Web Summit, one of the world’s largest technology conferences, has today announced its expansion into the Middle East with the launch of a new event, Web Summit Qatar, set to take place in Doha, Qatar, in March 2024. The event will be the first of its kind in the region, bringing together thousands of international entrepreneurs and investors, and the next generation of leaders reshaping the world.
This event in the Middle East is part of the summit’s global strategy to broaden its reach into new markets. Web Summit Qatar will provide new opportunities to connect the tech world in growing ecosystems across the Middle East, Africa, and India, expanding on the company’s established presence in Europe, North America, South America, and Asia.
Web Summit Qatar joins the company’s global roster alongside its flagship event, Web Summit, which draws 71,000 attendees to Lisbon, Portugal each November; North America’s fastest-growing tech event, Collision, in Toronto; Web Summit Rio, Brazil, which will take place for the first time in 2023; and RISE, which will be returning to Hong Kong in 2025.
After receiving bids from several cities across the Middle East, Web Summit has selected Doha as the new event’s host city for the next five years. The summit plans to deepen its existing relationships in the region through Web Summit Qatar.
“Web Summit in Lisbon has become the world’s largest technology conference, and our ambition is to make Web Summit ever more global. Establishing a new event in the Middle East is part of that broader plan for Web Summit,” Paddy Cosgrave, Web Summit CEO and Founder, said in a press statement.
Cosgrave further remarks that “Web Summit Qatar will help connect a new generation of founders in the Middle East to investors, journalists, customers, partners, and more around the world, and represents a new opportunity for Web Summit to convene technology leaders and develop an already fast-growing tech scene.”
Qatar has a fast-growing technology ecosystem, with a rapidly expanding startup scene, private sector, and government support for technology innovation. According to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report 2021, Qatar ranks 28th globally for its capacity for innovation, outpacing other countries in the region. The country also invests heavily in technology infrastructure, focusing on emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and cybersecurity.
His Excellency Mr. Mohammed bin Ali bin Mohammed Al Mannai, Qatat Minister of Communications and Information Technology endorsed the Web Summit.
“Qatar looks forward to hosting thousands of innovative and future-shaping leaders and thinkers at Web Summit Qatar,” he said. “The summit joins a roster of global conveners in Qatar, that capitalize on world-class facilities and infrastructure, ease of travel, and strong economic growth.”
Mr. Mohammed Al Mannai noted that all attendees will have the opportunity to meet peers, explore avenues for growing their businesses, and experience Qatar’s vibrant culture.
The first year of the summit in Qatar will take place at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC) from March 4-7, 2024. The summit will give opportunities for industry leaders to share ideas with others in different fields, a chance to meet business partners, as well for startup founders to meet potential investors.
Notably, Web Summit through its startup programme – ALPHA – gives startup founders from around the world an opportunity to be part of the conference and get a chance to showcase their startups that are disrupting their industries and introduce them to the world’s leading investors, companies, and media. Last year in Lisbon, Portugal 52 startups were selected to attend the summit among which 25 were African startups from Chad, Egypt, Gambia, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, and Tunisia. This year, we expect the number of African startups to be selected increase.