Businesses and private individuals continually face threats from cyber criminals and their secret weapons in the fight to crack computer users’ security. Mark van Dijk files an up-to-date report on this subject and provides tips to business owners to prevent intrusion into their systems by hackers. (Page 48)

w w w. t h e e d g e - m e . c o m


.36. maRkET waTCH
World and local markets, commodities and reinsurance update. Qatar’s banking sector scrutinised. The Qatar economy’s rapid growth.

.38. INSIdE EdgE


The must-have career paths of the future.

The effect of credit ratings agencies on the global economy.

Erika Widén on Qatar’s ‘green building’ capital. Exclusive interview with GE’s CEO and president Nabil Habayeb. Media transparency vs. GDP.

.70. Small BUSINESS kNOw-HOw


Using e-commerce to create income for small businesses. Design do’s and don’ts.

.72. maRkETINg & dESIgN .74. lEgal INSIgHT

.64. ON THE pUlSE

Qatar’s Information Protection laws.



talks about the brand’s operations in the state.08. 2 TheEDGE FROm THE EdITOR CONTRIBUTORS NEwS ETCETERa QaTaR ImpaCT dOHa dIaRY mIddlE EaST maTTERS ENERgY aNd RESEaRCH COUNTRY FOCUS SpECIal FOCUS TRaVEl & lIFESTYlE 10 THINgS .20. . . .30. .06.83.32. .23. . BUSINESS INSIgHT INTERVIEwS Incoming CEO for Standard Chartered Bank in Qatar Charles Carlson discusses their mobile device banking application ‘Breeze’. and new Microsoft Country Manager for Qatar.CONTENTS 80 BuSINESS INSIGHt .88. Naim Yazbek. 87 REGuLArS . . . . .




is strictly forbidden. but especially in an economic sense (as 2008’s downturn so blatantly exposed). Elsewhere in the issue we look at changes – or at least proposed changes – to policy and legislation that might or will affect the energy sector and construction industry in Qatar on pages 23 and 56 respectively. these modern times are deeply unsettling to many. theEDGE is an authoritative business resource serving both large and small business managIng EdIToR Miles Masterson m. The former is related to a change of our own.firefly-me. fragile diplomatic and political relationships.jaidah@firefly-me. providing advertisers with the needed additional reach and frequency to their most important and affluent +974 33675301 dIsTRIBuTIon & suBscRIPTIons Azqa Haroon a. legal or +974 55692471 cREaTIVE dIREcToR Roula Zinati Ayoub dEsIgn cooRdInaTIon Charbel Najem dEsIgnER Sarah Jabari FInalIsER Michael Logaring PhoTogRaPhER Herbert Villadelrey PRInTEd By Ali Bin Ali Printing Press. which was recently announced as the world’s fastest growing economy (see page 40). Photography/image credits and copyright. as some predict). All content is believed to be factual at the time of REgIonal salEs dIREcToR Julia Toon theEDGE is printed monthly © 2011 Firefly Communications. figure. with all that is so uncertain around us – the ‘Arab Spring’. Doha. everyone is connected and a world financial shift will affect Qatar. Qatar Clichés about change abound. in the current age. theEDGE was launched in July 2009 to fill the market void and to provide the business community with insight into the latest business trends and market developments. which many feel carry too much influence. Doha . With so many people suffering from poverty. Of course. the publisher (Firefly Communications) does not officially endorse any advertising or advertorial content for third party products. and ongoing natural disasters – this topic was on my mind. theEDGE is distributed 11 times yearly to a readership base of more than 7500 professionals. It is probably best exemplified though in the economic volatility of current times (as I write this the US and European stock markets are plummeting and the threat of Greek default could still drown the common currency and pull down the whole world’s economy). Printed monthly.issac@firefly-me. expression of opinion or belief contained in theEDGE. but the one that first springs to mind is that it is +974 66880228 sEnIoR salEs managER Emma Land e. Qatar Tel: +974 44340360 Fax: +974 44340359 www. we have formed a new section. All around us life is always evolving.widen@theedge-me. As you will see.toon@firefly-me. This topic is unpacked and analysed by our economic correspondent Karim Nakhle on page 44. Perhaps it is fitting +974 55997802 Joseph Issac dEPuTy EdIToR Erika Widén e. acting or refraining from action as a result of any statement. are sovereign and corporate credit ratings. among other adjustments to the magazine that we hope you will appreciate. here in Qatar.haroon@firefly-me. reproduction in whole or in part. All material strictly copyright and all rights reserved. to cover in more regular detail news and issues relating to the sector. where not specifically stated. ‘Energy and Research’. without the prior written permission of Firefly Communications. Perhaps the only aspects that are as enduring as change are the uncertainties we all face about what might actually happen in the future over which we have no sway – and how we personally can affect or influence change over the things which we do control. are that of Shutterstock and/or iStock Photo.lebourdonnec@theedge-me. the fragile economies of the United States (US) and Europe. Fitch and Moody’ Closely tied to the above train of thought. unemployment and the stress of a future with rapidly decreasing opportunities around the world.FROM THE EDITOR FROM PuBlIcaTIons dIREcToR Mohamed Jaidah m. 6 TheEDGE . Doha would be largely buffered by its hydrocarbon wealth. Miles Masterson. if the world markets were to really retract (and gross domestic product growth to be slashed by up to 50 percent in some established economies. +974 33197446 salEs managERs Pierre Le Bourdonnec p. Managing Editor About TheEDGE: theEDGE is an ambitious business magazine targeting professionals operating within Qatar’s multi-sector business landscape. No responsibility or liability is accepted by the editorial staff or the publishers for any loss occasioned to any individual or company. Firefly Communications PO Box 11596. fact. views expressed by contributors are their own derived opinions and not necessarily endorsed by theEDGE or Firefly Communications. carried by the so-called “big three” THE EDITOR of Standard & Poor’s.

24 RudI TschERnIng Director. P.64 EdwaRd JamEson Senior Business Journalist MENA Region London. from travel and sports writing in Time Out travel guides and the official guide to the 2010 Fifa World Cup. United Kingdom P. A former news editor at Independent Online and features writer for South African Sports Illustrated.64 RoBERT madRonIc Marketing Instructor College of the North Atlantic Doha. Qatar P. Doha. Law. 25 Tad dRITz Marketing Manager Oxford Catalysts Ohio. Qatar P. Middle East. Qatar P. London Business School. Qatar P. van Dijk is now deputy editor of Men’s Health in South Africa. United States P.36 dhEERaJ shahdadPuRI Analyst Dubai.42 JanaK PaTwaRI Manager Business Performance. UAE P.40 maTT ghazaRIan Editorial Contributor Oxford Business Group Istanbul.CONTRIBUTORS conTRIBuToRs FEaTuREd conTRIBuToR maRK Van dIJK Mark van Dijk is a Cape Town-based journalist who covers a range of business. 52 RachEl moRRIs Journalist MENA Region Doha. Turkey P. UAE P. Qatar TheEDGE 7 . Qatar P.64 BREnda hIll Senior Legal Consultant DLA Piper Doha. 48 KaRIm naKhlE Senior Business Strategist Doha.38 manJEET chhaBRa General Manager. to reports in Global Africa Network’s South African business publications. 24 JamEs ElwEn Managing Partner McGrigors LLP Law Firm Doha. Forum on Energy & Env. Qatar P. United Kingdom P. Dun and Bradstreet Dubai. Qatar P. Qatar University. 84 VIcToRIa scoTT Journalist Doha. KPMG Doha. 68 lynda gRaTTon Professor of Management Practice.


as many pundits are fearing it now might. university students – such as this one peaking through a torn banner – protested in the centre of the Hellenic capital late last month. Should the Greek sovereign default come to pass. (Image Corbis) TheEDGE 9 . 2011. Athens. Greece: Emboldened by the promise of ever-tougher public austerity measures by their continually beleaguered government. it would almost certainly mean their exit from the euro zone and could create a financial domino effect felt around the world.NEWS ETCETERA LIFESTYLE TO OF THE MONTH PHO The E D G E M A G A ZI N E gREEK ausTERITy woEs September. in the form of the much feared ‘double dip recession’.

we take our environmental responsibilities very seriously. because we know that we all have a stake in the future health of Qatar. At Qtel. we believe this is its largest deployment within a development in the Middle East. the first in the Qatar. gave an exclusive statement to TheEDGE. The first step was to place ‘drop boxes’ in every Qtel shop and office to encourage customers and employees to recycle mobile phones. It is a great example of how we are using advanced technology along with more traditional planning and architectural practices to minimise environmental impacts. is only a is to build sustainable programmes small part of their environmentally friendly policies. and we are investing in the processes that will ensure continued convenience for our customers. A representative of Msheireb Properties explained further and exclusively toTheEDGE: “While there are other examples of the technology elsewhere in the Gulf. and residual waste such as wet paper.” The development of the Msheireb Downtown Doha will be completed in five phases through 2016. in partnership with the community. retail and residential will have their own dedicated inlets. with inlets on each floor. metal. We also hosted ‘Big Drop’ days to give the community a way to recycle larger e-waste items.” mshEIREB PRoPERTIEs REcyclIng sysTEm Recently. saying: “Qtel is driving the e-Billing initiative as part of our vision for Corporate Social Responsibility.000 accounts belonging to over 25. The recycling system will start operating in tandem with the handover of the various developments within the project. which will help to make Qatar a greener. cardboard packaging. Our aim electronic billing initiative.000 customers have switched to the e-Bill. All funds raised by charging for paper bills will go towards expanding this programme. Commercial. Msheireb Properties awarded Sweden’s ENVAC company a major contract to install a fully automated waste recycling system for its Msheireb Downtown project in Doha. hotels and other standalone buildings will also get a dedicated connection to the network. e-billing will be enforced by Qatar Telecommunications. Hand in Hand’. group communications of Qtel. says that the company’s new ‘For Qatar. “The project is aiming to be the world’s first large scale urban sustainability community. Qtel is taking the lead in moving to becoming a fully paper-free environment. Launched in 2010.” added the Msheireb spokesperson. executive director. this programme provides an immediate and convenient disposal and recycling service.NEWS ETCETERA nEws Etcetera QTEl’s E-BIllIng maKEs an EnVIRonmEnTal ImPacT Starting in October 2011. Qtel has already been able to reduce the amount of paper used by the company. plastic. clothes and other assorted refuse. and we anticipate more customers moving across in the weeks and months ahead. The e-Billing initiative works in concert with a number of other environmental programmes for Qtel. executive director. Paper bills are still available but customers will be charged a fee of QR5 per bill if they wish to continue receiving them and will have to actively reactivate this option every six months. We are very proud that our customers have responded so strongly to our environmental initiatives. The system’s automated process uses air as a medium to suck the waste through a steel pipe network to a centralised waste collection terminal. as part of its long term goal of becoming a paperless organisation. more pleasant place to live and work. Adel Al Mutawa. ‘dry’ mixed recyclables such as glass. including efforts to reduce the internal use of paper within the company and our pioneering e-waste recycling programme. with the support of ictQatar. with three vertical chutes installed in each residential building. newspapers. To date. By removing the need for hard copy invoicing for thousands of customers.” 10 TheEDGE . while supermarkets. “We are maximising the use of microclimatic effects through utilising wind and sun patterns. Adel Al Mutawa. group communications. and it will encourage occupants of Msheireb Downtown to adopt more environmentally responsive behaviour. The technology can handle around 80 percent of household waste. Each is specially designed to handle organic waste such as kitchen refuse. more than 40. maximising water and energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions across the site.

chairman of Al Faisal Holding Company.1 billion). a trade delegation from New Zealand visited Qatar last month in a visit called the ‘Middle East Beachhead’ – a three-day programme organised by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) to help businesses establish themselves in the region.” al FaIsal QaTaR acQuIREs london’s w hoTEl Al Faisal Holding Company of Qatar recently acquired London’s W Hotel for close to GBP200 million (QR 1. QaTaRI dIaR aNd dElaNCEY BUY lONdON 2012 OlYmpICS VENUE Recently. marine protection and reservation and more. products on environmental protection and sustainable and renewable energy covering various related sectors such as: solar energy PV. The village was sold for GBP557 million (QR3. valued at QR15 million.NEWS ETCETERA QaTaR InTERnaTIonal EnVIRonmEnT PRoTEcTIon and susTaInaBlE EnERgy ExhIBITIon and conFEREncE (EcoQ) Qatar International Environment Protection and Sustainable Energy Exhibition and Conference (EcoQ) is an international annual exhibition and conference taking place in Qatar for three days. Passenger flow to and from the Middle East increased by 45 million passengers over the five-year period from 2005 through 2010. As observed. The transactions are expected to return to normal later this year. Qatari Diar and Delancey working with Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. New Zealand does not have an embassy in Qatar. The most expensive house was located in Doha. the most expensive building was transacted in Umm Salal. Steve Jones said the GCC is already New Zealand’s sixth largest trading partner and exports to the region grew by 122 percent between 2000 and 2009. bio-fuel. Buoyed by the success of their hosting of the Rugby World Cup 2011. recycling technologies.6 billion) bid to buy the entire Olympic Park.” The W Hotel in London was recently purchased by Qatari company Al Faisal Holding for GBP200 million (QR 1. eco-friendly transportation. (Image Getty) TheEDGE 11 . aviation and aerospace. and is expected to increase by another 45 million passengers from 2010 through 2015. the addition of the W Hotel to the portfolio reflects our clear investment focus on high quality assets in prime locations as we continue to grow the business both locally and internationally.1 billion) and features 2818 new homes with potential to build 2000 more. During the month of August. manufacturing. healthcare.“The Middle East land oF ThE long whITE BusInEss oPPoRTunITy Beset by earthquakes and economic woes. Africa and Pakistan. In addition. www. at the Doha International Exhibition Centre. The formal announcement ended rivals Wellcome Trust and PLP’s GBP1 billion (QR5. have beaten rival developers in the race to buy the 2800home London 2012 Olympics Athletes Village in Stratford in the United Kingdom (UK). New Zealand has hit the road to drum up business and investment from wealthy Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. New Zealand’s newly installed trade commissioner for the Middle East. e-waste.1 billion). HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani. This is directly attributed to the yearly reduced working hours during the holy month of Ramadan and slow overall market movement during the summer season. nearly QR1. meteorology. the total value of transactions as compared with the previous month was down by approximately six percent. attractive setting and the strength of the international covenants of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide and Mars Retail Group. architecture. clearly presents New Zealand firms with significant commercial opportunities. Sectors being targeted by the visit included education. including Gulf states such as Qatar. The expo will showcase the latest technologies. Other areas of cooperation with Qatar include ongoing talks on the issue of food security. sustainable cities. Given its [unique] architectural quality. green building. air pollution treatment. with New Zealand one of the world’s biggest producers of beef and lamb. REgIONS CaRRIERS REaCH 140 mIllION According to The Boston Consulting Group Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways will be ranked in the global top 20 by 2015 and Emirates Airways is to become the world’s largest wide body professional services and telecommunications. released in September and based on information from the real estate registry in the Department in the Ministry of Justice. sEPTEmBER IN BrIEF REal ESTaTE TRaNSaCTIONS According to Century 21 Qatar’s recent real estate transaction report. UK culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said “This is a fantastic deal that will give taxpayers a great return and shows how we are securing a legacy from London’s Games. with a transaction value recorded of QR50 million and a residential compound with a value of QR105 million. a high profile conference is organised in parallel to the expo to discuss environmental issues from a regional perspective. ecofriendly cooling systems. but has established a commercial office in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and an embassy in Saudi Arabia.” Jones said in Doha.46 billion in transactions was recorded. information technology (IT) and software. said of the purchase: “We are delighted to have acquired this iconic landmark London development. from 16 to 18 October 2011.

the new head of the International Monetary Fund. 2011 and is sponsored by the QFC Authority. We have been talking in this part of the world about change.. warning in late September that its emergency bail-out fund may not be adequate to deliver the scale of the support required by cash-strapped states in the near future. Qatar’s latest rise of 39 points in the GFC Index to achieve a total of 636 points. which was published on 26 September. chairman of the 136th session of the Arab League Council’s Ministerial meeting. It’s the right moment.. ranks cities globally. The most prominent among them is the developments in the Palestinian issue. The report first published in 2007. events calendar ocToBER DOHA. commenting at the recent gathering. Qatar has been recognised as the leading financial centre in the Middle East for the first time by the GFC Index.” Qatar Prime Minister and Foreign Minister HE Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani.” Statement from an annual report from the Global Financial Centre’s Index (GFCI).US $400 billion looks comfortable today. QAtAr 2-5 MENA Investment Management Forum 2011 International Furniture and Décor Exhibition (INFDEx) Second Islamic Conference for Financing 10-12 11 “I have spent eight years with the network. particularly the stumbling of the Middle East peace process. I thought maybe it is good to give an example as well. according to their importance in the financial services sector. Doha Tribeca Film Festival .NEWS ETCETERA 2011 5-8 10 nEws In QuoTEs “Our lending capacity of.” Christine Lagarde. but pales in comparison with the potential financing needs of vulnerable countries.” Outgoing Al Jazeera television network director general Waddah Khanfer on allegations that he was forced out due to political pressure. also maintains its existing ranking of 30th. while the network is at the peak of its performance. Doha Exhibition Transport and Rail 18-20 24-25 25-29 12 TheEDGE 2nd Annual Global Petrochemicals Technology Conference Air Power Middle East “In the latest survey. regional and international circumstances the Arab nations are facing. about presidents who stay for decades in their posts. 7th Annual HSE Forum in Energy Asset Integrity Management in Oil and Gas and Risk Management 16-18 16-19 17-19 Qatar International Environment Protection Exhibition (ecoQ) Finance and Investment Exhibition “This year’s meeting is held amidst local.


wEB AND TEch NEWS BlacK haT aBu dhaBI With the main event recently held in the United States for the 15th consecutive year. combining BlackBerry’s QWERTY keyboard design with a high-resolution touchscreen. The Black Hat Briefings are a series of highly technical information security conferences that bring together thought leaders from all facets of the information security world. year. tables. giving residents and visitors immediate access to tourist information about the country. www. tapping into its vast market of more than 800 million users and integrating the social network with streaming music. On the site you can sign up for a free SMS service. MarketWatch. the second regional version of this event will be held in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates from December 12 to 15. (Image Getty). This smartphone is similar in appearance to its make. the creators of this unique website believe that the traditional text resume or curriculum vitae (CV) is boring. Basic and advanced search engines allow you to look for any kind of car. so travel information is always available no matter where you are.starlinkworld. Also held in Europe and Asia since 2000. His appearance and an official announcement cemented rumours that the popular music website was to collaborate with Facebook. an enhanced BlackBerry browser.mE Recently launched and still in trial or ‘beta’ format. www. m. The 9810 is powered by the new BlackBerry 7 OS and offers liquid graphics. which according to the site. California in the United States. voice-activated universal search.blackhat. to get the latest matches to your search keywords. in not only Qatar but also through linked sites in Saudi Arabia and now Spotify CEO Daniel Ek makes an appearance following a keynote address by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the Facebook f8 conference on late September in San Francisco. which can be accessed through a mobile browser is designed specifically for smart phones. with journalists generating hundreds of stories.qatartourism.NEWS ETCETERA wEBsITE rEvIEWS www. support for near field communication (NFC). which is the second generation of the popular Blackberry Torch. real-time commentary and investment tools and data. lengthy and long overdue for a makeover. the mobile site also has information about local tourism operators as well as the latest news from the QTA in a simple. etcetera. videos and market briefs a day from 10 bureaus in the United States. Europe and Asia. The site covers business news. so they have created a website that takes any standard CV and turns the information into easy-to-digest graphics. the Blackberry 9810.maRKETwaTch.QaTaRsalE. www. easy-to read-format.VIsualIzE. Black Hat is a premiere event for elite security researchers and the best security trainers to find their audience. tracks the pulse of markets for investors with more than 16 million visitors a month. model. The website. Like the main site. available for sale. personal finance QTa wEBsITE goEs moBIlE The Qatar Tourism Authority has launched a mobile version of its website. is first for Middle This website is essentially a powerful search engine for anyone seeking a used or new car or car rental service in Qatar. pie charts etcetera. and additional FacEBooK and sPoTIFy TEam uP TEch gadgET: BLACKBErrY sTaRlInK launchEs ThE nEw BB9810 Starlink has launched Blackberry’s latest handset. published by Dow Jones. 14 TheEDGE .


” He went on to say that the Libyan people would be the ones responsible for restarting Libya’s oil production. Qatar stayed with the Western alliance. began blooming in early 2011. Qatar’s prominence in the Libya conflict has meant exposure for the country. there was definitely an added dimension. unshackled from the stigma of pariah status. United States secretary of state.5 trillion cubic metres. Exploration and investment in Libya’s natural gas reserves. For one thing Qatar. And remember what specifically made Qatar rich – natural gas. the NTC Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril said. For me. Libya’s oil economy. much in the way the 2022 World Cup brought the world’s attention. but potential European markets thirsty for an option other than those presented by Russia. who would have thought Qatar would be playing a leading role on the military. actually joined the NATO mission. This is a topic which has been well covered. These were all bold moves. which some estimates put at 1. There have been a lot of comparisons between post-Saddam Iraq and post-Gaddafi Libya. but with Qatari jets carrying out nofly-zone missions over Libya and pictures of the Emir posted across Benghazi. “Qatar rescued us during a crisis. 16 TheEDGE . Kamahl Santamaria is a Doha-based news anchor with Al Jazeera English. was much further off to the side. Some reports say it was worth more than US$400 million (QR1. And while the Arab League did give its backing to the no-fly-zone. political and economic front? o f course the country’s made no secret of its desire to be an influential Middle East. but I wonder if we’ve considered what sorts of risks this tiny country took in putting itself so far into the Libya conflict. It went so far as to supply weapons and training for their fighters. asks Doha-based news anchor Kamahl santamaria. outside of oil and gas.QATAR IMPACT DOHA TO BENGHAZI When the ‘Arab Spring’ as it has become known. It was the Emir HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani standing front and centre with French president Nicholas Sarkozy at the ‘Friends of Libya’ meeting in Paris. Still. to help us generate some income. Those who help are unlikely to be forgotten. has the potential to be both a powerful force and useful for anyone who can get on board. Qatar’s experience in turning gas into money would benefit not just Libya. and host of the channel’s business and economics programme ‘Counting the Cost’. for example. Libya was essentially an internal battle – the battle for control and regeneration is not dissimilar. if not global player. Physical reconstruction of the country. not simply coming in post-war and looking for opportunities. will be another area of opportunity. It also aligned itself with the rebel base of Benghazi from a very early stage. the rest may turn out to be inspired. So. While in Doha at a donors’ conference. At the very least. has been quite limited. Construction and development companies in Qatar have already shown what they can do in a relatively short time. It needs to be about assistance and support at the height of the crisis. While you can debate the rights and wrongs of supplying firepower. Hillary Clinton. and became the first Arab nation to recognise the National Transitional Council (NTC) in late March. maybe there is a lesson to be learnt here.5 billion). The desert sands of Libya would provide another blank canvas for new projects. It assisted in selling and marketing Libyan oil – one million barrels worth which brought in US$129 million (QR470 million) for the rebels at a crucial time. but it would not surprise anyone to see the Qataris alongside them in either advisory or investment roles. along with the United Arab Emirates. the gambles taken were some of the biggest issues. Imagine how they could have backfired if other Arab nations didn’t eventually join the chorus? Qatar also gave a lot of money and assistance to the NTC in Benghazi. And while I don’t think you can directly compare the two conflicts – Iraq was an invasion. chatting with British prime minister David Cameron during the photo call. it was very much against the actual bombing of Libya which eventuated.


I sincerely hope that you all had a happy and healthy time with your family and loved ones and that Ramadan enabled a period of quiet reflection. It will be worth it for all of us in the long run. especially lifts. Like any other city. only together we can improve our environment. can be especially saddening. Externally. on the pavements and walkways along secondary roads in the older city areas and in increasing quantities. graffiti. but it always amazes me the lack of thought in terms of presentation and overall attention to detail. at DTZ in Doha. and the amount of accumulated rubbish seems to correlate directly to the amount of hard working teams from Qatar Clean and the numerous other companies that are in attendance in various municipalities. no area of Doha is immune. But the effect on real estate value aside. blasting the grime and dust away to reveal the shining glass cladding once again) we can certainly make a difference when it comes to discarding our own rubbish. The knock-on effect in terms of the damage to wildlife. much about dust and sandstorms (for which brave cleaners with an incredible head for heights can often be seen abseiling down the side of West Bay buildings with high pressure hoses in hand. Edd Brookes is a director and head of valuation. where only a token effort has been made to keep the common areas. discarding empty cans on grass verges and placing half-eaten fast food meals at the base of trees. especially birds and marine animals. Litter follows humans.DOHA DIARY ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY This month TheEDGE’s resident real estate columnist Edd brookes discusses a topic which all of us have the power to affect. despite there being many litter bins in the vicinity. It is therefore no coincidence that I have decided to write today on an issue. but to which little thought is given. free of litter and more increasingly. On a number of occasions I have witnessed individuals emptying car ashtrays out of windows in car parks. to give thanks for all the blessings that we enjoy. In fact I would go so far to call it mindless litter. Middle East. even less effort is made. and show some respect to the thousands of workers who toil daily on our behalf – often in futility – to keep this city and country clean and debris-free. It can have important knock-on consequences for our health. our built (and natural) environment as well as property values. Pretty obvious I know. I write this at 38. and which in turn arguably negatively affects the prices of property in Doha: the ubiquity of litter. The issue is litter. On a recent trip down to the Inland Sea I was horrified that the shoreline surrounding one of Qatar’s areas of outstanding beauty was suffering from the results of inconsiderate litter disposal. and landlords are competing for tenants with neighbouring properties. It is actually quite incredible to watch the magnificent display of nature’s power. which collectively we all have the ability to resolve. While we cannot do 18 TheEDGE . Certainly when it comes to the marketing of buildings for sale and for lease. as well as giving thought to ways in which we are all able to help those less fortunate than ourselves. be it a can or a wrapper. returning from a fantastic Eid break in Cebu and Manila and I am currently somewhere over the Bay of Bengal sipping on a very nice glass of my favourite beverage. and between issues of TheEDGE. litter is an increasing and hazardous problem. a very warm welcome back to the Doha Diary to all Qatar’s residents now returned from the summer break. Appearances are all the more important when there is an element of oversupply of such buildings.000 feet. It amazes me the number of apartment buildings I see. Even a walk around the marina at The Pearl reveals an unsightly amount of non-biological waste. especially in secondary areas. Outside the many 24-hour grocery stores. be it via financial or practical aid. which is manifesting as a lightning show outside my window. trapped between the marina berths and the marina wall. appearance is everything and this of course has a marked effect on the eventual amount secured for rental or purchase. in the outlying suburbs.

TheEDGE incorporates a mix of industry news and analysis. Qatar Last Name : First Name: Address: Company: Designation: PO Box: Area Code: City: Country: Tel: Email: Date and Signature: TheEDGE 19 . in depth features.SUBSCRIPTION SUBSCRIpTION FORm 2011 TheEDGE is Qatar’s dedicated monthly business magazine. Subscription is FREE (in Qatar). Forms are to be addressed to the Subscriptions Department at: TheEDGE Subscriptions Department Firefly Communications 11th Floor. special interviews with key business decision makers. please fill in the subscription form (below) to receive TheEDGE on a monthly basis. and tips for how you can improve your day-to-day business operations. economic insight and market activity reports. Jaidah Tower PO Box 11596 Doha. with what is happening in Qatar’s business landscape. TheEDGE is delivered straight to the door of the targeted business community. To ensure you keep up-to-date.

Tommy Weir is an authority on fastgrowth and emerging market leadership. what underlines their behaviour. leaders need to be aware and provide greater clarity. But what they need to do is take an active coaching approach to capability development and work with their employees to improve their development areas. Mentalisation – This deals with understanding issues from others’ viewpoints and building a climate of trust. raising questions about how work evaluation. more importantly. 20 TheEDGE . it also means a loss of expected productivity as in the first year of an expatriate assignment the costs are high and the productivity is low. Plus. the quicker and deeper their impact on performance will be. The GCC countries have more nationalities in their workforces than the United Nations does member countries. There is one thing consistent about expatriates – they are not at home. the term is often used in the context of professionals sent abroad by their companies. Coaching – When working with expatriates there is definitely going to be a variation in the workforce in regards to capability and quality. leaders need to develop the ability to understand the mental state of others and. The depth of belonging an employee feels at work has a connection to how well they perform. Failure does not just mean turnover. When working with expatriates. given the new work environment. 24 percent of all expatriate assignments end prematurely. The percentage of expatriates in the GCC private sector is among the highest around the world. Tommy Weir. o you want to be a great leader in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)? It makes no difference if you are an expatriate or national.MIDDLE EAST MATTERS EXPATRIATE EXPERT The greatest cost to GCC businesses are the expatriates who are not effective. These adjustments are general in regards to adapting to the new host country and specifics relating to the work environment. but to anyone who has left their native land and come here to work. Leaders need to understand how the execution of certain universal practices translates from one culture to another to be able to respond to the specific needs of each team member. In common practice. leadership success in the region is largely dependent on the ability to lead expatriates. what can a leader do to succeed in leading expatriates? Clarity – Role ambiguity is when there is a lack of clarity on the part of an employee about what is expected in the workplace. I am not referring only to the common expatriate stereotype meaning western professionals. as opposed to locally hired staff. Not only does your success as a leader depends on your ability to lead expatriates so do your organisations. Unfortunately. says Dr. yet remain in their positions. The faster leaders are able to do this. it is even more complex as an expatriate has to adjust to their co-workers’ cultures as well. Every leader needs to become an expert in leading expatriates as this is the day-today reality of leading in the region. According to research the failure rate of expatriates in the first year averages 30 percent. when leaders experience this they are tempted to throw their hands in the air and do nothing. Belonging – Adjustments to the culture represent a significant concern when employing expatriates. By expatriates. So. With this number of expatriates in the workforce come many different voices. In the GCC. therefore expatriate effectiveness needs to be a top priority for every leader in the region. the scope of responsibilities and performance expectations. Leaders have an opportunity to create an environment of belonging. and an advisor and author. leaders should not assume that the common language means common understanding. The meaning that is attached to words varies greatly between cultures. At first expatriates commonly feel like an outsider. This is true from the top boss to the janitor. But I like to think of expatriates as people who are not from here. Multilingual in One Language – Just because a workforce is speaking a common language. Dr. Since role ambiguity is most common in expatriate assignments. with it being as high as D 50 percent in some countries.

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a more detailed supporting legal framework and fiscal policy would boost investor confidence. Indeed. the improvement of local air quality and the drive to establish a ‘knowledge-based’ society. Qatar can in turn use this ‘green’ impetus to be a hub for similar development in other countries. the National Development Strategy 2011-2016 encourages environmental development. To promote the use of ‘green’ energy in the short and medium term. and could also act as the main generator of renewable energy fed into the regional grid. both from a domestic and regional perspective: with an indigenous renewable energy research and manufacturing industry. Qatar could become a regional leader in renewable energy-focused manufacturing. Solar-powered desalination infrastructure to irrigate agriculture or solar-powered ‘vertical farming’ and hydroponic solutions. this generated ‘excess capacity’ of resources could be re-directed towards lucrative global export markets and valuable intellectual capital brought in to augment the knowledge-based society. By reducing the domestic consumption of Qatar’s fossil fuels. say Rudiger Tscherning and James Elwen ThE casE FoR REnEwaBlEs The case for renewable energy ties in with the Qatar National Vision 2030 ‘sustainability’ agenda. This approach mirrors the excellent work of the Qatar National Food Security Programme. A clear mandate will accelerate the Vision’s aim of establishing a comprehensive legal system for protection of all elements of the environment. whereby food is grown intensively in skyscrapers coated in solar panels.ENERgY & RESEaRCH QAtAr’S rENEWABLE EnERgy PoTEnTIal Qatar is currently without an overall policy on the expansion and development of renewable energy infrastructure. . are just two examples of this green energy potential. continuing the research activities at Qatar Science and Technology Park. since the use of renewable energy in Qatar would also contribute to long-term economic survival. for sustainable agriculture and food security. With a clear policy direction. which is consistent with the National Vision. which endorses renewable energy to achieve food security and economic diversification. There is long term potential.

and ensure that essential community infrastructure will have a consistent and reliable supply of electricity. The views expressed by the authors are personal and do not necessarily represent those of Qatar University or McGrigors LLP. With its reputation for political and economic stability. Localised generation of electricity could also be used to distribute green power or heat to manufacturing zones or retail developments. The success of the German policy now sees industry and financial organisations driving the ‘Desertec Initiative’ to develop giant solar power capacity in Middle East and North Africa. Integration of renewable energy into existing and future energy and transport in Qatar will not entail major changes. Bringing renewable energy into existing and future energy and transport infrastructure in Qatar will not entail burdensome changes to sustained development. 24 TheEDGE . Capital in cash can be deployed by the state domestically and in renewables sectors in these overseas markets such as Germany and Scotland. REnEwaBlE PoTEnTIal By 2017. could serve to be mutually beneficial for Qatar. the revamped Khalifa Stadium will be carbon-neutral. powered and climate controlled entirely by solar energy. transforming their renewable energy expertise into lucrative manufacturing export industries.ENERGY & RESEARCH EsTaBlIshEd naTIons In the global context. The ErneuerbareEnergien Gesetz. Scotland is now reallocating and employing the skills. coupled with world leading research and development in marine and carbon capture and storage technologies (CCS). while large scale projects have been promoted by the Renewables Obligation since 2002. the stadium could ‘double up’ as a locally distributed power plant. and investment in the form of intellectual capital. Germany and Scotland are excellent examples for Qatar in the field of large-scale expansion of renewable energy. James Elwen is Managing Partner of the Doha office of McGrigors LLP law firm and a specialist in international oil/gas law. there are real opportunities for developing CCS projects. Germany’s experience at expanding renewable energy and Scotland’s experience of swift and successful cross-over from hydrocarbons to a leader in renewables. Qatar would be an attractive regional research and manufacturing centre for renewable energy technologies in general. A fully integrated renewable energy generation infrastructure in Qatar could also be developed in conjunction with national railway transport infrastructure projects. With an advanced and strategically located oil and gas infrastructure in place. renewable energy and energy infrastructure law. sets out a fixed compensation model for producers of renewable energy. Renewable energy from localised generation could climate control the Metro stations. Outside the periods of use. all underpinned by binding climate change targets on industry. Smart-grid technology will effectively allocate renewable energy to centres of peak electricity demand. but only with a clear renewable energy policy. Rudiger Tscherning is Director of the Forum on Energy and Environmental Law at Qatar University College of Law and a specialist in energy and environmental law. This makes for a logical opportunity to develop a network of electric car charging points that radiate from the parallel rail and electrification infrastructure. to facilitate transmission of green power from offshore wind in the north of the country to centres of manufacturing in the south. this renewable grid infrastructure could feed into the Gulf power grid as reserve capacity. consisting of what is known as a ‘feed-in tariff’. Germany and Scotland. for example. Such ‘renewable energy clusters’ may also serve as educational tools and as examples of innovative uses of alternative energy sources. can be imported to help realise Qatar’s National Vision. the electricity generated can be redirected by way of smart-grids to cool or heat local schools or hospitals. support ticket halls and information boards and complement the electricity generated for running the rail lines. But rather than leave this infrastructure under utilised when no events are scheduled. In light of Qatar’s vast solar energy potential. Efficient electricity grid maximisation is already in the advanced stages of study in Germany. serving as a precedent for Qatar’s 2022 World Cup event infrastructure. as part of energy-efficient urban development. Smaller scale renewables are also supported similarly in Scotland. such as the Doha Metro. typically during the daytime. Germany first introduced a statutory financial support mechanism to encourage the expansion of renewable energy in 1991. expertise and infrastructure from oil and gas to sustain an offshore renewables industry. thereby balancing the existing fossil-fuel base load electricity supplies. In the long term. Qatar has enormous renewable energy potential as the state enjoys abundant sunlight and boasts a notable offshore wind potential in its territorial waters.

and all the ingredients are in place to generate an LP gas glut and a drop in prices. Propane and butane are typically produced along with natural gas. As the price of natural gas has dropped over the past 18 months. GTL offers a way to tackle the problem of associated and stranded gas – gas reserves located far from existing pipeline infrastructure and markets.hse-me. the production of propane and butane – and hence LP gas – increases too. The result? Large amounts of shale gas are now coming on the market. says US-based Tad Dritz D in shale gas production has been a significant additional growth in LP gas production. Combine that with the growth in production of so-called ‘unconventionals’. 1 Aug 2010. bringing big changes in EnERgy and REsEaRch BRIEFs 7TH ANNUAL HSE FORUM The seventh annual Health and Safety Forum in Energy (HSE) is set to take place from 10 to 12 October 2011 at the Grand Hyatt in Doha. Delegates were optimistic that the Abu Dhabi workshop has led to greater common understanding of the issues facing the sector. TheEDGE 25 . Associated gas produced along with oil is frequently disposed of by flaring – a wasteful and environmentally unfriendly process that is increasingly subject to regulation – or by re-injection back into the reservoir at considerable expense. And because shale gas wells generally contain a higher percentage of LP components than natural gas wells. more shale gas plays are being exploited and the productivity of shale gas wells has been greatly improved. as well as identification of viable solutions that could form the basis of a possible global agreement later this year. This is because synthetic fuels include fuels produced from processes such as biomass to liquids (BTL) and gas to liquids (GTL). minister of energy and industry in Qatar and chairman of QP. The Race to Liquids.ENERGY & RESEARCH LP GAS: TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING efined as a gas that can be turned into a liquid fuel under relatively low pressure. the Oil & Gas Financial Journal [vol 7. such as shale gas. and the number of new gas wells is increasing steadily. Rather than being transported to refineries for processing. with the risk of oversupply and a drop in both gas and LP gas prices. According to an article in the authoritative publication. one of the primary factors for drop in gas prices during the 18 months since January 2009 is a continuing oversupply of natural gas due to prolific production from shale plays. issue 8. The Forum is being held under the patronage of HE Dr. But looking ahead into the not-too-distant future an increase in synthetic fuel production could have the side effect of bringing even more LP gas into the market. Moreover. liquified petroleum (LP) gas consists of propane and butane. as well as more then 35 HSE experts on the leader’s panel from the top minds of the energy industry. Interest in GTL – a technology once thought to be of little relevance in North America – is increasingly now. A wide range of presentations gave delegates a current picture of managing CCS projects.000 standard cubic feet (mscf) of natural gas – has increased. a side effect of the growth Natural gas is a boom industry in the United States (US) and Canada. And that production is set to grow as producers continue to increase their output while lowering their costs. or methane. HSE manager at QP. such as fracturing or hydrofracking. www. includes a keynote address by Saad Al Kubaisi. Russell Braziel]. stranded gas is often just left in the ground. Qatar. That’s the present situation. Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada. A looming financial disaster? Not necessarily. then factor in a coming wave in synthetic fuel production. these abundant sources of energy that are often squandered. due partly to the introduction of stiffer environmental regulations and partly to a growing disconnect between oil and gas prices. the spread – or ratio between the price of a barrel of oil to that of 1. However. thanks to improvements in drilling and extraction technologies. from gas wells. not only does natural gas production increase. As the number of new gas wells grows. by UAE WORKSHOP ON CCS SUCCESS The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) made important progress towards allowing support for carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) at a technical workshop hosted in September in Abu Dhabi by the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) ministry of foreign affairs.

“Our strategy for nuclear power will not change because of the Fukushima incident. in September. we cannot condemn an entire industry. emitting just 81 percent of the CO2 per kWh produced by oil. “We have the raw materials and expertise. panel discussions. this process also generates waxes. UAE. LP gas is already widely used around the world as an alternative to electricity and heating oil (kerosene). And with the growth in synthetic fuels production will come an increase in LP gas production. In theory this growth in LP production could lead to a glut and a resulting drop in prices. synthetic fuels production in North America looks set to increase even more. The fuels produced via BTL can be substituted directly into existing fuel systems without the need for blending. I think producers should consider it as an opportunity to develop new markets for what is – after all – an important commodity in the energy mix. “There will be much greater emphasis on nuclear safety but…just because of Fukushima. They also burn cleaner than petroleum-based diesel and jet fuels. stressed that his country has to develop nuclear power because it faces an energy crisis and safety concerns should not be an issue. This is because as well as the methane used in synthetic liquid fuels. An exhibition and extensive presentations. government and industry leaders agreed in a session on energy security at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2011. natural gas prices seem to have become independent from oil prices. if we can develop ever more innovative technology to increase efficiency for LP production. It is increasingly used to replace chlorofluorocarbons as an aerosol propellant and a refrigerant to reduce damage to the ozone layer.” Mohamed bin Dhaen Al Hamli. NUCLEAR STILL IN WORLD FUTURE Despite fears among the public about the risks following the Fukushima reactor disaster in Japan.ENERGY & RESEARCH hydrocarbon markets in its wake. In contrast. minister of energy of the UAE underlined. used to crack the waxes to produce liquid fuels. from 23 – 25 October 2011.” SMART ENERGY MIDDLE EAST 2011 The fifth annual Smart Energy Middle East Conference and Exhibition will be held at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Dubai. as a fuel for combined heat and power stations and as a fuel in vehicles. Over 200 senior executives from the region’s utilities and energy sectors will gather to learn from leading global experts. Because the latter are essentially surplus to the synthetic fuel production process. Surely. including agricultural. releasing fewer particulates than heavier hydrocarbons. BTL can be used to produce biofuels from a very wide range of waste feedstocks. The event will also incorporate the Metering International Excellence Awards in the form of the Smart Energy Excellence 2011 Award.” he said. LP gas is a valuable hydrocarbon-based fuel source in a world where hydrocarbon resources are not unlimited. imaginative creative ways to market and take advantage of this valuable Tad Dritz is a Marketing Manager for the Oxford Catalysts Group in Ohio. with the result that the spread ratio in North America has increased to greater than 20 and is expected to remain elevated for years or even decades. resulting in lower emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and harmful particulates. operators may look to export them in the form of LP gas. Mir Changez Khan Jamali. and ligno-cellulosic waste from trees. Nuclear power will necessarily remain an important part of the energy security strategies of many countries. and less than 50 percent of that emitted by coal-generated electricity distributed via the grid. With the development of cost-effective technologies that enable economical small scale and local production (also known as distributed production) of biofuels via BTL and small scale GTL to be carried out offshore. The event aims to examine how the GCC region can achieve energy sustainability. But rather than looking at increasing LP production in the US as a challenge to profitability. In the US the oil/gas spread has historically varied between around six and 12. Smart Utility 2011 Award and Smart Technology Innovation 2011 Award. But beginning in mid-2009. we can come up with new. as well as the Middle East. workshops and networking sessions will take place. www. especially fastgrowing economies such as China and India that are building new plants. “We need nuclear energy because of our energy deficit. operational excellence and customer engagement. 70 percent of that produced by coal. animal and municipal wastes. USA. propane and butane. The UAE is building four nuclear power plants. 26 TheEDGE .” Pakistan’s minister of science and Technology. A large spread presents an arbitrage opportunity – and an incentive to use GTL technology to turn abundant North American natural gas into synthetic fuels. energy security is a major driver in North America behind the growing interest in biofuels. It also offers other environmental advantages. In addition it burns more ‘cleanly’. the first of which is slated to go on stream in 2017. LP gas is also a byproduct of hydrocracking.smartgridsme. nuclear power still has a strong future.




“Pakistanis are strong and good workers and there is an acknowledgement of this in Qatar. the fact that it took more than a decade for the country’s ruler to return is not reflective of the esteem both Qatar and Pakistan hold for one other.COUNTRY FOCUS PaKIsTan: BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS A long history of friendship.” says Khanzada. mutual respect and ongoing and ever-improving diplomatic and commercial relationships indicate that the fortunes of Qatar and its close neighbour Pakistan will forever be bound together. Khanzada. there were more than 130.” the ambassador.” says newly arrived Pakistani Ambassador to Qatar. which he is keen to capitalise on. “That’s a heavy toll. that created a great deal of goodwill. one million in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and 1. which in turn have led to well documented unrest. plus a further 5000 security and military personnel. he is being literal.4 million in the United States (US). At its peak in the 1980s.000 Pakistanis in Qatar but this number has declined to the current 80. There are 1. including the 2008 earthquake that devastated the country and the 2010 flooding that caused damage and large-scale loss of life.5 billion). “Many moved on because their projects finished.” According to the Pakistan Economic Survey 2010-11. The remittances of Pakistanis living abroad have played an important role in Pakistan’s economy.” Upon his arrival in Qatar in April.000 people have lost their lives in Pakistan.” he says. who was previously stationed in Qatar from 1987 to 1991. around 50. Qatar’s Pakistani numbers are small compared to the seven million around the globe. Muhammad Sarfraz A. “The relationship between Qatar and Pakistan goes back a long way. Emir of Qatar is planning to make a state visit Pakistan for the first time since 1999. The ambassador believes that Pakistanis are well regarded in the region because there is an understanding of the country’s problems. “Qatar will need an estimated two million workers to complete the projects needed for 2022 and the country’s development. roads and other infrastructure. However. The other reason is that Pakistani semi-skilled and unskilled workers are deemed expensive in comparison to workers from other countries. more than 35. The ambassador believes it was the initial influx of Pakistani workers. the south Asian nation’s economy suffered direct and indirect financial losses up to US$67. But Qatar has also been a friend to Pakistan in troubled times.2 million people of Pakistani origin in Saudi Arabia. to deal with the immediate effects of the disaster and they are still involved. “Pakistanis were here from the very beginning of the country. Khanzada met with HE Sheikh Tamim bin Khalifah Al Thani to discuss the issue of bringing more Pakistani workers to Qatar. adds. Pakistanis helped build this country. He points to the opportunities that exist in Qatar as a way for Pakistan to deal with growing issues of employment and economic deprivation in the country. It was Pakistani labour that helped build many of the country’s original buildings. Pakistanis settled in western Europe and North America are important . The ambassador is also targetting Qatar’s private security needs for the coming decade. “This presents us with a great opportunity. writes Rachel Morris I n early 2012 the office of HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifah Al Thani. But Qatar’s Pakistani population nevertheless contribute a great deal to their home economy. “Qatar was among the first of those nations who immediately sent aid after the news of the floods. which it attributed to its operations against militants since 2001 and the ambassador feels there is a much misunderstanding about what is happening in Pakistan. The meeting resulted in an agreement that Pakistan would be the first port of call for Qatari companies seeking semi.” Khanzada explains. 40 years ago.” he says. “Since 2001 and the ‘War on Terror’ began.000 here today. many of whom are still in Qatar and now own small businesses.” When Khanzada refers to building Qatar. Comparatively. Of that number. including Nepal.93 billion (QR244.000 are participating in the workforce while the remainder are families.and unskilled workers for projects.

also loom large in their future plans with Qatar and talks are underway to import LNG to Pakistan for domestic use. beverages. unlike other countries. “We are looking into a joint venture. “[We are] one of the world’s biggest producers of sporting goods. the US. which is seeking to provide food security for its citizens. the newly renovated and expanded school houses more than 3000 students from early childhood through to senior high school. Pakistan is keen to ensure that it benefits not just financially from the arrangements. a construction company. Since 1973. who would also like to see many further Pakistani nationals in working in Qatar – perhaps.” he reveals. there are only a handful of Pakistani companies operating in Qatar. where the ambassador is working to gain representation for one of Pakistan’s lesser-known industries. Khanzada is also working to bring more skilled Pakistanis to Qatar including medical staff. While his country is rich in terms of resources. “All of the footballs used in the FIFA games are made in Pakistan. The US and UAE are Pakistan’s biggest export partners . GDP per capita (nominal): US$1049 (QR3776). and perhaps aware of the security issues within the country. pakISTaN aT a glaNCE Population: 177 million. The economy of Pakistan is the 47th largest in the world Main industries: textiles. which sees daily rolling blackouts in most big cities.” Khanzada says. finishes Khanzada. Pakistan’s energy shortages. Pakistani expats contributed US$11. and Descon. eight at Al Ahli Hospital and five at Qatar Petroleum. Encompassing support and logistics services for the construction industry as well as labour hire and recruitment companies.” says the ambassador. has been established to provide landscaping services for stadiums and sporting venues. Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries such as Bahrain. Another Pakistani-Qatari joint venture. Qatar and Oman. This is a great opportunity for Pakistan. and Australia. ultimately. We have a lot of fertile land. food processing. machinery. “Pakistan is one of the biggest producers of rice in the world. Saudi Arabia.2 billion (QR40 billion) to the economy in the financial year 2011. The GCC alone accounts for around US$3 billion (QR11 billion) of the above total.COUNTRY FOCUS Qatar will need an estimated two million workers to complete the projects needed for 2022 and the country’s development. One issue of particular importance to the expatriate community in Qatar is the development of the Pakistan Education Centre in Abu Hammour in Doha. an engineering company. Japan.” Other sporting equipment produced in Pakistan includes cricket bats and hockey sticks as well as footballs for various codes and cricket balls. Canada. As per other nations with significant agricultural land.000 or more. he says Pakistan needs assistance to bring these riches to the people. Kuwait.” he adds. However. Pakistani workers in the oil-rich Arab states have been the source of billions dollars of remittances. Beyond that.” he says. chemicals. Pakistan is in talks with land-lacking Qatar and companies such as Hassad Foods. as well as many smaller towns only having power for part of the day. sources of foreign exchange for Pakistan. and clothing. Opened in 1986. However. “It was built and funded by our community. the world’s sixth most populous country. Indeed it is in the sporting realm where Qatar will obviously play a huge role as 2022 nears and the country submits its bid to host the 2020 Olympics. The major source countries of these remittances to Pakistan include the UAE. 100. Qatar Green. “Currently there are 24 Pakistani doctors at Hamad Medical Corporation. who is a kind of de-facto principal of the school. to ensure that Pakistan benefits from this. All of these doctors hold senior positions. They are actively pursuing joint ventures in many areas. steel. Others include Unicorn Pakistan. the United Kingdom and affluent European countries such as Norway.

Ahead of the MENA Investment Management Forum 2011. estimated at 39 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). According to Cerulli Associates. is much lower than the world average of 60 percent. with much of the management undertaken by international companies with little knowledge of the region and its customs. Rachel Morris looks at the opportunities being created in the region and specifically Qatar. while private consumption as a percentage of GDP. The GCC countries display one of the world’s highest savings rates. to be held in Doha this month. McKinsey & Company. n 2007 the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regional onshore assets under management were estimated at US$57 billion (QR207 billion). managing director of Qatarbased Amwal Asset Management says Qatar is on the path to becoming recognised as a regional centre for asset management. looking for high returns in a safe environment. from October 2 to 5 in Doha. both local and international. the MENA Investment Management Forum. . estimated at 37 percent in 2009. assets under management are expected to be over US$100 billion (QR364 billion) by 2012. identifying a long-term trend. Qatar’s continued economic growth is creating real and robust opportunities for new entrants. with the repatriation of funds and the growth in the regional investment management providers. will examine the latest trends in the asset management industry. has estimated that asset management revenues in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region will increase by 10 to 15 percent annually from 2005 to 2015. Samer Solh.SPECIAL FOCUS FINANCIAL CAPITAL tHE rISE OF MENA INvEStMENt As the financial world seems to lurch between a new crisis and recovery. “Qatar is making great strides to establish itself as the regional hub for asset management and it is closer to achieving I Held in association with the Qatar Financial Centre. all eyes are trained on the Middle East. The region is proving that it can offer emerging market returns with the safety and surety of a more mature environment.

including fund managers. insurance companies and endowments who are sensitive to operational due diligence and risk mitigation by their managers. Qatar began with some of the necessary ingredients including increasingly wealthy family offices and early entrants and innovators.” he says. including increasing exposure to growing regional markets. In addition. which met with huge investor demand. This includes having advantageous regulatory and legal regimes. transparency and regulatory requirements. global investors will re-focus on the larger regional picture such as the long term wealth creation in the GCC. The Qatar stock market. the regional prognosis. “The first trend is size segmentation. but the experts are hopeful of a future shift. Regulation is driven by political reaction to the financial failures and shocks that affected the markets in 2008 and 2009. to reassess the trust level they placed in fund managers who would just fly in from the United States.SPECIAL FOCUS this goal than other locations. upgraded to ‘emerging market’ status. “As situations eventually stabilise.” This month’s MENA Investment Management Forum held October 2 to 5 in Doha (formerly Fund Forum Middle East). That ought to be a very significant catalyst to help Qatar advance over other regional financial centres. which.” Solh TheEDGE 33 . we expect increased infrastructure funding to be financed through Eurobond and local currency bond issuances. To survive. is growing each year. Qatar is creating and growing its domestic public securities markets. this means that both emerging and established investment managers now have higher operating costs to meet infrastructure. This began with the formalisation of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and Qatar Holding. “The market meltdowns in 2008 and 2009 convinced regional investors. As Qatar progresses toward eventual inclusion in global stock benchmarks that will attract liquidity on the investor side. Finally. which is held in association with the QFC. such as derivatives. as investors became more sophisticated.” The MENA Investment Management Forum will be held from October 2 to 5 at the Grand Hyatt Doha. Add to that the Qatari government’s focus and effort to develop an institutional investor base. shrinking or closing down. they started demanding more and better services. Operational risk management is driven by the overwhelming capital of institutional investors such as pension funds. the climate in Qatar is conducive to the creation of a regional hub for asset management – one of the key points in the Qatar Financial Centre’s (QFC) strategy. Middle-sized managers are consolidating. the Qatar Exchange’s initiatives to increase local listings and to adopt global best practices in settlements and rules all contribute to deepening liquidity. has somewhat slowed interest. According to Solh. investors’ needs became greater. which would further buoy interest and investor confidence. will examine the latest trends experts are seeing in the asset management industry regionally and globally. we are seeing the acceleration of two trends that have been in effect for a number of years.” According to Solh. he explains as wealth continued to grow over the last decade. importantly.” reveals Solh. who invested in global strategies they thought were safe. “In addition. high profile managers closing their funds to outside money to focus on managing personal family wealth. with 43 listed companies. the attractive and expanding consumer populations in Turkey. convenient and competitively priced business services infrastructure and. For more information go to www. On the equity side. a strong talent pool. There are other incentives to keep it local. The announced creation of a short term Qatari riyal T-bill programme is an important step to eventually creating a local currency yield curve. “Combined with the rise of local institutional investor base and the eventual upgrading of the Qatari and UAE markets to ‘emerging market’ this will ultimately cause appetite for regional funds to grow. “As a consequence.” he says. The regional events of the past 10 months which saw revolutions in north Africa and unrest in other quarters. Qatar has also been discussing a programme to allocate significant seed capital to asset managers that establish themselves in the country.menaimf. A review in June failed to change the status.” According to Solh. we have seen a number of effects: investment banks shutting down or spinning off proprietary trading desks. with nearly US$3. and the growth of emerging manager platforms to seed new funds while providing operational oversight and infrastructure. Meanwhile the Qatar Exchange in partnership with New York Stock Exchange Euronext continues to develop plans for new future products.5 billion (QR13 billion) of issues from Qatar in 2010.” he told TheEDGE before the forum. The market for bonds and sukuks has also increased substantially. “The second trend is increased emphasis on regulation and operational risk management. “Qatar’s government and regulators have been important catalysts in transforming the market into such a regional hub for asset management and insurance to tap into the country’s vast wealth. the establishment of the QFC provided a global best practice framework for the financial services industry which is evolving to meet the needs of the industry. you need either asset scale with a strong brand name and distribution or you have a differentiated niche strategy with a unique edge in a small but inefficient and compelling strategy. rose nearly 25 percent in 2010 making it the best performing market among all the GCC and Middle Eastern exchanges last year. as decided by the index compiler Morgan Stanley Capital International. On the fixed income side. a capital-rich base of investors. Qatar is lobbying to have its status. which will be examined at the Forum.” On the regional front. Egypt and Saudi Arabia and the world leading energy and petrochemicals industries in Qatar and Saudi Arabia. “On the global front. United Kingdom and Europe just to raise capital. The government subsequently helped establish national pension schemes and other endowments which all have increasing capital to invest. To start. “Any wealth management hub requires a sustainable and dynamic business ecosystem. is more difficult for London or Geneva-based investment managers and advisers to offer due to distance and culture. understandably.


42). (P. (P. In ‘Thumbs Up. Brought to you by: . • Inside Edge: Manjeet Chhabra investigates the robust status quo and future potential of Qatar’s banking sector. commodities and the QFC’s recent Reinsurance Barometer.40). we cover world and local markets.FINaNCE & ECONOmICS Market Watch • InsIDe eDge • specIal report • Balance sheet • econoMIc BaroMeter ThE PowER oF cREdIT RaTIngs (P. • Balance sheet: Janak Patwari discusses the importance of corporate vision and mission statement to the bottom line and how these can be implemented effectively.36). Thumbs Down’ Karim Nakhle takes a closer look at these institutions. also In ThIs sEcTIon: • market watch: In our newly revamped Market Watch pages. • special Report: Matt Ghazarian reports on recent statistics released that indicated that Qatar is the world’s fastest growing economy. along with Fitch and Moody’s make up the ‘big three’ US credit ratings agencies.44) Traders work in the Standard and Poor’s (S&P) 500 options pit at the Chicago Board Options Exchange in the United States (US).38). S&P. (P. (P. which many feel wield too much power and influence.

could impact the outlook of emerging economies. In the near term. a major hurdle for launching the next most anticipated measure by the Fed. the elevated debt crisis of Greece has so far continued to concern policymakers. 36 TheEDGE . In the near term. A landmark decision by the International Energy Agency (IEA) to release strategic oil stock has also played a role in bringing the price of crude down.6 trillion) stimulus package by the Obama administration and new steps that the European Central Bank will take to avoid debt contagion from spreading after its recent market intervention. on account of sensitive political shifts taking place in a number of Middle Eastern countries. COmmOdITIES CORNER gOld SHINES. This uncertain outlook has made global financial markets fragile as bearish investor sentiment. However. which has so far failed to bring down the high unemployment rate. despite relatively high crude prices on which outlook of the region’s oil-rich nations depend. In the Euro Area.000 mark. This flight has pushed the price of gold to a new record peak of US$1923 (QR7000) per ounce as investors continue to remain cautious about the slowing growth in the US and Euro Area. investors are expected to closely monitor developments surrounding the recently announced US$447 billion (QR1. The benchmark US stock market index. is the inflation rate. investors have once again chosen to take refuge in gold. aimed at A Greek citizen draws money from an Athens teller machine amid lowering Italian and increasing scepticism whether the country will in fact be able to honour its sovereign debt. expecting consumption of petroleum products to reach 89. which in all probability could rise with another round of treasury purchase programme. In the midst of global economic uncertainty. estimates by the IEA have remained optimistic. Similar to what we are witnessing elsewhere around the world. But due to higher price.3 million barrels per day in late 2011. strong demand especially from emerging giants like China and India has lately supported the price of the commodity. Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). Outlook for the US and subsequently of most global financial markets very much depends on what steps the Federal Reserve (Fed) will take to safeguard its still nascent recovery. Indeed. though at the time of writing this was declining. stock market indices of all six GCC nations are trading in negative territory for year-to-date returns. Although a second bailout package has been approved for the troubled nation. which is giving a hard time to investors to foresee where the world’s biggest economy is heading. who are still struggling to come up with a solution to address the fears of the global investment community. the demand for metal has fallen by 17 percent year-on-year during the second quarter. many economic experts are still sceptical and believe that these measures alone may not solve the problem. Much of this decline is caused by the last minute agreement on raising the debt ceiling and the decision by Standard and Poor’s to lower the sovereign ratings of the nation to ‘AA+’. which if it persists. after peaking to around 12. Ostensibly the recent price rally has been driven by investment demand as according to the World Gold Council. has knocked-off gains made during the last year. which continues to trade above the key psychological mark of US$100 (QR364) per barrel. and that fundamental future reforms must be implemented. The oil price. within a short span of time.OIl wEakENS. at least in the short term. has weakened in recent months after peaking at a two year high of US$127 (QR462) per barrel for Brent Crude during the beginning of current year. a 14 percent retreat. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) financial markets have not remained isolated from global developments and have declined in tandem with the weak global cues. there are no signs of reduction in market volatility especially due to mixed reading of major economic indicators in US.5 billion (QR161 billion).MARKET WATCH glOBal maRkET waTCH by DhEERaJ shahDaDpuRi wORld REpORT: Battle BetWeen Bulls anD Bears returns The unresolved European debt crisis and weakening United States (US) economic growth have continued to inflate fears of another round of global economic slowdown. which has a direct correlation with the equities. Despite these factors.800 levels during the beginning of May is now trading around the 11. Quantitative Easing (popularly termed as QE3). (Image Corbis) Spanish bond yields. in value terms demand for the metal has increased five percent to reach US$44.

when only 29 percent expected stable or increasing prices.5 percent. This represents a major change in the outlook compared with the results in the previous research at the beginning of 2011.. Based on its natural wealth. Kai-Uwe Schanz (pictured) further about the barometer: ThE BaRomETER sEEms To IndIcaTE sTRong gRowTh? Reinsurance in the GCC region is poised to keep growing at a faster rate than GDP. The growth prospects of reinsurers are also driven by the fact GCC insurance markets are among the world’s fastest growing.2 percent respectively. From the perspective of Qatar’s insurance companies reinsurance can be viewed as a (massive) substitute for capital. which has given cushion to the government for allocating huge investments especially in the infrastructure space.MARKET WATCH QaTaR STOCk wEIgHT OF glOBal ECONOmIC maRkET UNCERTaINTY CONTINUES The effects of global economic turbulence are lately also being felt on the Qatar Stock Market which after reaching a two year high of 9242 in mid January has given up its gains and is now trading in negative territory for year-to-date (YTD) returns. increasingly successful economic diversification strategies and the nascent stage of domestic insurance markets the Gulf region remains a growth area. director strategic development of the Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA). “It is clear from the research findings. However the services sector (down 9. This could be attributed to the fact that investors continue to remain confident in the strength of the domestic economic activity. Qatari insurers are simply too small to shoulder these mega risks – and it would probably be neither economically feasible nor sensible to try to do so. as compared to its GCC peers.9 percent and 4. In addition. which has stayed robust on account of soaring hydrocarbon revenues. which are down 8. These risks are too big to be absorbed by the domestic insurance community and need to be diversified across the global reinsurance market.” TheEDGE spoke exclusively to report compiler Dr.” said Akshay Randeva. NEw QFCa gCC REINSURaNCE BaROmETER The latest edition of the GCC Insurance Barometer shows 92 percent of experts expect reinsurance prices in the GCC to stabilise or increase over the next one to two years. as well as Shari’ah-compliant insurance (takaful). This reflects a very strong pipeline of large infrastructure. This is followed by the industrial sector and insurance sub-sector. construction and energy projects. the domestic insurance market offers too little scope for risk diversification – the core competency and value proposition of the global reinsurance community.a majority of respondents do not expect the most recent political developments to adversely affect the prospects of insurance and reinsurance in the region. Qatar’s cession rate should come down as personal lines (for example health insurance) grow in importance. the Qatar Stock Market has been supported by the index heavyweights in banking and the financial subindex. which offers highly attractive diversification opportunities. “that the GCC region remains a very attractive market for the global reinsurance industry. However. so far the losses on the Qatar market have stayed relatively limited. why aRE PRIcEs ExPEcTEd To IncREasE? Qatar’s insurance markets are dominated by ‘heavy’ commercial risks (for example construction and energy).2 percent) is the biggest loser in terms of YTD August returns. down 3. TheEDGE 37 .8 percent YTD August-end. which has so far stayed in positive territory till august-end with minuscule gains of 0. Further. Over time. do woRld and REgIonal EVEnTs and ThE gloBal IndusTRy haVE a maRKEd EFFEcT on ThE gcc? [Thanks to] the Arab Spring.. The GCC’s non-life insurance penetration (as a share of GDP) is one percent – same as Africa and a third of the global average. despite major sell-off being witnessed particularly in financial stocks elsewhere around the world. fuelled by demand for compulsory motor and medical insurance.

a United States (US) dollar peg has necessitated a loose monetary policy in Qatar in line with the one prevalent in the US.5 billion (QR27 billion) by the way of the purchase of domestic investment portfolios of banks. three finance companies and three investment companies. The customer deposits base also widened at a healthy pace. from QR189. National Bank of Qatar conducted a 25 percent rights issue for the sole purpose of expanding its capital base to brace for future growth opportunities. the government and the Qatar Central Bank undertook several steps to augment the banks’ liquidity positions and to soften the overall tight credit scenario. the QIA subscribed another five percent of the rAPID GrOWtH t share capital of the national banks for another QR2. Non-performing loans have been growing in absolute and relative terms. categorised as Traditional National Banks (seven). At the beginning of 2009. writes Manjeet Chhabra. After keeping the interest rate at two percent until the first half of 2010. but the difficult business scenario seems to have posed obstacles to impressive growth.3 percent from QR102. This is further expected to bolster credit off-take as banks can borrow at lower costs. Over the same period. During the same period. which wanted to sell them. the government conducted a loans purchase programme under which it purchased QR14. the QIA bought QR2. with a CAGR of 26.5 percent during 2006-2010. but stricter norms on consumer . All foreign banks and the finance and investment companies are private entities. After a round of financing from the government in 2009 and later in the first half of 2011.5 billion. The total asset base of commercial banks operating in Qatar has grown at a compound CAGR of 31. total credit advanced by the commercial banks grew at a CAGR of 32.3 billion worth of equity in the Commercial Bank of Qatar and Doha Bank in the first half of 2011.8 billion at the end of 2010. Other listed banks have been making inroads over the past couple of years. Similarly they also advance slightly more than 70 percent of all the loans and advances in Qatar.5 billion. With nearly US$100 billion (QR364 billion) worth of investments being planned between 2010 and 2015 in Qatar. the Central Bank further lowered policy rate to one percent in April 2011. public spending is going to be a primary force driving credit growth over the next five years. In December. This restructuring of real estate and equity portfolios helped contain the loan loss provisions of the Qatari banks and the banks ended up having a very low ratio of non-performing loans. Qatar Islamic Bank and Commercial Bank of Qatar account for the majority of more than 80 percent of total assets.INSIDE EDGE BANKING ON A well-performing financial environment and burgeoning public expenditure are directly beneficial to the banking system of a domestic economy. After a decision in late 2008.46 billion at the end of 2006 to QR306. On the other hand. he Qatari government has supported the domestic banking sector significantly in recent times. in order to help the system to tackle problems posed by the global financial crisis. the government then infused another US$6. In March of that year. QaTaRI BaNkINg laNdSCapE The Qatari financial system comprises of 18 banks. who takes a closer look at the Qatari banking ecosystem. In another round of capital infusion.4 billion worth of loans and real estate investments that national banks wished to sell. capital adequacy of all the listed banks have remained well above the 10 percent level stipulated by the Central Bank.33 percent as deposits expanded from QR120. In June 2009.5 billon to QR567.5 billion. The Qatari listed banks account for close to 70 percent of the total assets base of the banking system. Qatar National Bank. Since 2006. the listed banks are well capitalised to tackle any sort of hurdles related to credit supply. Traditional Foreign Banks (seven) and Islamic National Banks (four). Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) bought five percent of the capital of all national banks except Qatar National Bank (QNB) amounting to around QR2. Among the listed banks.55 billion to QR314.7 billion.

but it goes without saying that other banks too will realise the potential and spruce up their presence in public spending. lOOkINg FORwaRd The Qatari economy grew at a 15. laTEST REgUlaTORY UpdaTES In February 2011. The robust growth levels have been made possible by the significant enhancement of liquefied natural gas capacities in the country. Qatar National Bank and Masraf Al Rayan have a strong presence in this space. This has virtually led to a complete segregation of the conventional and Islamic banking segments unlike the global peer countries in which Islamic banking is offered hand in hand with conventional banking. which were seen primarily emanating from the consumer loan book. Looking beyond the credit growth impact. Later in April 2011 the Central Bank announced stricter regulations pertaining to retail lending with an aim to reduce leverage in that segment. Islamic banking entities will benefit in the medium term due to a low level of competition in a segment. But overall stringent norms in retail lending might impact credit growth in that segment which will affect Islamic as well as conventional banks. lending will help in bettering the ratio. have shown the least signs of abatement. On the back of robust revenue streams. The central bank’s regulation will be good for the Islamic players as conventional lenders will have to either convert their Islamic loans into conventional loans or sell them to the Islamic finance providers. Public sector lending increased by more than 35 percent in 2010 and represented close to 35 percent of the total loans. Currently. The physical and social infrastructure spending prioritised by the government over the medium term will expand financing opportunities for the banks.INSIDE EDGE TOTAL ASSETS OF LISTED COMMERCIAL BANKS The robust macroeconomic fundamentals of the growing Qatari economy will prove immensely beneficial to the banks in the GCC state. the Qatari government has outlined a slew of expenditure projects running into billions. the Qatar Central Bank came out with a regulation under which conventional commercial banks have to discontinue their Islamic operations by the end of 2011. The Central Bank’s step came after the assets quality deterioration. which has witnessed high growth levels in the recent past. domestic credit growth rates remained very high but have softened in the past couple of years. In the period prior to the global financial crisis. the stricter norms will help in tackling the problem of nonperforming loans. This is a contrast to the private sector’s credit growth rate of around eight percent. Public sector lending will remain a mainstay for the banks in Qatar as the government implements massive public projects over the next decade. which ensued in the retail segment after the 2008 crisis. The robust macroeconomic fundamentals of the growing Qatari economy will prove immensely beneficial to the banks here. But some sectors. TheEDGE 39 . which have been sustained by government and governmentowned entities.7 percent pace in 2010 and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that in 2011 it will fare even better with a growth target of more than 20 percent.

it is a rate that would still be considered remarkable by most countries. Analyst forecasts see this rising to 3. Qatar’s sizeable housing stock means supply has kept pace with demand. which is not high given a 20 percent-plus GDP growth rate. The non-hydrocarbons economy achieved a CAGR of 16.2 percent for full-year 2011. other sectors will become increasingly important for driving the economy and boosting external competitiveness.9 percent in July 2011.000 bpd. is both providing much-needed infrastructure and services and sustaining momentum in a slack global economy. The construction sector’s resurgence will also be key. one of Qatar’s biggest economic challenges has been inflation. since Qatar plans to stop expanding its gas capacity after 2012 to prevent oversupply. Qatar is expected to see 21 percent real growth in 2011. while the IMF expects three percent. In 2009. where it is a world leader. The inflation rate remains relatively low. at an annual 1. Its LNG capacity is expected to rise to 77 million tonnes by the end of the year from 62 million tonnes in 2010. growing 29. Qatar was the world’s fastest-growing economy between 2006 and 2010. particularly with demand stimulus from government and private spending. even amid concerns surrounding the United States (US) economy’s health.SPECIAL REPORT QATAR WORLD’S fAStESt ECONOmY W By Matt Ghazarian hile many economies worldwide are still sluggish or face another recession. The government is also able to spend heavily at a time when others are not. . And though this number was down from 25.4 percent between 2006 and 2010. the eurozone’s stability and the sustainability of China’s GDP growth.4 percent the previous year. The non-oil and gas sector is forecast to grow 14. Though this output is below the country’s overall production capacity of one million bpd – as Qatar is restricted by OPEC commitments – the extra capacity cushion does enable it to ramp up crude output if world supply falls. Qatar is continuing to expand production of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Crude oil output growth will be more modest. according to a recent report by Doha-based QNB Capital. even in an excellent year. part of Qatar National Bank. support for the banking system and a demand-stimulus rise in public spending.6 percent. both 2009 and 2010 were deflationary when measured by the consumer price index. office space and industrial developments will be partnered with huge government investments in infrastructure and social facilities. QNB Capital forecasts the Qatari oil and gas sector will expand by almost a third in 2011. Private sector demand for homes. from 780. Having survived the international economic storm. with the country’s core sectors performing strongly. Matt Ghazarian is an editorial contributor at Oxford Business Group. Qatar’s dollar peg limits its ability to head off inflationary pressure with monetary policy. Qatar’s financial system is well capitalised and has low levels of non-performing loans. such as schools and hospitals.5 percent.000 barrels per day (bpd) to around 800. QNB Capital. financial services and construction expanding. and points out that. Public expenditure. Qatar is focusing on diversification and increasing exports of processed goods over raw materials. The IMF praised the Qatar authorities’ rapid counter-cyclical policy response. which included continued increases in gas-processing capacity. keeping more value local. Qatar saw real gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 8. A number of new petrochemicals projects are underway that will support the expansion of the valueadded economy. with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15. according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). with sectors such as manufacturing. unlike in many other emerging markets where tight housing markets have led to rental inflation. Though inflation reached 15 percent in 2008. has said public investments in the natural gas industry and other sectors have helped drive both rapid growth and diversification of the economy. Qatar is now strongly positioned to continue its rapid ascent. much geared towards the 2022 World Cup.7 percent. so inflation remains a risk. The IMF forecasts nine percent non-hydrocarbons growth from 2012 to the end of 2015. With growth so strong. worth US$185 billion (QR674 billion) over the coming decade.1 percent. an increase driven largely by natural gas.


It did not matter what job the janitor was responsible for. But their contribution as a platform for growth and alignment. these future empires are ostensibly built over the envisioned scenarios created in the minds of the founding entrepreneur. Vision: This is a shared mental image or picture that describes a company’s desired future state. the president saw a man mopping the floor. writes Janak patwari I n the early 1960s. Typically. Core Values: Core Values are a set of timeless guiding principles of an organisation that represent the essence of a corporation’s character and personality and that of its owners and employees. Do the corporates across the globe today accord due importance to their company’s Vision and Mission? Are their Vision/Mission statements simple enough to connect with all employees and stakeholders? dEFInITIon and PuRPosE “The empires of the future are empires of the mind. Goals: These represent the vision broken down to specific targets. companies design the following kinds of statement categories to describe what the organisation stands and aspires to… Mission: This is the organisation’s fundamental reason for being. visited the headquarters of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). While the Mission and Vision would be largely qualitative. Kennedy. . I’m helping to put a man on the moon!” This story reflects how entrenched the mission of NASA was among its employees. he was driven by the mission to place a man on the moon and he believed that his role contributed in the larger mission of NASA. He stopped and asked the man what he did at NASA. The janitor proudly said to him. “Sir. the goals could be quantitative in nature. when the race for space exploration was heating up. then United States president John F.” said Winston Churchill. The concepts of a company having a ‘Vision’ and ‘Mission Statement’ are well known in business circles. In the modern corporate environment. board or senior management of the company.BALANCE SHEET It’S A VISION THING But while this story provides valuable lessons for today’s corporates. are often underestimated and underutilised. This usually does not change over long periods of time. founding members. it also raises questions. While touring the facility. and thus to the bottom line and success of corporations. It is ambitious and acts as a source of focus and motivation.

companies should be careful about the pitfalls inherent in the process and take the necessary and adequate steps to ensure success. suppliers and employees to the shared vision and values. they are only as good as the strategic plan and work plans designed to support it. Irrespective of the length of these statements. vision remains merely some showcase statements that bear little relevance to reality. selection of partners. based upon the company’s value system. lest it loses the core raison d’être of the company that has helped the company grow in the past. the company wanted their brand name to embody innovation and quality the world over and they wanted to change a global impression that Japanese products were inferior. Having set its direction using the above ambitions. customers. Companies build their Vision. The bottom line is that for many senior management executives. This leads to a more unified and driven workforce that demonstrates a greater understanding and commitment towards the desired future state. The participants should think through some of the probing questions. Walt Disney. • Performance Measurement: Performance measures should be instituted to monitor and measure success in realising the vision. The vision/mission/goals and values provide a rallying point around which the entire organisation binds itself. The varied views should be fine-tuned to develop one shared vision. Goals and Values at varying levels of detail. There are plenty of examples to show how these statements have set the direction for various companies. These discussions could then be synthesised in the workshop. competitors and trends) and the internal environment (company structure. technology and capabilities) should also be conducted. options for vision statements should be developed and their strategic implications explored. The answers may be arrived at over multiple workshops. vision is used to drive business forward. Sony’s mission was to experience the sheer joy of innovation and the application of technology for the benefit and pleasure of the general public. markets. 2. Sony. While a company may design a compelling set. what their aspirations are. They are guided by the values of encouraging individual ability and creativity and wanted to be a pioneer in their industry. what matters to them the most and what values are the most important to them. to explore what the company is best at. ThE dRaFTIng PRocEss Any visioning exercise is usually conducted during a workshop or a series of workshops with the senior management. • Communication: The senior and middle management should hold formal and informal meetings with the staff to explain the vision/mission/goals and values at both office/cafeteria and off site locations such as corporate retreats. such as discontinuities in the market or the company being acquired or merged. and ultimately achieving collective goals. Disney too has been successful in its business. was driven by the mission to make people happy. The objective is about exploring the right questions. emotional. Case in point. The Walt Disney Company is guided by the values of no cynicism and to unleash creativity. dreams and imagination. it sets the direction in which the companies would focus their energies on.BALANCE SHEET Once a company drafts the above statement aims for itself. on the other hand. organisation structure. After the visioning workshop. • Wise Management: The visioning process may encounter both co-operation and conflict and there may be political and cultural issues that need to be addressed. Mission. However. It should be clear and simple. 1. business unit and departmental heads. TheEDGE 43 . Involvement makes the visioning process open. a high level assessment of the external environment (products. The management should be careful in initiating this change to its vision/ mission and goals. These statements form the platform upon which companies design their strategy. future-focused. Conversations may also be held among senior executives and line personnel on the desired future state for the company. inclusive and successful. what is important is that the message is communicated clearly. • Relevance: Companies may need to revisit their vision/mission owing to any paradigm shifts. Management of all these issues would be critical to ensure a buy-in of the shared ultimate vision. This helps set the baseline upon which discussions could be held at the workshop. Sony of course has been fairly successful in achieving its goals. The ideal vision/mission statement should be rational. But for insightful strategists. operations. as far back in 1950s. Performance measures are a powerful tool for change. inspirational and aspirational. Prior to the visioning workshop. Companies should align all aspects of the company including strategy. From the middle of the 20th century. should provide hope and inspiration and be aligned with core values and customer needs. 4. 3. prior to the visioning workshop. Lack of implementation relegates the vision/mission/ goals and values as mere statements disconnected from reality. Guided by these statements. Employing an experienced neutral facilitator to conduct the visioning exercise helps keep things focused. The participants of the visioning workshop should include senior management. VIsIonIng ExERcIsE PITFalls and TIPs FoR succEss The visioning exercise is a strong tool that companies can use to outline its way forward. • Alignment: Many companies have ambitious visions but do not have a plan to link it with action. operations. by setting baseline values and establishing accountability. • Implementation: It is implementation and not the content of the statements that realise the desired change.


ThE PowER and InFluEncE oF cREdIT RaTIngs agEncIEs
In this month’s Economic Barometer, Karim Nakhle looks at credit rating agencies, particularly the big three, Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch. How exactly do they rate companies and governments? What purpose do they serve? How do they influence business and investments? And most importantly what is their net effect on the currently fragile global economy?


ith the recent and well-publicised downgrading of the United States’ (US) government credit rating from AAA to AA+, and a recent warning that Japan and China might suffer a similar fate, as well as the fact that the US Justice Department has launched an inquiry into the role Standard and Poor’s (S&P) played in the subprime crisis that sparked the economic downturn of 2008, international credit rating agencies (CRAs) have been in the news often lately. This has sparked much public interest in and questions about these sometimes-mysterious organisations. wHaT dO CREdIT RaTINgS agENCIES dO? Before any individual can qualify for a credit card, banks will run a credit check on their solvency. Similarly, the ratings agencies run credit checks on companies, countries and financial products. CRAs specialise in analysing and evaluating the creditworthiness of corporate and sovereign issuers of debt securities, debt obligations as well as the debt instruments themselves, and assigning credit ratings accordingly. In most cases, the issuers of securities are companies, special purpose entities, state and local governments, non-profit organisations, or national governments issuing debt-like securities (such as bonds) that can be traded on a secondary market. A credit rating for an issuer considers the issuer’s credit-worthiness (its ability to pay back a loan), and affects the interest rate applied to the particular security issued. Countries are rated on a sliding scale. The US, for example, had a top rating of AAA, which allowed it to borrow cash at cheap interest rates, before being downgraded to AA+ this year. Thus the lower the rating grade, the higher interest payments a nation must pay to attract investors to buy its bonds. Anything that slips to junk status – as Ireland, Portugal and Greek government bonds are rated – is considered a highly speculative investment. Furthermore, the pool of eligible investors is reduced and indeed many institutional investors, such as government pension funds, are forbidden to invest in junk-rated bonds, providing a good example of how the sway of ratings agencies can be considerable.


wHO aRE THE CREdIT RaTINg agENCIES? Historically, CRAs were created to give investors an unbiased assessment of investments, and investors paid for access to these ratings. However, in the 1970s CRAs started charging the issuers of new investments fees for ratings. In 1975, US legislators – ostensibly fearing a spate of unscrupulous ratings agencies – designated Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch as the only organisations banks and brokers could use to evaluate the credit-worthiness of their products. Modern rating agencies thus fall into two categories: (i) recognised; and (ii) non-recognised. The former are recognised by supervisors in each country for regulatory purposes. As mentioned, the ‘big three’ are of course S&P, Moody’s Investor Services and Fitch Ratings. All originate in the US (although Fitch has dual headquarters in New York and London), which are internationally recognised and used all over the world. In the US, the ratings agencies are referred to as Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations (NRSRO). As of April 2011 only 10 NRSROs, were recognised by the American Security and Exchange Commission (SEC): Moody’s Investor Service, Standard & Poor’s, Fitch Ratings, Morningstar, Inc., Dominion Bond Rating Service, Ltd (DBRS), M. Best Company, Japan Credit Rating Agency, R&I Inc. (Rating and Investment Information, Inc.), Kroll Bond Rating Agency and Egan-Jones Rating Company. Many further international CRAs such as the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Institutional Investor (II), and Euromoney are ‘non-recognised’ and there is a wide disparity among CRAs. They may also differ in size and scope (geographical and sectors) of coverage and there might be wide differences in their methodologies and definitions of the default risk, nullifying objective comparisons. wHY dO THEY wIEld SUCH INFlUENCE? Investors across the world look to credit rating agencies in order to judge where to place their investments in the market. For governments, the ratings agencies have a lot of power over the popularity of bonds: cash given to governments by investors that, over time, will pay a return on the original investment – unless that government defaults. The downgrade of Ireland as an example, signalled Moody’s belief that Ireland has a higher likelihood to default on investments. And therefore global investors have little appetite to invest in those bonds. In the new financial architecture, CRAs became more important in the management of both corporate and sovereign credit risk. Their role has received a boost from the revision by the Basel Committee

Traders work in the Standard Poor’s (S&P) 500 options pit at the Chicago Board Options Exchange on April 27, 2011 in Chicago in the United States. Credit ratings, whether they be of nations or corporations have the power to widely influence market volatility. (Image Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

Ratings agencies have been criticised for having too much clout in jittery markets during the financial crisis.



on Banking Supervision (BCBS) of capital standards, for banks culminating in Basel II and Basel III. HOw aRE gOVERNmENTS RaTEd? In rating sovereign debt, agencies look at economic and political risks. Economic risks include the existing debt burden, growth prospects and fiscal flexibility, while political risks include leadership stability, consensus on economic policy objectives, and barriers to global trade. Ratings depend on whether sovereign debt is denominated in local currency or foreign currency, because governments can often generate enough local currency to nominally meet local currency obligations, using open market operations (or quantitative easing). Printing currency in this way has inflationary implications, and S&P considers the risk of implied default through a devaluation of the currency. In the latest ratings craze, the buzz among financiers, investors and economists is all about who is going to downgrade which government next. Some feel it is a dangerous game being played by some CRA analysts, one that is contributing to continued economic volatility. wHERE TO FROm HERE? Credit ratings agencies have recently come under intense scrutiny. After watching many highly rated commercial debt securities become worthless several years ago, markets are now questioning the quality

Qatar and many of its neighbouring Gulf states such as Oman, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are considered stable by the big ratings agencies.
of CRA decisions to either downgrade or affirm the ratings of corporate and of sovereign debt. However, studies show that poorly rated corporate debt does default more frequently than highly rated debt. Some have argued this is not necessarily true of sovereign debt, but the relatively few instances of sovereign default since the growth in sovereign debt ratings, show that the predictions of CRAs might be correct more often than not. Ratings agencies have been criticised for having too much clout in jittery markets during the financial crisis. They were widely attacked for failing to warn of the risks posed by certain securities, in particular mortgage-backed securities, resulting in the US Justice Department inquiry. Having completely missed the build-up of risk that led to the global financial crisis in 2008, the agencies are now competing with one other to be the first to identify risks that may lead to the next crisis. At a time when the global economy is fragile and market sentiment is sensitive, unbalanced and unjustified rating decisions can initiate damaging self-fulfilling prophecies and certainly strengthen the arguments for tighter regulation of the rating agencies themselves. Nevertheless, for the time being they still seem to have the power to shake and rattle the global markets as they please. Below is a comparison in the ratings of the ‘big three’ recognised ratings agencies, Standard and Poor’s, Fitch Ratings and Moody’s. Because each agency’s approach is different, they are colour-coded in three categories.

FITCH AAA AA+ AA AAA+ A ABBB+ BBB BBBBB+ BB BBB+ B BCCC MOODY’S Aaa Aa1 Aa2 Aa3 A1 A2 A3 Baa1 Baa2 Baa3 Ba1 Ba2 Ba3 B1 B2 B3 Caa Caa3 Ca S&P AAA AA+ AA AAA+ A ABBB+ BBB BBBBB+ BB BBB+ B BCCC+ CCC CC Prime High Grade Upper Medium Grade Lower Medium Grade Non Investment Grade Speculative Highly Speculative Substantial Risks Extremely Speculative



Deven Sharma, then-president of Standard & Poor’s, testifies before a subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee in Washington, DC in the US on July 27, 2011. In September Sharma announced his decision to step down from his post and leave S&P as the ratings agency continues undergo the inquiry by the US Justice Department for its role in the positive rating of subprime mortgage securities just before the global downturn. (Image Corbis)





reports Mark Van Dijk .IN THE SPOTLIGHT CYBEr hacKER alERT Businesses and private individuals face a growing threat from cyber criminals. and their secret weapon in the fight to crack computer users’ security may well be the users themselves.

000 employees had been reset. and then use that same device to access personal e-mails and social networking. Fortunately. gathering the company’s secret information and intellectual property and secretly uploading it to an external outage storage site. If employees use their personal computer or mobile phone to send or read corporate e-mails. small businesses and governments alike. Using the cryptography information and Secure ID keys stolen from RSA. TheEDGE 49 . cyber hackers are a threat to corporations. Because it was a suspicious e-mail from an unknown sender. In an online conference presented in July this year. a small group of employees at the American computer security firm RSA received an e-mail with a Microsoft Word document attached. and where thieves and pickpockets lurk around every darkened corner. Now Lockheed Martin. The sense of relief was palpable. Yet few companies seem to appreciate the full extent of the danger. the Internet was seen as a massive virtual library where researchers could share information quickly and easily. our systems remain secure. director of the global research and analysis team at the Russian computer security firm Kaspersky Lab. As the Internet matures. program or employee personal data has been compromised”. operating remotely from anywhere at any time.” Lockheed Martin spokesperson Jennifer Whitlow said in an e-mailed statement. they detected the security breach early and reacted immediately. I Worldwide. (Image Getty) hacKERs’ anonymous When it began in the early 1990s. Now in its third decade. RSA’s stateof-the-art security system automatically sent it to the employees’ spam folders. the methods used by computer hackers are becoming increasingly advanced and their targets more ambitious. the virus was spread throughout RSA’s network. But one of the employees – perhaps out of curiosity – nonetheless opened the e-mail and the attached file. was also compromised in a similar manner. Costin Raiu. where anything can be bought or sold. “As a result of the swift and deliberate actions taken to protect the network and increase IT security. These are computer hackers: anonymous programmers who use viruses or hidden programs (also known as malware) to bypass the security systems on computers and mobile phones to steal personal information. comPany comPRomIsE Earlier this year Microsoft published the results of its Security Intelligence Report. The file was infected with a malicious worm virus. “No customer. warned that if employees use their personal computer or mobile phone to send or read corporate e-mails. the web is more like an enormous souq. And that was just the beginning. Within days. which boasts $46-billion (QR167 billion) in annual revenue and includes the United States (US) Defense Department among its clients. new Secure ID tokens (special keys which allow safe access to the company network) had been issued and the network passwords of all 133. they may be putting their company at risk too. and then use that same device to access personal e-mails and social networking they may be putting their company at risk. Within minutes. All remote access for Lockheed Martin employees was disabled and all telecommuters were instructed to work from the office for at least a week.IN THE SPOTLIGHT n March this year. and that employee’s simple double-click was exactly the unlocked door it needed. Their corporate security had been breached and all because an employee at another company had opened a seemingly innoccuous e-mail attachment. the hackers cracked the secure systems of one of RSA’s biggest clients: United States (US) aerospace and military equipment manufacturers Lockheed Martin.

Qatar still ranks significantly below the global average. Should the law be enacted. with only the UAE (7.and steal your secrets.” Prajit Arakkal. or because they know they have. director of distribution channel sales for online security specialists Symantec recently told the journal SME Advisor. “What I think is really important here. the case of HBGary Federal. it seems like many still think it can’t happen to them.. 57 percent of small businesses have no plan to deal with an outage or disruption to their computer or technology resources – but 81 percent of all respondents said they were somewhat very satisfied with their plans to deal with outages or disruptions. PowerPoint or Excel documents to spread malware via e-mail. either because companies have not yet noticed that they’ve been compromised. the news is not so good.” Always use strong passwords. “These are tailored attacks designed to break in. For our GCC neighbours. He adds that both these figures are very low. Kaspersky and pictured here. a firm that provides security services to the US government. “Despite warnings.IN THE SPOTLIGHT caughT In ThE nET How to protect yourself and your business from security breaches: Use a safe Internet browser.4 of every 1000 computers scanned here being infected with malware. Oman (9) Bahrain (9). If your browser releases regular security updates (at least once a week). To combat this. revealing plans to sell the company. Beware social media. “Many companies don’t want to talk about it. Update your password regularly. In February this year. “Many SMEs throughout the GCC still haven’t recognised the tremendous impact a disaster such as hacking can have on their businesses. Fortunately. “These links will show up on the news feeds of the victim’s family and friends and lead them to infected sites with viruses and other nasty items. the Qatari government is currently developing a national cyber crime legislation.” Use your Smartphone sparingly.8) are all above the worldwide trend. if you have to use a Smartphone make sure you have a remote wipe solution so you can erase everything. however. Anonymous responded by breaking into HBGary Federal’s website..5) below the line.” Raiu says. while just nine percent of companies actually admit to having been the victim of at least one targeted attack. Never open strange e-mail attachments. it would make Qatar the only country in the Middle East region to have national applicable data protection legislation. Kuwait (12) and Saudi Arabia (15. they can post links to other websites on the victim’s profile.7 of every 1000 computers scanned worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2010. “Compromising a Smartphone can be easier than Mac or PC. chief executive officer Aaron Barr claimed 50 TheEDGE . which would require organisations to appoint staff to oversee processes involving the use of personal information and ensure that personnel are trained in information protection practices. for example. Microsoft’s researchers detected malware (short for ‘malicious software’) on an average of 8. Hackers frequently use infected MS Word. but refuse to admit it. Either out of ignorance or out of naiveté. head of consumer sales Middle East and North Africa at online security specialists Symantec.” Symantec’s 2011 SME Disaster Preparedness Survey tells a similar tale: according to the survey.” says Kaspersky Labs’ Costin Raiu. hackers will be able to crack it in seconds. and use different passwords on all your online and company accounts. If your password – or your any of your employees’ – is anything like p@55w0rd123 or 1qaz2wsx (which looks secure. until you type it into a QWERTY keyboard). copying 20. “On social networks. with just 6. (Image Getty) Among their findings. you’re more likely to be safe from the latest viruses and hacking technology. whether formal or informal.” warns Tamim Taufiq.” Take. that HBGary Federal had the wherewithal to infiltrate the notorious hacker group Anonymous. 84 percent stated that their computer systems were somewhat/completely protected.000 e-mails belonging to Barr In recent years the business of providing protective software to companies and state institutions has grown into a million dollar sector with players such as Symantec. once a cyber criminal has access to someone’s account. Norton and McAfee. Raiu claims that 30 percent of all companies worldwide think they are specifically targeted by cyber attacks.

making it. he told the BBC as Twitter technicians scrambled to plug the gap. Indeed. the country’s online infrastructure relies entirely on a single Internet provider. “the company is worth less than one dollar. Norwegian computer programmer Magnus Holm later claimed credit/blame for the hack.” A sobering reminder of this came early one morning in September last year. submit(). HBGary Federal’s reputation was irreparably damaged.IN THE SPOTLIGHT sTay saFE ictQATAR is Qatar’s independent regulator and consumer advocate for information and communication technology. conveniences and greater risks. TheEDGE White House press secretary Robert Gibbs announced in September of last year that his twitter account was hacked..000-odd Twitter followers. Vera was even using that very same password to access HBGary’s key Linux server.” After a string of similar tweets. The world is becoming more and more wired and that brings with it greater 51 . and a new program that allows car thieves to unlock and start a car using only a laptop and a mobile phone. COO Ted Vera had made the hackers’ job easy by using simple passwords – and using those same passwords for their e-mail. socIal sEcuRITy When it comes to keeping personal and corporate information secure. To report online security issues.status-update-form’).ictqatar. Your Privacy is Your Responsibility”. it warns that “the Internet is everything you want. For Gibbs – and for the 133.” To Gibbs and his 97. the Black Hat Cyber Security Convention held in Las Vegas in August saw security researchers and hackers demonstrating an eye-opening array of technologies designed to exploit weaknesses in electronic security systems. (Image Corbis) and company founder Greg Hoglund. Qatar Telecommunications (Qtel).” he tweeted on @judofyr.” Ironically. but also a lot of what you don’t.$(‘. and publishing them..value=’RT doog_’.”class=”modal . On one hand. Q-CERT is Qatar’s Computer Emergency Response Team. getElementById(‘status’). the challenges in Qatar and across the globe are immense.. a javascript-based virus that spread merely by users running their mouse cursor over a link. Even as ictQATAR conducts its “Promise of e” campaign. when the White House press secretary Robert Gibbs sent out a garbled message on his Twitter account: “PressSec RT @doog_: http://t. contact their hotline on +974 493 3408 or at incidents@ qcert. The next Black Hat Convention will be held at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi this December and promises to highlight the latest vulnerabilities in computer technology..000 Twitter users in Qatar and almost 200 million more around the world – it was yet another chilling reminder of how insecure our online security really is.” claims Costin Raiu. established in 2004 by HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani – which bears the message: “On the Internet. It was.. Qatar ranks in an impressive 25th place overall in the 2010-11 Global Information Technology the World Economic Forum’s annual assessment of nations’ international ITC competitiveness. Qatar is delicately poised in terms of information and communication technology. Gibbs sent out another: “My Twitter went haywire absolutely no clue why it sent that message or even what it is. paging the tech guys. Yet on the other. Barr and company. “Now. The subject brings to mind the television campaign launched here by ictQATAR – the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology. Among the displays were a small aerial drone that flies around impersonating mobile phone towers and recording private phone calls. “I just started a Twitter worm. Twitter and other social media If you have any questions regarding ICT. the Middle East country most vulnerable to a complete Internet shutdown. in fact. the messages looked like gibberish. As if to prove this. according to some observers. focusing on the power of tehnology to enrich people’s lives. go to”onmouseover=”document. adding later that he’d spotted a hole in Twitter’s online security and simply wanted to see if he could exploit it without doing any ‘real’ harm. and how aware business needs to be regarding this ever increasing threat.

Jean-Jacques Annaud’s US$55 million (QR200 million) Arabian epic Black Gold. since it will allow us to maximise exploration of the film’s Arab cultural setting. The film premieres this month at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival and is being seen by many as an ‘acid test’ of the local industry. what knock-on effect has this international event had for the fledgling Qatar and regional film and cinema industry? And is the international buzz replicated in box office sales for locally produced movies? Rachel Morris investigates. But amid the glitz and glamour.” Quinta Communications’ Ali Jaafar told industry publicationVariety magazine earlier this year. while giving us access to international media.FEATURE STORY BIg scREEn BIG MONEY? This year marks the third anniversary of the Doha Tribeca Film Festival and to open proceedings will be the premiere of the first locally produced Hollywood blockbuster. co-funded by the DFI and Tarak Ben Ammar’s Quinta Communications. will premiere to the world at this year’s Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF). (Image courtesy DTFF) I n October 2011 the first film funded by the Doha Film Institute (DFI) will open. Hollywood actor Antonio Banderas stars in the big budget movie epic Black Gold. a portion of which was filmed in Qatar. “We always aimed to have the world premiere at Doha Tribeca because it’s the perfect platform for this film. Black Gold. .

a quick check of the cinemas in Qatar reveals a different scene – screens dominated by Hollywood and Bollywood classics. aside from the festival. And Ibrahim El Batout received backing from the DFI for his Egyptian renewal-themed Hawi. charting an important slice of the region’s history. DFI also runs an in-house production arm and yearround training.” Palmer explains. telling the intertwined stories of an Emirati. was a hit in the UAE. it is a truly authentic Arab story. executive director of the Doha Tribeca Film Festival Amanda Palmer. I know that Jean-Jacques Annaud and Tarak Ben Ammar’s placed a real emphasis on capturing the essence of the region with this film. Qatar Cinema. But regionally-made success stories are few and far between. Ready. it failed to ignite major interest. a Russian flight attendant and an Indian taxi driver all living in Dubai. Sheikh Alhussain bin Ali bin Ahmed Al Thani says. who earlier this year signed a QR2 billion merger deal with Q Media. “After significant study and planning. plan to open 50 more cinemas in the coming three years.” Q Media’s chairman. and Doha Tribeca Film Festival co-programmer Hania Mroue arrive at a premiere during the 2010 Doha Tribeca Film Festival held at the Katara Cinema.FEATURE STORY For many years stories from the Middle East and surrounding region have fascinated filmmakers and Hollywood. and I think they have managed to shine quite an accurate light on a part of the world that many people want to know more about – there is no doubt that this film offers some very true and unique insights into the region’s history. “Black Gold really ticked so many boxes when we were looking for potential international co-productions and ultimately provided a great opportunity to take the regional film industry to the next level. development and production support. Meanwhile. But in terms of blockbuster success. But the hype and glamour of the DTFF aside. proving popular. investing more than QR1 billion to satisfy the country’s movie cravings. making AED500. which won top Arab film awards at Doha Tribeca in 2010. The company also opened a women’s only cinema at Aspire Zone in 2011. In Qatar. (Image Andrew H. Bollywood also brings in the film lovers with one of the biggest releases of 2011. screening Hollywood and Arabic films. released in 2010. “For one. 576) in its opening weekend. whose second film Where Do We Go Now? premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May this year. With its huge South Asian population. A host of Arab filmmakers have benefited from this set up including Nadine Labaki.000 (QR495. Yet despite high profile releases at festivals around the world. we have decided to invest more than QR1 billion in the next three years to open more than 50 state-of-the-art multiplex facilities equipped with the latest technology in the field. Walker/Getty Images for DTFF) are looking towards Black Gold to deliver that and according to DFI executive director Amanda Palmer. TheEDGE 53 . the co-production could be the one to take Qatar’s film industry forward. United Arab Emirates (UAE) production City of Life. albeit in a very modern and engaging way. culture and traditions.” Palmer believes that Black Gold will strike a chord in the region because of the subject matter and the recognisable locales and of course storyline. many Actor William Shimell. Qatar Cinema’s profits soared five percent in the first half of 2011 buoyed by blockbusters and franchises such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean.

the Doha Film Institute and recent filming of Black Gold have put Qatar’s fledgling film industry on the world cinematic map.” Palmer also says that unlike other more mainstream production houses and financiers. “The distribution of this film to global audiences will hopefully send a message to the world that there is a legitimate industry developing here in the Middle East. through Warner Brothers and Universal Pictures. (Image Andrew H. because we were able 54 TheEDGE .and that’s naming just a few. “Obviously film financing has to take into account the commercial prospects of films. to produce high quality films and creative output. In Qatar alone we spent four weeks shooting the film’s epic battle scenes. in order to develop a skilled film community and a strong infrastructure to support it.” Palmer also says that Black Gold. “The production locations for the film are also significant. your core focus really needs to be on educating and cultivating talent from within the region. in front of and behind the camera. during the Tunisian revolution. “I think this is particularly important. “Central to achieving such is the provision of practical training opportunities for aspirant film talent. “The film industry in this region is strongly committed to this transfer of knowledge. From an industry development perspective.FEATURE STORY Executive director of the Doha Tribeca Film Festival.Q Media chairman Sheikh Alhussain bin Ali bin Ahmed Al Thani. The event. Walker/Getty Images) “After significant study and planning. with its star power and international flavour could be the film that makes Hollywood sit up and take notice but also points to the growing number of locally trained talent from writers through to post-production. which will be distributed and shown across the world. because mainstream cinema depictions of Arabs have historically been negative. as much of it was shot in Qatar and Tunisia.” she tells TheEDGE. and understanding film. but when you are trying to build a sustainable film industry. “Black Gold was fantastic in this respect. and the exposure of the film before international audiences and industry professionals will hopefully pave the way for future coproductions that showcase Arab talent and creativity in the right spirits. “I think audiences within the region will also be responsive to the fact that this is a film with an Arab hero. which meant that we had to mobilise various national industry sectors as well as the general public. the film thus provided a unique opportunity to test the region’s production capabilities. which is great for both regional and international audiences. “I’m glad you question how Qatar’s involvement with the film benefitted Arab talent.” says Palmer.” . the DFI and partners have the luxury of being able to be more altruistic when choosing projects to back. The region has a lot to give in terms of co-production. based on inaccurate stereotypes. Amanda Palmer.” she says. and there are so many people ambitiously striving. we have decided to invest more than QR1 billion in the next three years to open more than 50 state-of-the-art multiplex facilities equipped with the latest technology in the field. government officers to vendors and volunteers . speaks at a press conference at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival last year in Doha. from local ministries. This film moves away from a negative typecast of Arabs. because this really is the key consideration of DFI’s investment in international co-productions. propaganda and fear.” Palmer says. impelled by insightful storytellers and truly engaged audiences.

we expanded our film financing arm and have already given grants to 25 new Middle East and North African projects.” Former French film StudioCanal heavyweight Frederic Sichler. who served as a third assistant director on-set and was also cast for a minor role in the film. and we have undertaken to do the same every year from now on. internationally and locally. Al Kubaisi recorded another of the film’s music tracks. known as the “Yellow Belt”. approximately 20 members of DFI’s content team were on-ground day-in day-out capturing footage for a behind-thescenes special. which they are now currently in the process of cutting. a long-time advocate and public face of Qatar’s emerging cinema and film scene.” There are some industry insiders who believe that the Arab Spring that spread across the region in 2011 and the compelling narratives that it has produced will in fact drive this interest in regionally produced films. The film’s director. film financing plays an enormous role in supporting filmmaking in Qatar and throughout the MENA region. for major industry player Fortissimo Films. The Politician at the recent Toronto and Venice film festivals to much acclaim.” he says. But when oil is discovered tensions arise as each fights for control of the area. many for the first time. investing more than QR1 billion to satisfy the country’s movie cravings. but to also ensure that they have educational and capacity development opportunities for the region. Al Kubaisi worked on the film’s opening track. Avatar and Titanic – at London’s famed Abbey Road Studios. It tells the story of two warring Emirs who make a truce to mutually respect a no man’s land that lies between their desert kingdoms.” finishes Palmer. and we obviously hope that global audiences receive the film favourably. when selecting coproductions. which resonate with their own identifiable experiences. a traditional Bedouin song. stops short of making a prediction as to the film’s success. including one of our Education staff members. The Bad. three DFI students interned on the project. our co-productions are central to building filmmaking experience and know-how in the local industry. Tahrir – The Good. and vice versa. who launched Arab-focused production house Pacha Starring heartthrob Antonio Banderas and Slumdog Millionaire star Frieda Pinto. This year. The general local community was also heavily involved in the making of the film. Mohammad Al Ibrahim. Nicole Mackey. “There’s no question that this new generation of young Arab filmmakers will be delivering a series of cinematic jewels over the next two-three years. In addition. For example. In addition to our grants. BlacK gold: QaTaR’s sTaRRIng RolE Earlier in 2011 Qatar Cinema year signed a QR2 billion merger deal with Q Media.FEATURE STORY to shoot the film’s battle scenes here in Qatar for four weeks. with over 200 residents and locals from Doha serving various roles. sales and acquisitions. which was recorded with film-music legend. “But I will say that we are certainly aiming to give this film major international exposure with the help of Warner Brothers and Universal Pictures. and the riches it promises to yield for their countries. New Films’ – at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. which meant that we could send students to intern on-set and on-location. Some say regional audiences will. along with Qatari composer Abdulla Al Mannai. “Once the film releases internationally on November 23. Pacha unveiled its latest offering. are not only to invest in credible. be able to see and relate to stories. “Our core focuses. profitable films. Jean Jacques Annaud. I think we will have a much better idea about the film’s box office numbers. Pictures – whose selling point is ‘New Generations. Black Gold is a drama set in the Arab world amid the backdrop of the turbulent 1930s. TheEDGE 55 . is better known for his epics including Seven Years in Tibet. is confident that the best is yet to come from this region. But how much of this backing is translated into real box office gold both regionally and internationally? Palmer. James Horner .” she tells TheEDGE. “It is always difficult to make predictions about the commercial success of films because there are so many different variables that come into play – unfortunately quality does not always transfer to quantity. said earlier this year: “People want to hear the stories behind today’s Egypt and see the real lives of people across the Middle East. Qatar also offered musical talent for Black Gold in the form of local vocalist Fahad Al Kubaisi. behind and in front of camera. who plan to open 50 more cinemas in the coming three years.” Says Palmer: “For us.who has worked on the scores for blockbusters including Troy. executive vice president. Many scenes were filmed on location in Qatar (as well as Tunisia) in the dunes around Mesaieed.

Among the topics discussed were climate change. located in Al Thumama area of Doha. in 2013. enthused scientists. individuals and all concerned parties around the sphere committed to saving the planet. the use of which in construction . These main factors have a negative impact on the environment since to generate power. and is the world’s largest consumer of energy. governments. and therefore creates an unwanted by-product: pollution. t a philosophy in today’s world as everybody is talking about it and it will definitely be the new trend for the new generation of architecture. The fully sustainable building will demonstrate the processes of electricity generation and water desalination and serve as an innovative source of entertainment and knowledge.SPECIAL FEATURE FROM GREEN TO susTaInaBlE The theory of ‘green building’ does not necessarily relate to the colour itself. “The utilisation of nature. especially for children. energy is consumed. board member for Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC). It is now Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa) will open its awareness park.” says Ibrahim Mohamed Jaidah. But not only for buildings. [as] they are also trying to make sure infrastructure adheres to being green. explains Erika Widén he state of Qatar was the number one producer of carbon dioxide emissions per capita in the world in 2004. When the first Rio De Janeiro Earth Summit was held in the 90s. the depletion of fossil fuels and over consumption of natural resources. it goes far beyond that to protecting the environment and the use of vegetation that is naturally grown in the region. Only three countries in the world produce less water than Qatar from freshwater sources and all potable water in the Gulf state is produced by desalination plants. such as the direction of the wind and the sun plays a very important role in being green or sustainable.

SPECIAL FEATURE The training is based on a combined global standard. water and other resources to protect the inhabitants health. the sun’s rays and the usage of water also play important roles in creating a sustainable development. six were more established systems. “If you look at the Qatar National Master Plan 2030. improve employee productivity. from the site location to design construction. a sustainability rating system in the Middle East. called Qatar Sustainability Assessment System (QSAS). criteria and measurements which are a valuable method in design and overall development. however it has its own natural vegetation such as the Sidra tree and Dhreima flower which if used in the construction process. As of today. This includes the building’s life cycle. GORD discovered that within those 40 systems for rating sustainability. These assessments are important in order to acquire a certificate. GREEN GLOBES and the Canadian system. all of which complement the classical building design concerns of economy. But in order for a local project to be regarded as sustainable development. European Standard. The direction of prevailing winds. reduce waste and pollution in general. Hong Kong SPEE TOOL. maintenance. Yousef Al Horr. The Qatar National Museum. You can have the most beautiful white building that is very ‘green’ and sustainable. “In other words it doesn’t have to be full of plants to be considered ‘green’. QSAS is the first of its kind. there is a certain training process that is mandatory at the developing stage. now commonly termed as sustainable building or green construction. utility. before the architectural drawings are even drafted. policies and local environment.” TRaININg pROCESS In line with the nation’s 2030 vision. The theory’s objective is to reduce the overall impact of the building’s environment on human health and its natural environment by efficiently using energy. Each one was subjected to another cycle of assessment and is considered as a parent of the local originating standard. ‘green building’ aims for a unified and synergistic design to new developments and/or existing structures.” adds Jaidah. durability and comfort. contribute to the overall sustainability. and the United Kingdom Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (UK BREEAM) to name a few. renovation and demolition. customised to Qatar’s social and business culture. being an arid climate. but it has nothing to do with the colour of green. Qatar. These six are the UK BREEAM. QaTaRI STaNdaRd The Gulf Organisation for Research and Development (GORD) is a 100 percent Qatari governmental group promoting and enforcing ways buildings are designed and built. GORD narrowed it down to 40. “Green is not necessarily the colour ‘green’. In 2007. TheEDGE 57 . In essence. Japanese CASBEE. GORD began to work with international research institutes and organisations from around the globe. primed the concept of ‘Green Building’. which allows the developers to proceed to the next developing phase. It consists of eight major categories. After analysing the first cycle of assessment of each. will be the first large-scale sustainable development in the heart of Doha that visitors to Qatar will see as they arrive at the airport. operation. Qatar is determined to be a role model and green capital among the Middle East in sustainable development and climate change. does not have a lot of greenery. there are more than 140 standards depending on their region of origin.S Leed). I can have the most beautiful desert dwelling with hardly any desert shrubs and it could be the most sustainable building in terms of the environment.“ says Dr. Of the 140 rating standards existing worldwide. it is very clear that there is a big emphasis on sustainability and to be ‘green’ . American LEED. founder and chairman of The Gulf Organisation for Research & Development. such as the United States Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (American/U.

air quality. as it satisfies the local community needs. distribution. materials. site. Builder incentives Product/systems information and sourcing Client knowledge Perceived cost increases Actual cost increase Lack of knowledge how to build ‘green’ Certification cost/paperwork Lack of regulations/building codes The Qatar Sustainability Assessment System is a first. The Site (S) consists of factors associated with the land use such as [natural] conservation and site selection. more than128 buildings in Qatar have been certified through QSAS. Decree Number 38 for year 2010 Section 7 that approves the new construction standard ‘QCS 2010’. we promote local products.” says Dr. worldwide which integrates culture and heritage within the green buildings. This year the GORD-awarded Kahramaa Awareness Park was awarded by GORD with a five star rating and the Qatar National Museum four stars. 4.” explains Dr. Finally. a sustainable rating system in the Middle East. In addition. The Urban Connectivity (UC) consists of factors associated with the urban environment such as zoning. planning and development. based on legislation and the administrative cabinet. to six stars as the highest. contractors and businesses to support the local economy. From 2011 onwards. In fact. 8. EIgHT CaTEgORIES “We do share similar categories with other international systems. 3. QSAS will soon be officially called the Gulf Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) since it shares the same climate characteristics as Qatar’s neighbouring countries and is approved as the most adequate standard for the region. energy. 7. indoor environment. water. “We want to preserve the identity of this part of the world. The categories are urban connectivity. the standard has been adopted as part of the environmental design curriculum at King Fahd University. 58 TheEDGE . INCENTIVE aCTION For now. Qatar University and the University of Khartoum in Sudan. customised to Qatar’s unique culture. We have schemes set up for sport venues or facilities and developed QSAS for mosques. based on one star as the lowest rating. which are very unique to QSAS. Ever since QSAS was officially launched in April 2009 at the Global City Conference held in Abu Dhabi. Earlier this year. 6. and some of them are very unique to us such as the cultural and economic value as well as the management of operations. “It is now the most comprehensive system in the world.SPECIAL FEATURE “QSAS is the only system. Al Horr. The Water (W) category consists of factors associated with water consumption and its associated burden on municipal supply and treatment systems. The Energy (E) consists of factors associated with energy demand on buildings. Yousef Al Horr. the efficiency of energy delivery. manufacturing. processing. The Material (M) category consists of factors associated with material extraction. it will be compulsory for any high-rise building with an area of 10. and light quality. 2. The Cultural and Economic Value (CE) consists of factors associated with cultural conservation and support of the economy. GORD is focusing on government projects. The Indoor Environment (IE) consists of factors associated with indoor environmental quality such as thermal comfort. QSAS was integrated into the Qatar Construction Specifications (QCS) to ensure certain criteria are mandatory for new buildings around the nation.000 metres or more will have to abide to this ‘green’ by-law. the Management and Operations (MO) category consists of factors associated with building design management and operations. We do want modern architectural aspects. acoustic quality. transportation networks and loadings. founder and chairman of GORD. and disposal. 5. and management and operations. Another important aspect of QSAS is the economic concern. but we don’t want to forget completely the cultural context. mega developments as well as commercial and private buildings. gREEn BuIldIng: QaTaR challEngEs 1. “We aim to learn from this experience over the two to three years and sit back and evaluate and then plan for the next phase after looking at the results. policies and local environment. Al Horr. cultural and economic value. Loadings on the urban environment include traffic congestion and pollution. use/reuse. There are eight main categories that require certain mandatory measures to calculate and evaluate the rating of the project.” says Dr. and the use of fossil energy sources that result in harmful emissions. but only of specific sizes.000 square metres or above to comply with QSAS.” The measuring system to be certified as ‘green’ is relatively complex. new developing residential compounds that consist of square footage of 20.

“We promote local products. QGBC’s only mission is to educate the public and create awareness to develop a clear set of green building and environmental guidelines. “Even now some construction companies and developers are not even aware of the benefits of being green. Development.” Marketing consultants are also following the trend and using the concept of ‘green’ as a selling tool because they are promoting apartments that are healthy for the tenants. Qatar is also the first country in the world to prioritise an incentive to support developers to go green. explained to TheEDGE their role in creating awareness of ‘green’. Horr notes the increase of costs of going green is not that much in comparison to ordinary construction. “It is only five to 10 percent on the capital cost and it can be recovered throughout the operation. This will be a great benefit to the client himself as well as to the whole building. gREEN BENEFITS When questioned on construction costs. When you are going ‘green’. so it pays off in the long term. “The problem is with the clients here.” says Dr. like a higher rate for rent. contractors. board member for Qatar Green Building Council. Developers who achieve more than a two star rating are given a five percent incentive increase in construction area. “because it limits the need for the development of new materials.” says Jaidah. QGBC is an independent non-profit organisation committed to developing a sustainable approach to design and development of buildings. to be green is what we are sort of preaching. known as ‘the land built up area’ and developers with a four star rating are given a ten percent increase in the ‘land built up area’. the clients are always looking at the initial costs. which will cut the monthly costs and are environmentally friendly. An important aspect of QSAS also includes the national economy. and part of our job here is to educate people that to go ‘green’ is not that expensive when you look at the life cycle of the project. board members for The Qatar Green Council.” says Al Jolo. “There will be savings in energy. “and if there is an existing structure we encourage people to re-use it instead of throwing it away. It also helps when using recycled materials. this is commonly practiced by the decrease of taxes. The QGBC consists of seven local board members with degrees in engineering and architecture. “Green buildings are good because they incorporate a lot of recycled materials which helps limit the amount of landfill needed due to the dumping of waste. in the long-term cycle of the project it would always work out a lot cheaper than not going ‘green’. Mostly here. and in the use of materials.” Buildings are one of the top contributors to global warming. “ We encourage being sustainable. which will cause more pollution and as a result reduce the impact the construction of the building has on the environment. the Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC) was officially launched under the patronage of HH Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned and Qatar Foundation for Education.” he says. but emissions of these new buildings are lower and the consumption of energy is less. in water. Of course we encourage the QSAS simply because it addresses the local context more than anything else. Al Jolo emphasises his belief in educating the children from kindergarten to high school level and moving on to construction companies to ensure the awareness.” he says. a different incentive is offered. In 2009. Dr. In western countries. They are not aware of the hidden costs. Horr.SPECIAL FEATURE Qatar is the largest consumer of energy and the one number one producer of carbon dioxide emissions per capita in the world. the use of local businesses to support the local economy. Science and Community 59 .” agrees Ahmed Al Jolo. If this existing structure cannot be used on site then you can ship it somewhere else or maybe even recycle the materials. right.” TheEDGE Ahmad Jasiim Al-Jolo left and Ibrahim Mohamed Jaidah. but since a decrease of tariffs or taxes is not applicable in this part of the world.

personal connection with the country. Nabil habayeb has more than 30 years of involvement across the company’s operations in the region. Habayeb spoke exclusively to TheEDGE’s Miles Masterson about GE’s relationship with Qatar. North Africa and Turkey.BUSINESS INTERVIEW T uch THE PERSONAL As president and CEO of GE in the Middle East. which is one of the energy multinational’s key markets in the Arab world. In Doha as a guest for the country’s 40th anniversary celebrations in late September. as well as specifically in Qatar. and also revealed how he too has an intimate. .

when discussing GE’s various operations in Qatar and the company’s close relationship with Doha. and manufacturing. also in Ras Laffan. Al Shaheen Energy in gas pipelines solutions and aftermarket services in turbo machinery. Moreover. and notably but less recently. It includes Qatar Service Centre of Oil and Gas. Though soft spoken and amiable. and is now based at GE’s regional headquarters in Dubai. GE. is heavily invested in the country’s future. The company’s operations naturally encompass involvement in the oil and gas sector. to innovate water solutions for hydrocarbon sector. we are a company that has 20 years of strong focus in research and development. with the building of five ‘super energy’ trains – liquefaction purification facilities – in 2005. in order to augment and help to drive Qatar’s social and economic growth. in the form a facility opened in late 2010 in partnership with Doha’s Al Farraj Trading and Manufacturing Company (FTMC) to assemble GE electrical equipment for supply throughout the region. to provide GEnx engines for its 60-strong Airbus A350 fleet. in April 2011 GE opened its Advanced Technology Research Centre (GEATRC) at Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) in Doha. According to a company press statement. “When we take a look at GE’s portfolio. the importance of the country to Hayabeb is obvious in his conviction.” production management solutions. GE has been operating in Qatar for more than 30 years and Hayabeb – who holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering – has been working in the company since 1982. GE’s activities in Qatar are as wideranging as the government’s diversification agenda. with special attention being paid to the application of advanced turbo machinery. which aims to transform TheEDGE 61 . bringing the company’s total investment in Qatar to US$100 million (QR364 million). GE has a Global Water Sustainability Centre in partnership with ConocoPhillips. and the facility aims to focus on applied research and knowledge transfer in these key areas. Pictured is one of the aviation bays used in the facility to provide education and training in jet engine maintenance and technical and mechanical services to airline customers. Aviation and Healthcare. Also opened in Doha in April 2011. he says. in the form of a long-term partnership with RasGas’ liquefied natural gas (LNG) and sales production complex in Ras Laffan.BUSINESS INTERVIEW abil Habayeb was born and educated in Lebanon. which so far has injected more than US$100 million (QR364 million) into Qatar. Beyond that. which among other things focuses on the research and development of new technologies and environmentally friendly deployment of the country’s hydrocarbon reserves. GE has other vital partnerships here. The company also has a 50-50 partnership with Qatar Foundation (QF) in the form of a headquarters for GE’s healthcare information technology (IT). So the match between what Qatar needs and what GE can provide is great. this is in line with GE’s four business divisions in Oil and Gas. which is where education becomes extremely important. with Qatar Steel to provide complete n GE has invested US$50 million (QR182 million) in the Advanced Technology Research Centre (GEATRC) at the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP). as well as municipal and agricultural use. Qatar Airlines. It is a perfect fit. Global Research.

“When we take a look at GE’s portfolio.” Hayabeb expands. When there is a problem in a hospital.” says Habayeb. “That is progress specifically in line with what our partners are expecting. as well as Qatar Airways. “and now Dr. The firm. “It is a perfect fit. a cynic may observe Qatar’s phenomenal economic growth.” GE’s collaboration with Qatar’s FTMC in the creation of the Al Farraj electrical component facility.” he adds. “What differentiates us from others is that we are not just a company that goes in and invests in one sector or have one product to sell. is involved here in many different industries. is not just important for Qatar but also for the region.” 62 TheEDGE . entrepreneurship. he says. Qatar’s officials and businessmen. You can discover different markets. This. Habayeb adds. “You get the same benefits.BUSINESS INTERVIEW Qatar into a global a hub for innovation. Habayeb again turns to GE’s involvement in the latter sector to make his point. “I think you get the same parameter scale. the opportunity is huge and we can only realise it by partnering on it. Salah Al Sada as well. he explains. the facility provides education and training in jet engine maintenance and technical and mechanical services to airline customers. I think leveraging technology.” he explains. “The biggest thing that Qatar has is that you get great people who value the concept of partnership. which is where education becomes extremely important.. “The research we are doing has been a great success. is another good example of a strong and productive local partnership.” Hayabeb continues. because we have invested in healthcare [as well as] education and aviation. particularly the leadership in the Ministry of Energy and Qatar Petroleum and His Excellency Abdulla Al Attiyah. The training facility at GEATRC in Doha.” Indeed.” he underlines further.. understand that open collaboration with large companies – albeit underpinned by a vigorous deal-making process and subsequent accountability to deliver on expectations – is key to achieving the country’s goals. “we are a company that has 20 years of strong focus in research and development. the country is in fact geared towards this kind of production which makes it as good a location for manufacturing as any country in the region.” growth is huge. and the potential retruns this presents to outside companies that could be construed as opportunistic.” Another example Habayeb then mentions is in the healthcare sector and the partnership with QF. particularly in mammography. spending on education and improving the lives of people and focusing on innovation are the areas that will help sustain and overcome a lot of these issues. “Qatar Airways is one of the major airlines for us..if it makes economic sense. “If we take a look at the others…the same examples can be applied in healthcare [and the] water sector.” adds Hayabeb.. has also been a great example of the company’s commitment in the sector.” ValuEd PaRTnERshIPs Hayabeb is complimentary about how Qatar’s leadership has encouraged collaboration with companies such as GE. We have trained over a 160 people so far. which is of notable significance as breast cancer is on the increase in the region. carrying on – has been great in being able to line up companies like GE.” he maintains. You get a strong partner [so] this whole thing. feels Hayabeb. Some of these industries may see growth at a time when others may slow down – and their cycle maybe out of sync with overall growth – so they have taken a wider and more longterm view out of necessity. is the largest of its kind outside of the United States (US).” GE’s Oil and Gas Centre in Ras Laffan. he says. as individuals from the Gulf. “We moved our regional headquarters for oil and gas to be based in Doha. research and education in this sector.” a FuTuRE InVEsTmEnT Nevertheless. but Hayabeb is adamant GE is not a company of that ilk. Ethopia and as far afield as Germany have been through the facility. “What we have seen in Qatar is that the leadership. we will do it. Nabayeb countered that with the downstream petrochemical plants and other kinds of industry. Among others. So the match between what Qatar needs and what GE can provide is great.and taking a chance on big multinationals and technology. Some are suspected of only entering the state to turn as much profit as possible. Habayeb agrees. we are not going to pack up and go. “It is not like we are a bank that we come in and say ‘we want money from here’. The super energy trains that we built were breakthrough technologies and Qatar was the first country in the world to take this technology and implement it and that is because of the trust in GE…and in our capability. using GE’s relationship with the Doha-based airline as an example of how Qataris value working together with companies such as GE. [to] trust in what we say. “because the “I think it is clear that everybody is focusing on diversification of the economy for sustainability. Though TheEDGE put forward that Qatar is not necessarily known for smaller scale manufacturing.

” Indeed. issued in Qatar. as is recycling municipal wastewater for use in farming and similar purposes.” Habayeb furthers. and goes back to his earlier point about remaining in Qatar for the long haul. Habayeb is adamant that this sector is ripe for growth in the Gulf and his company will be involved in the development of this energy source in years to come.” he says. Morocco…and when the governments fulfil the legal requirements on a global basis to proceed with that. Turkey. though it is not a large focus on the Gulf (an area not known for excessive movement of surface air). “Leveraging technology. Developing technology for effective desalination is another of GE’s focuses in the water sector.” waTER and EnERgy Effective water conservation – especially with regard to use in industrial equipment.” a PERsonal connEcTIon When the conversation returns to GE’s presence in the region. “and we are going to apply that technology globally. People who are opportunistic and just want to come in for a short-term gain and leave – may get the short-term gain. “We can actually take raw sewage and turn that better than the World Health Organisation (WHO) standard for drinking water. We have realized the importance of being here. It is about longterm plans. the start of a lifelong affinity with the Gulf state. we will then be in a position to talk to them about what we can provide from a technology point of view.BUSINESS INTERVIEW he says. Saudi Arabia. Egypt. “Being on the ground makes all difference. Habayeb continues. Much research here. “and as we were moving his things. “Qatar has announced that they are also looking at the nuclear energy. Beginning with the former.” TheEDGE 63 . wind power is one of the largest businesses that GE have within its energy sector and this has been a great success around the world.” he says. in an economy so reliant on hydrocarbon sector – and the development of sustainable energy practices and solutions for the future. Habayeb discusses how. People are focusing on the whole issue of food security.” GE’s top executive in the Middle East is proud of his company’s investment in and commitment to Qatar and is complimentary on how Doha leadership and business sectors have embraced working together for mutual benefit. but they may not get their long-term benefits. thanks to an abundance of sunlight here. water security and energy security. “Qatar is very dear to GE. It is about continuity. Nuclear energy. spending on education and improving the lives of people and focusing on innovation are the areas that will help sustain and overcome many of these issues. solar energy is an area of considerable focus. [If] you take a look at how the country has transformed. and how he was part of a construction company that helped build the country. are a further two areas where GE is highly active in Qatar. what GE can bring now [and] how we are taking Qatar to a totally different level – this gives me personal connection to the country. “It is about a personal touch.” he describes. which is by far highest than any other manufacturer. “Nuclear energy is something that people are very much looking at and exploring as an alternative means of power generation. because it is a very important necessity and there is a crisis. “We just announced recently that the FlexEfficiency gas turbine. is high priority project that has already reaped benefits for the industry and beyond in the eight months since its inauguration. Despite much protestation from environmental activists following the disaster at Fukishima in Japan earlier this year.” GE is also very much involved in renewable energy. “which is combined with concentrated solar power and raises the efficiency of a whole plant to close to 70 percent. and he recalls how his father would relate stories to him of his experiences in Qatar as a young child. as Habayeb goes on to reveal. “I think it is clear that everybody is focusing on diversification of the economy for sustainability. particularly when it comes to enhance the energy efficiency of gas turbines. UAE.” “This is in addition to awareness and education around conservation of energy. “Nuclear energy is a big thing that is important for that governments of the region. “My father just turned 93 and has moved in to live with us.” he adds.” he exemplifies. but they can use it for irrigation. However. I ran across his driver’s license from 1949.” Habayeb says. Jordan. GE’s partnership with ConocoPhillips in the Global Water Sustainability Centre. “A lot of people would not drink that. “but it is also very dear to me personally. clarifies Habayeb.” Habayeb then says. for example. is focused on purifying water used in an industrial application for re-use. his father and uncle worked in construction in Mesaieed in the 1940s and 1950s. Habeyeb becomes animated. “The important thing is to [also] continue looking at means to reduce the cost of the water.” Habayeb adds. is also another aspect of this sector that GE is taking seriously. So overall we are very pleased with the progress of these centres.

But in light of Qatar’s most recently released GDP figures and those comparable of its neighbours. do the Gulf States comply with or challenge this convention? Edward Jameson investigates. ExPLORING mEdIa TRansPaREncy AND .ON THE PULSE A DEAFENING SILENCE gdP In QaTaR. ThE gcc and ThE woRld It has long been acknowledged that the self-correcting mechanism of a free media is a facilitator of national economic growth.

per capita GDP in Qatar stood at QR57. despite the growth of Qatar and of the wider Gulf region over the past two decades. education. economic growth has most definitely not suffered over the years as a result. the liberalisation of national economies has not. which relied on gross domestic product (GDP) per capita as its unit of measurement. in 1990.000. and the accompanying long-term liberalisation of economic policy. of the GCC countries. particularly those on the left of the political spectrum. GDP rose by 12 percent quarter on quarter. Freedom of expression. infrastructure and real estate. freedom of expression is no longer a political nicety. but there is great potential for swift gains in the freedoms of expression and assembly. Qatar’s ranking marks a sharp decline from 94 the previous year and joint-74 the year before that. mEdIa FREEdOm IN QaTaR So has Qatar’s economic growth been accompanied by any improvement in media freedom? According to the World Press Freedom Index compiled by Paris-based organisation Reporters Without Borders. the UAE boasts the third-largest GDP per capita in the world. published in September. The country’s strong economic growth continued in the first quarter of 2011. the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ties with Kuwait at 87. A decade later.” said director of studies at think-tank Freedom House.” wrote American-born science fiction author Alvin Toffler in his book Powershift. Kuwait is seventh. in 2000. but a precondition for economic competitiveness. this figure had almost doubled to QR105. “News media are experiencing an openness that would have been unimaginable when Ben Ali was in power. published back in 1990. has ranked highly on the wish lists of the Arab Spring revolutionaries. sport. The top 10 is dominated by TheEDGE gROwTH VS. Oman is behind Qatar at 124. been matched by accompanying political liberalisation – a point harshly dragged into light by the Arab Spring. indicates that there is still substantial work to be done in the area of liberating the means of mass communication across the Gulf. from QR126 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010 to QR142 billion in the first quarter of 2011. The 2010 figure of QR273. 000.” Walker says. Qatar’s placement and indeed the placements of the other GCC states. That said. The figures reflect an impressive. This qualifies Qatar as the fourth largest economy in the GCC. Bahrain 21st. freedoms. According to data compiled by the World Bank.ON THE PULSE Q atar is the wealthiest country in the Gulf.” Qatar National Bank (QNB) Capital declared in its Economic Insight report. By comparison. this places Doha in the bottom third of the international rankings. The records of the Gulf countries therefore appear to contradict the accepted general wisdom. particularly in the run-up to the constituent assembly elections [due on 23 October 2011]. which has long been a thorny topic across the Gulf states. based on the strong trend in crude oil prices seen this year to date and a “substantial increase” in natural gas production on the peninsula. In addition. to the minds of many people. “Like adequate education. and equates to QR273. and citizens have repeatedly mounted demonstrations to air their demands and grievances. according to the World Bank. expanded by 30 percent in 2010 to reach QR463 billion. Qatar occupies 121st position in the global press freedom standings. sustained rate of expansion across the Qatari economy. the bank says. driven by intelligent investment in the oil and gas sector and the reinvestment of the income gained from energy exports into financial services. Qatar’s nominal GDP. lIBERTY Qatar’s growth will continue a trend that has been prevalent for some years now. as the top 10 of both are mostly dominated by ‘free’ European countries. However. accounting for 12 percent of the region’s total. QNB Capital expects Qatar’s nominal GDP to grow by a substantial 36 percent in 2011 to reach QR630 billion.000 therefore represents an increase in the rate of expansion from 84 percent during the years 1990–2000 to 160 percent between 2000–2010. But. The Tunisian authorities can signal their commitment to long-term reform by taking steps to safeguard these 65 .” It is a long-held belief of analysts and authors. Christopher Walker. he adds: “These gains are under constant threat. a measure of GDP. which states that freedom of expression goes hand in hand with economic growth. as the QNB Capital work demonstrates. The statement. with Oman 36th and Saudi Arabia 41st. with Bahrain at 144 and Saudi Arabia languishing at 157. “Institutional change always proceeds slowly. 000 per capita – the highest per capita figure in the world. that freedom of expression is a facilitator of economic growth. Freedom of expression goes with economic growth and there are clear examples in the World Press Freedom Index that back this. following a visit to Tunisia in the months after former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was forced to stand down. Looking ahead. for example. With first place reflecting the most free media. was backed by a stream of 2010 data alongside some optimistic forward-looking projections. or the sum value of goods and services in a given period that has not been adjusted for inflation. there are clear examples in the World Press Freedom Index that back up the accepted wisdom. But.

in the minds of many. the Middle East’s most critical news outlet. and publish and broadcast without fear. Though Qatar itself is not highly ranked on the world media freedom listings. all of which also feature in the GDP per capita top 10. Consequently. due to their wealth of natural resources and investment programmes. Shouting in the Dark. the Gulf nations can expect to see growth across the region for as long as the push for diversification continues. The city is home not only to the Doha Centre for Media Freedom. The bottom of the GDP list is dominated. Hitting back. it is home to both the Doha Centre For Media Freedom and Al Jazeera. and the push will. “The Doha Centre for Media Freedom is taking the initiative to announce an emergency plan to help the Libyan people to realise their aspirations of free expression. Al Jazeera. is fourth from bottom on the GDP standings. the world can expect growth across the GCC to continue at pace for some time. by African nations. (Image Corbis) doha and mEdIa FREEdom There is perhaps room to challenge the lowly Reporters Without Borders ranking. “The call for freedom of expression including freedom of the media was one of the motives of the revolution. Al Jazeera was criticised by the government of Bahrain with regards to a documentary it aired entitled Shouting in the Dark. reflected by the fact that. according to official data. The 2011 press freedom rankings are due to be published in October by Reporters Without Borders. the station has repeatedly clashed with regional governments which happen to disagree with its principles.9 percent of economic output. As has been demonstrated by the Arab Spring. is ranked a buoyant 31 in terms of GDP per capita. as long as economic prosperity continues. the most recent example being that of Bahrain. although it has been the target of much criticism in the past in terms of its underlying reasons for existence. the country is rated a lowly 160 in terms of per-capita GDP. on the other hand. with the government claiming that the film-makers failed to communicate its side of the story. Perhaps the most stark example is that of the Korean peninsula countries. public spending in Qatar jumped during the 2011/11 fiscal year. which was recently taken to task by the Bahraini government for its documentary on the Manama uprising. Sweden and the Netherlands. While at the other end of the scale. compared with 15. Al Jazeera claimed that its requests for access to government figures were repeatedly turned down. Energy export income is being reinvested on a massive scale. by definition of its nature.ON THE PULSE The liberalisation of national GCC economies has not.” In the case of Al Jazeera. narrowing the government’s budget surplus to 2.” the centre says in a statement. northern and central European countries including Norway. and just how long can its exceptional performance last? The predominant reason lies in the sprint towards economic diversification being undertaken by all of the Gulf states without exception. Eritrea. at worst. It will be interesting to see whether such steps have assisted in raising Qatar up the World Press Freedom Index. The World Bank does not measure the GDP of North Korea but. 66 TheEDGE . long-term poverty. which comes bottom of the press freedom index. Therefore. and a respectable joint-42 in theWorld Press Freedom Index. been matched by politically or in the media. the push for wholesale liberalisation of laws governing political freedoms tends to be preceded by feelings of disenfranchisement and. The latter condition at least is one that the Gulf states. are more than capable of avoiding. is actively engaged in extending media freedom across the Middle East and North Africa region – most notably at present in Libya.2 percent in 2009/10. Doha insists it has done much to further the cause of media freedom. South Korea. The Doha Centre. as can be expected. the accepted wisdom finds further support. particularly in the case of Qatar. ECONOmIC dIVERSIFaCTION So why does the Gulf appear to be the exception to the rule. any structural reforms in terms of further media freedom are unlikely to materialise. continue until the reliance of governments on energy exports has been slashed. Therefore. according to the CIA World Factbook. It is also second-bottom in the press freedom index. but also to the Gulf’s most respected television news broadcaster.

(P.68) Lynda Gratton. • .kNOwlEdgE & EXpERTISE BUSINESS ManageMent • sMall BusIness knoW-hoW • MarketIng anD DesIgn • legal InsIght caREERs oF ThE FuTuRE (P.72). also In ThIs sEcTIon: • small Business Know-how: Robert Madronic discusses the levelling potential of e-commerce for small firms to earn money digitally.74). (P. • legal Insight: Brenda Hill talks us through the complexities and legalities of data protection and Internet Protocol (IP) rights in Qatar. a professor of management practice at London Business School and a worldfamous human resources expert who writes for TheEDGE for the first time.70). marketing and design: Roula Ayoub takes a look at what makes good contemporary design. discusses what she feels will be three of the most important career paths – grassroots advocacy. social entrepreneurship and micro-start ups – and what companies can do to leverage this knowledge. (P.

Change. So while a business enterprise measures performance in profit and return. What is interesting about the ‘Blueprint’ scenario is the role that local. centralised approach. strategists at Shell developed two scenarios about the state of energy resources in 2050. advocacy will entail using their leadership and management skills and to create organisations serving social needs. medicine and journalism. and create ideas about how to move forward. For others. social entrepreneurial businesses are springing up – NIKA Water Company. innovative solutions and the adoption of proven practice. The strategists believed that. rather than a top–down. conservation. Expect to see a proliferation of enterprises built around developing and supporting advocacy skills and capabilities. in an increasingly transparent world. which already has a sophisticated programme of support for people who want to volunteer to work with them. a social entrepreneur focuses on measuring outcomes in broader ways. Beyond those that are always of value. if is to occur. which sells bottled water in the United States (US) and uses 100 percent of its profits to bring clean water to those in the developing world. . these three broad career paths will be of value over the coming decade: grassroots advocacy. regional and global advocates play. reveals British author and strategic thinker Lynda Gratton TREnd onE: gRassRooTs adVocacy In 2009. These could be non-governemental organisations (NGOs) such as Save the Children. which donates 100 percent of its total profits to support educational charities. for example. and ‘Blueprint’. high-profile local actors will influence the national stage. and also to those who work as advocates on their behalf. create and manage a venture to precipitate social change. These ‘grassroots advocates’ will become the early developers of experiments. All over the world.500 people to volunteer as interns in areas as diverse as teaching. At the heart of social entrepreneurship is the will to organise. to the support of small businesses. advocacy will be about becoming high-profile local actors who galvanise energy. which they called ‘Scramble’. Or they could be companies such as Projects Abroad. will come through the success of many individual initiatives that become linked and amplified around the world and progressively change the character of international debate. Recent research shows the must-have career paths of the future and how forward-thinking companies can take advantage of these trends. social entrepreneurship and micro-entrepreneurs. to the eradication of endemic diseases. TREnd Two: socIal EnTREPREnEuRshIP For some. Or Newman’s Own.BUSINESS MANAGEMENT FUTURE vOCAtION AND tHE EMErGING ENtrEPrENEurIAL ‘ECOSYStEM’ The in-demand careers of the future will be very different from those of the not-so-recent past. which has sent more than 18. We can expect to see advocacy rising in any area that people care about: from the education of children in developing countries.


But it is not just individuals who make the running here. Across Asia and Europe in particular, social entrepreneurs are gathering together in teams, networks, and movements for change. Gen Y is beginning to play a role and we can expect this to gather greater momentum over the coming decades. For example, the Young Social Pioneers in Australia actively invest in emerging social entrepreneurs, while Istanbul’s Bilgi University does the same in Turkey. TREnd ThREE: mIcRo-EnTREPREnEuRshIP Small businesses have always played a key role in the economy of developed and emerging markets. For example, in 2004, 40 percent of the working population in the US worked in small business, while 47 percent of the United Kingdom (UK) working population did the same. But what it means to be a micro-entrepreneur in 2025 will be very different from now. Although we can still expect large companies to exist in 2025 – and in fact there is an argument that these companies will become even larger – proportionally we can expect more people to work for themselves, or with a small group of other people. Though in the past, these small businesses may have targeted niche or local markets, advances in technology have empowered many micro-entrepreneurs with the capacity to reach a global platform, and to tap into streams of business that would have previously been too costly to tap into. This is thanks to the recent emergence of ‘ecosystems’, by which micro-entrepreneurs become integrated into the hinterland of larger companies. For a large company, there are huge potential benefits to be gained from encouraging ecosystem growth. Small companies, particularly those in the technology sector, are an unparalleled source of innovation – think of how many young start-ups Google buys every year – and the development of a strong ecosystem allows large organisations to create bilateral linkages with these micro-entrepreneurs. By providing a platform, or infrastructure, in which these small companies can trial and develop their ideas, large organisations can harness a proportion of their success. A strong ecosystem can quickly become a hub of innovation. Consider the many thousands of independent developers who build applications for the iPhone. Individually, these developers are working on small parts of the value chain, but their collective effort has created one of the most successful digital distribution platforms in history. Or consider the efforts being made by SingTel, which has created a number of collaborative platforms to help bring new ideas into the company. By granting independent developers access to its vast communications infrastructure, SingTel has developed a strong identity as a collaborative business environment, creating lasting global partnerships with hundreds of innovators at low cost.

At the heart of social entrepreneurship is the will to organise, create and manage a venture to make precipitate social change. So while a business enterprise measures performance in profit and return, a social entrepreneur focuses on measuring outcomes in broader ways.
Whatever the mechanism of coordination, we can expect a greater proportion of the valuable work in companies to be carried out by people working independently. The main drivers, of course, will be the continued decline in the price of computing, and the development of ubiquitous cloud computing, which will equip even the smallest business with the most sophisticated analytics to track orders, work with third parties and collect money. Technological advances have enabled the democratisation of the innovative process, and have provided individuals and small businesses with the same resources that were once reserved for the technology giants. But it has not only empowered the producers of innovation; it has also empowered consumers to coordinate funding for these micro-entrepreneurs. The Internet is being used as a means for people to donate or invest in ideas they think are exciting or profitable. The most famous and successful example of this is Kickstarter, an online funding platform for inventors, designers, and artists that has so far raised over US$75 million (QR273 million) for thousands of independent projects. The success of this platform has hinted at the power of consumer-funded innovation, which will play an important part in defining the future relationship between producer and consumer.

Lynda Gratton is professor of management practice at London Business School and is the founder of the Hot Spots Movement. She was also voted number one in Human Resources magazine’s ‘Top 25 HR Most Influential UK Thinkers’ 2011 poll.



how To usE
Traditional organisations utilise outsourced intermediaries to ensure their business runs effectively. But as Robert Madronic explains, there are numerous tactics small business owners can use to save or make money through the means of e-commerce.


ill Gates once said “The Internet will help achieve friction free capitalism by putting buyer and seller in direct contact and providing more information to both about each other.” Essentially this means that thanks to the Internet, we are no longer beholden to middlemen such as wholesalers, agents or brokers, and those who used to stand in the way of our making money are easily avoided. In Qatar, it can take years and significant amounts of money to develop the professional relationships and reputation needed to build an effective business network. However, some e-commerce strategies allow you to save money and bypass some of the traditional hurdles the Internet makes redundant. onlInE PuRchasIng Traditionally retailers sourced their products from wholesalers or brokers either in Qatar or another regional trade centre who would charge a mark-up for their efforts. In many cases, these represent the fourth or fifth link in the supply chain. While these intermediaries do perform an important function in the chain, the mark-ups they charge and the challenges they may cause are not always fair or efficient. With the Internet, you can bypass local intermediaries

by dealing directly with parties in the county of origin. For example, if you want to import from abroad, you can use online marketplaces like to deal directly with manufacturers or local dealers in the supplier’s country. This not only allows you to cut out the cost of another middleman but to ensure that any delays or mistakes of local operators are also bypassed. It is important to remember that this kind of business comes with some challenges as well. You must make sure you can get your hands on samples before you place your big orders and ensure that your contracts ensure that you can get your money back if the goods received do not meet your expectations. It goes without saying that when doing business internationally you must do your due diligence to ensure you are dealing with legitimate and trustworthy firms. RETaIlIng onlInE Another way to avoid local roadblocks is to develop your own online retail presence. Offering your own online store can either supplement your existing retail efforts or replace them entirely. Additional savings can be realised when combining your retail sales with offshore sourcing. Drop shipping is when you post products for sale on your own or via a third party website but you do

not actually keep any of your own inventory. Once your customer purchases from you, your site automatically purchases the product from your offshore supplier and then ships the product directly to your customer using shipping services such as Aramex. This gives you several advantages. You get paid before you actually buy the product yourself, lowering your credit risks. You do not need to hold any inventory, saving money on rent and preventing you from holding unsold inventory at the end of a season. It also minimises the delays and difficulties in importing large amounts of products through customs. With this business model, as with the previous one, make sure you are selling quality products from reliable manufacturers. You should also make sure the products you are selling are legal to import into Qatar so you and your customers do not run foul of customs. BusInEss TRaVEl Companies that spend a great deal of money on travel understand how pricey such expenses can be. Dealing with local travel agencies can also be quite time consuming and frustrating. The best way to bypass these local suppliers is to use online travel sites like or These sites will provide you with the prices for international airlines, hotels, cruises


FREE E-commERcE REsouRcEs There are a lot of resources available online that your firm can source for free. For example, websites like offer software programs covering a variety of areas. Office software, security, design and communications are only a partial list of the offerings available. While some charge a small fee, many are available for no charge and are as effective as those that may cost hundreds or thousands of riyals. Why spend money for something you can get for free? You can also get a lot of valuable help online for free. When you need some specific business advice you can go to websites like to find articles on a variety of topics from accounting to technology. If you cannot find any articles that cover your topic of interest, you can go to groups on websites such as and post specific questions to those who are members. Since the point of LinkedIn is to bring together professionals, you may find that many of those who respond to your questions can later become consultants or mentors. When utilising the many advantages the Internet and e-commerce can provide, the key is to remember to use the right tool for the right job. Not all tools can be used effectively by every firm in every country so be sure to do your due diligence before implementing any strategy. and even excursions anywhere in the world. and the savings are generally between 25 percent and 40 percent. Further, dealing with these sites provides you with a level of service and convenience that you may not find with local agencies. These sites are most effective when booking flights and hotels together. The risks associated with online travel sites are that you may have to sacrifice convenience for price on occasion; this sometimes includes flying with airlines other than the local carrier. You may also have to deal with much higher fees when changing existing bookings or requesting cancellations. Just make sure you know the site’s rules before booking. ouTsouRcIng sERVIcEs One of the biggest challenges with operating a business in Qatar is finding skilled employees. Accountants, information technology (IT) staff and marketing people

etcetera; generally these types of professions are filled with expatriates and in many cases require not only high salaries but additional costs for housing, travel and family schooling. Most people think that they must bring staff to work in a local office day to day but this is not always necessary. An accountant or a webmaster does not need to work in your office to be effective. In fact, they do not even need to be in the same country. There are a variety of international companies where you can hire offshore staff to handle your accounting, IT services and many other professional requirements either full-time or one project at a time. Imagine the savings that can be had when you do not need to pay for the extras that come with having an employee on the ground in Qatar. Not only do you save on the initial cost of getting staff here, you avoid having to terminate their employment. With these offshore companies, you can simply ask for a different staff or terminate the contract entirely. The challenge with this type of outsourcing is that it can be difficult for many firms to sacrifice the control of having an employee nearby to watch. It can also be a challenge to send what may be sensitive information to a foreign contractor. cRowdsouRcIng This is an idea that is very similar to outsourcing in that it involves contracting a third party to perform a task either paid or as a volunteer. In this case, rather than hiring an individual, a firm can hire a group of people to perform a task. Essentially, a business posts their requirements on a website such as www. indicating what is needed and the timeframe involved. Individual professionals can log into the site and choose to participate in whatever is needed. For example, if a company is interested in having a group of people fill out a survey about a new brand logo, they can post it on the site and get valuable feedback without the trouble of having to organise a local focus group. In this manner, a firm may get a variety of new and fresh ideas without having to pay a single riyal.

Robert Madronic is a marketing instructor at the College of the North Atlantic-Qatar.


This way. Good design is not just what looks good. A useful design solves problems and optimises a given functionality. PRoducT usEFul It has to satisfy certain criteria. good dEsIgn Is: InnoVaTIVE Innovative design can both be a breakthrough product or service. Only well-executed objects can be beautiful. At best. usability. honEsT An honest design communicates solely the functions and values it offers. A breakthough product adds before-unseen value and function to the market and the user. Roula ayoub explains how good design is always beyond just looking good. best practices. or a redesign of an existing product or service. minimalism. The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products used every day have an effect on people and their well-being. A design makes how to use. it can make the product clearly express its function by making use of the user’s intuition. BusInEss Assuming a product is designed to sell. compatibility. and understand a product obvious. structure.MARKETING & DESIGN dEFInIng GOOD DESIGN Aesthetics. it is self-explanatory. It also needs to perform its purpose: delivering value. typography. drop shadows. Good design emphasises the usefulness of a product while disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it. direct and uncluttered. but also psychological and aesthetic.none of those things is integral to what ultimately falls into the category of ‘good design’. InTuITIVE Intuitive design explains itself and makes a user manual unnecessary. user experience . the meaning is always pure. It clarifies the product’s structure. responsiveness. perceive. rounded corners. It does not attempt to manipulate buyers and users with promises it cannot keep. A good business means a positive profit. while a redesign improves an existing product. organisation. mobile-friendliness. Better still. a good design does well in the competition and stands out in a competitive market. A good design explains its function. colour choice. FuncTIonal Useful design fills its intended function – and likely both a primary and secondary function. . why a good design sells well. aEsThETIc An aesthetic product has an inherent power of being able to fascinate and immediately appeal to the senses. not only functional.

as a designer you should determine the hierarchy of the page and then apply the emphasis to the elements based on that hierarchy. and repetition provides patterns that make your message easier to absorb. usER-oRIEnTEd Good design is based on its use and designed to improve a given situation for its user. You can have contrasting shapes (square vs. Roula Zinati Ayoub is the creative director at Firefly Communications. a good design has an important objective. Larger. to leave room for the user’s self-expression. But there is more to contrast than colour. • unITy is also called proximity. but better’ highlighting the fact that this approach focuses on the essential aspects thus the products are not burdened with non-essentials. EngagEs ThRough InsTRInsIc moTIVaTIon A good design makes the user want to engage through intrinsic rather than extrinsic motivation. long lasTIng In a society of over-consumption. Unlike fashionable design. It is the principle of keeping like elements together and diverse elements further apart. Patterns are easy for people to comprehend. as lITTlE dEsIgn as PossIBlE Dieter Rams makes the distinction between the common ‘Less is more’ and his strongly advised ‘Less. or contrasting textures (smooth vs. It relies on as few external factors and inputs as possible. Waste and over-consumption is not part of good design. • RhyThm is also called repetition. • EmPhasIs is what the eye is drawn to in a design. TheEDGE 73 . Instead. It builds on sustainability in the sense that design and materials are durable and not just a trend. Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools and are neither decorative objects nor works of art. lighter elements. they typically think of colours or black and white. User-oriented design adds value both intellectual and material value to its product and in turn increases satisfaction and the life situation of its user. down To ThE lasT dETaIl Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. or contrasting sizes (large vs. circle). small). A good design is always the simplest possible working solution. it lasts many years – even in today’s throwaway society.MARKETING & DESIGN whEn dEsIgnIng layouTs. FocusEd A good design is effective and efficient in fulfilling its purpose. unoBTRusIVE Products and their design should be both neutral and restrained. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the consumer. but this ends up making the design bland and flat. The principle of balance shows you how to layout your pages so that they work in harmony. rough). and these are easy to measure and manipulate to achieve an expected other output. darker elements appear heavier in the design than smaller. The desirable result would then be purer and simpler. • conTRasT When most people think of contrast. It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Rhythm brings an internal consistency to your designs. Unity pulls elements together. It’s tempting to give everything equal emphasis or try to emphasise everything in a design. ThE FollowIng PRIncIPlEs should BE TaKEn InTo consIdERaTIon: • BalancE is the distribution of heavy and light elements on the page.

design rights. The owner can also cancel the trade mark by applying to the Trade Marks Section to cancel the trade mark. a manufacturer or a service provider”. An application for a trade mark registration is lodged with the Trade Marks Section at the Industrial Property Office of the Ministry of Business and Trade together with the applicable fee.000. .LEGAL INSIGHT PROPERTY RIGHTS 02 PROTECTING YOUR INTELLECTUAL IN QATAR By brenda hill Qatar law currently provides protection for trade marks. design rights). A trade mark registration is valid for a period of 10 years from the date of filing the application. The trade mark application is then examined to ensure that it meets the requirements of the Trade Marks Law. and computer programs (copyright). Unless the assignment is recorded in the trade marks register and published in the Official Gazette it has no effect vis-àvis third parties. a trader. If no oppositions are filed within the four month opposition period the trade mark application will proceed to registration and the registration certificate will be issued. (9) of 2002 (the ‘Trade Marks Law’). The Trade Marks Law defines trade marks as “any visible sign capable of distinguishing the products (or services) of an enterprise. • your technical and commercial knowledge. then all protection under the Trade Marks Law will cease. dramatic and literary works. 03 TRadE maRkS INFRINgEmENT Remedies for trade mark infringement include seizure of the infringing products and damages. 01 TRadE maRkS REgISTRaTION RIgHTS Registration of a trade mark gives the owner the exclusive right to prevent third parties from using an identical or similar trade mark in a manner that is likely to mislead the public. renewable on application for consecutive periods of 10 years. Protecting your intellectual property is crucial to the success of your business. The penalty for trade mark infringement could result in imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years and/or a fine not exceeding QR20. skill and experience relating to your products or services (know-how and trade secrets). Intellectual property can protect: • what distinguishes your products and services from those provided by competitors (trademarks. manufacturing process and new and inventive technical features of your products (patents). An application to the Qatari courts would be required in order to obtain a remedy for infringement. a. Patents can be protected through a Gulf Cooperation Council (“GCC”) patent filed at the GCC Patent Office and by filing a Patent Cooperation Treaty (“PCT”) patent at a PCT receiving office. TRadE maRkS Trade marks are currently protected in Qatar by Law No. Any interested party may request the court to cancel a trade mark registration on the basis of non-use if the owner fails to use the trade mark in Qatar within a period of five consecutive years from the date of registration. and • your inventions. Accepted trade mark applications are published for opposition purposes in the Official Gazette. Any interested party may oppose the registration of the application within four months of the date of publication. The ownership of a registered trade mark can be assigned (transferred) with or without goodwill of the business. the protection of trade secrets and copyright. If the registration is not renewed. • your original artistic musical.

The penalty for violation of the Trade Secrets Law includes fines not exceeding QR50. The owner of the trade secret may prevent any person from misusing the trade secret protected by the provisions of the Trade Secrets Law. The ownership of a registered design can be assigned (transferred). The penalty for design right infringement could result in imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years and/or a fine not exceeding QR20. Accepted design applications are published for opposition purposes in the Official Gazette. For example. Any interested party may oppose the registration of the application within four months of the date of publication. in other words it must have individual character. renewable on application for two further five year periods (15 years in total). The provisions of the Trade Marks Law apply equally to design rights. obtain an injunction to prevent the further alleged infringement of the trade secret. Assignment must be in writing. pROTECTION OF TRadE SECRETS Law No.INFRINgEmENT Remedies for infringement of design right include seizure of the infringing products. C. an order for the provisional seizure of any products and an order to preserve any evidence of the alleged infringement. 05 06 dESIgN RIgHT . 07 TheEDGE 75 .000. The Trade Secrets Law defines “trade secrets” as unknown information that is not readily ascertainable by those working in a similar field.000 and/or imprisonment not exceeding one year. there is no clear definition of what can be protected by a registered design and what specific criteria is to be applied. Some aspects specific to designs are not set out in the Trade Marks Law. making this law a little unclear.LEGAL INSIGHT B. Any interested party may request the court to cancel a design registration on the basis of non-use if the owner fails to use the design in Qatar within a period of five consecutive years from the date of registration. but unless the assignment is recorded in the design register and published in the Official Gazette it shall have no effect vis-à-vis third parties. dESIgN RIgHT Inventive designs or industrial models can be registered under the Trade Marks Law. 04 dESIgN RIgHT – REgISTRaTION RIgHTS Registration of a design gives the owner the exclusive right to prevent third parties from using or copying the design. information that has economic benefit which emanates from its confidentiality and is the subject of reasonable efforts to maintain its secrecy. If no oppositions are filed within the four month opposition period the design application will proceed to registration and the registration certificate will be issued. The owner of the trade secret may assign (transfer) the rights in the trade secret in whole or in part to a third party. (5) of 2005 for the Protection of Trade Secrets deals with the protection of trade secrets (the ‘Trade Secrets Law’). Once the design application is filed. the design is examined to ensure the design is new and all formalities have been complied with. In the case of breach of contract and/or unauthorised use of the trade secret the owner can claim damages. signed by the parties and registered at the Trade Marks/Design Section. Protection lasts for five years. In order to obtain a registered design an application for a design registration is lodged with the Trade Marks/Design Section at the Industrial Property Office of the Ministry of Business and Trade.

This article should be used for information purposes only.000 and not exceeding QR100. However the Patent Law is not yet effective and there is no active Qatar Patent Office. purpose or mode of expression of such works. COpYRIgHT The Copyright and Neighboring Rights Law No. there is no direct patent registration system in Qatar. procedures. On May 3. Protection of copyright and authors’ rights in Qatar is largely dependent upon the Copyright Law. The author may assign (transfer) any of his economic rights provided the transfer is in writing and specifies separately the manner of disposal in respect of each right. Neighbouring rights. By contrast. making excerpts. which provides registration of patent rights throughout all Gulf Cooperation Council countries.RIgHTS The author/owner of the copyright has the exclusive right to carry out or to authorise the reproduction.000 and/or imprisonment for a period of not less than six months and not exceeding 12 months. The author of the work (or director of a film) is also entitled to certain moral rights. 76 TheEDGE . lectures. therefore for the purposes of drafting this article we have used our own translation and interpreted the same in the context of Qatari regulation and current market practice. ordering of appropriate indemnification and seizure of profits gained from infringement. E. mathematical concepts. However. Saudi Arabia. Every published. translation. If any reader requires legal advice. quality. 08 9 COpYRIgHT . which include the rights of performers. such as being identified as the author and having the right to object to any derogatory treatment of the work. Switzerland. (7) of 2002 (the ‘Copyright Law’) deals with the protection of copyright and neighbouring rights. laws.hill@dlapiper. The economic rights of the author/ owner are protected during the life of the author.LEGAL INSIGHT d. Law No. Ideas. and for 50 years after his/her death. this should be obtained from an experienced lawyer. (30) of 2006 (the ‘Patent Law’ or PTC). who can provide advice which is tailored to the relevant facts and circumstances. seizure of infringing copies. For any information in respect of legal issues. producers of sound recordings and rights of all broadcasting organisations. principles and data are not protected. Patent protection is presently extended through applications filed through the GCC Patent Office in Riyadh. Qatar is not a party to the Paris Convention for Protection of Intellectual Property. This means that as of August 3. musical. international treaties. public performance and communication to the public of the works (the “economic rights”). artistic works. Qatar has an issued Patent Law. distribution through sale and/or rental. 11 Note: All Qatari Laws (save for those issued by the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) to regulate its own business) are issued in Arabic and there are no official translations. Qatar is a member of the World Trade Organization and the World Intellectual Property Organization. works applied to arts. works of art and computer programs. photographic and similar works. 2011 both nationals and residents of Qatar can obtain patent protection in Qatar under the PCT by filing a PCT patent application at any PCT receiving office such as in Geneva. musical arrangement or transformation. It is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. displayed or circulated work is required to be accompanied by a certificate of origin. The Office for the Protection of Copyright and Neighboring Rights at the Ministry of Business and Trade is responsible for the implementation of the Copyright Law. Protected works include books. please contact Brenda Hill (brenda. legal provisions. The Patent Law grants patents a term of protection for 20 years as from the date of grant in Qatar. Protection under the Copyright Law is conferred to the author’s original literary. irrespective of the value. dramas and musical plays. choreographed works. and a declaration (by the importer or owner) specifying the geographic area/place within which the display or circulation is authorised. dramatic. administrative 2011 Qatar acceded to the Patent Cooperation Treaty. are also protected by the Copyright Law. although derivatives of these are protected. Penalties for violation of the Copyright Law include fines not less than QR30. audiovisual works. 10 COpYRIgHT INFRINgEmENT Sanctions for the infringement of copyright include granting injunctions. paTENT law At present. official documents and any translation of these are not generally protected and neither is daily news and other news of an informatory nature. operational methods.

80) also In ThIs sEcTIon: • BanKs FollowIng ThE hIgh TEch TREnd TheEDGE’s Erika Widén spoke exclusively with the newly appointed chief executive officer of Standard Chartered Bank Qatar. Charles Carlson. Naim Yazbeck. .BUSINESS INSIgHT InsIDe the MInDs of leaDIng BusIness fIgures Qatar’s new country manager for Microsoft. their strategic pillars in Qatar. talked exclusively with TheEDGE’s Miles Masterson recently about the company’s relationship with ictQatar and as a partner in various ministerial departments in rolling out ‘e-governance’. as well as his plans for growing the IT brand’s consumer market share in the country. nEw mIcRosoFT QaTaR counTRy managER (P. about how they plan to expand their award winning mobile Breeze application and Internet services in the country.

BUSINESS INSIGHT Information Technology Incoming Microsoft Qatar country head aims to consolidate brand’s position New Microsoft Corporation Qatar Country Manager Naim yazbeck joined Microsoft as the company’s public sector director for the Gulf in 2008. which is the broader business. the public sector is a big chunk of all this. in government education and healthcare. The public sector is still the largest segment in Qatar and the gulf. telecom operators. Please present us with an overview of microsofts local operations. The second big part of our business is the big enterprises. where for three years he developed relationships with governments across the region and the business. And then the last is the consumer business…customers who buy xbox or Microsoft Office. TheEDGE’s Miles Masterson spoke to him exclusively about his new role and the company’s future plans. banks. Then the third segment that we have is small and medium. including Qatar. in this part of the world. but we are seeing a big trend in the past couple of years 78 TheEDGE . but what others have potential? The whole Gulf is very similar. working with the public sector. where the public sector is a big chunk and obviously enterprise is a big chunk. Yazbeck was offered his new Doha-based position at the helm of Microsoft in Qatar. oil and gas companies. Recently. which we consider as non-governmental organisations. or is that just part of it? If you look at Microsoft. Obviously. our business is split into mainly four or five segments. is important for you in Qatar.

to help Qataris and young nationals to be equipped to go into the job market. It has more than 500 features and is going to really have solid platform. governments including the Qatari government. what do you think the advantages are in terms of your competition? They are very well positioned as well as the hardware manufacturer. we are very much aligned to this and that is really part of our aim…to help Qataris and young nationals to be equipped to go into the job market. can you outline microsoft’s ambitions in the local gaming sector? Yes. it has always been big for Microsoft. and we believe when this is going to come with Nokia phones. Actually. Qatar is among the first countries in the world where the service is going to be launched and this is going to be a huge innovation and value to the Qatari market. which is unified communication. if you look at technologies like Office. We will be the only company offering private cloud and public cloud in the local market. So this is something that is very important for us…we believe our partnership with Nokia. it is going to be even stronger. ‘Office 365’ very soon. we want to continue growing market share [as] competition is definitely getting tough. which they cannot afford. Microsoft is providing the core technologies and we have a lot of partners who customise those technologies first to build specific systems for the government or private sector. microsoft has a strong relationship with nokia? Mobile is going to be a very strategic direction for us and I think our partnership with Nokia is a core and is an important answer to the competition in the mobile market. we bring the integration with your office. But definitely in gaming we have made major progress. We bring the platform. I think we have gone from there to number one. But the third pillar for Microsoft is our commitment to the Qatar national plan. that probably can give you an idea. So I am very optimistic about our position in the mobile industry and over the next 12 months I can see major developments. We are launching our cloud computing offering. be it government or private sector. be it government or private sector. how is that going to come into Qatar? This is a huge bet for Microsoft globally. So if you look at technologies like SharePoint. Second. but mainly small and medium business. “If you look at Qatar today and their aspirations. Public cloud is a data centre running somewhere. I think we also bring the Microsoft brand with us. obviously is going to benefit the whole market. This is the core foundation of how Microsoft works. because we know that ICT is the core fuel of the economy. is we want to keep leading in terms of innovation and bringing new technologies in the market.” It makes sense though for companies or governments to use the same software though. have a lot of aspiration for entrepreneurship and enlarging this small and medium space. I think this is going to be a major advantage. helping to bring new technologies and innovation to the country. the majority based here and some companies from outside. like Link. Private cloud means an organisation builds their data centre physically within their entities. We at Microsoft have always been and will always be committed to working with our partners in order to make sure we leverage this huge ecosystem. For us. because this is where the real economy is and this is where we think the Qatar business will grow over the next three years. that is where we are focusing and helping the government in leveraging new technology to make sure that they build a solid place to fuel the economy. We do a lot of citizenship initiatives that are going into that direction and the fourth one is our relation with our strategic partners. First thing that we look at. and we will continue to lead the market. A lot of the struggle for small and medium business is that there is a big gap between their aspiration and their capacity… they may need to start with heavy investment in IT. and people access their data accordingly. It is not officially launched in Qatar [yet]. you mentioned cloud computing. We have been dealing with them on strategic projects and initiatives and we have a commitment to the government of Qatar in terms of building capacity. xbox Live is one of the solid services that exist today. not many different kinds? There is a lot of integration of systems that the government uses that communicate. and is going to be a very big bet for us here. [where] more than fifty percent of the people working in ICT are related to Microsoft. they have the customer experience and they have the presence to deal with hardware. The launch of Kinect last December.BUSINESS INSIGHT where the small and medium business is growing as well. I think between the reach and the mobile handset experience that Nokia has and the experience that we are bringing is a seamless experience between the phone and the office and your PC. because at the end of the day you need a telephone that helps you have the same experience that your laptop has in your office. it is coming to the market soon. how exactly is microsoft engaged with government institutions? We have a very strategic relationship with ictQatar and with all the governmental entities. that was game-changing. they have the brand. Office 365 will allow what we call ‘on demand use’ of technology. Office 365. but mainly it is going to be needed in organisations. in building capacity and in education. If you look at our strategy…and what is my strategy as a country manager for tackling the Qatari market. how important is this to you? We probably have 80 partners in the Qatari market that we work with. at Microsoft. but there are also some specific independent systems that are unique to government and non-government organisations. our public cloud service. they are all the basis of e-government or e-service. you mention partnerships. it could be outside of Qatar. Finally. They will pay for what they use for. If you look at Qatar today and their aspirations in building the knowledge economy. does that involve building customised systems for each department? Today a lot of the e-government systems are basically related to Microsoft technology. their services and even if you look today at our existing version of Windows 7 Phone which we called Mango. TheEDGE 79 . what about the mobile sector. So they have the reach. microsoft are very much aligned to this and that is really part of our aim. which…is going to allow much more innovators and small startups.

For example. local farmers sell their products to brokers in the cities or the main markets. Pakistan. is also very useful to me because Qatar is a technologically savvy. With exposure to the region. yet the uptake of mobile phones has been huge. In Qatar. of which seven years you have been stationed in abu dhabi and Bahrain.BUSINESS INSIGHT Technological Banking The Incoming CEO of Standard Chartered Bank in Qatar discusses the technology sector When banks have problems in their home markets they often withdraw internationally. Carlson explains more to Erika Widén about their award winning mobile ‘Breeze’ application. so banking through these devices is the most convenient way for customers to use our services. we have a new innovation that we just launched in Asia and plan to bring to the Middle East. with tremendous growth opportunities. New York and London. will scB accommodate and expand their ecosystem to other smartphones in the market? The Breeze mobile platform has been designed to work on Blackberries and Android smartphones as well the iPhone iOS platform. A recent report estimates an overall Internet penetration in Qatar standing at 82 percent and we already have Internet banking to meet that need here. chief executive officer of Standard Chartered Bank. my cultural understanding is going to be of immense help. giving them a bigger profit margin. will this extend to Qatar? Qatar is a very tech-savvy society. For one bank. from a banking point of view. with a lot of extra features. the Blackberry seems to stand strong. Charles Carlson. But my experience in the developed markets of Singapore. united arab Emirates and zambia. which lets you do all your banking on your mobile phone. with more than 11 years of extensive experience. sophisticated market. (SCB) explains that the UK bank is different to its competitors and fully committed to Qatar. It’s a mobile phone application called Breeze. how is standard chartered Bank marketing its mobile service to encourage customers in different regions? We look at it in a slightly different way: in some places mobile banking is the only way to go because people do not have easy access to computers and the Internet. in some remote areas of Kenya. they are now able to bypass the broker and sell their products directly into the main market. For the second consecutive year global finance has awarded scB as the ‘Best consumer Internet Bank’ in singapore. However. how will your expertise in the region be crucial for leading the bank’s growth here? The seven years I have spent in the Middle East has been more of a cultural experience. 80 TheEDGE . this is not the case as commitment to international markets is a crucial part of its strategy. I was born in Egypt and I grew up in North Africa. Thanks to mobile phones and mobile phone applications. That profit margin goes a long way in sustaining economic growth in the rural areas in Africa.

In some local websites there seem to be sporadic complaints of expatriates towards the service of many banks in Qatar. not least the new generation coming out of school who are demanding it. The important thing is to ensure that complaints are addressed promptly and fairly. Qatar is aware of what the global issues are. In the Consumer Bank we focus on needsbased banking. Often a complaint is an opportunity to turn the situation around into a compliment if we solve it quickly. the service level agreements. since being appointed cEo. They are doing more offshore banking but [consolidation] could happen. Tighter regulation in other parts of the world is a natural thing and you see Qatar’s Central Bank being more vigilant. But I think there will come a time that you will see this technology coming into the region. We do address this and other issues on a continual basis and we try to improve our service every day. how does standard chartered Bank monitor customer service? We take customer service very seriously – the statistics are on my table every month. for example.BUSINESS INSIGHT standard chartered Bank has been operating in Qatar for more than 60 years. which will substitute the current credit/ debit card. so I think you will see tightening consistent with the rest of the world. what is standard chartered Bank’s current position in the Qatar banking environment among its competitors? In wholesale banking we essentially offer the same industry and product expertise as Qatar. it is right up there. We have experts in the oil and gas businesses. So if you are asking how important it is. So our priority banking and wealth management is more of a tailored approach rather than “one size fits all”. There are thousands of banking transactions taking place and things do happen. you go to the pharmacist’s and very often you pay in cash. yet uses this for small payments. mining metals. When market conditions are right. and will have its own brand of regulation to suit the local market. such as the aTm card decline slip that appears when purchasing items.” to fruition. Standard Chartered is well positioned to support the aspirations of Qatar in our network in addition to our presence on the ground here. what is your view in terms of consolidation in Qatar? There are several banks in Qatar that have a full license. International banking has tightened regulations. They have the same concerns as regulators in other parts of the world. So it works very well in Japan and Korea. the trends of complaints. resolution and turnaround times. I do not see it necessarily as something of a pressing issue. because we cannot have products without service and our annual performance process reviews this aspect as much as other targets. We are still a cash society here in many ways. and I do not think that is too large of a number given the size of the economy and where the country is headed. TheEDGE 81 . rather we aim to complement their offering. I am sure other banks have similar ways of doing it. You need a big population that is tech-savvy. whether through advice or financing or structuring. power and so on. This is a pretty common complaint and certainly not unique to Qatar. We look at the matrix. We expect increased momentum as the infrastructure plans start to materialise and we have the expertise to help those projects come “we do see technology playing an increasingly important role in Qatar because it starts with what people want. Africa and the Middle East in oil and gas. so I think the government manages the sector very well. We are not in competition with the big local banks. high volumes of small transactions. for example in priority banking particularly where international services are required. so to that extent Qatar wants to make upstream investments across our geographical networks of Asia. We do see technology playing an increasingly important role in Qatar because it starts with what people want. The government has been very wise and people cannot come in and suddenly get a license. The population is small and it is still a cash society. and here the population is technologically sophisticated. the Central Bank and the Qatar Central Bank have been in sync with developments all over the world. telecommunications. and other metrics. We have a branch network across 70 countries and offer a full range of wholesale banking and consumer banking across that international network. not least the new generation coming out of school who are demanding it. it’s just human tendency. will scB in the future have near Field communication (nFc). and here the population is technologically sophisticated. which means giving customers what they actually want rather than just creating products and trying to sell them. where the customer. but that is all changing and I do think that you will see it coming to Qatar at some point. but it’s unlikely to go to zero.. does standard chartered Bank have a preventive action for such incidents? We have an active service quality team and I am personally involved in reviewing the statistics on complaints. what is going on. In your opinion if nFc were to expand. There are several banks in the QFC as well. among other things. it will happen. what are standard chartered Bank’s priority tasks on the agenda for 2012? We are focusing on a section of the market where we can offer great value to our customers that they can’t necessarily get elsewhere. Today there is a high demand for instant and easy banking. does this affect Qatar? The government. since then a lot of banks have entered the market. using a mobile device can swipe a payment or transaction near a reader module? We are constantly engaging with technology providers and I envisage that we will have that capability in the region. You aim to have a complaint-free month every month. so we work with them. mining and metals and petrochemicals. Small shops like cash. do you believe it is safe? When Internet banking first came up it was the same issue and there are still people who will count the money they receive from the ATM as opposed to counting it from the teller. It seems to work well when you have very high density. Qatar is also a net exporter of capital.


86). while powering up with the most important meal of the day (P. If the shoe fit: “Shoes maketh the man” or so the saying goes. also In ThIs sEcTIon: • • doha power breakfasts: An at-a-glance guide to some of the ideal locations in Doha to meet for business in the morning.TRaVEl & lIFESTYlE london BusInEss and ThaIland PlEasuRE (P. We also take a diversion to a new luxury resort in Thailand.84) TheEDGE guides you to some of the best hotels for travelling businessmen in the UK capital as well as a few good restaurants. to Qatar.86). (P. 10 things: 10 notable contributions ancient Arabs have made to the modern world. new trends and some maintenance and polishing tips. the N9. nokia n9: Nokia introduces its new flagship mobile device. TheEDGE’s quick read style guide to appropriate • • footwear for various business situations. (P. (P.85). shops and sights to take in if you have time to take a walk around the city’s streets.88) .

uk) This spectacular spot offers a great panorama of London’s skyline.Fairmont. Many of its 268 luxurious rooms have stunning views of River Thames. The Savoy. 84 TheEDGE . this iconic hotel is within walking distance of both London’s West End theatres and the gleaming towers of The City. Rooms start at £570 (QR3192) per night in October. GETTING THERE Qatar Airways ( flies direct to London Heathrow four times daily. CulTuRE vulTuRE: The Tate Modern (www. For those missing Doha’s Occupying one of London’s finest addresses (opposite Harvey Nichols.tate. com.7 WHERE TO STAy Mandarin also flies daily from Doha. WHERE TO PlAy: The Oxo Tower (http://www. Knightsbridge (www. Begin at department store Peter Jones and head west. with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Thames. The Royal Albert Hall (www. even if art isn’t usually your thing. Once there. including breakfast. com/savoy) Fresh from an £100 million (QR560 million) restoration.000 square could be just the ticket. Rooms from £519 (QR2900) a night. British Airways (www. The building is a piece of art in itself. com) This iconic piece of Victorian architecture is a fantastic concert venue. take advantage of al fresco dining on the terrace for one of London’s finest views. it has the most international visitors of any city in the world and ‘The City’ the United Kingdom capital’s financial district is one of the world’s economic powerhouses. and a brand new two-bedroom Royal Suite is truly fit for a king. you’ll need comfortable shoes (and a large wallet) to explore it all. skylonrestaurant. minutes from Harrods and right next to Hyde Park) this hotel’s impressive Victorian exterior and classic English style offer unbeatable luxury. this is the perfect place to watch the sunset in one of the world’s most exciting cities. including breakfast. our favourite being the laid back Brasserie.TRAVEL Business Travel Insider: london London means business. is well worth a look. Famed for its excellent cocktails. Nine ‘personality suites’ have been created around some of The Savoy’s most high profile guests. Westfield London (uk. has recently had a makeover.heathrowexpress. this riverside landmark is home to three lovely venues. direct to London Paddington. from brass band competitions to Orff’s Carmina Burana. com/oxo-tower-london) An off-shoot of Harvey Nichols. The Strand (www.harveynichols. you can feast on global delicacies while listening to live music. Currency: Pounds This collection of international modern art. As London prepares to hold the Olympic Games for a record third mandarinoriental. On arrival. entry is free.qatarairways. in the heart of fashionable Mayfair. housed in a former power station. The largest urban zone in the whole of the European Union. and if you’re here in good weather. its walls now sporting modern art alongside traditional period features. and as with most museums in London. and with Balenciaga and Marc Jacobs stores close by. First Class £26). Victoria scott advises those intending to visit this vibrant metropole for business or leisure or both. £18 one-way. it’s playing host to an eclectic list of events. the quickest and easiest way into town is on the Heathrow Express ( cafes. But with a retail floor area of antique shops and high-street staples like Marks & Spencer as you go. Rooms starts at UK£499 (QR2795) in October. In October. Here.westfield. via Bahrain. Exchange rate (as of Sept 2011) £1 = QR5. the hotel is ideally placed for a spot of shopping after a hard day’s work. The Connaught. Skylon at the Royal Festival Hall (www. SPlASH yOuR CASH: Forget Oxford Street (far too noisy and congested for our liking) and head instead to the King’s Road in Chelsea for a spot of retail therapy. catch a black London cab and sit back and enjoy the journey to your hotel – London’s cabbies are famed for knowing their way around the city’s streets without the aid of a map. Mayfair (www. Bag a table on the terrace at celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal’s hotel restaurant and you’ll be dining with London’s finest. Michelin-starred food from Hélène Darroze is served in the hotel’s restaurant. taking in designer The Connaught.

too. enjoy snacks and a happy-hour cocktail on the beach. Open Saturday to Thursday 7 am to 10 pm. The hotel has 55 luxurious rooms. an excellent. Its secluded ambience lends itself to the serious business of eating – and the odd business deal. Friday from 9 am to 10 pm. Breakfast served all day. If you fancy indulging yourself. With good service. eat out under the stars at the beachfront Bellini Italian Restaurant.11 am (Fridays). Although the resort is on Thailand’s mainland. too. free wifi. varied menu (we rather like their toasted sandwiches) and the elegant surroundings of Villaggio’s upmarket wing. too. free newspapers and two convenient locations make it a top spot for a top-level breakfast. and the breakfast buffet is large and fresh. vIllAGGIO MAll If you’re based in the west of town. including breakfast. The hotel’s glass-fronted Corniche restaurant offers a plentiful buffet and lots of a la carte options. RAMADA/vIllAGGIO Chic décor. They’ve got bagels of every kind . the Amari Vogue in Krabi looks out on the Andaman Sea and its myriad limestone karsts and islands. And if you feel like you deserve a special treat. TheEDGE 85 .30 am (4429 8888) DEAN AND DEluCA. (4451 9780) W CAFé. The mind boggles. Qatar Airways ( A deluxe room at the Amari Vogue starts at 4534 TBT (QR544) a night in October. It’s brilliantly placed for a spot of indulgent shopping afterwards. (4411 0041) A Guide to: doha Power Breakfasts lE NOTRE. where you can sample a selection of the best treatments from Thai. and when night falls. We love their coffee and fresh juice. but the hotel’s chefs will provide a feast for your stomach. WEST BAy This candy coloured hideaway in West Bay is a well loved destination for afternoon tea (its cupcakes are gaining fame around the city) but it’s also a nice spot for breakfast. Opens 6 am to11 am (Sat-Thurs) and 8 am . The breakfast menu has so many options we reckon we could be there until lunch just deciding what to have. The view is certainly a feast for your eyes.LIFESTYLE BREAD AND BAGElS. W HOTEl.qatarairways. this relaxed venue could be just the right choice for an informal morning meeting. (4455 2111) MARRIOTT DOHA We love the Marriott’s lovely sea view and its proximity to the airport. the Amari Vogue has eight Honeymoon Deluxe and eight Royal Deluxe rooms. this place is one of our favourites.amari. A relative newcomer to Doha. As the sun sets. a handy location if you’ve just met someone off an early flight. Bread and Bagels does exactly what it says on the tin. We’re particularly impressed that they’ve thought of those of us watching our diets with low carb/low cholesterol options. Breakfast 6 am to 11. As well as its standard rooms. check out the hotel’s Breeze Spa. Open 9am at Villaggio. all set around a lush tropical garden leading to an infinity pool and the beautiful Tub Kaek Beach below. free wifi (4453 5000) the amari Vogue Krabi. the hotel has two exclusive ‘Spa Suites’ – bedrooms with adjoining private treatment rooms. Dean and Deluca’s café ticks all the boxes for a tasty breakfast in pleasant surroundings. www.there’s even a bagel simply named “Everything”. Perched above an unspoilt white beach. Open daily 9 am to midnight. 8am at Ramada flies direct to Bangkok from Doha three times daily. That’s what we call five star service. Thailand This Thai gem has a picture-postcard view that’s so stunning it doesn’t feel quite real. WEST BAy If your clients have their offices in West Bay. and only 40 minutes from Krabi airport (with its connections to Bangkok and beyond) you could be forgiven for feeling that you’ve landed at a remote island hideaway. but you can order a la carte. At breakfast. so guests need never to leave the privacy of their own room to enjoy what the spa has to offer. Prices start at QR2590 for an economy return in October. Asian and Western traditions. and four special Ocean Villas with outdoor jacuzzis. BEACH TOWER. take a seat out on the terrace while indulging in the buffet at the Lotus Restaurant.

Stick to dark leather at the with a toe that is not too pointy. One. with innovative technology and a unique look and feel.9-inch screen is made from scratch-resistant curved glass. Apply shoe polish with a cloth to the top and heel of the shoe – used cloths caked with polish are best. focused on the tongue and the crevices under buckles and where the leather meets the sole. who have a spirit of creativity accompanied by a strong commercial drive as well. For a full range of business-suitable shoes. THE MONK-STRAP This is the shoe where a standard. shoE FITs… love your shoes Prolong the life of your shoes by taking care of them. REad IT: NEt PrOFIt “The types of people who work well in the internet are those who share a passion for the product and delighting the user. Fitted with Near Field Communication. single buckle reaches across the shoe’s tongue and ends right below the cuff of your pants. HD quality video capture. Make sure yours is finely made.LIFESTYLE SArtOrIAL StYLE: IF tHE TheEDGE’s quick guide to essential shoes for all business Soskin knows a trick or two about internet entrepreneurism and this book thus is an indispensable guide to success in the modern minefield that is online business. and allow to and Swapit. It’s a subtle statement and at home in a corporate environ.” This excerpt from David Soskin’s informative book Net Profit: How to Succeed at Digital Business does two things. round brush over these spots with varying strokes. and certainly not square. Rub the polish in with a shoe brush. cracked spots and allow to dry. if that at all describes you or your company’s aspirations then you may want to take a look at this offering. THE ANKlE BOOT The boot is making a big comeback this winter. Run a small. Two. THE OxFORD A terrific formal shoe that does the business. using side-to-side and upand-down motions. The Nokia N9 introduces a new design where a home key is replaced by a simple swipe to move seamlessly through applications. Doha. and current head of mySupermarket. 1. Buff each shoe with a soft towel to finish off. THE lOAFER Loafers are a sharp alternative to black lace-ups. the new Nokia N9 promises to redefine the way smartphones are used. rub leather conditioner on any A lace-up pair with slim leather soles in a rich brown patina will match any three-piece suit. which certainly creates a different user experience. Using a clean rag. and not all of them look right with suits. THE WING TIP The wing tip can be pointy and delicate. visit Salam Stores in West Bay. In addition. Look out for a (black) pair with thin leather laces and some detail on the toe-cap. starting from the toe. THE NEW NOKIA N9 According to its manufacturers. which is both informative and engaging. the Nokia N9 allows the user to easily share images and videos between devices. As the former CEO of early and successful online start-up Cheapflights. as possessing a will to win and the self confidence not to be cowed by sometimes far better-financed competitors. it exemplifies Soskin’s succinct and to-the-point writing style. A light shade of brown in soft leather or suede will look perfect with jeans. The 3. not too round. Apply a second cat of polish. Available at Virgin Bookstore for QR127. just make sure your pair has a slim leather sole. Available soon in Qatar. For more info contact GCG on 974 44910666 86 TheEDGE . Allow to dry. chinos or corduroy trousers. 3. of course. 2. Place shoe trees in both shoes. round toe and a good polish. the N9 packs a powerful 8 megapixel Carl Zeiss wide angle lens.


The mosque of Ibn Tulun in Cairo. who used maps not seen by Europeans. while the Egyptians. which is part of every aspect of all our daily lives. it was originally brought to Europe by Crusaders returning from the wars in Palestine. GEOGRAPHICAl NAvIGATION The world’s earliest geographical charts were developed by the Canaanites who. or variations of early Arab musical instruments. Ahmed ibn Majid. Al Razi. Arab astronomers of the Middle Ages used it to chart the precise time of sunrises and sunsets and to determine the period of fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. MATHEMATICS Al Khwarizmi. compiled a world atlas. was inspired to find a more accurate method of ensuring precise land divisions so that the Qu’ran could be obeyed in laws of inheritance. and Portugal’s Vasco da Gama explored the east of Africa guided by an Arab pilot. This month TheEDGE takes a look at 10 of these valuable gifts. lANGuAGE Modern European languages. They covered walls and objects with intricate mosaics. Ibn Tufail’s Hayy ibn Yaqzan. The harp. flute. zither. known in Europe as Avicenna. focused on building mosques and mausoleums.10 TEN THINGS MEDICINE In the field of medicine. for example. gIftS fROm thE ARAB WORlD lITERATuRE The rich Arabic language has left its mark through poetry and literature. CRAFTS The ancient Arabs elevated small-scale artistries to new levels of perfection. HORTICulTuRE The ancient Arabs were pioneers of botany. astronomy was improved with religion in mind. considered the best geographical guide of its time. From the arts to the sciences. where it was once the entertainment of shepherds. with its pointed arches. ceramics and textile weaves attest to their special skills. while the Arab numeral sifr. and brought peach. ARCHITECTuRE Arab architecture. Portuguese. Tripoli and Damascus were interpreted as ribbed vaults across Europe. developed new glazing techniques in pottery and were the original masters of silk weaving. tambourine. credited with founding algebra. Glassware. was the greatest writer of medicine in the Middle Ages. Italian and English. are thought to have discovered the Atlantic. such as Spanish. oboe and reed instruments of today are either exactly as they were used in early Arab civilisation. carvings and paintings. was translated into Latin in 1671 and English in 1708 and bears many similarities to William Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. who with the Egyptians. French. Syrian Ibn Sina. pioneering work in mental health and also in psychotherapy. Designs from the mosques of Mecca. Arab horticulture gave the world the fragrant flowers and herbs used to make perfumes. Perhaps the greatest contribution Arabs have made to human civilisation though has been the phonetic alphabet. lyre. loquat and olive trees to southern Europe. was the first to diagnose smallpox and measles. tiles. owe a great debt to Arabic. drum. able to graft a single vine so that it would bear grapes in different colours. Al Biruni discussed the possibility of the earth rotating on its own axis. al Idrisi. MuSIC Although the bagpipe is identified with the British Isles. tariff (ta’rif) and sugar (sukkar). orange (naranj). apricot. was the inspiration for many cathedrals in Europe. ASTRONOMy As with algebra. or zero. Arabs improved upon the healing arts of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. a theory proven by Galileo six centuries later. provided new solutions for complex mathematical problems. 12th century scientist. considered by many as the first novel. while the Muslim minaret in turn became the campanile. Syrians and Phoenicians created the cosmetics that were later borrowed by the women of Europe. the Arab world has done much to improve and contribute to human civilization. with the English language itself containing many words borrowed from Arabic. 88 TheEDGE . a medical encyclopaedist of the ninth century. Some even believe that the poet Nizami’s translations of Layla and Majnun inspired Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. created an elegant and daring style now found worldwide.

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