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Qatar’s Capital Aims To Become A Regional Technology Hub

With next year’s Web Summit, Doha hopes to energize its budding startup ecosystem.



qatar's capital aims to become a regional technology hub

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.

Also Read: Saudi Scientists From KAUST Find New Way To Store CO2

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.


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Binance Receives Virtual Assets License To Operate In Dubai

As its user base nears 200 million, CEO Richard Teng believes crypto adoption will soar over the next half of the decade.



binance receives virtual assets license to operate in dubai

Global crypto exchange Binance has been granted a full operational license in Dubai, in a move that’s expected to accelerate digital asset adoption and strengthen the UAE’s regulatory landscape.

The virtual asset service provider license (VASP) was granted by the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) and will allow Binance to extend its current range of services to retail investors, the company announced yesterday.

The move by Dubai authorities will be critical to Binance’s strategy of growing its user base globally. The crypto exchange expects to pass the 200 million user mark “quite shortly”, according to Richard Teng, the company’s CEO.

Once that milestone is achieved, Binance will have around twice as many users as rival platform Coinbase. Meanwhile,, another popular exchange with 80 million users, received a Dubai VASP license last week.

“We’re seeing much greater institutional adoption and institutional money coming into this space [along with] much greater regulatory clarity and a lot more jurisdictions approving [digital asset] products that bring in new investor classes,” Binance’s Richard Tang explained, adding: “As of now, we stand at about 5% crypto adoption globally, but that will become much faster moving forward”.

Also Read: Microsoft Invests $1.5 Billion In Abu Dhabi AI Tech Firm G42

Dubai and the UAE are extremely supportive of technologies like digital assets, and have already launched initiatives to boost adoption. The UAE has ambitious plans to become a world leader in the crypto economy of the future, with Dubai in particular being noteworthy for passing a new law to regulate virtual assets to support investors and exchanges.

“Global crypto regulation is currently showing diverging signs. Some developed countries have long suffered from crypto-related frauds and illegal exchanges. On the other hand, emerging nations like the UAE and Singapore have enacted crypto laws at faced pace,” said Vijay Valecha, chief investment officer of Dubai-based Century Financial.

As the UAE gears up to become one of the fastest-growing crypto capitals worldwide, investors and talent are flocking to places like Dubai. During 2023, the Emirates as a whole realized $204 million in capital gains from cryptocurrency investments, according to blockchain data analysts Chainalysis.

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