Qatar was traditionally regarded as a market where IT service companies would dip in and out of as opportunities arose. Firms would establish their Middle East base elsewhere, and then deliver projects locally when necessary, rather than investing for the long-term in country.
Following the rise of Qatar as a major energy producer and over a decade of windfall gains from being the world’s largest exporter of natural gas, many international organisations have begun to change their view.
The government’s ambitious infrastructure development program, geared in part toward preparing the country for the 2022 World Cup, a booming construction sector, increasing consumer demand and a growing population are also all working in Qatar’s favour. Despite the sharp drop in oil prices and the shadow cast by the corruption scandal at FIFA, the economy is expected to grow 4-6% in 2015. Around USD 200 billion, equal to Qatar’s total GDP in 2013, is planned to be spent on infrastructure projects in the coming years, providing a massive boost to the economy and clearly providing significant opportunities for IT service companies.
Halian incorporated in Qatar in 2013 after signing major deals in the IT Healthcare sector, and have continued to partner with both multi-national companies looking to expand their footprint in the country as well as those that are entering Qatar for the first time.
Stuart Fry, Halian’s Managing Director for Emerging Markets, sees the continued growth in Qatar as a golden opportunity for Halian. “Where infrastructure investment is taking place on the scale of that in Qatar, the need for smart technology solutions is just as important as the bricks and mortar. From IT healthcare systems in new hospitals and clinics to enterprise software solutions for oil and gas companies, Halian is able to deliver the expertise that our customers in Qatar need.”