Qatar, the Young State with Thrilling Prospects

ArabAd - - COVER STORY -

In this month’s spe­cial is­sue on Qatar, Arabad was happy to learn that the views polled in re­la­tion to the com­mu­ni­ca­tions’ sec­tor in the coun­try are very promis­ing. What’s also clear is that since Qatar won the bid to host the World Cup in 2022, a flurry of projects is un­der­way or in the works.

What’s also clear is how im­por­tant the In­ter­net has be­come to the coun­try’s rapid eco­nomic growth ev­i­denced by small and medium-sized en­ter­prises pro­duc­ing large gains and trans­form­ing lo­cal mar­kets to global ones.

With a solid plan in place, the gov­ern­ment in 2013, in­tro­duced a state-of-the-art fi­bre op­tic net­work, which has not only en­abled wide­spread na­tional ac­cess to the Web but also in­creased com­pe­ti­tion amongst sup­pli­ers and providers as well as em­pow­ered con­sumers and busi­nesses alike. Qatar's tele­com ser­vices mar­ket, ac­cord­ing to one re­port is set to gen­er­ate $2.8 bil­lion in ser­vice rev­enue by 2020, driven by op­er­a­tors' con­sis­tent in­vest­ment in next gen­er­a­tion net­works. Along­side sim­i­lar mar­kets such as the UAE and Saudi Ara­bia, Qatar is on its way to be­com­ing a dig­i­tal so­ci­ety sup­ported by smart city ini­tia­tives.

This has driven the de­vel­op­ment of a so­phis­ti­cated ad­ver­tis­ing mar­ket, which is draw­ing in­ter­na­tional ad­ver­tis­ing firms to Qatar, as their ex­per­tise is in­creas­ingly in de­mand. And, with this dig­i­tal boom, which some ex­pert es­ti­mate to be around 10% of ad­ver­tis­ing bud­gets, dig­i­tal ser­vices are highly trend­ing.

Push­ing this trend for­ward, the gov­ern­ment is, by some es­ti­mates the sin­gle big­gest spender on ad­ver­tis­ing by sec­tor thereby in­di­rectly en­cour­ag­ing clients and brands to take the leap and use the tools avail­able to in­crease reach, aware­ness and en­gage­ment. How­ever, one chal­lenge prov­ing dif­fi­cult to over­come are mu­nic­i­pal­ity ap­provals when it comes to OOH ac­tiv­i­ties or in-mall activations.

On a sim­i­lar note, tra­di­tional me­dia re­mains the most pop­u­lar medium in Qatar de­spite the ad­vanced telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion in­fra­struc­ture al­ready in place. An­other mat­ter prov­ing to be chal­leng­ing as noted by me­dia agen­cies, is the re­ten­tion of skilled employees who are qual­i­fied in dig­i­tal and knowl­edge­able of the chal­lenges the coun­try im­poses.

Yet with so many changes al­ready tak­ing place, it be­comes clear that there is no turn­ing back or shy­ing away from this dig­i­tal revo­lu­tion, which is clearly caus­ing great waves and gen­er­at­ing very promis­ing de­mand for such ser­vices within the com­mu­ni­ca­tion sec­tor.

Ir­re­spec­tive of the fast paced changes and re­main­ing chal­lenges, this young state seems to be well on its way to play­ing a piv­otal role in the re­gion as a dy­namic con­tender in the com­mu­ni­ca­tions’ sec­tor laden with great prom­ise and op­por­tu­nity.

Il­lus­tra­tions by Grey Doha

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