Tech giant Microsoft is keen on driving the transformation of Qatar’s business landscape into a global digital hub that would further fast-track foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow into the country, an official of Microsoft Qatar has said.
For the past several years, the Qatari government has launched a slew of initiatives and economic and legal reforms, as well as local and international partnerships, among others, to attract foreign investments.
Microsoft is among the major international players that have expanded its footprint in Qatar to become a leading partner in the country’s digital transformation and economic diversification strategy.
“We believe we have created a diversified economy for Qatar to become a digital hub for the world,” Microsoft Qatar general manager Lana Khalaf told Gulf Times on the sidelines of a tour of the company’s latest and state-of-the-art office, which recently opened in Lusail city.
The opening of Microsoft’s new office, which is located at Burj Alfardan, was celebrated in the presence of HE the Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mohamed bin Ali al-Mannai and high-ranking officials from the US embassy in Qatar.
Asked about Microsoft Qatar’s plans for the country after the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Khalaf said: “Post-FIFA, we will be focusing on driving Qatar as a digital hub for the world where we will see global companies and global partners that want to come to this region investing in Qatar as a host of a digital economy and focused on diversifying to a knowledge-based economy, as well. This is definitely where we see the future of Qatar.”
Khalaf emphasised that the opening of Microsoft’s fourth and largest office in the country builds on a number of significant investments that the company has already made in Qatar.
She said in 2019 the company and the then Ministry of Transport and Communications announced plans to establish a new Microsoft Cloud Datacentre Region to deliver its intelligent, trusted cloud services.
Khalaf said this will accelerate digital transformation, create jobs, enable skilling initiatives, empower partners, and drive economic impact across Qatar by empowering businesses and organisations of all sizes across all industries.
During the tour of the office, Khalaf stated that Microsoft recently announced that its Cloud Datacentre Region in Qatar will be launched globally in a “few weeks” time.
Aside from this, Khalaf said Microsoft also continues to innovate and initiate new programmes to help prepare Qatar’s workforce for the changing digital economy.
In March this year, Microsoft, in partnership with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), launched the National Skilling Programme and the Digital Centre of Excellence located at Msheireb Downtown Doha.
The National Skilling Programme aims to skill 50,000 people across all demographics by 2025. Since the launch of the programme, Microsoft has provided in-demand technology skilling to more than 14,000 individuals.