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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.

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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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Initial Trials Of Dubai’s Driverless Evocargo Trucks Completed

Testing was announced on July 17, and the completion is a major milestone towards upgrading the region’s logistics infrastructure.

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initial trials of dubai's driverless evocargo trucks completed
Dubai Media Office

A Dubai-based company has completed the initial trials for the UAE’s first driverless trucks. The groundbreaking achievement by Evocargo, partnering with Dubai South, took place at Dubai South Logistics District, and marked a significant step towards incorporating autonomous technologies into the region’s wider logistics infrastructure.

Announced on Wednesday, July 17th, the trials featured the Evocargo N1 unmanned electric truck navigating a predetermined route within a controlled setting. The test involved interactions with common road obstacles such as cars, trucks, and pedestrians, aiming to evaluate the vehicle’s hardware and software reliability, accident prevention systems, and overall readiness for public road use.

Officials were keen to highlight that this accomplishment aligns with the UAE’s ambitious strategy to position itself as a global leader in innovation and technology adoption. The country aims to have 25% of all transportation in Dubai autonomous by 2030, underscoring its commitment to revolutionizing the logistics sector using advanced technologies.

Mohsen Ahmad, CEO of the Logistics District at Dubai South, emphasized the importance of the collaboration with Evocargo in enhancing the region’s logistics capabilities. He noted that autonomous vehicles are set to increase efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, and establish a sustainable logistics infrastructure that will benefit both Dubai and the wider UAE.

Also Read: Riyadh Developers Reveal New 45,000-Seat Murabba Stadium

Ahmed Al-Ansi, CEO of Evocargo Autonomous Logistic Services, also expressed optimism that the trials will draw new customers and investments across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The partnership aims to lead in innovative tech solutions, further establishing the UAE as a pioneer in autonomous transportation.

The successful completion of the trials marks a crucial step towards realizing the UAE’s vision for a technologically advanced and sustainable future in which autonomous vehicles are expected to play a pivotal role in global logistics.

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