Posted on May 27, 2014

Following the overwhelming opening ceremony of the third edition of Qatar ICT Conference and Exhibition, “QITCOM 2014” at the Qatar National Convention Centre on Monday, industry experts and delegates from the world of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), gathered on Day 2 of the event to deliberate on the challenges and opportunities for the ICT sector.

Organized by the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology and managed by fischerAppelt, the three-day event was inaugurated by His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior. In his opening speech, His Excellency the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior outlined the importance of ICT sector in Qatar’s development goals, while the Minister of Finance H.E. Ali Sharif Al Emadi in his keynote address had said that the information and telecommunications sector is one of the most important pillars of the Qatar National Vision 2030 due to its key role in facilitating the aim of building a knowledge-based economy.

Her Excellency Dr. Hessa Al-Jaber, Minister of Information and Communications Technology while delivering her opening speech had said the telecommunications sector the country has witnessed a remarkable growth of 11 percent over the last year , expected to continue growing at a rate of 9 to 12 percent over the next five years. The expo has so far exceeded the expectations of the organizer, with over 2,000 visitors passing the doors of the QNCC on Day 1to witness on of the biggest technology event in the country. Over the three days the Qatar National Convention will be the venue for exhibition, conference, awards, and competitions for entrepreneurs, contests for students, and other signature offerings aimed at reflecting aspirations and growth potential of the Qatari ICT sector.

The first day of QITCOM 2014 will focus on analyzing Qatar’s ICT reality including both the opportunities and challenges. It also discusses the role of ICT in boosting Qatar’s ability to fulfill the commitments of Qatar National Vision 2030, and what the country should expect from future initiatives by tackling a number of issues such as broad band internet, cyber security, satellites, communications, policies, as well as legal and regulatory frameworks.

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Day 1 of the event saw discussion on Qatar’s current and future ICT framework, examining issues like smart cities, ICT application in public utilities and services like traffic, sanitation systems, e-commerce, e-finance, and other government services, and suggesting ways to promote demand on this sector as a highly desired career choice in Qatar. On Day 2 experts highlighted the role of ICT in the business sector and its tremendous contributions to achieving social and economic development in keeping with the Qatar’s national vision, particularly that the Qatari government is the main beneficiary, taking into account that it is the largest consumer of the services offered by the ICT sector.

Experts also touched upon the government’s former ICT projects, the experience it acquired, the current requirements, and the role that companies can play for achieving high levels of future technological growth for the public sector in Qatar and the region. In one interesting session under the title, "Building a close-knit community : social media and its impact the community ," Mr. Kevin Iris , former Managing Director in the "LinkedIn", shed light on the expansion of the use of social media in Qatar and the region and its impact on the social level . In his discussion, Mr. Kevin spoke elaborately on how the community information and communication technology can harness the potential of these new channels and take advantage of them.

Commenting on the response that QITCOM has got so far, Rinal Chaaban, QITCOM’s Project Lead said, “The patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior for QITCOM 2014, reiterates the government’s commitment to build institutions that are based on effective resource management, excellent standards in productivity and efficiency to serve the public and that supports the development goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030.

She said the aim of the event is to focus on information and communications technology (ICT) and the mission to inspire people to “Innovate Today for the Future of Qatar”, QITCOM 2014 is hosting local, regional and global ICT experts who are share insights on noteworthy ICT topics. Chaaban further said that the QITCOM 2014 has succeeded in attracting some of the best companies and exhibitors from the local, regional and global levels by offering a solid platform for the industry leaders, innovators, ICT professionals and enthusiasts alike to come together, network, and create new business opportunities.

“We aspire to make QITCOM, the most important event for the telecommunications and information technology sector in Qatar through the participation of international speakers at the conference,” Chaaban.