*MoU to see Qatar Financial Center and Aspire Zone Foundation collaborate on setting up Qatar Sports Business District
With Doha's sports sector expected to reach $20bn by 2023, Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF) and Qatar Financial Center (QFC) are together establishing Qatar Sports Business District (QSBD) to attract large sports-related multinationals and promote sustainable businesses to facilitate the commercialisation of sports-related products and services.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida, chief executive, QFC Authority and Mohamed Khalifa al-Suwaidi, chief executive of AZF, to set up QSBD, which is aimed at creating a premier sports business cluster in the country and the wider Middle East.
The MoU will see the QFC and AZF collaborate on numerous initiatives aimed at developing and promoting this industry, as well as an all-inclusive sports business district (SBD). Its goal is to attract large sports-related multinationals, promote the setup of sustainable businesses and startups and facilitate the commercialisation of sports-related products and services by offering unique incentives and service packages, which include QFC designated locations in the SBD.
The move comes in the backdrop of Qatar’s sports sector expected to reach $20bn by 2023. This growth comes as momentum continues to build in the lead up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup and beyond, as the country outlines a $200bn investment programme to develop world-class facilities and services.
Although Doha’s sports business development sector has seen a "significant" growth in the past few years, entrepreneurs and investors are facing several challenges to start-up development.
This collaboration between AZF and the QFC will orchestrate efforts aimed at attracting large sports-related multinational corporations and promote the setup of sustainable businesses to facilitate the commercialisation of sports-related products and services in Qatar.
"The estimated size of the global sports industry surpassed the $1tn mark in 2017, so there are clearly many opportunities and sizeable potential for investments that we wish to fully utilise through this collaborative partnership,” al-Jaida said.
By attracting local and international businesses in sports, he said QFC's mandate continues to focus on boosting foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country, thereby supporting its progress towards self-sufficiency.
The QFC – which is an onshore business and financial centre, providing a platform for regulated and non-regulated firms to do business in Qatar and in the Middle East and North Africa region – is eyeing to triple the assets (FDI) to more than QR200bn.
"The establishment of the new QSBD is another example of AZF’s significant contribution to help diversify Qatar’s economy and transform the country into a favourable business destination for multiple sports related industries. This collaboration with QFC will see the creation of a sports business cluster, the first-of- its-kind in Qatar and the wider region, combining renowned local and international brands and under one roof," according to al-Suwaidi.
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