Leading figures of Qatar’s business community called on young entrepreneurs to tap into the growing potential of the country’s burgeoning tourism industry at the recently held Qatar Business Incubation Centre (QBIC) Tourism Speaker Series.
The event, organised in partnership with Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), highlighted a number of important themes in tourism investment, encouraging entrepreneurs to find a unique local proposition and recognise the value of local, natural and cultural assets.
The Speaker Series featured Ashraf Abu Issa, chairman and CEO of Abu Issa Holding; Walid al-Jaouni, founder and chairman of Qatar International Adventures; and Dr Jamal Rashid al-Khanji, founder of International Spearfishing Academy as panellists.
The discussion was moderated by Mohamed al-Mahmeed, head of Tourism Investment Promotion at QTA.
Panellists stressed the critical steps taken by Qatar over the past two years to lay the foundation for the tourism sector, including key policy changes such as the introduction of a new, free 96-hour transit visa.
Meanwhile, the speakers shed light on the characteristics of a tourism business, the importance of the role that the private sector plays in enhancing the tourism sector through their innovative creativity and investments, and the various challenges behind building a business and the products that Qatar needs in the thriving sector, among other topics.
“Qatar Development Bank (QDB) is proud of the ongoing success that the Speaker Series is achieving. Sharing success stories and the challenges that entrepreneurs faced is key to knowledge transfer,” QDB CEO and QBIC chairman Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa said.
“Tourism is one of the most important sectors where QDB is making huge efforts to support entrepreneurs so that they can play a pivotal role,” he noted.
Citing plenty of greenfields opportunity ahead, panellists encouraged emerging entrepreneurs to be brave and to invest and grow together for the future of Qatar.
An initiative supporting QBIC’s mission to develop the next QR100mn companies in Qatar, the Speaker Series is a seasonal programme that brings together startups, regional experts, and successful entrepreneurs in a dialogue to encourage investment, growth, and an entrepreneurial mindset, with a focus on practical challenges and opportunities in the market.
“We believe in the importance of investing in the tourism sector; moreover, it is through empowering our innovative young-minds that we are able to see valuable progress in this domain,” QBIC CEO Aysha al-Mudahka said.
The Speaker Series sessions bridge the gap between budding entrepreneurs, and successful professionals, according to QBIC.
The speakers are selected on the basis of their achievements as entrepreneurs, and are invited to share their experience and knowledge on overcoming the barriers to successful entrepreneurship.
“QTA’s support of QBIC Tourism is based on our belief that the involvement of homegrown talent in developing Qatar’s tourism sector is crucial to ensuring that visitor experiences are embedded in, and reflective of, the country’s national culture and heritage,” Mohamed al-Mahmeed, head of Tourism Investment Promotion at QTA said.