Archive for the ‘Qatar’ Category

Qatar ICT Conference and Exhibition (Qitcom) – May 24-26, 2011

| April 7, 2011 – 10:30 am | comment 1 Comment

ictQatar (Qatar’s Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology) will be hosting the first Qatar ICT Conference and Exhibition (Qitcom), from May 24-26, 2011 at the Doha Exhibition Center, a move done by the government IT body to support the rapidly growing ICT market seen to expand to $3.7bn by 2013.

The conference is meant to be an opportunity for ICT leaders in Qatar to engage with global industry leaders and see first-hand the latest offerings and advances from major ICT enterprises.

A number of exhibitors have already confirmed their participation at QITCOM, including local companies such as Qatar Datamation Systems (QDS), World Connection, Total Soft, Atcom and Ictus Projects; as well as a number of multinationals such as IBM, Huawei, SAP, Microsoft, Alcatel-Lucent and Oracle.

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Ras2Ras Social Rating Platform Acquired By Qatari Investor

| June 13, 2010 – 8:38 am | comment 14 Comments

ras2rasRas2Ras, the Yemen-based online social rating and comparison platform, that was previously covered here, has been acquired by Qatari investor Ahmed Alaji.

Ras2Ras, which was founded by Amad Almsaodi in 2008, was built around a very simple yet really interesting idea: putting any two comparable things against each other, and letting people vote on which they like best.

Now, even though the tool’s idea is very simple in principle, it could be used for a number of research and user engagement purposes by businesses, with the potential to be a source of some really interesting and useful insights and information.

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Silatech And Cisco To Build Invitational Technology Platform

| June 14, 2009 – 9:50 am | comment No Comments

SilatechSilatech recently announced that it will be working with Cisco, which is one of its founding members and its global strategic technology provider, on the development of an ‘Invitational Technology Platform’, which will deliver Silatech services and solutions to the youth across the Middle East and North Africa.

Silatech is an initiative, that was launched by Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned of Qatar, engaging the private, public and civil society sectors to promote large-scale job creation, entrepreneurship, and access to capital for young people.

Both Silatech and Cisco will contribute to the development of the Invitational Technology Platform, and Silatech will also be inviting a selection of local, regional and international technology organizations to participate according to their expertise. Local and regional universities and young developers from the Middle East and North Africa will also be involved in this regional effort.

Silatech’s Invitational Technology Platform will offer young people, entrepreneurs and enterprises throughout the MENA region access to:

  • Business development services and skills training for entrepreneurs leading existing small and medium size enterprises (SMEs);
  • Financial services to entrepreneurs and SMEs;
  • Skills development services to young people in various industries;
  • Access to markets and supply chains for SMEs;
  • Job placement and services across the MENA region.
Cisco’s newly opened office at the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) will be used as a base for the development effort. 

Other efforts by Silatech and Cisco to create jobs and enhance youth skills in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector through industry programs include the Cisco Networking Academy.

More Arabic Websites From The Gulf, But Few Visitors?

| April 5, 2009 – 8:24 am | comment 7 Comments

Arabic websites based in the Gulf are increasing in number but the locals are not using them much, according to experts discussing “Investing in Future Media” at the TMT Finance and Investment 2009 forum that was recently held at Sharq Village hotel in Doha, Qatar.

The opening presentation at the forum expressed concern over the fact that although the number of Arabic websites was increasing, these were rarely visited by those who know the language because they were not satisfied with the contents of the sites.

“This is still an open question,” said Mohamad Murrad, Principal, Vice President and Partner of Booz & Company, when asked if Arabic websites from the region can compete successfully with English websites.

Based on the study explained in the presentation, although there are now more Arabic websites in the region than before, their number is still small compared to that of English websites. Another fact is that most people in the Gulf access the popular sites such as Google, Facebook and Yahoo.

The same study highlighted the growth of the mobile platform, on which it is believed Arabic content can get a market share since 99 percent of the sales in the telecommunications industry are derived from it.

Mobile content is already on the rise and has high penetration in the region but the online network infrastructure for Arabic is still very limited, the study disclosed. It said SMS/MMS-based advertising offerings, although still small, showed strong growth.

Online ads are not very effective in the region, fetching just $2 per user, which is way behind the worldwide average of $27 per user and $59 per user in the United States. “The problem with online ads is very much skeptical, that is how to reach and capture the audience,” said one of the speakers.

[Source: The Peninsula]

Qatar Science & Technology Park Opens Registration For Next Investor Readiness Program

| December 13, 2008 – 6:42 pm | comment 3 Comments

Qatar Science & Technology ParkThe Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), has announced that registration is now open for its next Investor Readiness Program seminars.

Comprising five consecutive Monday-evening seminars starting 19 January, the free program focuses on how to become “investor ready” and raise finance. They are open to any Qatar resident that wishes to learn how to plan and build a start-up technology company.

Together the five seminars cover the full process of planning a successful start-up, from idea development through to raising capital and steering the company through its early years.  

Topics covered include:

  • Project selection, development & commercial evaluation
  • Building a management team
  • Business planning
  • Pitching to investors
  • Business development

The seminars and workshops are free, however places are limited and require registration. 

Those interested in attending can register online here: QSTP Investor Readiness Program Registration.

Al Jazeera Launches Citizen Journalism Platform ‘Sharek’

| November 26, 2008 – 10:22 pm | comment 1 Comment

Al Jazeera SharekThe New Media team at Al Jazeera just launched a new citizen journalism platform by the name of ‘Sharek‘ earlier today. (Sharek means contribute or share in Arabic.)

Sharek enables users to upload video material that they’ve recorded using their webcams, video cams or mobile phones; reporting the news that is happening around them.

Other than uploading content through the website, user media content can also be sent via email or directly from their mobiles.

More features will be added soon like live webcam recording, and live streaming from mobile phones.

Uploaded material will be reviewed by Al Jazeera journalists, who will choose newsworthy items and interesting commentary to feature on the ‘Sharek’ website, as well as on Al Jazeera as part of their coverage of a certain story.

This project expands on the successful results of previous trials by Al Jazeera with soliciting and collecting user submitted content on YouTube, and hopes to make it even easier for anyone to pass their content directly to the Al Jazeera team.

The project is pretty similar in concept to CNN’s iReport, with the exception of content being screened before publication in the case of ‘Sharek’ to maintain a certain level of quality.

Sharek is only available in Arabic for the time being, and so content uploaded through it is mainly for Al Jazeera Arabic, but an English version of the service is on the way.

Sharek

Qatar’s Mobile Penetration Rate Re-visited

| September 7, 2008 – 12:02 pm | comment No Comments

Recently, a study by Kuwaiti-based Inter-Arab Investment Guarantee Corporation (IAIGC), put Qatar’s mobile penetration at 150% as of 2007-end, behind only the UAE’s 173% penetration rate in the entire Arab world.

But Vodafone, which will be the second mobile operator in Qatar and which is preparing for a service roll out towards 2009, disagrees with those numbers, and state that the mobile penetration rate in the country stood at only 94% as of December 31, 2007.

“Recent government released reports on Qatar’s population (included in your article) state that it is near 1.5mn. Based on this and Qtel’s published customer numbers, the actual penetration is only 94%.
“Qtel subscriber base as at December 31, 2007 was 1,260,000 which divided by new population of 1,448,000 gives an 87% penetration rate. Or if you take the latest population and adjust it back to December 31, 2007 (i.e. 1,337,000) you get a more accurate 94% penetration and not 150%,” Vodafone Qatar Chief Executive Officer Grahame Maher said.

Maher said, “Also, the population in Qatar continues to change on an annual basis as expatriates arrive and leave on an average time frame of three years. Finally, with more and more capability of devices for service such as email and mobile computing we believe that many people will have multiple mobile devices. Based on this we believe there is significant growth opportunities in the country.”

An ictQATAR spokesman said, “We estimate that at the end of 2008 the mobile penetration rate for Qatar will be around 94%. As you are aware, different reports use different methodologies to determine mobile penetration numbers. Our estimate is likely lower than the number in the Inter-Arab Investment Guarantee Corporation study because of the steady, significant increase in population of Qatar and our recognition of the many pre-paid users in Qatar’s market, which can lead to inflated estimates.”

He said, “Regionally, Qatar does boast of some of the highest penetration rates in fixed line and mobile and ictQATAR expects that percentage to rise considerably in future. Also, as a result of liberalisation in the telecoms market, we expect to see high speed internet penetration rise from its current rate of 37% to approximately 56% by 2012.”

# Source: Gulf News

Qatar Navigator To Create Automated Map Of Qatar

| September 2, 2008 – 12:56 pm | comment 2 Comments

Qatar NavigatorQatar Navigator, a local startup company, has been awarded QR 1.6 million ($440,000) by Qatar’s Science and Technology Park (QSTP) to develop an automated map of the country.

Roads and landmarks will be surveyed and digitized with a video camera that can simultaneously capture images and GPS coordinates. Students from Qatar University will assist with the project, which is expected to be completed in the next five months.

The maps will be usable by common in-car navigation systems, as well as almost any other mobile device equipped with GPS. Qatar Navigator already makes its own software for such devices, called Gulf Way. The company aims to licence its maps to satellite navigation companies and also directly to Qatar motorists.

Financing was made possible under QSTP’s Proof of Concept Fund, which provides grants for universities and small-to-medium companies in Qatar to demonstrate the technical and commercial viability of their innovations. Grants range from $100,000 to $500,000, and can be used to develop prototypes, undertake market research and manage intellectual property.

Qatar Living, Community Portal About Living In Qatar

| July 27, 2008 – 12:00 pm | comment 3 Comments

Qatar LivingQatar Living is an online community portal that was founded in 2005, and that has grown over the years to become a central point for information on everything related to Qatar.

The portal was built around the goal to facilitate connection, participation and sharing of knowledge and experience between members of the community; in order to enrich the content and provide more useful information for everyone, whether they already live in Qatar, or will be moving/visiting there.

Among the features that Qatar Living offers to community members are a free classifieds system, a Q&A system, a guide to Qatar and a forum; all to help users connect to find the different things they need, as well as answers to their questions, and helpful information about living in Qatar.

The portal tries to cater to users’ interests by providing details about the different events taking place in Qatar, as well as a directory of groups of people who share similar interests.

Qatar Living is also behind the Qatar Blogs Project, which aims to group all blogs about Qatar in one place; and then maybe start aggregating their content to help people find interesting stories.

Qatar Living screenshot

The portal is powered by Drupal, and has a well structured design, that makes it pretty easy to navigate and find information. The site currently has around 43000 registered users, and generates an average of 6 millions page views a month.

# Qatar Living

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