world’s largest tech conference for the first time in the Middle East and Africa.


With Web Summit Qatar 2024 kicking off today, can you tell us about the importance of hosting the event and its role in supporting the technology sector in Qatar?

Qatar continues to garner worldwide attention and reaffirm its capacity to host major global events. Today, we are on the verge of another milestone in our country’s journey toward excellence, as it hosts the largest event in the world of technology for the first time in the Middle East and Africa, with the participation of thousands of entrepreneurs, investors and tech leaders from all over the globe.

Hosting Web Summit Qatar 2024 for five consecutive years, under the wise leadership of HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar, comes as part of our nation’s efforts to diversify our national economy by supporting the tech industry and entrepreneurship.

Considering our track record of hosting some of the world’s most important events, we continue our relentless pursuit to add to our nation’s achievements in this domain. Web Summit was chosen because it is the world’s largest tech event, and a focus of interest for our younger generations in Qatar, the region and the world, in addition to what it can offer in terms of sustainable economic and investment returns.


What do you think makes Qatar a leading tech hub in the region?

The State of Qatar is rapidly transforming into a leading technology hub in the region, and our country has tremendous potential in this regard, underlining our capacity to host such a prominent event on a global scale. Hosting the summit also reflects the continuous progress Qatar is making in the realms of technology and entrepreneurship.

Qatar has an advanced tech infrastructure, and our country continues its efforts to provide incentives for investment and entrepreneurship, build local technological capabilities and increase job opportunities in the ICT field toward supporting our economic diversification goals and the realisation of the Qatar National Vision 2030.


What are the Summit’s key benefits to Qatar’s entrepreneurs and startups?

Web Summit Qatar 2024 is an ideal opportunity for Qatari entrepreneurs and existing startups to leverage this global platform as it comes to their home country and the region for the first time. Thus, I call on them to invest this opportunity in building partnerships with leading global companies and gain more knowledge and experience through the summit’s various activities, which include panel discussions, workshops, educational masterclasses and others, in addition to connecting with participants from all over the world. This will, in turn, enable them to grow and expand their businesses and launch it to the world, while adding value to our national economy.


What is your perspective on the level of global engagement at Web Summit Qatar 2024?

The tremendous global turnout for this edition of Web Summit has surpassed our expectations, underscoring the world’s confidence in our country and its ability to host the world and impress everyone with an exceptional level of organisation. Tickets sold out more than a week before the summit’s launch and tickets for the partners and startups programs were sold out over two weeks prior, with registrations reaching more than double the anticipated figures.

At the heart of the summit are the participating startups, thousands of which have applied for the event’s debut in Qatar. Over 1,000 startups representing more than 80 countries have been selected, including more than 100 Qatari startups, and we are proud of these promising Qatari youth who represent our country’s future in the vital tech sector.

Web Summit Qatar 2024 also recorded the largest startup participation in an inaugural edition in the summit’s history, reflecting Qatar’s regional and global standing.

The summit will also feature several signings of MoUs with tech giants, household names and content creators, with the aim of strengthening Qatar’s position as a leading hub for technology and the creator economy in the region, while highlighting our national identity on the international stage.


How does hosting the summit contribute to achieving the Third National Development Strategy (NDS3) 2024-2030?

Hosting the world’s largest tech conference is closely aligned with our national efforts toward realising the Third National Development Strategy, which is the final stage towards achieving the Qatar National Vision 2030. It aims to launch several initiatives to boost our tech and business ecosystems, incentivise innovation for existing and up-and-coming ventures, invest in local tech capacity-building, and open the doors for young entrepreneurs, all while attracting investments, which has huge potential to support a diversified national economy—all to ensure a more prosperous future for the State of Qatar and its people.