On May 4-7, 2024, Qatar will become the first Middle Eastern country to host one of the world’s largest technology conferences. Web Summit, founded in 2009, is among the most popular expos on emerging digital technology and venture capitalism and is expected to draw 7,500 participants, as well as legions of journalists and investors.
Hosting the Web Summit event is highly significant for Qatar, as digital transformation and technology are at the center of the country’s national and global ambitions, with the sector contributing over $3 billion annually to GDP. Officials and investors alike hope that the conference will help to cement Qatar’s position as an important Middle Eastern startup and tech hub.
“Qatar has proved during the World Cup that it can host world-class events. The world now sees Qatar as a sports and tech powerhouse that is not only interested in investing in technology externally but also to accelerate digitization locally,” says Jamal Bdeir, Small and Medium Business Lead, Middle East Cluster, at Microsoft.
The summit should open up an array of opportunities for local startups. At the same time, the Qatar Science & Technology Park will allow international tech firms to learn more about the country’s wide-ranging entrepreneurship ecosystem that supports new businesses using a mixture of tax reductions and modern legislation.
Besides attracting big tech firms, the upcoming Web Summit has created a considerable buzz in Qatar’s local startup space. Many Doha-based startups that haven’t had the opportunity to showcase their solutions on the global stage will now gain a worldwide platform without having to worry about physical travel.
Ramzan Al Naimi, the founder of local startup hub the Innovation Café, is an enthusiastic supporter of the event, noting: “The conference provides Arab youth and local talent the opportunity to connect with global companies and experts in the technology field, learn from them, and access job and training opportunities”.
The widespread optimism surrounding the event seems to be well-founded. Lisbon has greatly benefited from being a host city and local technology hub, drawing several investors and upcoming startups to Portugal due to the buzz created by the Summit conference.
Yalla!Hub Forms New Partnership With WEE Marketplace
The collaboration will accelerate e-commerce digitalization and allow for speedy deliveries across the Gulf countries.
After raising $6 million to expand into Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Yalla!Hub is now set to collaborate with WEE to facilitate the sale of products through both YallaMarket and the WEE marketplace. The companies plan to enhance the GCC e-commerce market using a range of innovative solutions for sales and delivery, presenting new opportunities for Emirati-based and foreign suppliers.
“This collaboration with WEE Marketplace signifies a major step forward in our mission to revolutionize e-commerce through digitalization in the UAE and GCC, making market entry and operations smoother both for customers and businesses. With this partnership, we’re able to extend the reach of brands to a wider audience,” explained Leo Dovbenko, CEO of Yalla!Hub.
Meanwhile, new partner WEE is uniquely positioned in the UAE and already well known for fast delivery services. The company’s WEE Marketplace will soon feature goods from Yalla!Hub on their platform, empowering Dubai shoppers with 1-hour delivery windows and a next-day service across the rest of the Emirates.
“WEE Marketplace and Yalla!Hub are absolute leaders of the UAE fast e-commerce market, and this partnership opens new horizons for brands, allowing them to enter at once both platforms. We choose the brands very carefully, aiming to give the best products to our customers,” said Anastasia Kim, CEO and co-founder of WEE marketplace.
The Emirati e-commerce market has now reached a value of nearly $13 billion and is expected to grow to $20 billion by 2027. Express deliveries account for 5.5% of total merchandise turnover, which currently stands at around $700 million. Among the express delivery categories, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, flowers, and groceries lead the way.