The Peninsula: ‘Embracing digital transformation is crucial for Qatar’s economic growth’

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Qatar Country Senior Partner, PwC Middle East Bassam Hajhamad (left) and CEO of The Metaverse Institute in London Dr. Christina Yan Zhang.

Qatar Country Senior Partner, PwC Middle East Bassam Hajhamad (left) and CEO of The Metaverse Institute in London Dr. Christina Yan Zhang.

Doha, Qatar: Smart Expo City Doha 2023 witnessed an array of sessions, unfolding new insights into creating thriving, next-generation cities and communities by harnessing emerging technology and the power of data.

The event attracted high-profile personalities across the region and more than 4,500 individuals took part in-person at the Culture Zone’s Congress Center at Al Bidda Park, where Expo Doha 2023 is currently being hosted.

Assistant Undersecretary of Digital Industry Affairs at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) H E Reem Mohammed Al Mansoori, stated: “Through the success of this event, Qatar has firmly staked its claim to be a regional force in the global dialogue on the fostering of smart cities and sustainable urban initiatives.”

She further commented: “The inspirational insights offered by experts from diverse disciplines and cultures will play a pivotal role in achieving the Qatar National Vision 2030 goals.”

“These perspectives are set to ignite positive changes across a spectrum of economic and social sectors and have the potential to share transformative policies for the future.”

“Congress outcomes include the start of partnerships which are likely to result in pioneering and innovative approaches to the way we do business, work, learn and live in what promises to be an exciting and more sustainable and connected data-driven future,” Al Mansoori added.

Speaking to The Peninsula on the sidelines of the event, Bassam Hajhamad, Qatar Country Senior Partner, PwC Middle East said: “Today, we are seeing how technology and data are revolutionising our cities. This evolution towards ‘cognitive cities’ – urban centres enhanced by data and smart technology – is a significant change in how we think about and build our urban spaces. These cities are not just more efficient; they are designed to respond better to the needs of their residents, making urban living more adaptable and connected.”

Bassam Hajhammad highlighted that this movement towards Smart Cities and embracing digital transformation is crucial for Qatar’s economic growth. It’s expected to boost the nation’s GDP, create more jobs, and lead to communities that are not only technologically advanced but also socially enriched and more cohesive.

The occasion also witnessed over 40 organisations presenting smart solutions on the Digital Enablement Platform. The discussions were also focused on citizen-centric data governance to shape a progressive e-government landscape.

Experts underlined the vitality of cultural intelligence for inclusive and sustainable transformations in cognitive cities.

However, the overall objective of the sessions was to advance e-governance and urban intelligence for the future.

CEO of The Metaverse Institute in London Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, called for a new approach to public-private-people-planet partnership to foster an inclusive, participatory, and sustainable people-centric digital future during the Smart City Expo Doha conference.

As the newly appointed Co-Chairman of the United Nations International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) Task Group on Pre-standardization for the CitiVerse, Dr. Zhang is leading a groundbreaking UN initiative to engage 193 member states in developing a comprehensive definition and roadmap for utilising cutting-edge technologies to establish citizen-centered future cities, paving the way for international standards.

Recognising the emphasis on human development in Qatar Vision 2030, Dr. Zhang said: “This is my first visit to Qatar, and I have been impressed by the country’s notable progress over the years. Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser has been an influential role model for women internationally. I am privileged to witness the transformative effects of visionary leadership in this nation of 2.8 million people, which has emerged as the world’s second-richest country in terms of GDP per capita.”

“We are committed to working with Qatar to advance the innovative public-private-people-planet partnerships under the UN’s CitiVerse project and leverage technological advancements to establish a people-centered digital future that benefits all people,” Dr. Zhang remarked.

Author: Joel Johnson 

The Peninsula, one of the leading English dailies in Qatar, was launched in 1996. In the past 25 years, The Peninsula has been successfully providing our readers extensive news coverage from around the world with a primary focus on life in Qatar.

With over 65 million pageviews in 2020, (, we can proudly say, is the top news website – in both English and Arabic – in Qatar.

Last year they had over 8.5 million users visit our website and good majority of the visitors are from Qatar, making them a very hyper local website.

The Original article is published here. ‘Embracing digital transformation is crucial for Qatar’s economic growth’ | The Peninsula Qatar

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