Posted on May 29, 2014

The third edition of of Qatar ICT Conference and Exhibition, “QITCOM 2014”, successfully concluded, at the Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC), on Wednesday. Organized by the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology and managed by fischerAppelt, Qatar, the three-day event was inaugurated on May 26, by His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior.

QITCOM 2014, has unarguably been the most successful edition, as more than 120 companies, delegates and industry experts converged at the QNCC over the last three days to take part in one of the biggest technological events in the country. Over the course of three days, QITCOM 2014 provided significant opportunities for the leaders of innovation and policy-makers, technology providers and large enterprises in the field of communications and information technology to discuss the challenges in this area , and to support regional initiatives, and offer ideas and innovative strategies in order to achieve the Qatar National Vision and to build a knowledge-based economy.

The theme for QITCOM 2014 was “Innovating Today For The Future of Qatar” and the event hosted a selection of international speakers, regional and local, to discuss a number of key topics vital that relate to the promotion of innovation and entrepreneurial culture, and social networking and its impact on society, and the impact of satellite and broadband networks to broadcast media and digital content industry.

The first day of QITCOM 2014, was dedicated on analyzing Qatar’s ICT reality including both the opportunities and challenges. It also discussed 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.

Industry experts also discussed 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. Furthermore, 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.

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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. One of the most interesting sessions during the conference, was on the role of ICT sector in complementing the large infrastructure projects being currently executed in the State of Qatar. Experts discussed in length about opportunities that are on offer for ICT sector in projects like Qatar Rail, Lusail development, the new port at Mesaieed and the state-of-the-art Medical research Centre-Sidra.

On the last day of the event, experts highlighted the future of information and communications technology, and the competitive advantage that Qatar has as one of the emerging countries, and a regional leader in this field. The experts however, pointed out that the focus should be on the ‘Arabization’ of  websites .Experts argued that in order to promote the spread of Arabic digital content, encouragement  grants should be given by companies, governments and individuals.

Experts also outlined how to transform ICT into a means for Innovation and entrepreneurship - that in return will  promote new ideas and techniques in Qatar, and how technology can play a role in  re- shaping the public and private sector companies, government agencies and academic institutions. Rinal Chaaban, QITCOM’s Project Lead in her remarks said, “Qatar has made ​​great strides in the ICT sector, which has played a very crucial role in building a strong economy , and  enriching  the lives of all sections of the society. The hosting of the QITCOM 2014, demonstrates Qatar’s commitment to further support the growth of this sector.

She added: "Our team, in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology has worked tirelessly over the past months to organize this event, and we are delighted on the success of the event. We look forward to hosting yet another edition of QITCOM next year, with more emphasis on innovation from the information and communication technology sector to boost the country's economy."