For the first time in Qatar, Forbes Middle East held the Digital Qatar Symposium & Awards 2021 Wednesday evening.
The event saw achievers in digital transformation and entrepreneurship being recognised, in addition to the exchange and discussion of views and experiences in the field.
Sheikh Mansoor bin Khalifa al-Thani, founder and chairman of MBK Holding and a visionary businessman with extensive experience in strategic technology development and venture capital investment, said the event is an important one as it supports the leadership's efforts in building awareness and developing a community of technology.
He said the country has invested heavily in the field of digitalisation and launched many key initiatives, and now it is up to the business community to develop the forward thinking necessary to adopt the required digital transformation through connecting the public sector to the private sector and create more collaborations.
Sheikh Mansoor stressed that innovations and the startup ecosystem are at the core of the next-generation economy. He also felt that such are necessary to raise the targeted awareness and create a community with the mentality of forward thinking.
Sheikh Mansoor pointed that there is a need to take risks in business as it is known as angel investment to support young entrepreneurs and startups with innovative ideas. He added that more regulations should be introduced to encourage crowdfunding and angel investments.
Khuloud al-Omian, editor-in-chief of 'Forbes Middle East' and CEO of Arab Publisher House, said the event has gathered the pioneers of technology and entrepreneurs in the country, with a special focus on small- and medium-sized enterprises and startups.
She said the government in Qatar has been working with the private sector to develop the necessary digital infrastructure in many fields that touch upon the needs of everyday life, such as financial technology, human resources, healthcare and government services, among others.
Al-Omian said this event will be held annually in Qatar as the country has become a regional and international hub for entrepreneurship and the world looks forward to Qatar for this due to its remarkable success in many fields. Besides, the event is an excellent platform for exchanging experiences among stakeholders and could be a good opportunity to make new business deals. She explained that the event is powered by Dukhan Bank, while the thought leadership partner is Qatar Financial Centre and supporting partner Qatar Smart Programme (TASMU).
The chief guests of the event included Reem al-Mansoori, Assistant Undersecretary for Digital Society Development at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology; and Khalid al-Subeai, CEO of Dukhan Bank.
Both delivered keynote speeches highlighting the key efforts in their fields and the achievements realised in the move towards further digital transformation.
The event also featured three panel discussions that focused on different topics, and featured participants from various leading companies sharing their experiences and views.
Accordingly, the awards ceremony started with Sheikh Mansoor handing over the awards to the winners, which include Snoonu food delivery app and other small companies in addition to a good number of major companies that include Dukhan Bank, QNB Group, QIB Group, Masraf Al Rayyan, Nakilat, Aamal, Commercial Bank, Gulf Warehousing Company, Baladna Food Industries, Vodafone Qatar and Ooredoo.