Qatar is expected to experience “significant” momentum and growth after the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the country’s status as a global sports hub will be a driver for new business opportunities for the private sector, according to QNB Group chief executive officer Abdulla Mubarak al-Khalifa.
“We expect to see a surge of business as this event (FIFA World Cup) will benefit the economy long beyond the closing match, attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), while at the same time developing domestic entrepreneurship,” he said in an interview to The Business Year’s (TBY) World Cup special edition.
TBY has been covering the Qatari economy for almost a decade and this latest publication was produced in partnership with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Qatari Businessmen Association, and the Qatari Businesswomen Association.
Qatar’s status as a global sport hub will be a driver for the private sector, though “we also expect to see strong growth in new projects beyond sport that will benefit the economy,” the minister said.
“Strengthening of regulatory frameworks is paving the way for public-private-partnership (PPP) projects, particularly in the education, healthcare and tourism sector,” he said, adding “as the leading incubator for private sector engagement, we act as a one-stop shop for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs).”
Referring to its partnership with FIFA on being the official Middle East and Africa supporter, he said, “This (partnership) will strengthen QNB’s brand image and reputation globally.”
The bank seeks to leverage innovation as a strategic enabler for both corporate and personal clients, he said, adding changes in the customer behaviour has led to a shift to more convenient and remote channels.
“This trend has accelerated our drive towards digitalisation and automation, which ultimately impacts our business and operating model. Those trends are further exacerbated by the entry of new players such as non-banks, non-financial institutions, fintechs and bigtechs and results in disruption through technological innovation and financial intermediation,” al-Khalifa said.
QNB Group extends through its subsidiaries and associate companies to more than 31 countries across three continents providing a comprehensive range of products and services. The total number of employees is 27,000 operating through 1,000 locations, with an ATM network of more than 4,500 machines.
QNB Group chief executive officer Abdulla Mubarak al-Khalifa.