By Mudassir Raja
The Dutch Business Council Qatar (DBCQ) along with Belgian Business Council Qatar (BBCQ) recently organised a summer networking get-together at Mondrian Doha, with an aim to socialise with expatriates from other countries.
The event was co-hosted by the two business councils and attended by a good number of expatriates from different countries living in Qatar.
Talking to Community, Thomas Meersseman, BBCQ President, said, “There are no formal activities happening in Doha during summers. We decided to have an informal get-together of business people. We were not restricted to two countries only, but expatriates and business people from other countries were also invited at the event. It provided us an opportunity to discuss different things, including some business opportunities. We also got a chance to meet some new people.”
“It’s always good to expand your network. A lot of things are done via personal contacts. I think it is not good to limit ourselves by organising events only restricted to Belgian community. It is good to expand with other communities as well. This event was organised in collaboration with the Dutch, However previously we’ve also hosted some events inclusive of Austrians. In September, we are planning to host the Spanish. So, we are trying to internationalise as much as we can. Qatar is a meeting place for international community and it would be unwise to stay just within your own community boundaries.”
He added, “I work in oil & gas sector. We have people from different construction and other major companies here along with some local people attending the event.”
About Qatar, he said, “I have been living in Qatar for four years. Doha is a global city. I get a chance to meet a lot of people. Even where I work, I see people from different countries. It is always difficult in the beginning, but at least now I’ve got used to it. I would love to stay here for some more time to witness FIFA World Cup matches in 2022. I am confident that Qatar will organise a successful World Cup.”
Marieke Witkamp, a representative of DBCQ, said, “We both have excellent business communities. It is always nice to meet new people.”
She added, “We have some very interesting networking events. We also discuss services and tourism sectors in Qatar. We always look for opportunities to help each other. We are two European neighbouring countries which recently also co-hosted European Day here in Doha.
She added, “I work as a lawyer with a private firm here. I have been in Qatar for over four years now. I appreciate Qatar’s hospitality towards its expatriates. The future of Qatar seems good. It is a good place to do business. I would also love to be here and see the hyped FIFA World Cup 2022. It will be very nice to see The Netherlands playing in Qatar.”
Dr Bahia Tahzib-Lie, Ambassador of The Netherlands to Qatar, also attended the gathering. She said, “I commend it. It is a wonderful initiative by the two business councils to celebrate summer in a beautiful country like Qatar. It is a good opportunity for meet-up. We are also celebrating our sound relations with both Belgium and Qatar. But it is also very important to come together and to be inspired and enriched. We also need to strategise our plans for the coming months to contribute towards building a better society here in Qatar. It is great to be together.”
“We have been working very hard to build the visibility of EU here in Qatar and to enhance our relations in all field. I think we have achieved a lot. It is going very well. We have many plans to continue working with Qatar closely.”
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