March 2021, Doha – Qatar: The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), in collaboration with Qatari-Russian Center for Cooperation (QRCC & QR Sports), hosted a webinar entitled, ‘Emerging opportunities: Qatar and Russia’, to introduce the unique prospects in Qatar’s digital and sports sectors to large Russian corporations, SMEs and start-ups geared towards innovative solutions and emerging technologies.

The event, held on 3 March 2021, was supported by The Ministry of Transport and Communications (MOTC), The Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZA), Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), Ooredoo, Qatar Sportstech (QST), Aspire Zone Foundation, Sponix, Skolkovo Foundation and Rosinfocominvest.

Digital and sport tech landscapes are growing worldwide and both Qatar and Russia are keen on leveraging the rapidly expanding industries. Qatar has built exceptional infrastructure for digital and sport tech companies, from large entities, SMEs to startups. The webinar created opportunity to further economic ties between the two countries.

The event comprised two themed sessions – digital and sport. During the digital session experts from Qatar discussed the types of digital companies’ Qatari entities are looking for, presented the value proposition for international companies, and provided the steps for international companies looking to start business in the Qatari market. Experts from Russia pointed the potential for cooperation.

The sports session highlighted the world-class sports infrastructure in Qatar and the unique opportunities for companies in the industry. It also examined Qatar’s position towards sports-related projects, identified the sport companies suited to the unique opportunities in Qatar and the forms of support for international companies that intend to leverage Qatar’s unique value proposition.

Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, Chief Executive Officer, QFC Authority said: “Qatar’s digital and sport industries are projected to see rapid growth in the next few years. By 2023, digital spending in Qatar will increase to $3.2bn while the sports sector is expected to reach $20bn. This presents great potential for investment to a wide range of businesses in
both sectors.

“Equally, digital and sports are part of the QFC’s focus sectors, and our strategy is aligned with Qatar’s existing positioning in these fields. Our unique platform provides a gateway to lucrative markets, facilitating future growth.”

Kirill Lata, Head of QR Sports said: “The sports industry is getting increasingly bigger and more diverse worldwide, expanding from the traditional markets to the new ones. Russia supports the trend. It is home to internationally recognized sports companies and high potential sports tech startups. Qatar offers a unique infrastructure for sports
companies to grow and develop. We expect that more and more sports companies and sports tech startups from Russia will leverage the fantastic opportunities offered by Qatar. QR Sports is here to support and navigate”.

George Mikaberidze, Rosinfocominvest said: “Russia has a long-term interest to drive digital transformation of Qatar national economy in the new digital context. Fostering partnerships among the leaders in the ICT sector is an important milestone under our governments’ goals.”

Mr. Abdulla Al-Misnad, Deputy CEO at Qatar Free Zones Authority said: “Qatar is already making tremendous progress in establishing the enabling technological foundations to support growth to 2030 and beyond. Leading global technology firms including Google Cloud, Yutong, Volkswagen and Thales have already invested in Qatar Fee Zones to establish clusters in cloud computing and advanced mobility that will help in the delivery on the World Cup and beyond. This is creating long-term growth prospects in Qatar Free Zones’ focus sectors of emerging tech, logistics, and advanced mobility.”

Arkady Dvorkovicn, Chairman, Skolkovo Foundation said: ”Skolkovo Foundation offers several mechanisms for cooperation with Qatari partners, large corporates; investors; SMEs and educational institutes alike, including through providing investment opportunities in our start-ups and ecosystem, helping large corporates to locate and open their R&D centres in Skolkovo territory, as well as the Skolkovo Softlanding Program, launching acceleration programs, scouting for specific technologies in specific areas, inter alia, telecommunication, cybersecurity, oil and gas; smart cities, IoT; AI and many others.”

Heba Qadri Al Masri, Managing Director at Qatar SportsTech commented:“QST’s mission falls in line with Qatar’s vision to position itself as a global sports hub – the country has invested heavily in the sports industry over the last decade, as evident by its achievements. Through our Accelerator Program, we scout the globe for start-ups who have a cutting-edge sports technology and can contribute to the local sports industry’s needs.”

Kamel Badawy, Business Management & Intelligence Director at Aspire Zone Foundation commented: “At Aspire Zone we extend our support and collaboration for any sports business opportunities that can emerge and we work hard to explore all opportunities as it is part of our journey to success, innovation and excellence. We have the platform, environment, facilities & resources to continue our journey as the center of excellence in sports and we are looking forward that our partners join us in this journey.”Sheikh Nasser Al Thani, Chief Business Officer at Ooredoo, said: “As a regional leader in digital, and a firm supporter of Qatar National Vision 2030, we were delighted to take part in this webinar to showcase and explore opportunities for collaboration in Qatar. We are committed to our aim of complete digitalisation, an aim towards which we are making phenomenal progress, and are proud of our role in supporting our country as we work towards becoming the world’s first truly smart nation. Events such as these are invaluable in highlighting the many opportunities available in Qatar with companies such as Ooredoo, and we were proud to be involved.”

In case you missed the webinar, you can still watch the Sports session here and the Digital session here. Videos are available after the registration.


The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) is an onshore business and financial centre located in Doha, providing an excellent platform for firms to do business in Qatar and the region. The QFC offers its own legal, regulatory, tax and business environment, which allows up to 100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of profits, and charges a competitive rate of 10% corporate tax on locally sourced profits. The QFC welcomes a broad range of financial and non-financial services firms.
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