This Month: Web Summit Qatar’s Historic Debut

1 February 2024

Doha is set to bring the world’s biggest technology event, Web Summit, to the Middle East and Africa for the first time. Set to run from 26 to 29 February at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center, Web Summit Qatar 2024 will converge thousands of entrepreneurs, investors and industry leaders from all around the world to reshape the future.

Web Summit represents a milestone in Qatar’s journey to becoming a global hub for technology and innovation. More than 12,000 attendees have registered for the event, representing over 160% of the original target for attendees, bringing together tech entrepreneurs, investors and an impressive line-up of industry-leading speakers from Qatar and around the world to discuss the latest technology trends.

Additionally, Web Summit Qatar has selected – from thousands of applicants – 1,000 startups from 80 countries including Qatar, the United States, Egypt, Brazil, Italy, Nigeria, the United Kingdom and India. Participating startups represent nearly 30 industries, marking the most global representation of startups ever for a Web Summit debut.

Startups will benefit from unparalleled networking opportunities to develop and launch. The event will also feature hundreds of partners, exhibitors and media participants.

Sheikh Jassim bin Mansour bin Jabor Al Thani, Chairman of Web Summit Qatar Organising Committee, said: “We believe emerging technologies will transform the world of work and business, as well as across education, government, public services and the private sector. We are pleased to host the first Web Summit event in the Middle East, which will build on the unique blend of opportunity, innovation and connectivity our country has to offer.”

He noted that worldwide interest in the summit is reflected in the growing demand to partake in this one-of-a-kind experience this month, as thousands from Qatar, the region and the rest of the world have confirmed their participation in the event.

Sheikh Jassim bin Mansour bin Jabor Al Thani added: “Qatar is fast becoming a leading hub for technology and entrepreneurship and presents a new realm of possibilities with state-of-the-art infrastructure, a welcoming business environment and a forward-looking national vision. This is why we are confident that Doha is the ideal launchpad for a new era of innovation, collaboration and growth.”

Echoing Sheikh Jassim’s sentiments, Katherine Maher, CEO of Web Summit, said: “It’s incredibly exciting to have Qatar host the first Web Summit in the Middle East. Qatar is deeply invested in building a startup economy and is putting real resources behind making that a reality. It’s a great time for startups and investors to be here at a transformative event for Doha.”

Stars such as Emmy-Award-Winning South African Comedian Trevor Noah will join Sara Sabry, astronaut, founder and CEO of the Deep Space Initiative, and Amjad Masad, co-founder and CEO of Replit, founder and chief wizard Sachin Dev Duggal, YouTuber Felipe Neto, soccer legend and Brazilian World Cup winner Gilberto Silva, and Tabby co-founder and CEO Hosam Arab – at Web Summit Qatar this February.

Doha is set to host Web Summit Qatar for the next five years, facilitating new partnership opportunities, connecting emerging tech ecosystems and stimulating growth across Asia, Africa and beyond.

Backed by government initiatives, homegrown innovation and experience in hosting global events such as the FIFA World Cup™, Formula One and Expo 2023 Doha, Qatar is set to deliver an unparalleled Web Summit experience and ensure maximum value for all attendees, while offering a glimpse into Qatar’s vision of balancing technological advancement with cultural richness and sustainability.

Under Qatar’s Third National Development Strategy 2024-2030, the final phase of the Qatar National Vision 2030, Qatar will undertake several initiatives to further the technology ecosystem, including building on the emerging cloud ecosystem to export services and offer incentives to develop cutting-edge technologies, investments to build out a domestic venture capital industry and growing ICT jobs from 21,000 to 47,000.

Qatar also boasts the infrastructure to support innovation, including multiple free zones, industrial parks, hyperscale cloud data centres and incubation programs. The country has ranked first for entrepreneurship in the Arab world on the Global Entrepreneurship Index and the second most competitive economy in the MENA region according to the IMD World Competitiveness Ranking.