Qatar, the Young State with Thrilling Prospects
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