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editor’s letter

FROM THE

EDITOR

WAGING WAR ON CYBER CRIME

With digital business information being the new currency, more than ever before technology infrastructure is a critical asset. According to a 2010 Cyber Security Watch Survey, threats posed to targeted organisations are increasing faster than many organisations can combat them. Moreover, the survey suggests current security models, which are only minimally effective against cyber criminals, heighten the threat of cyber crime. While some argue that the growing threat of cyber crime is an unsolvable problem, the fact remains that the problem has not been solved – yet. Experts say that technological innovation has consistently surpassed security innovation primarily because security was not part of the initial design of the Internet. However, as Internet usage matures, so too will the advances in cyber security. The question is not if cyber security innovation will catch up to cyber crime innovation, but more so when and how the two shall meet. Irrespective of how individuals, companies and governments opt to fend themselves against the detrimental effects of cyber crime, the key point of concern stands: remaining stationary is the worst posture to assume. Cyber risk is as limitless as human determination, ingenuity and ignorance. Cyber crime is an insidious pandemic that is increasingly becoming interlinked with the broader scope of the criminal ecosystem. Beginning with the theft of an individual’s identity and spiralling to the complete disruption of a country’s Internet connectivity – due to a massive attack against its networking and computing resources – cyber crime can have widespread and financially devastating effects. In the 21st century, businesses are highly dependent on technology to deliver services, interact with customers and manage a supply chain. Therefore, it is essential that businesses identify what the risks to sensitive business information and the associated vital assets are to their operations, and what the security blind spots are. Being ‘cyber security smart’ is about applying the appropriate defence to protect your critical business assets. Businesses need to clearly outline their cyber security strategy, which will ensure that they maintain a reasonable level of vigilance against cyber threats. Maybe the following statements, which were made with either foresight or luck in the 1992 movie Sneakers, best sums up how we view the modern-day threat of cyber crime: “The world isn’t run by weapons anymore, or energy or money. It’s run by ones and zeroes, little bits of data. It’s all just electrons,” a spokesperson for Universal City Studios said. “There’s a war out there, old friend, a world war. And it’s not about who’s got the most bullets. It’s about who controls the information...what we see and hear, how we work, what we think. It’s all about the information.”

Kelly Lewis

Managing Editor

Do you have something to say? It is not all about us and we realise that often our readers are in the right place at the right time resulting in great stories. Is there a story that you want TheEDGE to cover? Are we delivering our readership with the content it demands? Are there new sections that you would like to see implemented in the magazine? Or do you simply want to make a comment? If so, send your letters to the editor at:

letters@theedge-me.com MAY 2010

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WHO ARE WE

WHO WE

ARE Managing editor Kelly Lewis k.lewis@firefly-me.com +974 5067574 DEPUTY EDITOR David Poort d.poort@firefly-me.com +974 6155908 SENIOR SALES manager Emma Land e.land@firefly-me.com +974 3197446 SALES EXECUTIVE Laura Bridges l.bridges@firefly-me.com +974 5573324 Creative director Roula Zinati Ayoub Art AND DESIGN Lara Nakhlé Rena Chehayber Rana Cheikha Charbel Najem Finaliser Michael Logaring Photographer Herbert Villadelrey DISTRIBUTION & SUBSCRIPTION Michael Javier +974 5262089 m.javier@firefly-me.com Dan Louie Javier +974 6975087 d.javier@firefly-me.com

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Firefly Communications PO Box 11596, Doha , Qatar Tel: +974 4340360 Fax: +974 4340359 www.firefly-me.com

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printed by Ali Bin Ali Printing Press Doha, Qatar

About TheEDGE: TheEDGE is an ambitious business magazine targeting professionals operating within Qatar’s multi-sector business landscape. Printed monthly, 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. TheEDGE is distributed 12 times yearly to a readership base of more than 7500 professionals, providing advertisers with the needed additional reach and frequency to their most important audience. TheEDGE is an authoritative business resource serving both large and small business operators.

TheEDGE is printed monthly © 2009 Firefly Communications. All material strictly copyright and all rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of Firefly Communications, is strictly forbidden. All content is believed to be factual at the time of publication. Views expressed by contributors are their own derived opinions and not necessarily endorsed by TheEDGE or Firefly Communications. No responsibility or liability is accepted by the editorial staff or the publishers for any loss occasioned to any individual or company, legal or physical, acting or refraining from action as a result of any statement, fact, figure, expression of opinion or belief contained in TheEDGE. The publisher (Firefly Communications) does not officially endorse any advertising or advertorial content for third party products. Photography/image credits and copyright, where not specifically stated, are that of Getty Images and/or iStock Photo.

MAY 2010


CONTENTS

CONTENTS 8

CONTRIBUTORS

CONTRIBUTORS

SaM pickErinG MaNagINg dIReCTOR Bluu Green london, united KinGdom

CONTRIBUTORS PROjeCT dIReCTOR pm CommuniCations middle east north afriCa reGion

EDD brookES dIReCTOR dtZ middle east operations doha, Qatar

DHEEraj SHaHDaDpuri

>p.57

>p.33 DaniEl MoorE

TRaINee SOlICITOR london, united KinGdom

kariM nakHlE

TheEDGE speaks with key professionals from in and around the region to uncover the latest news on the business front.

p.65< racHEl MorriS

SeNIOR BUSINeSS STRaTegIST doha, Qatar

>p.60

p.41<

MedIa & ClIeNT SeRvICeS dIReCTOR hill & Knowlton Qatar

p.68<

Salwa HaMMaMi labib

DaviD Salt

SeNIOR eCONOMIST arQaam Capital duBai, united araB emirates

PaRTNeR Corporate and CommerCial Clyde & Co doha, Qatar

EDwarD jaMESon SeNIOR BUSINeSS jOURNalIST middle east north afriCa reGion

>p.62

.22. OPINION

Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Ocean Governance, Bud Ris demands a global approach to ocean governance.

tiM StEvEnS aUTOMOTIve CORReSPONdeNT doha, Qatar

p.70<

p.45< 8

MaNagINg PaRTNeR stanton Chase international Qatar and uae, and reGional praCtiCe leader industrial, emea

edITORIal MaNageR oxford Business Group doha, Qatar

>p.25

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.16. BUSINESS INSIGHT

waSSiM karkabi

SeNIOR aNalyST dun and Bradstreet south asia middle east duBai, uae

lEEn Qablawi

Are you wearing the right pants for the job?

aSSOCIaTe Corporate and CommerCial Clyde & Co doha, Qatar

p.62<

natHaliE Martin-bEa

>p.20

MAY 2010

MAY 2010

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22

OPINION

Contributors

.8.

.14. ON THE EDGE

Eric Ho

>p.49

May 2010

OPINION

The Need for oceaN GoverNaNce

A brief introduction to the specialised team of contributors, who regularly lend their expertise and insight to TheEDGE.

.10. NEWS IN BRIEF

A snapshot of the latest business developments affecting the business landscape within Qatar and the GCC region.

.13. NEWS IN QUOTES & NUMBERS

Powerful statements and important statistics that made an impact.

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MARKET WATCH

MARKET WATCH

The InfrasTrucTure GrowTh enGIne exTendInG InTo 2010 Infrastructure spending has never before been so large as a share of world gross domestic product (GDP). Notwithstanding the global crisis, more countries are now not only industrialising more than ever before, but also China and others are investing at more vigorous rates than the developed countries pact. Doctor Salwa Hammami Labib reports

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ast year, China overtook the United States (US) as the world’s largest market for infrastructure as its US$265 billion (QR964 billion) in allocations to transport and electricity infrastructure from its stimulus funds, were both larger and faster to trickle in the system. At six percent of their combined GDP, infrastructure spending from emerging economies today is almost double the average of the ratio in developed economies. Figures worldwide may be too patchy to draw conclusions on the size of capital spending that took place in 2009 alone. We think that globally, just as in the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC), actual capital spending this year may outweigh last year’s. First, many long anticipated projects have been awarded not before quarter one 2010, like the D1 motorway concession in Slovakia or La Montana highway in Columbia, which delayed their start until this year. Second, many tendered projects were subjected for re-tendering as developers tried to lock-in lower construction costs, which at the time may have plunged by up to a third from their recent peaks. With material costs stabilising this year, the trend to re-tender may have abated appreciably by now, but many government-backed refining projects in Riyadh are living proof of projects that re-entered the bidding stage last year, putting off their start and adjourning government spending. Other projects may have been shelved too, but for all intents and purposes 2010 is expected to be a busy year not least because, until economic recovery becomes more solidly entrenched, there will never be a cheaper time to secure low construction and labour costs. According to recent media reports, tenders for the GCC’s proposed US$25

billion (QR91 billion) 2117-kilometrelong regional rail network (starting in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and finally linking Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates) will be floated in the first half of 2010. Additionally, there are ample other projects to be awarded. Gulf projects tracker MEED Projects, shows that there is currently US$505.8 billion (QR1.8 trillion) worth of infrastructure projects across the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region at the prequalification, bidding or ‘engineering, procurement and construction’ stages. A further US$623.9 billion (QR2.27 trillion) worth of projects are on hold, but any upsurge in the economies of the region could prompt clients to resume at least some of these plans. In Qatar, large-scale projects like the New Doha International Airport, the New Doha Port project and the Qatar Bahrain Causeway are currently drawing interest to the state’s infrastructure sector. In 2010, there will be US$33.8 billion (QR123 billion) worth of real estate and construction projects, with the range of contracts due to be awarded including the Doha Crossing, the Hamad Medical City’s new otolaryngology hospital, packages in Entertainment City in Lusail, and the first main construction contract for the US$5.5 billion (QR20 billion) Heart of Doha regeneration project. At a time when many international banks have shied away from the GCC mega-projects market, the high levels of public spending will help these schemes. Successively, most GCC governments have been funnelling part of their higher oil revenues into fixed investment and have, in effect, during the past two years built a fiscal escalator that mainly goes up. This has brought fresh urgency into infrastructure programmes in the

region. If the crude figures show that the pooled government spending in emerging economies amounts to six percent of their total GDP, then through their planned commitments to core infrastructure spending throughout the next year (roads, water supply and wastewater treatment and power facilities for example) some GCC governments account for a bigger share of their non-oil economy. The 2010-11 budget, announced last month in Qatar, puts infrastructure investment once again in focus as it receives the lion’s share (82 percent) of outlays on major capital projects. These projects include the New Doha Seaport, the New Doha International Airport, roads and utility system upgrades. In the infrastructure domain, Qatar remains one of the region’s best prospects for growth in 2010, just as in 2009. At more than eight percent of GDP, the forecast for the Qatari government’s planned infrastructure investment in the next fiscal year is higher than planned infrastructure spending under the Kuwaiti budget (which sets the infrastructure investment proportion at less than six percent), as well as the UAE federal budget and Dubai’s (with each proposing fiscal spending on infrastructure projects at less than five percent of GDP). It may be a far cry from Saudi Arabia’s budgetary plan, which proposed infrastructure spending at an over-powered 19 percent of its GDP, but the kingdom’s relatively lower income per head and lower pace of urbanisation explain why it needs to pull further ahead on the infrastructure measure. At present, approval in Qatar has been granted to a number of government-geared projects, one of the biggest of which is in south of Doha

MAY 2010

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MAY 2010

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By Bud Ris

C

overing 71 percent of the planet’s surface, the oceans provide many millions of jobs and contribute US$100 to US$200 billion (QR364 to QR728 billion) to the world economy. They also provide invaluable services to humanity, such as climate regulation and food security. Around 20 percent of the world’s population depends on fish for its principal source of protein. However, the oceans are in serious trouble. Two thirds of the world’s wild fisheries are at, or are over, their limits of sustainability. Twenty percent of coral reefs have been lost through careless human activity, with the remainder facing losses of a similar scale – or worse – in the next several decades. Many species of marine mammals and sea turtles are threatened. More than seven million tonnes of fish are wasted annually, thrown back in the sea as unintended ‘bycatch’. Climate change and ocean acidification – both caused primarily by human emissions of carbon dioxide – are creating further stress on marine systems and threaten to alter significantly the range, distribution, and reproductive capacity of various marine organisms. Although some would argue that the legal foundation for managing the oceans’ biological resources wisely is reasonably robust, the failure to do so stands as one

of the single greatest examples of weak international governance. A classic ‘tragedy of the commons’, the situation is further exacerbated by government subsidies estimated at US$10 billion to US$37 billion (QR36.4 to QR135 billion) annually, which encourage overcapacity in the world’s fishing fleets and overfishing. Until recently, there has been an almost total neglect of ecosystem-based principles in the management of wild capture fisheries, especially by Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) charged by the 1995 United Nations (UN) Fish Stocks Agreement in managing fisheries, which roam the open oceans and/ or straddle national boundaries. Moreover, the policy negotiations conducted under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and most national climate change planning to date have neither recognised the central role of the oceans, nor given sufficient emphasis on the need to set emission limits, which will ensure ocean temperatures and levels of acidity will not rise to unacceptable levels. To be sure, there are some positive trends in ocean governance, such as the creation of marine protected areas and various efforts to utilise market mechanisms to direct seafood procurement toward well-managed fisheries. However, these efforts have generally been small in

scale and not yet focused on the high seas – areas of the ocean lying beyond Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) managed by sovereign nations. Further, although scientific research on the challenges facing the oceans is substantial, it has not yet been harnessed in a way that would provide decision-makers with the key information they need to set prudent policy. An advisory council recently convened by the World Economic Forum as part of its Global Redesign Initiative seeks to address some of these challenges. First, we recommend the creation of large ocean reserves (LOR) on the high seas, designed to conserve marine biodiversity and ecosystem functions and help insure against further degradation of fish stocks. These LOR would be large enough (more than 100,000 square kilometres) to maintain vital ecological processes, even if their value as centres of biological diversity is not yet fully known. At least one new LOR should be created in each major ocean basin within the next five years. Establishment of the reserves could draw, initially, on the legal authority of sovereign nations to govern the activities of their flag vessels and citizens, as well as commercial activities in adjacent EEZs and ports. Ultimately, stronger mechanisms may be required, which could be designed through the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) review noted below. Second, we urge elimination of subsidies that cause overcapacity and/or overfishing. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) Doha Round recently made significant progress in formulating the negotiated text for doing just that, while at the same time allowing developing coastal states to subsidise their fleets in ways that will enhance their ability to manage their fishery resources in a sustainable manner. Through this initiative, the WTO has a pioneering opportunity to integrate environmental criteria into trade decisions. The FAO – with long experience on monitoring and measuring the health of fish stocks – stands ready to help. Third, the effort to shift procurement of fish to wellmanaged fisheries should be scaled up substantially, focusing on the participation of major fish buyers (processors and retailers) that can leverage large segments of market share internationally. Major multi-national corporations in the food industry can play an important role here, building on progress made already by Unilever,

Royal Ahold, Walmart, and others. The key is to channel procurement toward regions where the RFMOs are managing their fishery resources effectively. To facilitate this effort, the RFMOs should be assessed and ranked on a regular basis, with the results disseminated as widely and transparently as possible. Fourth, the UN General Assembly should commission a high level, independent review of the two major UN agreements governing the ocean beyond national jurisdiction (the high seas): The Law of The Sea Convention and the Fish Stocks Agreement. The context for these agreements has changed markedly since they were first enacted, placing increased stress on ocean ecosystems and imperilling many of the world’s major fisheries. The review should create a political mandate to address weaknesses and gaps in the ocean governance system, with an emphasis on accountability, transparency, and sustainability. There should be a special focus on reform of the international fisheries management organisations and the need for new legal instruments that would strengthen the ability of nations to create and manage LOR on the high seas. Fifth, the oceans must be given more attention in the international negotiations on climate change. Any emission targets set via the UNFCCC should fully consider the capacity of the oceans to absorb carbon and the risks of elevating ocean temperatures, and acidity above acceptable levels. The potential for major degradation of marine life in the next several decades must not be ignored. Finally, there is an urgent need for timely, transparent indices to show trends over time in ocean health. Results should be published in a simple, readily accessible format on an annual or biannual basis, maximising their utility to stakeholders. Trends in the value of an ocean health index will stimulate deliberate, performance-based ocean improvement by helping managers and the public to (a) identify unfavourable ocean trends, (b) select the most strategic goals and actions to reverse them, and (c) evaluate the success of remedial actions through datadriven outcomes assessment. Several NGOs, working in concert with the scientific community, stand ready to launch this initiative. Bud Ris is the president and CEO of the New England Aquarium in Boston. He is chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Ocean Governance.

MAY 2010

.25. In the spotlight

23

Leen Qablawi investigates whether the incoming Iraqi government will be able to create calm in the country after violent elections.

.30. MARKET WATCH octor

Salwa

Doctor Salwa Hammami Labib investigates how infrastructure spending is adding value to Qatar’s already booming economy.

.33. INSIDE EDGE

Dheeraj Shahdadpuri investigates the need for an organised bonds market in the region.


CONTENTS

www.theedge-me.com

36

COVER STORY

COVER STORY

.49. GREEN BUSINESS

This month, Sam Pickering asks the important question: Can waste products from the construction industry be reduced and recycled?

.54. ENTREPRENEUR

I

As businesses struggle to gain a competitive edge by making their processes more efficient, digitalising data has become a core necessity across all industries. The benefits of information technology (IT) for both private and business use are immeasurable. However, the risk of being exposed to serious cyber crime is on the rise. Daily, the number of hackers trying to gain access to valuable digital information stored on the hard-drives of company and personal computers is skyrocketing. So what are authorities doing and what can you do to protect digital information? David Poort investigates the world of cyber security. 36

nitially computer hacking started out as a hobby for nerds, who wanted to brag about their computer skills. However, things have changed in recent years, where computer geeks, or people paying them, have learnt that they can make a lot of money by using the Internet as a tool for accessing valuable information from businesses and individuals. Most cyber criminals are after some sort of financial gain. This can come in the form of accessing credit card records, client lists, financial details or corporate intelligence. Some cyber criminals specialise in corporate espionage or are hired to downgrade a competitor’s brand. However, money is not the only motive. For some, accessing and deleting sensitive information is a form of revenge. In March 2002, a piece of malicious software deleted 10 billion files in the computer systems of an international financial services company in the United States (US). The incident affected more than 1300 of the company’s servers throughout the US. The company sustained losses of approximately US$3 million (QR11 million) in expenses required to repair the damage and reconstruct deleted files. Investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and computer forensic professionals revealed that a so-called “logic bomb” had been planted in the system. A logic bomb is a program that lies dormant until a specific piece of program logic is activated. As it turned out, the attack came from a disgruntled employee, who had recently quit the company because of a dispute over the amount of their annual bonus. Political motives also come into play in the complex world of cyber crime. Last month, a group of researchers in Canada

MAY 2010

David Poort speaks one-on-one to the creator of The 99 – the comic empire that is taking the world by storm – to find out how he has turned his passion in to a creative flow of cash.

linked the theft of thousands of files from politically sensitive targets around the world to a huge cyber crime ring allegedly based in China. The command and control infrastructure of this so-called Shadow Network used platforms such as Twitter, Google Group and Yahoo Mail to control infected computers. The network attacked targets ranging from the offices of the Dalai Lama, where more than 1500 emails were stolen, to the United Nations as well as Indian and Pakistani government officials. Researchers said they had evidence of links between the Shadow Network and two Chinese individuals living in the city of Chengdu. They were identified by email addresses and are believed to be part of China’s underground hacking community.

On the rise

Incidents, like the above-mentioned, have lead cyber crime investigators to believe there is a vast underground ecosystem to cyber space, within which, criminal and espionage networks thrive. It, therefore, raises the question of whether people are doing enough to keep digital information secure? It does not matter if people are in manufacturing, oil and gas, e-commerce, technology or logistics; the fact remains that information has become the cornerstone of the modern world. It is what makes our business tick. But, with the ever-increasing dependence on IT comes the increased exposure to security breaches – a danger that is far too often underestimated and in some cases completely overlooked. Michael Molson is the vice president of Solutions and Services for Meeza, a Qatar-based IT services provider. According to Molson, IT is a land of trade-offs: “We need to MAY 2010

.57. BUSINESS VIEW – REAL ESTATE

It is springtime and Edd Brookes says that Qatar’s real estate market has something to sing about.

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ENTREPRENEUR

.36. COVER STORY

ENTREPRENEUR

CREATIVE CURRENCY

David Poort delves into the growing threat of cyber crime and investigates Qatar’s readiness to cope with the fast changing world of technology infrastructure.

What usually comes out of a taxi ride with your sister to Harrods, London’s luxury department store, are a few retail items and maybe a box of expensive chocolates. But, if you were a modern creative entrepreneur like Doctor Naif Al Mutawa, CEO of Tashkeel Comics, you would invent the concept for a multimillion dollar comic book project that has taken the world by storm. David Poort explains the thought process, business approach and motivation behind Al Mutawa’s comic empire, The 99.

A

.41. ECONOMIC BAROMETER

Karim Nakhle examines how leading institutions in the Middle East are gearing their talent strategies to unprecedented market conditions and changing realities.

.45. ON THE PULSE

Edward Jameson investigates the culture clash between expatriates and nationals in the Gulf region.

- All images courtesy of Tashkeel Comics. -

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Kuwaiti national, Al Muwata completed his undergraduate studies triple majoring in clinical psychology, English literature and history before obtaining his PhD in clinical psychology from Long Island University in the United States (US). Al Muwata also holds a Masters in organisational psychology from Teacher’s College and an MBA from Columbia University. He started his company, Tashkeel, in the summer of 2006 as a launch pad for The 99, a comic book series of 99 superheroes that draw their virtues as a spin off from each of the 99 Islamic names of Allah. The thought process for The 99 was not based on an isolated incident. Al Mutawa drew from his many life experiences, including his service as a clinical psychologist at the Bellevue Hospital in New York where he took part in the ‘Survivors of Political Torture’ programme. “I heard one too many stories of people, who idolised their leaders only to end up being tortured by them,” he states. Then came September 11; an incident that Al Mutawa drew the number 99 from. “Nine times 11 is 99. This is a very important number in Islam. Also, if you look at the numbers nine and 11 and read it from right to left as Arabic letters instead of left to right as numbers, it resembles the word ‘Allah’,” Al Mutawa says. “When I noticed that, I wanted to do something related to it. When things go crazy in the West, they say it sounds like a job for Superman, but there was no Superman equivalent [in the Middle East] and that was what sparked the original idea for The 99.” However, things only manifested for Al Mutawa during a cab ride with his sister in London. She was pressing him to pick up writing children’s books again and he just wanted to avoid discussing the topic, so he explained that “[for him] to go back to that, it had to be something with the potential of Pokémon; otherwise, it just made no sense”. Al Muwata then remembered the fact that Pokémon was - Doctor Naif Al Mutawa, CEO of Tashkeel Comics. banned in some parts of the

MAY 2010

MAY 2010

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SPECIAL REPORT

SPECIAL REPORT

Q

Qatar: Capitalising on property power

- Daniel Moore, OBG, Qatar. -

Qatar’s real estate sector is on course to post a strong performance this year, having had by its own standards a slow 2009, though by any other measure the industry rode out the global economic downturn with ease. Daniel Moore investigates

atar’s gross domestic product (GDP) has been projected to expand at a rate of 16 percent this year, one of the highest anywhere in the world. Coming on top of nine percent growth in 2009, according to figures recently released by the central bank, it is easy to see why there is a sense of optimism surrounding the country’s economy. There are estimates that the Qatari real estate sector will grow by around seven percent in 2010, mainly as a result of existing and new developments. Though this rate of growth is below the projected GDP expansion, it will still represent a solid performance in a sector that has experienced steep downturns across the region. A recent study conducted by market research firm Dun and Bradstreet, indicated that business sentiment in Qatar was on the rise, with the improved mood likely to have an impact on the property market. Significantly, more than one-third of all respondents to Dun and Bradstreet’s Business Optimism Index survey – released in mid-April – said they expected borrowing conditions to improve in 2010, with 32 percent saying they were considering expanding their operations. Overall, the study showed an across-the-board improvement in confidence for sales volumes, prices, employment levels and new orders for the second quarter, all of which bode well for the real estate sector. According to Michel Gebrael, the project manager of Project Qatar 2010, real estate is set to rebound from any fall in activity it experienced over the past two years. “Qatar’s construction and property sectors have been performing exceptionally well within the downturn, thanks to a stable economy and a good tourism and housing base,” he said in an interview with local press on April 10. “This year promises even more productivity as industry sets its sights on post-crisis business.” The government is due some of the credit for this sound performance. Along with the associated construction industry, Qatar’s real estate sector benefitted greatly from the government’s measured interventions in the marketplace, through its moves to prop up the banking sector by purchasing large stakes in banks’ property portfolios and roll out a stepped-up programme of infrastructure developments. The first measure saw billions of dollars pumped into the country’s banking system, restoring confidence in the sector and encouraging the finance industry to maintain loan activity to the private sector. The second measure, involving investments in transport, tourism, industry and social infrastructure projects at an unprecedented level, will vastly increase Qatar’s appeal as a business and residential destination, thus boosting the real estate sector’s prospects. Yousif Rashid Al Khater, the CEO of Qatar’s real estate developer Barwa Group, believes that

having one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, combined with the strong state commitment to ramping up infrastructure spending, means that Qatar’s property market will go from strength-to-strength. “Strong demand has been fuelled by consecutive years of high economic and population growth, with Qatar’s real estate sector expected to fare better than many of its regional counterparts,” he told an investment conference at the end of March. “Qatar’s tremendous real estate and whole-economy growth year-on-year has occurred alongside the expansion of foreign investments.” In another move that could herald a jump in activity in the residential segment, in February the government lifted a ban on price rises in the rental segment. With the prospect of better returns, investors may be drawn back into the residential market, either buying existing properties as a long-term investment project or looking at new projects that are coming off the drawing board. However, the rental freeze is still in place for retail and other commercial properties, with the government hoping that by maintaining the ban until February 2011, more businesses will take advantage of capped rent costs to either open their doors or expand existing operations. While there may be an increase in demand for new sales properties for use as rentals, there could be some delay to this knock-on effect. A report issued in early April by property firm Century 21 Qatar, pointed to an uptick in real estate demand across most asset classes, though an increase in supply of residential properties has seen rental costs fall for apartments, a trend the company expects to continue into the middle of the year. It may still take some time before a balance of supply and demand in the real estate market is achieved, but this should come sooner rather than later, especially as the government’s long-term programme of attracting investments will see private spending rise and banks further ease lending restrictions. With confidence climbing and capital on hand, Qatar’s real estate sector can look forward to even better returns in the latter half of this year.

.60. SPECIAL REPORT – OBG

Daniel Moore reports that Qatar’s real estate sector is on course to post a strong performance in 2010, despite having had, by its own standards, a slow 2009.

.62. LEGAL INSIGHT

David Salt and Eric Ho discuss the administration of companies in the Qatar Financial Centre.

.65. BUSINESS KNOW-HOW

Wassim Karkabi investigates executive compensation in the Gulf and says it lags behind the West.

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CONTENTS

68

SPEAK EASY

SPEAK EASY

Media Matters Everybody has a story to tell, but it is how you tell it and who you tell it to that really counts. Rachel Morris, Media and Client Services director for Hill and Knowlton Qatar, explains the art and the added benefits of good media relations.

W

hat if somebody held a press conference…and nobody came? Did it really happen? Or if a company launched a product, a cutting-edge piece of technology that had the potential to save lives and change the world, but nobody ran the press release? These are completely plausible, rather than existential, scenarios. As Qatar becomes a bigger player on the regional and international stage, there is an increasing imperative for companies operating locally to communicate to a broader audience. If you need any proof of the international fascination with Qatar, you need only look at Project Qatar held at the Doha Exhibition Centre last month. More than 1000 companies from 36 countries, comprising global

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conglomerates through to backyard operations, came to Qatar to tout their business. The international media is becoming increasingly fixated with Qatar. The great survivor off the back of the financial ructions during the past 18 months, Qatar has emerged as a player to watch and media organisations are taking the scene here extremely seriously – Reuters, Bloomberg, Zawya Dow Jones and the BBC have all established a fulltime bureau or correspondents here in recent months. And you can expect more attention in the future. What does this mean to the average business operating in Qatar? It means the opportunities for engaging the media and telling stories are greater than ever. And I am not just talking

about shutting your eyes, pressing send on a press release and hoping for the best. Rather a proper media strategy with a defined goal and a targeted campaign of engagement. Many people use the terms “public relations” and “media relations” interchangeably, as if they are the same thing. This is not an entirely accurate assumption. Media relations are the relationships that a company, individual or organisation develops with journalists, bloggers and media outlets. Public relations can be used to build relationships with employees, potential and current customers, investors and of course, the public. Think of media relations as an integral part of public relations. The key to an effective media relations strategy involves identifying your audience, finding out what they are interested in and more importantly what media they read (online and offline), listen to or watch. That is, “know thy audience”. Understanding who you want to communicate with, or talk to is vital to the success of any strategy. You may want to talk to the general consumer public, or you may want to narrow your audience down to say, technology fans or even government decision makers. For example, an announcement about a new product, such as the latest model of a car would attract a different interested audience than say, a new line of cosmetics available in Qatar for the first time. Or in another case, a medical breakthrough originating in Qatar could have regional and international significance,

both within the general public and the scientific world. This changes the type of audience you want to engage. The conduit to these audiences is, of course, the media. It has the potential to broadcast your message. As companies and organisations in Qatar step-up to challenge others on the world stage, talking to a broader audience is important. Which brings me to the second key to a successful campaign – know what you want to say. This may seem blindingly obvious, but you would be surprised how this proves to be a stumbling block for many. Working journalists tell horror stories of being invited to press conferences or receiving press releases, about well, nothing. There is a simple and foolproof test. If you want to speak to the media, ask yourself first “would I want to read/see/ hear that story? Would I be interested in that?” If the answer is no, or even “hmmm…maybe…perhaps”, then you have your decision. A separate, but related issue is, do not feel the need to ‘over share’ with the media. Expecting every announcement to be considered ‘newsworthy’ is like the boy who cried wolf. Eventually when you have an announcement of a considerable magnitude, the media and your audience are past the point of engagement. Good media relations, both locally and regionally, are becoming an increasingly essential part of the business toolkit. There are many great and even small stories to be told in this city. Do not be afraid to tell yours.

MAY 2010

MAY 2010

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.68. SPEAK EASY

Rachel Morris explains the art and added benefits of good media relations.

.70. BEHIND THE WHEEL

Tim Stevens investigates the affordability and impact of green fuel in domestic vehicles.

.74. INDUSTRY FOCUS – TECHNOLOGY

David Poort explores the past, present and future of Qatar’s ICT sector.

.81. HOW-TO GUIDE

Test your leadership qualities against established standards to ensure you are on a productive path.

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LIFE & STYLE

LIFE & STYLE

WALK IN THE FOOTPRINTS OF PHARAOHS Whether you seek a trip back in time to visit the Pharaohs or long to immerse yourself in a melting pot for culture, Egypt offers it all. Kelly Lewis reports

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gypt, in northeastern Africa, is bordered by Israel and the Gaza Strip to the northeast, by Jordan and Saudi Arabia to the east (across the Red Sea), by Sudan to the south and by Libya to the west – it is a country that finds itself well positioned as a central hub for culture and ancient traditions. Egypt, perhaps best known as the home of the ancient Egyptian civilisation, plays host to an alluring array of temples, hieroglyphs, mummies, and most notably its grand pyramids. However, less well-known is Egypt’s medieval heritage, courtesy of Coptic Christianity and Islam – ancient churches, monasteries and mosques punctuate the Egyptian landscape. Egypt engrosses the imagination of Western tourists like few other countries and remains one of the most popular tourist destinations on the global trekking map. The best time to visit Egypt is generally between October through to the end of May as the climate can turn harsh in the summer months due to its all-encompassing desert landscape, an extension of the great Sahara Desert, which bands North Africa. Save for the thin strip of watered land along the Nile River, very little could survive there. Just as the ancient Greek philosopher Herodotus stated: “Egypt is the gift of the Nile”.

Frequently, visitors are pleasingly surprised to discover that Egypt’s legendary pyramids are merely the tip of the country’s archaeological iceberg. Pharaonic nations, ancient Greeks, Romans, Christians and Arab dynasties have all played their part in fashioning Egypt’s eclectic juxtaposition of architectural monuments. Cairo is a chaotic city, which has sprouted into a modern day metropolis, but still holds firm in its medieval roots – unchanged since the founding days of Islam. Upriver, Luxor, the site of ancient Thebes, is lined with warrens of opulent burial chambers and boasts some of the most formidable monuments in all antiquity. Travel further south and you will find yourself in the city of Aswan, even more geometrically imposing temples write a testament to the power of archaic gods and omnipotent pharaohs. This marks the spot where the great Nile River journey is best explored by ancient sail, on a felucca (Egyptian sailing boat) at the hands of the prevailing currents and winds. Heading out west, Egypt’s sprawling ocean of sand stretches for miles deep

MAY 2010

into the Sahara, oases, few and far between, create a dappling of green islands swimming in the desert sands. Hive-like, medieval fortresses cower out here, interspersed with lively springs and haunting rock formations. Meanwhile, the alluring waters of the Red Sea, brilliantly awash with coral, are surrounded by an aquatic flurry of underwater life. Deep into the deserts of Sinai’s interior, travellers can climb the mount where God is said to have had words with Moses, before taking a load-off in halcyon bliss at the coastal Dahab’s backpacker Shangri-La. Though Egypt is considered one of the more politically stable countries in the region, modern-day Egypt is not without strife. Thirty years of authoritarian rule, an erratic economy and rising living costs fan the flames of social unrest. Still, visitors making the trek will find as much ancient history as they will modern hospitality. Just as Egypt has a long and colourful history, so too are the limitless travel destinations within the country itself – the more you look, the more there is to discover about the land that once was graced by the Pharaohs.

MAY 2010

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.85. TECH TOOLS

TheEDGE looks at the latest gadgets hitting the shelves this month.

.86. LIFE & STYLE

TheEDGE checks out the sport of paragliding and explores Egypt as a travel destination.

.90. EVENTS & CONFERENCES

Key industry events taking place in May and early June.

.91. QATAR PROJECTS

An update on projects taking shape in Qatar.

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MAY 2010


CONTRIBUTORS

CONTRIBUTORS Nathalie Martin-Bea Project director PM Communications MIDDLE EAST NORTH AFRICA region

>P.20 LEEN QABLAWI

Dheeraj Shahdadpuri Senior Analyst Dun and Bradstreet South Asia Middle East Dubai, UAE

>p.33

TRAINEE SOLICITOR London, United Kingdom

>p.25

Karim Nakhle Senior business strategist Doha, Qatar

p.41< Salwa Hammami Labib Senior economist Arqaam Capital Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Edward Jameson

p.30<

Senior business journalist Middle East North Africa region

p.45< 8

MAY 2010


CONTRIBUTORS

SAM PICKERING Managing director Bluu Green London, United Kingdom

Eric Ho

>p.49

associate Corporate and Commercial Clyde & Co Doha, Qatar

p.62< Edd Brookes Director DTZ Middle East Operations Doha, Qatar

Wassim Karkabi

>p.57 Daniel Moore

Managing partner Stanton Chase International Qatar and UAE, and regional practice leader Industrial, EMEA

p.65<

Editorial manager Oxford Business Group Doha, Qatar

Rachel Morris

>p.60

Media & Client Services Director Hill & Knowlton Qatar

p.68< David Salt Partner Corporate and Commercial Clyde & Co Doha, Qatar

>p.62

TIM STEVENS Automotive correspondent Doha, Qatar

p.70< MAY 2010

9


News in Brief – Local

NEWS IN BRIEF – Local

Qatar firms Q1 profits jump 16 percent Qatar’s corporate sector seems to have braved the world’s financial crisis with the listed companies’ cumulative net profits rising by 16 percent in the first three months of this year, Gulf Times reported. The robust growth in net profitability, which comes amid a double-digit growth projection for the entire fiscal year, has been largely due to the performance of the services sector. The cumulative net profit of the listed companies stood at QR7.85 billion during January-March this year. Growing concern about live stock export Live exports of sheep from Australia to the Middle East continue to raise concern about animal welfare. Opposition to this US$320 million (QR1.1 billion) industry (annually) is growing after several high profile live export incidents in the past six months. Worried that public opinion will turn against the lucrative trade, the industry says it is working to improve animal welfare. Qatar signs deal to build power plants in Syria Qatar signed a deal with Syria last month to build two new power plants 10

MAY 2010

at an estimated cost of US$1 billion (QR3.6 billion). Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC) will build two gas-fired power plants located close to the oil fields in North Eastern Syria. “It provides QEWC with an opportunity to expand its base outside Qatar”, said QEWC general manager Fahad Hamad Al Mohannadi. Alwaleed pondering launch of news channel Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the world’s richest Arab, has said he may start a regional news channel to compete with Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya. “This [news channel] is something I will be doing personally”, Alwaleed said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “[It] needs a lot of investments up front.” Alwaleed has an estimated fortune of US$18 billion (QR65 billion). Bahrain opens US$3.5 billion steel plant Almost 2000 jobs will be created at a new US$3.5 billion (QR 12.7 billion) steel complex at Salman Industrial City in Bahrain. The project aims to turn Bahrain into a steel powerhouse in the Middle East, said Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al

Khalifa in comments published by Gulf Daily News. Boost for water conservation in Qatar Qatar inaugurated a Global Water Sustainability Centre (GWSC) at the Qatar Science and Technology Park last month, in a bid to boost water conservation efforts. The GWSC is a co-venture between ConocoPhillips and GE Power and Water, a unit of General Electric Company. The centre will carry out research and develop innovative water solutions primarily for the petroleum and petrochemical sectors, and focus on municipal and agricultural solutions. Qatar Airways flies to Tokyo Qatar Airways’ maiden flight to Japan’s capital city touched down at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport last month. The 13.5-hour flight from Doha marks the airline’s 89th international destination and second in Japan with the carrier already serving Osaka. Tokyo is the fourth new route launched this year. Qatar Airways serves Tokyo with an Airbus A330 in a three-class configuration comprising 12 first, 18 business and 208 economy class seats.


News in Brief – international

NEWS IN Brief – International

Greek bonds rated ‘junk’ by Standard & Poor’s Greece’s credit rating was downgraded last month to junk status by rating agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P). The Mediterranean country became the first member of the eurozone to have its debt lowered to junk level. The S&P rating is an indicator for investors of how risky it is to buy that country’s government bonds. Carriers count cost after volcano chaos Airlines in Europe are counting their losses after ashes from an Icelandic volcano eruption caused a week of chaos last month. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) put the overall cost to the airline industry at US$1.7 billion (QR6.2 billion). “For an industry that lost US$9.4 billion (QR32.2 billion) last year and was forecast to lose a further US$2.8 billion (QR10.2 billion) in 2010, this crisis is devastating,” IATA chief Giovanni Bisignani said. Brazil’s fruit exports to the middle east hit us$9 million Brazil exported fresh fruits worth US$9.3 million (QR33.8 million) to the Arab region last year, representing 12

MAY 2010

an 8.4 per cent increase over 2008 trade. Its main Arab importers include Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Algeria. Grapes, melons, apples and mangoes accounted for most of Brazil’s fruit shipments to the Middle East in 2009. Shell profits up 50 percent on high oil prices Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell saw its quarterly profits jump by nearly 50 percent last month, thanks to higher oil prices. Profits for the first three months of the year were US$4.9 billion (QR17.8 billion) – up 49 percent on the same period last year, the AngloDutch company announced. Higher energy prices and growth in its business helped boost profits from low levels seen at the end of last year. Goldman Sachs CEO denies any wrongdoing Chief executive officer Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs denied last month that his bank contributed to the United States’ (US) financial crisis by betting some of its own investment products would fail. Blankfein and other Goldman Sachs executives were accused by a US Senate panel of acting unethically, while Americans lost jobs

and homes. Blankfein said clients came looking for risk “and that’s what they got”. Daimler cuts links with Iran over nuclear programme Daimler is pulling out its 30 percent stake in an engine company in Iran as part of a wider review of links to the country. The German carmaker said in a statement that Tehran’s political policies were behind the move. Companies in Europe and America have faced pressure by the Obama administration to review their links with Iran because of its nuclear programme. Russia offers Kiev nuclear power deal Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin offered Ukraine to merge parts of its nuclear power generation businesses. The offer was the latest sign of Moscow’s efforts to bring the former Soviet republic of Ukraine closer under its wing. “We are offering to establish a major holding, which would unite our generation, nuclear engineering and nuclear fuel cycles”, Putin said addressing Viktor Yanukovich, Kiev’s newly elected pro-Moscow president. Ukrainian opposition groups pledged to block the deal at all cost.


NEWS IN QUOTES & NUMBERS

news in quotes

news in numbers

“Blame it on governments, the people, nongovernment organisations or just about anybody, the shorelines are decreasing, the fish are dying, corals are lessening and mangroves are disappearing at every place in the Gulf Cooperation Council region.”

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Biological sciences professor at the University of Warwick, England, Charles Sheppard said on the sidelines of the Enviro Arabia 2010 Conference.

“For an industry that lost US$9.4 billion [QR 34.2 billion] last year and was forecast to lose a further US$2.8 billion [QR10.2 billion] in 2010, this crisis is devastating.”

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International Air Transport Association director general and chief executive Giovanni Bisignani said. He added that he expected it would take the airline industry at least three years to recover from the Icelandic volcano crisis.

“We are in the process of starting up Train 6 at Qatargas 3 and at later stage we will start up Train 7 of Qatargas 4…hopefully Train 6 will be producing this year, maybe the first cargo is in October or November, maybe twothree months after that we will see the first cargo from Train 7.” Ahmed Al Klulaifi, commercial and shipping chief operating officer for Qatargas said on the sidelines of a conference in Algeria.

“The world steel industry now seems firmly set on a path to recovery.” Daniel Novegil, chairman of the Worldsteel Economics Committee said at a conference.

“It would have been a self-inflicted wound on a country that desires to be a business and intellectual hub.” Gary Wasserman, a government professor at Georgetown University in Qatar, said in relation to the suspension of Qatar’s new tourist and business visa regulations, which were due to come in to effect on May 1.

“Looking ahead to the next quarter, the rental market is likely to dip further before it stabilises. However, the market will continue to be active due to the expansion of oil and gas companies and other government organisations, which will have a positive impact on the leasing market. In addition, a large proportion of tenants whose contracts are coming to an end will take advantage of lower rents and greater choice of properties that are becoming available on the market.” Asteco said in its recently published report on the Qatar residential and commercial property market.

According to Google, Internet users in the Middle East have increased significantly by 228 percent. Spiking from just 16.5 million in 2004 to more than 56 million currently. The multi-national giant says the largest percentage in increases have been witnessed in Egypt (20 percent), Morocco (18 percent) and Saudi Arabia (17 percent), while the United Arab Emirates maintains the regions highest Internet penetration rate, with a reported 60 percent of the population online. Currently there are an estimated 26 million personal computers in the Middle East, up from 11 million in 2004. Understanding the dynamics of the region and with users rapidly heading online, Google says it has noted a demand for basic guidance on net navigation, search tips and more.

Pic Of the month

- In Sydney, Australia, hundreds of thousands of imitation cigarettes cover Martin Place (reflection pictured) in the city’s central business district. The installation, designed to alert smokers to seek professional help to quit smoking, features 219,000 cigarettes, which represents of the number of cigarettes a 20-per-day smoker would consume over the course of 30 years (photo courtesy of Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images). -

MAY 2010

13


ON THE EDGE

WONDER PANTS FOR DESK-BOUND MEN Are you one of the many men who made a New Year’s resolution to hit the gym daily this year, but yet, you still find yourself still sitting behind the office desk making excuses as to why you have not lost those few extra pounds? Well there may be an easy way to hide your guilt and your gut. Kelly Lewis reports

A

new, fast-growing line of ‘high-tech underwear’, which boasts to trim the torso, while also benefiting your health has hit the market. Co-founder of Australia-based company Equmen, Gavin Jones is part of the pioneering team that have created ‘fitwear’ for men. So what is fitwear all about? Well, it is designed for men, who spend the week hunched over desks in high-stress jobs and weekends chasing their children. Does that sound like you? Jones told Reuters that compression wear was well researched and accepted among elite athletes as was shapewear for women, which trims and smoothes those stubborn bulges, but when he stood in front of the mirror he had one question…what about me? “I was just beginning to show the signs of wear and tear. I had a pretty active 20s and 30s, maintained a great social life and played sport, but I was just starting to turn the corner into middle age,” Jones, 43, said. According to the market research NPD Group, women have been snapping up the increasing lines of shapewear, with a trebling in sales in the past decade. However, Jones identified that there was also a healthy market out there for men’s shapewear. He realised that men wanted more than a male girdle or “mirdle” to trim the ol’ beer gut if they were to upgrade from their boxers or cotton briefs with a fancy waistband. Jones, in partnership with a former American investment banker and friend Corie Chung, invested US$1.4 million (QR5.1 million) of his own money researching and developing an innovative ‘underwear with benefits’ product line for around a year. 14

MAY 2010

After searching for a suitable manufacturer, one in Israel, which could produce a high-elasticity blend of fabrics that was seamless and flexible, was found. This partnership evolved to produce Equmen’s array of undershirts and underpants, which hit the store shelves a year ago, boasting to help back support, better posture, and improved blood circulation as well as a better shape – and maybe even a lower golf score. The line is available in Australia, United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Spain, South Africa, and Taiwan, with plans to move into Scandinavia, South Korea, Japan and New Zealand within the year. But wait there is more – the company is introducing socks to its collection. “Sales have outstripped our expectations and we are in very good shape,” Jones told Reuters, forecasting sales for 2010-11 to rise by US$12 million (QR43.7 million) and turnover of 200,000 units from around US$7 million (QR25.5 million), and 95,000 units in 2009-10. Chung, 30, revealed that the duo was developing a range of women’s fitwear, Equfem, with aims for the line to hit the market early in 2012. Other companies are now also starting to produce fashionable, shapewear for men such as Calvin Klein’s X line and Marks and Spencer’s Bodymax range, however, Chung said professional men would remain the key target for Equmen. “Our primary consumer is between 30 and 55. It is the slightly middle to older demographic because those health benefits become more powerful the older you get…we are focusing mainly on metropolitan and urban areas where people are under the most pressure and stress,” Chung said.


BUSINESS INSIGHT

THE SKYPE IS THE LIMIT The software application that has revolutionised the way people communicate with each other, Skype, is about to open its regional headquarters in the Middle East. This signals Skype’s increased interest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, despite the fact that its website is still banned in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait and Oman. The latest data from TeleGeography Research states that Skype tops the list of global telecom companies in regard to the number of international minutes used. David Poort interviewed Rouzbeh Pasha, head of Skype MENA, about the latest developments in the Middle East’s telecommunication sector. How do you explain the sharp rise in Skype users in the MENA region? What has really put the region on the map for us is the rise in access to Internet and broadband. One of the beauties of Skype is that it does not need much in terms of fancy equipment. We invested heavily in making the software as light on processing needs and as efficient in bandwidth as possible. The most recent version of the Skype software actually uses less processing power and less bandwidth to give users the same quality as the earlier version of the software. You still refer to the MENA region as an emerging market. Do you think the region is lagging behind? When I say ‘emerging market’, I am looking at it more from an information and communication technology (ICT) index point of view. If you look at the 16

MAY 2010

penetration of Internet and broadband, and the affordability you would need, the Middle East and especially Africa are still not at the same level as Western Europe, North America or some parts of Asia. Nonetheless, Skype in the Middle East is following the normal worldwide ICT trends, even if it is still at an earlier stage than some other regions. How does Skype make money, given that the software is free? Obviously we have our brand name, which is very strong. We benefit from that when we sell advertisements to our online partners. We work

with hardware manufactures and we leverage the value that is in that hardware. For example, when we are working with a hardware partner that wants to licence our brand, we charge a licence fee for it. We also make money through Skype-credit, whereby we provide the service to Skype users to call normal telephone numbers in case the person you are trying the reach is not online. There are numerous rumours about the expansion of Skype in the Middle East. What is true and what is not? We are about to announce a regional representative office to support our


BUSINESS INSIGHT

partnership projects that we have in place. We have a shortlist of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries where we would like to open that office and we will announce the actual country in about a month from now. I do not want to say in which country yet because we are still in the final stages of negotiating some details. I have learnt the hard way when it comes to announcing things before everything is actually finalised. We look at ourselves as a truly online business. As long as you have Internet access, no matter where you are in the world, you can go to our website, download our software and start connecting to your friends and relatives. Therefore, we will have very few local representative offices. But we do want to be close to our potential partners in the region and we want to put our money where our mouth is. We look at the Middle East as a strategic and important region, and therefore we want to be physically present here. Skype remains still banned in Kuwait, UAE and Oman. Are there still negotiations going on between Skype and these countries? The Skype software itself works anywhere in the world as long as you have Internet access. That includes

countries like Kuwait, UAE and Oman. Only the access to the Skype. com website is restricted, but long as you have the Skype software on your computer, which can access Internet, you should be able to use it. Why do these countries restrict access to Skype.com? That is a question that those countries should answer themselves. I do not want to speculate about that. The governments of these countries have put forward a few arguments and we have reached out to them. But we think that allowing this software to be downloaded would only benefit the individuals in those countries. Many people in GCC countries use virtual private network (VPN) software to circumvent the restrictions on the Internet. Does Skype encourage people to use this software in order to download Skype? I would want all potential users to be able to go to Skype.com and download our software, but I do not want to comment on any sort of way to obtain the software illegally. Having said that, I do not think that restricting access to Skype.com benefits the end user in any country. Being able

to communicate is a very basic need for both businesses and individuals. Trying to restrict this slows down the economic development of a country, as communication is a basic need for this. Are negotiations still going on to get the restrictions on Skype.com lifted? Yes. We have a government regulations teams that reach out to all government regulators. This is not specific to the MENA region. We have similar teams elsewhere too. We think it is to the advantage of individuals and companies to stay connected, as this helps in the economic development of a country. The UAE recently decided to allow national voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) services. What does that mean for Skype? We’re still trying to decipher the meaning of this step. It’s confusing because once you’re online you can’t distinguish between national and international; IP by its very nature is global. So putting a national or international label on it does not work. We’re trying to understand the reasons behind this decision, but so far, nobody seems to know how it will play out or why it was taken. It sounds like a tiny step, but at least it is step in the right direction. MAY 2010

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BUSINESS INSIGHT

ALL GOOD THINGSCOME IN

‘SME’ PACKAGES Born out of the need to foster support for Qatar’s small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, an initiative, two years in the making, has been launched – Enterprise Qatar (EQ). In July 2008, Qatar’s prime minister motioned for the government to support the SME sector in Qatar and initiated the creation of an institutional body to support SMEs by nurturing the entrepreneurship capabilities in the country. A committee was then established to study and identify the best way to develop the SME sector. The committee researched similar successful initiatives from around the world and developed a tailored model for Qatar. A year later, a project team was formed to develop an appropriate model for the new entity. Now, EQ has officially launched and will act as a vessel for discussion between financial and non-financial partners to help encourage the creation of a new range of products for SMEs. Under the support services umbrella offered by EQ, business coaching and mentoring, executive training and market intelligence will be a core part of the ongoing activities. EQ says its motto is to focus on developing and encouraging a culture of business innovation, risktaking and creativity. Kelly Lewis spoke directly with Mohammed Abdul-Rahman Al Thani, director, Public-Private Partnership at the Ministry of Business and Trade and project director, SME Development Entity, to find out more about the initiative. - Mohammed Abdul-Rahman Al Thani, director, PublicPrivate Partnership at the Ministry of Business and Trade and project director, SME Development Entity. -

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MAY 2010


BUSINESS INSIGHT In regard to the framework of EQ, you said the formal structure of the initiative will be made clear in around two months time, but what shape do you expect the initiative to take on? Since last year, we conducted a lot of fact-finding research to establish what the best model would be to fit Qatar’s market. We examined different countries, different experiences, investigated the various business models to see how they dealt with SMEs, how they worked with support services, and what the design was for their products and programmes. From this, we found that the best way to promote SMEs was to establish an entity, which acted as an umbrella for all the initiatives in the country; one that works as a catalyst for the SMEs, as well as for the service providers. Our main objective is to create the right environment for SMEs and as part of this, we will establish what the main challenges facing SMEs are. We already know that access to finance is one issue, so we will work with financial institutions including Qatar Development Bank, to find a mechanism that will help to facilitate access to finance. From the business support side, we want to work with large companies and governmental agencies to find out what kind of opportunities exist for SMEs in Qatar; what is missing and why. Then we need to establish how we can promote opportunities and how we can build the right capacity for SMEs to come and capture them. From the educational side, we will be working with business skills development. For example, many new SMEs do not know how to write a good business plan or how to obtain finance. So we are going to work with partners that will provide training, development, mentoring, coaching and so on. Additionally, one of our main things with the business services development is incubation. We will be working with the current incubators in the country and we will develop, with them, a model in which to grow the SME sector. Further, we will create a unit for market intelligence to collect data. One of our main challenges, when we want to write any business plan, is that we do not have the accurate data to build our facility study zones. We have the ambition to be able to do this within the new agency, within EQ. From the government side, we will be working on developing the

policy framework, establishing what the directives are that are currently facing SMEs, we will be reviewing the procedures with all the stakeholders, to see how can we remove these directives. Is there any particular ‘red tape’ that you are looking to remove to make processes easier for SMEs? Actually we are working on some areas right now, like commercial registration, for example. To date, SMEs wanting to establish a business in the state would have had to apply for a commercial registration at the Ministry of Business and Trade, obtain a commercial permit from the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning, and obtain a commercial registration number from the immigration office at the Ministry of Interior. But now, we are working on rolling the commercial registration process into one licence unified under the Ministry of Business and Trade. Additionally, we are working on processes for limited liability companies (LLC). Previously, if you wanted to establish a LLC, there was a minimum need for two partners. Now the process will allow a LLC to be started with one party. From the procedural side, we have not had too many challenges, aside from a few complaints about licencing for industrial projects. However, we are working with all the ministries to bring these procedures together and to see how we can develop the mechanisms to make EQ a one stop shop for SMEs. And under the framework of EQ, would all parties have to be Qatari or would it be just the majority shareholder that has to be 51 percent Qatari? Actually EQ will serve, what we call, Qatari companies – any company registered under the commercial registration of Qatar, with the majority shareholder being a Qatari. So it will be flexible, it should not be 100 percent Qatari, because we need to ensure the business sector is transferring knowledge and this transfer will not happen unless we have joint ventures with outside parties. Who are the stakeholders are in EQ? The stakeholders include a combination of financial service providers and non-financial service providers: the Government of Qatar, the Ministry of Business and Trade, the Global System of Trade Preferences

(GSTP) – which act as the overall advisory committee for the initiative. We have financial partners, including the Qatar Development Bank, the Commercial Bank, which will provide the products and the mechanisms for SMEs. Other business service providers like the educational institutions, include Qatar University, Qatar Finance and Business Academy, Carnegie Mellon, College of the North Atlantic, Qatar Science and Technology Park, as well as ICT Qatar, large ICT companies and key companies in the oil and gas field. So what is the financial backing behind EQ? Two billion Riyals has been budgeted for the initiative. The prime minister, announced that the government is willing to support SMEs and so we are establishing a new entity with a QR2 billion capital. The initial concept was to start a company that would act as an incubator and as an equity shareholder for SMEs. However, the idea has now been expanded, the QR2 billion is still there, but with the recent announcement by the prime minister [pledging his support for the continued growth of the SME sector] I think the mechanisms of the new entity will now be utilised in different way. As EQ is developing products and programmes for SMEs, such a multidimensional project will require some sort of additional funding. In terms of EQ stimulating economic growth, financially speaking, what will EQ deliver to the local economy? We are now starting to quantify our objectives and hopefully within three to five months, we will have specific targets, such as our goal being to reach 10 percent growth per year. Our role is to diversify the economy and increase the contribution of the private sector, but right now I cannot give you an answer as it would not be the right one. In terms of the business plan, will there be a capping on the amount of proposals that will be approved yearly or will it be open-ended? No, actually it will be limited on a portfolio basis, so each qualified plan will have a certain portfolio of funds for SMEs. The plans will then be worked on and developed to meet their individual targets. We will start this process soon and after the initial workshop. MAY 2010

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BUSINESS INSIGHT

GET CONNECTED Newcomer to the Qatari telecoms landscape, Vodafone Qatar – a unit of United Kingdom (UK) telecoms giant Vodafone Group – has already captured a healthy percentage of the country’s mobile market since its launch in July 2009. By the end of March this year, Vodafone Qatar’s customer base had also reached 464,962, exceeding the company’s expectations and targets for customer numbers. Nathalie Martin-Bea of PM Communications spoke directly with Grahame Maher, CEO of Vodafone Qatar (VQ), to discuss the company’s ever-expanding plans.

- Grahame Maher, CEO of Vodafone Qatar. -

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MAY 2010

Presenting the results last December, you said that VQ was already ahead of schedule, with more than 350,000 customers and enjoying a 22 percent population market share. How do you look back at those first few months of operations and where you stand today? We are very happy about what we have been able to achieve in Qatar and I think the end of calendar year results were great. Customer numbers are helpful in the early stages and in December we were way ahead in our customer numbers, and our revenue expectations. We were 46 percent ahead of our revenue target and that is a good headline, but it is such a small window. The focus we have in the entire business now is moving from a start-up phase where things happen, to industrialising and getting the quality levels that we want. – we are not there yet. This includes finishing building networks, launching new services and building more innovative services that can go into various parts of the market. Our initial customer focus was our launch into prepaid in the workers’ market. There were big opportunities that had not been serviced before such as international calling and mobile Internet.

More than 50 percent of our customers use Internet on their mobile phone. That’s the highest uptake in the Vodafone world. This big change is coming from those lower segments of the market, the working segments all around the world and we are seeing it happen in places like Qatar, but also in India and China. How did you combine the vision of your business with the vision of Qatar Foundation (QF)? Here you have a government investing in the country, Sheikha Mozah, the head of QF and the Consort to the Emir of Qatar, was investing in critical things for the country that may not necessarily make sense in the commercial short-term, like Education City. So between VQ and QF we had a good starting point, which was reliant on the vision. Globally, Vodafone has done a lot to change the world by introducing this technology 24 years ago in the UK. One of the first countries we went to was South Africa where our CEO’s view was that everybody should be able to talk. This was at a time when no one had phones. We continued by investing in other markets like China, India and many other areas including central Europe. When we first went to central


BUSINESS INSIGHT

Europe it was quite uncommon for people to have a phone, all of a sudden these countries are now leading the rest of the world. This technology that we launched has changed the world. As we go forward we move from mobile phones to looking at Internet access for people, who cannot afford to have a computer. Some of these areas that we are looking at are really making a big difference in the world. This fits quite closely with a lot of what QF talks about and how Qatar wants to change the world. One of Sheikha Mozah’s Visions is to create millions of jobs across the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region in the next 20 years and we have lots of things that will help achieve this goal. One of the big opportunities is our Mobile Money. We do this in Kenya and it has enormous job creation in the low end of Kenyan society. This helps in sending money to their home countries to help their families. We want to do that here because there is a need in the working market here. But we would love to work with QF and also Silatech to take this across the whole of MENA region. Step one is the phones, step two is things like mobile Internet, step three is mobile payments and banking, step four is mobile broadband and step five is fixed services. After all of these you have an infrastructure that could be as good as South Korea’s. And if it is as good as South Korea’s then it is at the top-end of the world mobile technology, with potential growth in technology and business. You mentioned social aspects of some applications, and globally Vodafone is strong in corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices. How do you apply this philosophy in Qatar? Our purpose, as an organisation, is to make a world of difference for

all of the people in Qatar. That is why we do things like introducing special international calling rights for people living in a worker’s camp. It makes a world of difference for those guys. For a Qatari Sheikh it is different. He is not so much worried about the cost per minute, but rather for when he is travelling all over the world doing business, getting a connection and be able to use these technologies effectively. That is really at the top-end of the solutions we will bring later this year. It is about bringing complex solutions to mobile and making them easy to use. Here in Qatar you have some of the richest people in the world, the poorest and everything in between – with every nationality and every language. So we have a great environment to develop innovative solutions that fit the whole world. We can see that VQ has definitely broadened its vision – it cannot be accused of being too narrow. QF talks about making a difference in the country for the locals and ensuring there is sustainability for Qataris, but also though doing things like Reach out to Asia (ROTA), and building schools in Pakistan. In support of ROTA we donated US$5 million (QR 18.2 million), the biggest, single, one-off donation from the Vodafone Foundation in the world. We have a two-year relationship with ROTA working on all of the things they are doing inside Asia. This is Sheikha Mozah’s charity, paying back to the Asian communities, who have built this country by helping to build a future for them through the establishment of schools in India and Pakistan. We also have a something that we run around the world called the Make a World of Difference programme. This is where we provide support for four people per year, paying them to go out and do whatever they want

in a charitable environment which is in-country. Anyone that has an idea of doing something to make Qatar a better place, we will fund for the year. We are now doing this in about 15 countries. We launched this in Qatar about three months ago and have recently announced the four winners out of 400 applicants. What is your overall experience of setting up an international business in Qatar? The vision of the country is amazing. They have a view that they are going to lead the world and I think they actually can – 30 years ago the country was nearly bankrupt, 10 years ago this current period of growth began and it has all happened in 10 to 12 years. That is why it feels a bit rough, unfinished and it may not happen as you wish, and that can be frustrating, but it happens. I have seen some people come here from other parts of the world and blame cultural issues, for delays but that is incorrect. That is a bad interpretation by people, who come here for a short period of time and do not think about how much this country has achieved in such a short period. When things happen this fast not everything is perfect. We were coming into an environment to put in a second operator when there was not even a telecommunications code. We have now built a network that covers 100 percent of the country within 12 months. I do not think we have ever done that before. That is what this country does. It takes a while for it to work out what it wants, but once it knows, look out. For me that is a good description of how Qatar feels: It took a while, it is not perfect, but we will get there. I have had to learn the real value of that, but also not to worry when some things go wrong along the way. The vision of the Emir and Sheikha Mozah is what holds it all together. MAY 2010

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OPINION

The Need for Ocean Governance By Bud Ris

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overing 71 percent of the planet’s surface, the oceans provide many millions of jobs and contribute US$100 to US$200 billion (QR364 to QR728 billion) to the world economy. They also provide invaluable services to humanity, such as climate regulation and food security. Around 20 percent of the world’s population depends on fish for its principal source of protein. However, the oceans are in serious trouble. Two thirds of the world’s wild fisheries are at, or are over, their limits of sustainability. Twenty percent of coral reefs have been lost through careless human activity, with the remainder facing losses of a similar scale – or worse – in the next several decades. Many species of marine mammals and sea turtles are threatened. More than seven million tonnes of fish are wasted annually, thrown back in the sea as unintended ‘bycatch’. Climate change and ocean acidification – both caused primarily by human emissions of carbon dioxide – are creating further stress on marine systems and threaten to alter significantly the range, distribution, and reproductive capacity of various marine organisms. Although some would argue that the legal foundation for managing the oceans’ biological resources wisely is reasonably robust, the failure to do so stands as one

of the single greatest examples of weak international governance. A classic ‘tragedy of the commons’, the situation is further exacerbated by government subsidies estimated at US$10 billion to US$37 billion (QR36.4 to QR135 billion) annually, which encourage overcapacity in the world’s fishing fleets and overfishing. Until recently, there has been an almost total neglect of ecosystem-based principles in the management of wild capture fisheries, especially by Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) charged by the 1995 United Nations (UN) Fish Stocks Agreement in managing fisheries, which roam the open oceans and/ or straddle national boundaries. Moreover, the policy negotiations conducted under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and most national climate change planning to date have neither recognised the central role of the oceans, nor given sufficient emphasis on the need to set emission limits, which will ensure ocean temperatures and levels of acidity will not rise to unacceptable levels. To be sure, there are some positive trends in ocean governance, such as the creation of marine protected areas and various efforts to utilise market mechanisms to direct seafood procurement toward well-managed fisheries. However, these efforts have generally been small in


OPINION

scale and not yet focused on the high seas – areas of the ocean lying beyond Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) managed by sovereign nations. Further, although scientific research on the challenges facing the oceans is substantial, it has not yet been harnessed in a way that would provide decision-makers with the key information they need to set prudent policy. An advisory council recently convened by the World Economic Forum as part of its Global Redesign Initiative seeks to address some of these challenges. First, we recommend the creation of large ocean reserves (LOR) on the high seas, designed to conserve marine biodiversity and ecosystem functions and help insure against further degradation of fish stocks. These LOR would be large enough (more than 100,000 square kilometres) to maintain vital ecological processes, even if their value as centres of biological diversity is not yet fully known. At least one new LOR should be created in each major ocean basin within the next five years. Establishment of the reserves could draw, initially, on the legal authority of sovereign nations to govern the activities of their flag vessels and citizens, as well as commercial activities in adjacent EEZs and ports. Ultimately, stronger mechanisms may be required, which could be designed through the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) review noted below. Second, we urge elimination of subsidies that cause overcapacity and/or overfishing. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) Doha Round recently made significant progress in formulating the negotiated text for doing just that, while at the same time allowing developing coastal states to subsidise their fleets in ways that will enhance their ability to manage their fishery resources in a sustainable manner. Through this initiative, the WTO has a pioneering opportunity to integrate environmental criteria into trade decisions. The FAO – with long experience on monitoring and measuring the health of fish stocks – stands ready to help. Third, the effort to shift procurement of fish to wellmanaged fisheries should be scaled up substantially, focusing on the participation of major fish buyers (processors and retailers) that can leverage large segments of market share internationally. Major multi-national corporations in the food industry can play an important role here, building on progress made already by Unilever,

Royal Ahold, Walmart, and others. The key is to channel procurement toward regions where the RFMOs are managing their fishery resources effectively. To facilitate this effort, the RFMOs should be assessed and ranked on a regular basis, with the results disseminated as widely and transparently as possible. Fourth, the UN General Assembly should commission a high level, independent review of the two major UN agreements governing the ocean beyond national jurisdiction (the high seas): The Law of The Sea Convention and the Fish Stocks Agreement. The context for these agreements has changed markedly since they were first enacted, placing increased stress on ocean ecosystems and imperilling many of the world’s major fisheries. The review should create a political mandate to address weaknesses and gaps in the ocean governance system, with an emphasis on accountability, transparency, and sustainability. There should be a special focus on reform of the international fisheries management organisations and the need for new legal instruments that would strengthen the ability of nations to create and manage LOR on the high seas. Fifth, the oceans must be given more attention in the international negotiations on climate change. Any emission targets set via the UNFCCC should fully consider the capacity of the oceans to absorb carbon and the risks of elevating ocean temperatures, and acidity above acceptable levels. The potential for major degradation of marine life in the next several decades must not be ignored. Finally, there is an urgent need for timely, transparent indices to show trends over time in ocean health. Results should be published in a simple, readily accessible format on an annual or biannual basis, maximising their utility to stakeholders. Trends in the value of an ocean health index will stimulate deliberate, performance-based ocean improvement by helping managers and the public to (a) identify unfavourable ocean trends, (b) select the most strategic goals and actions to reverse them, and (c) evaluate the success of remedial actions through datadriven outcomes assessment. Several NGOs, working in concert with the scientific community, stand ready to launch this initiative. Bud Ris is the president and CEO of the New England Aquarium in Boston. He is chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Ocean Governance.

MAY 2010

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT

New Government,

New Iraq?

The Iraqi election on March 7, 2010 marked a cornerstone in the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s modern history. Despite the continued violence and instability that has plagued the country since the 2003 Unites States-led invasion, election day saw large numbers of people going to the polls in order to elect a new government and possibly a new prime minister. Leen Qablawi reports MAY 2010

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT

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ot limited to citizens inside Iraq, some 100,000 out of an estimated 1.3 million expatriate Iraqis reportedly registered to vote. Indeed, it has been coined as, arguably, the most open and most competitive election in the nation’s long history of colonial rule, dictatorship and war. It was a critical election for the future of the country as Washington prepares to pull out the majority of US combat troops from Iraqi territory by the end of 2011. While the makeup of the incoming Iraqi government remains unknown at this stage, there are many important factors that have influenced both the campaign leading up to election day and the political jockeying that has been taking place since. No matter who leads Iraq once all the tiresome hours of closeddoor negotiations come to an end, what is clear is that Iraq is on a new path in its post-invasion history and has emerged from years of violent brutality, with a keen understanding of democratic rule, and the pivotal role the ballot box plays in determining the fate of the country.

rubric of the so-called de-Ba’athification process – disqualified some 500 candidates because of their ties to the now-banned Ba’ath party of the former Saddam Hussein regime. Although the list of banned candidates straddles Iraq’s sectarian divide, Sunni groups interpreted the ban as an attempt by the Shia majority, led by the incumbent prime minister Nouri Al Maliki, to sideline them in the political process in the lead up to the elections. The Sunni and Shia divide also took on a different form. The decision by main Sunni groups to take part in the elections, who largely boycotted the 2005 vote, reflects a desire to take part in the electoral process and a growing expectation that this time around, the elections would produce a legislature that holistically represents Sunnis, who may gain a voice in the future of their country. On the other hand, the Shia parties that presented a common list in the previous elections were split, with Al Maliki running his own list, while the Sadrists and the Islamic Supreme Council came together to present a united list. This reflected a split within the Shia establishment, which was mainly brought about by differences over specific actions taken by the Al Maliki government in regard to both the Sadrists and the Islamic Supreme Council.

- Employees of the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) load electoral boxes into trucks for transfer after the end of counting the votes process in Baghdad on March 23, 2010. -

ROAD TO THE BALLOT BOX

Like electoral campaigns elsewhere in the world, the Iraqi parliamentary elections campaign was influenced by a number of different factors. Perhaps the most crucial question in the period leading up to the elections was whether the incoming administration would deepen sectarian divisions, which have hindered the development and progress of the country during the past few years, or whether it would promote reconciliation between the different ethnic, tribal and religious groups in an attempt to bridge the existing differences for a more prosperous future for the country as a whole. Indeed, the preparations for the elections highlighted the continuing conflicts between the country’s parties and ethnic groups, raising tensions before the official campaigning even began. Having pushed back the voting date from January, as a result of lengthy delays in getting campaign laws through parliament, the country was brought to the verge of a political crisis earlier this year when the electoral commission – under the 26

MAY 2010

- An Iraqi woman shows her ink-stained finger after casting her vote at a polling station in central Baghdad on March 7, 2010. -


IN THE SPOTLIGHT

In addition to these issues, were accusations of demographic manipulations in Kirkuk and fears over the rights of out-ofcountry voters that had registered. Clearly the road to the elections was paved with constant challenges for the Iraqi system as a whole. Yet, as hard as the process leading up to the elections was, the road after the elections has proved even more difficult to manoeuvre.

ELECTION DAY – BLUE INK, SMILING FACES

The pictures of Iraqi men and women holding out their inkstained fingers have become welcomed images within the global media as a celebration of Iraq’s emergence from the ashes of war and conflict on to the road of self-governance. In contrast to 2005, political parties or alliances that would in turn select the next government held this year’s elections according to an open-list system in which voters could choose individual candidates from lists presented. Of the four main blocs that competed in the elections, two ran neck-and-neck. According to final results published by Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission, Iyad Allawi’s secular Iraqiyya bloc won 91 of the Council of Representative’s 325 seats – 72 sort of a majority. Al Maliki’s State of Law came second with 89 seats, followed by the Iraqi National Alliance on 70 and the Kurdistan Alliance with 43. Although Allawi’s Iraqiyya party topped the polls with a very narrow margin, neither Allawi nor Al Maliki won anywhere near the 163 seats needed for a majority in parliament. But, the results are contested and the rules are vague. The vote counting process proved to be more chaotic than expected, with accusations of fraud by leading parties, divisions among highly politicised electoral officials and chaos in disclosing the results. Al Maliki challenged the results and requested a recount of the votes. That call was swiftly rejected by the electoral commission, which continues to insist – in the face of numerous complaints of irregularities – that the elections were essentially free and fair. The United Nations (UN), the US and the Arab League have also commented that the voting and tallying were free of widespread fraud. Also, in the days leading to the announcement of results of the March 7 poll, it was widely assumed that the candidate with the most seats would be given the advantage of the first attempt at forming a government, and be given 30 days to do so. However, the day before the results were announced, on Al Maliki’s enquiry, the Supreme Federal Court gave a definition of the term “the parliamentary bloc with the most members” under Article 76 of the Iraqi Constitution. With little explanation, the court ruled that the leader of the bloc with the most followers once Parliament convenes, would be the one forming a government. This could enable Al Maliki rather than Allawi to be the one to put together a new cabinet.

BALLOTS CLOSED, FUTURE UNCERTAIN

There had been hope that the election would spell an end to Iraq’s sectarian politics. Though the balloting shattered the sectarian political template, which brought Al Maliki to power in 2005, when an alliance of Shi’ite parties dominated the election, the outcome re-emphasized the country’s sectarian and regional divides, and the deepening schism between Arabs and Kurds. The parliamentary elections failed to lift the uncertainty of the stability of Iraq and the outcome remains unknown. Allawi’s

secular bloc, Iraqiyya, won a narrow lead, but uncertainties remain as to the formation of the next government. The elections made it clear that Iraqi people are asking for change for the better, in the way of non-sectarian politics, and have low expectations of the outgoing government, in the light of almost 75 percent of the parliament being replaced. However, the new government may take months to form, and the transition may not be smooth.

ALLAWI: THE SURPRISE CANDIDATE

The vote in part reflected dissatisfaction with Al Maliki’s ability to provide security, government services, and jobs. Allawi appealed to some Iraqis that had become disillusioned by the domination of religious parties within the Iraqi political scene and others, who welcomed his image as the strongman leader they have lacked since Saddam Hussein was ousted. Allawi has signalled that he would be willing to work and cooperate with any group willing to join him in forming a government. But to accomplish that goal he will have to overcome deepseated enmity not only from Al Maliki, but also from the Kurds (with 43 seats) and the Iraqi National Alliance (with 70 seats). Allawi’s dilemma is that while he is a pragmatist, who could make a deal with the Kurds and some Shi’ite factions. His main constituencies are Sunni Arab nationalists, who would not tolerate an alliance with the Kurds, unless the Kurds made impossible concessions on Kirkuk and other disputed areas. By allying with Sunni groups, he was able to tap into their sense of being marginalised by Al Maliki’s Shia-dominated government and its perceived leaning towards Tehran. Yet, while Iraq’s Sunni minority delivered most of his support, Allawi also succeeded in reaching across the sectarian divide and picking up many votes from Shia groups disenchanted with the incumbent prime minister. As for his diplomatic moves, he has reached out to regional leaders by sending a delegation on a tour of the Middle East. However, he has been firm to reiterate that he will not stand for outside interference, and that the aim of the tour was to explain to the region that the stability of Iraq is the stability of the region. Allawi’s deep ties with the US and with Britain, having worked with the intelligence services in both nations against Hussein, indicate the likely preference of such nations, though they have been careful not to voice a preference. At this stage, the greatest difficulty Allawi will face is balancing the demands of his new constituency, with the necessities of forging an alliance to lead the government.

AL MALIKI: THE STRUGGLING INCUMBENT

As Al Maliki has alienated potential allies, both at home and abroad, he has stirred up concerns that he could have authoritarian inclinations. Those qualities are starting to haunt him as coalition talks unfold. He has managed to alienate many Kurds and has poor ties with neighbouring Arab states. Shi’ite power, Iran, whose backing was viewed as instrumental four years ago when Al Maliki was first appointed, widely believes that he has become too independent and uncontrollable. Al Maliki has reportedly been negotiating a merger with the Iraqi National Alliance, which includes followers of Moqtada Al Sadr, so he can claim to lead the biggest bloc in parliament. Yet, even the Sadrists do not have fond memories of Al Maliki, MAY 2010

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT

- Supporters of Iraqi incumbent Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki chant anti-Ba’athist slogans and demand a manual recount of the elections during a protest on March 26 in Baghdad. -

especially since he ordered a crackdown on the group not long ago and has been held responsible for a string of high-level arrests of key figures of the movement in Baghdad and elsewhere.

A KINGMAKER EMERGES

With the two leading parties jockeying for position within the parliament, there is ample space for other groups to move in and carve out positions of greater power. The Sadrists’ good performance in the elections ensures its ability to influence the future makeup of the government. On the other hand, the Kurds and the Iraqi National Alliance together, wield more than 110 seats. This is sufficiently more than that what is required to allow Allawi or Al Maliki to gain control of parliament. How relations will pan out remains uncertain. The Kurds have had differences with both leaders and could therefore go in either direction. As for foreign interference, it has been commented that Iran wants Iraq to be weak enough not to pose any future threat (following the 1980s war), yet strong 28

MAY 2010

enough to control constant instability. Arab states would perhaps want a strong, nationalist Iraq that would resist Iranian encroachment, yet not strong enough to repeat its invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

TOMORROW, ALWAYS A DAY AWAY

Iraq stands at a critical juncture at this stage. For the sake of its future, it is vital that whoever assembles a coalition in Iraq ensures that Sunnis, Shias and Kurds all have a voice in the government. Otherwise, they risk alienation and continuing violence. It would be helpful if Allawi, a secular Shia, who has cross-sectarian representation that includes substantial Sunni support, were part of a government – whether or not he leads it. The influential Shia leadership in Najaaf has pointed to that as well. Yet, regardless of who leads the country there are many different challenges the incoming Iraqi government faces that must be addressed by a functional government that is representative of the majority of Iraqis.


MARKET WATCH

The Infrastructure Growth Engine Extending into 2010 Infrastructure spending has never before been so large as a share of world gross domestic product (GDP). Notwithstanding the global crisis, more countries are now not only industrialising more than ever before, but also China and others are investing at more vigorous rates than the developed countries pact. Doctor Salwa Hammami Labib reports


MARKET WATCH

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ast year, China overtook the United States (US) as the world’s largest market for infrastructure as its US$265 billion (QR964 billion) in allocations to transport and electricity infrastructure from its stimulus funds, were both larger and faster to trickle in the system. At six percent of their combined GDP, infrastructure spending from emerging economies today is almost double the average of the ratio in developed economies. Figures worldwide may be too patchy to draw conclusions on the size of capital spending that took place in 2009 alone. We think that globally, just as in the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC), actual capital spending this year may outweigh last year’s. First, many long anticipated projects have been awarded not before quarter one 2010, like the D1 motorway concession in Slovakia or La Montana highway in Columbia, which delayed their start until this year. Second, many tendered projects were subjected for re-tendering as developers tried to lock-in lower construction costs, which at the time may have plunged by up to a third from their recent peaks. With material costs stabilising this year, the trend to re-tender may have abated appreciably by now, but many government-backed refining projects in Riyadh are living proof of projects that re-entered the bidding stage last year, putting off their start and adjourning government spending. Other projects may have been shelved too, but for all intents and purposes 2010 is expected to be a busy year not least because, until economic recovery becomes more solidly entrenched, there will never be a cheaper time to secure low construction and labour costs. According to recent media reports, tenders for the GCC’s proposed US$25

billion (QR91 billion) 2117-kilometrelong regional rail network (starting in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and finally linking Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates) will be floated in the first half of 2010. Additionally, there are ample other projects to be awarded. Gulf projects tracker MEED Projects, shows that there is currently US$505.8 billion (QR1.8 trillion) worth of infrastructure projects across the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region at the prequalification, bidding or ‘engineering, procurement and construction’ stages. A further US$623.9 billion (QR2.27 trillion) worth of projects are on hold, but any upsurge in the economies of the region could prompt clients to resume at least some of these plans. In Qatar, large-scale projects like the New Doha International Airport, the New Doha Port project and the Qatar Bahrain Causeway are currently drawing interest to the state’s infrastructure sector. In 2010, there will be US$33.8 billion (QR123 billion) worth of real estate and construction projects, with the range of contracts due to be awarded including the Doha Crossing, the Hamad Medical City’s new otolaryngology hospital, packages in Entertainment City in Lusail, and the first main construction contract for the US$5.5 billion (QR20 billion) Heart of Doha regeneration project. At a time when many international banks have shied away from the GCC mega-projects market, the high levels of public spending will help these schemes. Successively, most GCC governments have been funnelling part of their higher oil revenues into fixed investment and have, in effect, during the past two years built a fiscal escalator that mainly goes up. This has brought fresh urgency into infrastructure programmes in the

region. If the crude figures show that the pooled government spending in emerging economies amounts to six percent of their total GDP, then through their planned commitments to core infrastructure spending throughout the next year (roads, water supply and wastewater treatment and power facilities for example) some GCC governments account for a bigger share of their non-oil economy. The 2010-11 budget, announced last month in Qatar, puts infrastructure investment once again in focus as it receives the lion’s share (82 percent) of outlays on major capital projects. These projects include the New Doha Seaport, the New Doha International Airport, roads and utility system upgrades. In the infrastructure domain, Qatar remains one of the region’s best prospects for growth in 2010, just as in 2009. At more than eight percent of GDP, the forecast for the Qatari government’s planned infrastructure investment in the next fiscal year is higher than planned infrastructure spending under the Kuwaiti budget (which sets the infrastructure investment proportion at less than six percent), as well as the UAE federal budget and Dubai’s (with each proposing fiscal spending on infrastructure projects at less than five percent of GDP). It may be a far cry from Saudi Arabia’s budgetary plan, which proposed infrastructure spending at an over-powered 19 percent of its GDP, but the kingdom’s relatively lower income per head and lower pace of urbanisation explain why it needs to pull further ahead on the infrastructure measure. At present, approval in Qatar has been granted to a number of government-geared projects, one of the biggest of which is in south of Doha

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MARKET WATCH

where the government is planning to build a deep-sea port, the Mesaieed Port, covering 20 square kilometres (sqm) and costing US$6 billion (QR 21.8 billion). The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) award for the port is expected in quarter two 2010, but schemes like these have helped maintain the focus on the project market and, in an environment where banks and mortgage lenders are still a tad conservative, they provide the biggest opportunities for contractors, sub-contractors, and developers alike. According to data from MEED Projects, the Qatar project market is expected to experience a spike in terms of the value of schemes planned or under way. Forecasts have it that these will grow in the coming year to reach US$14.96 billion (QR54.4 billion) in the third quarter – 23 percent higher than their level in 2008. Economists remain divided on the economic gains that infrastructure projects can yield, or more generally, the long-term impact of fiscal expenditure on GDP, with some fearing that government demand may significantly crowd out some other component of output. Historically, multipliers on fiscal spending are much larger than multipliers on other policy actions like tax cuts, but even within estimates of the cumulative increase in national output attributable to the increase in fiscal spending, wild variations exist. In particular, the World Bank estimates that a one percent increase in the stock of infrastructure is associated with a one percent increase in the level of GDP, or the fiscal multiplier is unity. For emerging economies, estimates are much

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smaller varying in the neighbourhood of 0.1 to 0.5 percent. In gauging the effect of planned infrastructure spending on Qatar’s national output, we are willing to grant that the 0.1-0.5 percent range is more applicable, although we do not know of any empirical work on fiscal multipliers in the GCC to establish that convincingly. This means that since the Qatari gross fixed investment is valued at a third of the national output, then a US$100 billion (QR3.64 billion) infrastructure investment could boost nominal GDP by anywhere between US$30 and US$150 billion (QR109 and 546 billion). Earlier this year, the Qatari Public Works Authority (Ashghal) announced that it was budgeting US$20 billion (QR72.8 billion) for roads during the next five years. In this case, the increase in national income is anywhere between US$6 billion and US$30 billion (QR21.8 and QR109 billion). The bounds differ in vital respects, but looking for more precise estimates is futile. The calculation should be carefully examined in light of the economic and market conditions prevailing over the next five years. Besides, because of the slowdown in credit intermediation during the last year and especially if, against all odds, Qatari banks remain relatively averse to risk, income earned from government spending will not be leveraged by the financial system to nearly the same effect as in the credit boom years of 2004 to 2008. The crucial point, though, is that where very few bottlenecks exist because infrastructure projects are intelligently

targeted, project spending will be a cause for economic growth in Qatar keeping the non-oil economy spinning as it improves its prospects. It is also a consequence of economic growth. The rise in income leads to an increase in demand for installed capacity (electricity, roads, air travel and hence airports). In other emerging countries during the downturn, governments were forced to take bitter medicine as their fiscal balances took a beating on an outsized public purse. Having to go out and spend more flexibly surely makes a nice variation in Qatar’s case. But neither the sustainability of government spending, nor the good shape of the fiscal finances should distract from the opportunity at hand; in normal circumstances, a large fiscal policy stimulus injected into the economy would stir inflationary pressures, but being deep in the deflationary terrain, the risks to Qatar’s public spending on infrastructure adding to inflationary pressures anytime soon should not be overstated. Some skeptics are quick – too quick – to pronounce that some of these efforts may go in vain since Qatar’s large scale infrastructure investment results in the influx of an expatriate population that rolls up for the life of the project and leaves once it terminates. It is the hope that these projects will bring additional long-term benefits by providing the key support to industries, which further the diversify of the economy and also by engaging the private sector in the financing needs. Long-term benefits that add depth and extra layers to the economy will ensure Qatar has more to offer than what first meets the eye at the North Field basin.


INSIDE EDGE

BONDS MARKET – NEED OF THE HOUR Dheeraj Shahdadpuri reports

MAY 2010

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T

he Middle East region has for a long time relied primarily on bank financing and to a lesser extent, on equity markets to source funds for capital expenditures. Until recently, debt instruments have been seldom used for meeting the long-term financing needs of the corporate sector as banks have been catering to their capital requirements pretty actively. However, the global financial crisis has significantly changed the landscape of the finance industry in the region. Banks, which were once growing their loan books at a rate of around 15 to 20 percent per annum, have now adopted a conservative approach in extending credit to the corporate and retail sector. In absence of an organised bonds market, many business entities are now finding it difficult to access credit. Additionally, the region has recently witnessed wide fluctuations in the foreign capital inflows as international investors have lacked an alternate investment avenue (other than equities) to park their funds. Globally, bonds markets represent a viable tool for governments to attain stable access to capital and diversify monetary policy instruments in which to control money supply in the economy. In most nations, bonds markets are born mainly out of the need for a government to raise funds. However, in case of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region – since local governments enjoy more or less a stable source of revenues through hydrocarbon exports – the need for developing a formal debt market has never been felt until date in which to fund the massive spending programmes. For this reason commercial banks have remained the primary source of funding for the corporate sector as well. If we were to compare the Middle East to other regions of the world, the size of the debt market is still significantly small despite the tremendous growth witnessed during the last decade. According to end-2008 data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the world capital markets consist of an average 38.9 percent in bond instruments, 15.6 percent equities and 45.4 percent bank assets. However, in the Middle East region, the capital market is dominated by bank assets and equities, which together make up around 94.4 percent in financing. Debt securities constitute just 5.6 percent of the capital markets in the Middle East region and the composition of the same was tilted towards corporate sector issuance prior to the financial crisis. However, soon after the global equity markets fell into turmoil following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, there was a significant shift witnessed in the risk appetite of the investors. They gave lukewarm response to many corporate bonds issued the world over and instead flocked to government bonds, which compared to any other debt instruments are 34

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deemed free of default. The Middle East region also witnessed a similar trend last year as the share of total money raised by the corporate sector in debt markets fell to a mere 21 percent as against an average of around 70 percent during 2005 to ‘08. Sovereign issues by GCC countries continued receiving a feisty reception from the world market. The Central Bank of Kuwait recently received KWD1.26 billion (QR15.9 billion) worth of bids for an announced tender of KWD200 million (QR2.53 billion) one-year treasury bonds. Dubai and Doha have also issued bonds recently paving the way for a more government centric initiative to develop an interest rate benchmark in the region.

Need for Debt Markets

The dependence on bank financing in the region has, to a great extent, heightened the vulnerability of the financial sector. This is evident by the fact that bank deposits are small-term liabilities, but their assets, like loans and mortgages, are generally of a longer duration. In extreme cases (much like the current one) this leads to an over stretched loans-to-deposits ratio, which harms credit availability and eventually the growth of the economy. Moreover, the outflow of the so called ‘hot money’ during the end of 2008, once again brought into notice the vulnerability of relying on external financing to fuel domestic economic growth. The financial crisis suddenly stopped the capital inflows into the region and if it was not for the large government surpluses accumulated during the boom period of 2005 to ‘08, the fiscal response to stimulate growth would have been somewhat muted. As banks have shown reluctance in recent times to extend credit, the idea of establishing a bonds market has gained further momentum. An organised bonds market would work towards absorbing risks in case of any capital flow fluctuations and will provide a stable source of financing especially for infrastructure works, which generally have a long gestation period. The development of a bonds market not only helps the corporate sector


INSIDE EDGE

and individuals, but it is also of paramount importance to a countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s central bank as it provides an effective monetary policy tool. It facilitates the use of open market operations to control money supply in an economy. Central banks can buy government securities in the open market to increase liquidity and can sell the same to reduce liquidity in the economy. This type of functioning could especially help in maintaining an inflation target in an economy and would be of pivotal importance to the regional governments, which were once finding it difficult to control spiralling inflation until mid 2008. Furthermore, an active domestic government initiated bonds market also provides a risk-free benchmark yield curve, which could be instrumental in pricing other bonds issued (mainly by corporate and quasi government sector) in the country. This could very well be utilised to ascertain the efficient risk pricing of various debt instruments in an economy. In the long-term, a well functioning debt market could also give an opportunity to asset managers to hedge their risks effectively and carefully plan their investment strategies. Further, at present it is only institutions that buy bonds in the market and hold them until they mature. However, till the time when a well functioning secondary market for bonds is not established, the volume of investors will remain low. This is also a reason that international financial institutions that want to invest in the region do not find suitable securities, which in

turn is hampering the flow of foreign capital in the region. Going forward, as and when the global economic activity picks-up further growth momentum, the epicentre of the world economy is expected to shift towards emerging nations, especially ones in the Asian region. In such a scenario, the GCC region could play an important role in being the hub for attracting investments from foreign institutional players. This is because, directly or indirectly, the bonds issued would be backed by vast energy commodity reserves, accumulated public wealth and political stability.

Conclusion

The creation of a bonds market in the region can be driven by government initiatives. It should also be noted that governments not only have to work as the main issuer of the securities in order to create a benchmark risk yield curve, which would be used in pricing other interest bearing securities, but they have to also work towards creating a favourable regulatory environment for attracting foreign capital. Corporate governance is still a nascent idea in the region and the accompanying transparency issues pose challenges for investors to assess the risk at many occasions. The regional governments should invest in addressing these fundamental issues so that the bonds market emerges as an effective alternative investment destination in managing risk. MAY 2010

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COVER STORY

As businesses struggle to gain a competitive edge by making their processes more efficient, digitalising data has become a core necessity across all industries. The benefits of information technology (IT) for both private and business use are immeasurable. However, the risk of being exposed to serious cyber crime is on the rise. Daily, the number of hackers trying to gain access to valuable digital information stored on the hard-drives of company and personal computers is skyrocketing. So what are authorities doing and what can you do to protect digital information? David Poort investigates the world of cyber security. 36

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COVER STORY

I

nitially computer hacking started out as a hobby for nerds, who wanted to brag about their computer skills. However, things have changed in recent years, where computer geeks, or people paying them, have learnt that they can make a lot of money by using the Internet as a tool for accessing valuable information from businesses and individuals. Most cyber criminals are after some sort of financial gain. This can come in the form of accessing credit card records, client lists, financial details or corporate intelligence. Some cyber criminals specialise in corporate espionage or are hired to downgrade a competitor’s brand. However, money is not the only motive. For some, accessing and deleting sensitive information is a form of revenge. In March 2002, a piece of malicious software deleted 10 billion files in the computer systems of an international financial services company in the United States (US). The incident affected more than 1300 of the company’s servers throughout the US. The company sustained losses of approximately US$3 million (QR11 million) in expenses required to repair the damage and reconstruct deleted files. Investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and computer forensic professionals revealed that a so-called “logic bomb” had been planted in the system. A logic bomb is a program that lies dormant until a specific piece of program logic is activated. As it turned out, the attack came from a disgruntled employee, who had recently quit the company because of a dispute over the amount of their annual bonus. Political motives also come into play in the complex world of cyber crime. Last month, a group of researchers in Canada

linked the theft of thousands of files from politically sensitive targets around the world to a huge cyber crime ring allegedly based in China. The command and control infrastructure of this so-called Shadow Network used platforms such as Twitter, Google Group and Yahoo Mail to control infected computers. The network attacked targets ranging from the offices of the Dalai Lama, where more than 1500 emails were stolen, to the United Nations as well as Indian and Pakistani government officials. Researchers said they had evidence of links between the Shadow Network and two Chinese individuals living in the city of Chengdu. They were identified by email addresses and are believed to be part of China’s underground hacking community.

On the rise

Incidents, like the above-mentioned, have lead cyber crime investigators to believe there is a vast underground ecosystem to cyber space, within which, criminal and espionage networks thrive. It, therefore, raises the question of whether people are doing enough to keep digital information secure? It does not matter if people are in manufacturing, oil and gas, e-commerce, technology or logistics; the fact remains that information has become the cornerstone of the modern world. It is what makes our business tick. But, with the ever-increasing dependence on IT comes the increased exposure to security breaches – a danger that is far too often underestimated and in some cases completely overlooked. Michael Molson is the vice president of Solutions and Services for Meeza, a Qatar-based IT services provider. According to Molson, IT is a land of trade-offs: “We need to MAY 2010

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COVER STORY

How to keep your laptop secure

The average laptop could contain data worth around US$1 million (QR3.6 million), according to research by security software company Symantec. The same research shows that just 42 percent of companies automatically back up employees’ emails, where often critical data is stored, and 45 percent leave it to the individual to do so. Daniel Phelps is an assistant teaching professor for the Information Systems Program at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. Like so many of people Phelps lives and breathes with his laptop and therefore has some pointers as to how people can keep valuable data secure, while outside the office, starting with the most basic rule: • Do not let it out of your sight Lost laptops have been the bane of existence for many businesses and countries alike. The most known serious loss of a laptop occurred in 1990, when a British Royal Air Force officer had a computer stolen from the boot of his car. It contained a top-secret plan to drive the Iraqi Army out of Kuwait after it had invaded the Gulf state in August 1990. • Make sure all unnecessary services like Bluetooth or other file sharing software are switched off when you are not using them Every access point into your system can be used by savvy cyber criminals to steal information or implant malicious software. Lower your risk of attack by minimising the number of available access points. • When you get a new laptop, always make sure the hard drive password is set Most laptop thefts are committed by common thieves, who are after the laptop itself and not the information it contains. To minimise your loss to hardware, always make sure your information is secured by a password. • Always encrypt your hard drive In January 2008, a British Royal Navy officer was court marshalled after a laptop containing the personal data of 600,000 people, including serving personnel, was stolen from his car. The non-encrypted data included bank account numbers and passport details, national insurance numbers and home addresses. • Avoid using open WiFi hotspots with your business laptop. Make sure you are using a secure virtual private network (VPN) connection when sending valuable business information Generally people do not take cyber threats very seriously. People forget that by using unsecured WiFi hotspots they are essentially shouting their information to the world. According to Phelps: “Cyber security is all about balancing the operational needs with the value of the information. We should also not forget that IT is there to support operations, not the other way around.”

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do business faster and the only way to do that is with the use of IT. But using IT increases the threat. Efficiency and effectiveness can impact the security of data.” Meeza offers IT solutions to major international and regional brands such as Vodafone, Dohaland and Qatar Foundation. “Meeza constantly experiences threats against its infrastructure and continuously sees malicious activity from the Internet. However, by utilising the correct technology, processes and training methodologies, the risk can be significantly minimised,” he states. Molson says the growing rate of corporate cyber crime is of great concern to the business environment the world over. “The frequency of malicious activity is increasing. It is an ongoing battle – one that is getting bigger and one that will never end. This is increasing the requirement for greater focus on information security.” Estimates of how often companies face attacks are difficult to predict. Many believe that cyber attacks are under reported to law enforcement agencies because companies often fear the negative publicity, or increased liability that may arise as a result of the incidents. Additionally they believe that the harm suffered is often not sufficient to warrant criminal charges. For many people this is very fortunate, because if companies did report every crime committed against their intellectual property, most people would probably be tied up in lawsuits for illegally downloading or purchasing pirated music and movies. (See boxout story on Internet piracy on page 38. You will be surprised to learn, who the biggest cyber criminals are.)

Corporate cyber crime

A very common form of cyber crime these days is a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, in which companies become coerced by threats of being taken off the air. If companies do not pay a ransom fee, hackers can make that company’s website unavailable by sending a vast amount of emails to the computer disk where mail is stored. This means that people, who use the computer with the full disk, cannot receive any new email until the attack is neutralised. While this is an older style of a DDoS attack, it remains popular to this day. Email is not the only way companies can be penetrated. The digital entry points into companies have increased significantly over the years; use of web-based software, company websites and e-commerce portals are making business more flexible and easier, but this is exposing a greater amount of information to untrusted entities. The latest entry point that can be added to the list is the commonly named cloud service, through which shared resources, software and information are provided to computers, and other devices on demand. Naturally, this concept creates new opportunities for cyber criminals to take advantage of. Some specialists argue that cloud service providers have a strong incentive to maintain trust and as such, employ a higher


COVER STORY

“The ability to reactively recover after a serious breach of information security is almost unachievable.” - Michael Molson

level of security, while others argue that data is more secure when managed internally. Either way, it is vital for companies to ensure their information is secure. According to Meeza, 40 percent of companies that suffer a compromise of key business information are out of business within one year. After two years, 60 percent are out of business and after three years 80 percent. “The ability to reactively recover after a serious breach of information security is almost unachievable,” states Molson. “This is why, as a service provider, we stress the importance of being very proactive in terms of information security. You should proactively protect your assets and have a business continuity plan ready in the event that something happens in order to recover any lost information as quickly as possible.”

Costs of being secure

In times of economic hardship many smaller companies tend to cut costs in the IT department. Often, small businesses simply cannot afford the range of security measures that are available nowadays.

According to Molson: “The question of cost is always a difficult one to answer, however, it must be proportional to the risk. You have to offset that risk by spending money. We don’t view it as a cost, we view it as a value.” These days there is no 100 percent secure environment in the digital world. Molson states that focus, pragmatism and proactive planning to mitigate risks are the best forms of defence. “If your are in the real estate business, then you are simply not going to know as much about IT as a service provider does. Our core business is managing the complexity of IT including the security aspects. My advice for companies is to reach out to a service provider and leverage their expertise against risks in their environment.” Molson compares the specialised work of IT service providers, with the service a person gets from a mechanic at the garage. “If your car breaks down, you don’t attempt to fix it yourself, you take it to an expert,” he says. “IT security is complex and is getting increasingly more so. People need to offset the inherent risk as it is not their core competency, regardless of whether they are a single

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user or responsible for the IT concerns of thousands.” (See the boxout on page 36 for tips on how to keep your laptops secure when out and about.)

Qatar’s readiness

As cyber attacks become more frequent, they also become more sophisticated; something the Qatari government seems to be well aware of. In December 2009, Qatar announced the inauguration of a state-of-the-art Cyber Crime Prevention Centre to help crack down on cyber criminals. “The centre is one of the most important facilities for preventing cyber crimes on a regional level,” said majorgeneral Saad Bin Jassim Al Khulaifi, director-general of Public Security, in a recent statement. It is not the first one in the region, but it is equipped with latest technologies to detect cyber crimes and prevent them. According to Meeza, Qatar is very progressive with regards to information security at a state and regulatory level. “The government is taking this really seriously. It is 100 percent committed to IT-security,” Molson states. By positioning itself as a leader in the region, both on a public and economic level, Qatar is raising its profile in an unprecedented manner. This comes at the cost of increasing its exposure to cyber attacks. The Qatari government has recognised the threats associated with its economic boom and is constantly moving up the world rankings of information and communication technology (ICT) readiness, to where information security is becoming a greater part of IT spend. However, the significant investment the Qatari government is making in cyber security could go to waste if IT security

Digital Piracy

Internet distribution of pirated material – music, movies, software, games – is a multi-billion dollar industry, with the Motion Picture Association of America estimating losses at US$15 billion (QR54 billion) in 2009 alone. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry reported a 30 percent fall in global music sales (physical and download) between 2004 and 2009 and also claims that 95 percent of all music downloaded from the web is done so illegally. Indeed, of all the software running on all the computers worldwide, just less than two-thirds is pirated. In a NationMaster. com list of software piracy offenders, Qatar finds itself ranked halfway – no better nor worse than the majority. However, Qatar is becoming increasingly active in attempting to curb software piracy, as evidenced by the antipiracy raids, which took place in Doha last year where fake Microsoft products were confiscated in two separate premises. Governments around the world are enacting tougher laws to force Internet service providers to sever the Internet connections of serial downloader’s. Denial of Internet services to repeat offenders may have an impact, but can it come close to turning the tide? There are other more altruistic

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awareness does not trickle down to the business environment in Qatar. Businesses and individuals in Qatar have to become more aware of the issues surrounding cyber security and take the necessary precautions to prevent cyber crimes from affecting them.

approaches to guiding users away from pirate sites, two of which are listed below: Providing an alternative: Spotify.com, an Internet streaming service, offers free music listening supported by advertising or subscriptions to music lovers. “Thanks to Spotify, it’s now easier than ever to share music legally,” says Spotify.com vice president Angela Watts. “Spotify is drawing people away from piracy. We’re now monetising an audience, a large majority of whom were downloading illegally before Spotify was available.” According to Watts, two-thirds of Spotify users say they are sharing less from illegal sites than they were before. Providing an experience: This is where the major retailers are found to be in a surprisingly confident mood, with market leader Virgin Megastore setting the tone: “Piracy is certainly a threat for the region across all digital product lines, however, it does not affect our sales that much as we have built a customer loyalty with the people,” said Nassim Goraieb, marketing manager for Virgin Megastores in Qatar and Bahrain. “People visit Virgin for the shopping experience they get. They interact with the staff, discover the new hi-tech gadgets and listen to the latest singles. They simply enjoy their visit.”


ECONOMIC BAROMETER

RE-ENGINEERING THE ORGANISATION: THE TALENT SEARCH Karim Nakhle examines how leading institutions in the Middle East are gearing their talent strategies to the unprecedented market conditions and changing realities facing various sectors.


ECONOMIC BAROMETER

How is the Middle East preparing for a postcrisis economy?

The first quarter of 2010 has come and gone carrying along with it the anxiety and fears, which overshadowed the global and regional economy in 2009. As hope of prosperity and a better future re-emerges, government and business leaders are looking ahead, wishing for a new dawn, which will boost their confidence and profits, and shed a ray of light on what is looming on the horizon. While some companies are still exchanging ideas about how to deal with the aftermath of the global financial crisis, others in the business community are gearing up for future growth with ambitious plans to spend more on reviving their businesses in the coming 12 months. Many agree that the primary task of corporate restructuring lies with the reengineering of a business – to turn it into a more cost efficient and more sustainable model – which aims to shake-up staff deployment, performance objectives, career development and organisational 42

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structure. Re-engineering also involves the appointment of appropriate senior management as well as the hiring of the capable executives, hence the importance of engaging in the executive search. In preparing for recovery, when it comes to ‘people and change solutions’, the first and most important step is to define a clear strategy for renewal and growth, as well as mapping out what talents and capabilities are required to deliver it. This means continued inspiration for performing talent in which to sustain productivity in the near-term, as well as rapidly recognising longterm recovery opportunities. After hasty job culling, many organisations may have been left with a somewhat anxious and disillusioned management team. Experience shows that productivity dips in the aftermath of such upheaval. To reconnect with staff and galvanise them for the journey ahead, senior management must be willing to clearly explain their new business strategy and how retained staff will fit for the changes ahead. As for new talent, companies will be looking for a ‘new breed’ of leaders that

can enthuse and guide the organisation even through the most of alien strategic paths. Organisations will certainly see the value of leaders in this environment. Undoubtedly, rationalisation of compensation will be required to promote a more sustainable balance. Nevertheless, this time around, remuneration decisions will be underpinned by robust governance structures and there will be a clear line of sight between performance, reward and career progression – rewards will be aligned with the organisation’s redirection. The mandatory core requirements and experience of each new business leader will allow them to swiftly engage in the post-crisis changes. However, where will companies find this rare breed of candidates? The secret lies in the executive search.

WHAT IS EXECUTIVE SEARCH?

Executive search (informally dubbed headhunting) is the process of recruiting individuals to fill executive positions in organisations. An executive search may be performed by an organisation’s


ECONOMIC BAROMETER

board of directors, by executives in the company, or by an external specialised executive search business. Executive search was first introduced to the Middle East during the oil boom years of the mid 1970s to mid ‘80s when multinational companies and banks called upon executive search firms out of Western Europe or the United States (US) to find them top talent. At that time, most of the candidates were expatriates and there were no search firms operating in the Middle East. Twenty years on and executive search is still a relatively new concept in the Middle East, and there are only a handful of respected search firms that are operating here. When companies seek to hire leadership professionals from outside their organisation, they have several options. They can decide to manage the process themselves; they can employ contingency recruiters, who will simply explore random databases; or they can contract with a retained executive search consultant. Search consultancies use various methods to seek candidates for a

particular job. Normally the individuals are not actively seeking a new job. It is the job of the search consultant to approach these individuals to offer them, or allow them to consider a change, which brings significant added value in their careers. In the event that an organisation wishes to utilise outside help, it is essential to select a well-trusted and specialised firm. The first step in attracting and placing an executive in a leadership position is an assessment of economic feasibility. This incorporates the expected cost of the executive’s compensation versus the benefits that he or she will achieve for the enterprise, both qualitative and quantitative. Such an exercise quickly justifies the retainer fees paid to consultants – these fees are seen as an investment rather than an expense since the commercial benefit and the return on investment (ROI) will be achieved through the appointment of the ‘appropriate candidate’, and not simply a candidate selected from a ‘pick, mix and match’ database. Retained executive search consulting

would be economically feasible when hiring senior level executives (for salary levels above US$120,000 – QR437,000) and when it is critical to hire the most qualified and appropriate person to meet the challenges of the position in question. An executive search consulting firm’s priority is to identify the best candidate for a particular job and to select the best possible client/ candidate match. The Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) is a global organisation for retained executive search firms. Retained search firms that are members of the AESC are bound by a code of ethics and professional practice guidelines, and range from the most recognised search firms to the smallest boutique, or specialist, firms around the world. The retainer executive search market in the region is still blossoming and has strong prospects for further growth. The most promising sectors for executive search in the Middle East are: financial services, manufacturing industries as a whole and in particular the fast-moving consumer goods MAY 2010

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(FMCG) industry, healthcare, retail and real estate. To explore the topic further, I interviewed leading consultancies in the region, and the broader Middle East, about executive search in a bid to discover the trends and changes that are setting the path for organisations.

WHAT DO CLIENTS NEED IN THEIR SEARCH FOR NEW EXECUTIVES?

Kanchan Ghoshal, Executive Search and Select director of KPMG says: “No doubt the Middle East, to a certain extent, is different, in terms of the stage of its evolution and the challenges clients are facing, and the qualities of the executives that are needed to be effective.” “We identify important attributes needed at the most senior level positions in the Middle East today. The importance of each varies within the industry and the country in which the company is based. “The most important attribute in many cases is proven change management skills. Because you are talking about countries here that are going through a lot of changes; privatisation in different countries, and major family-owned businesses that contribute vastly to the local economy are realising the need to change, to restructure, to respond in a better way to market competition. “These changes are in terms of taxation, raising public capital, and new corporate governance structures, all require strong change management and strategic thinking skills in executives.” John Statham, senior director of Hoggett Bowers in Dubai said: “We look for the challenges those executives have faced in the past in their career, whether 44

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with existing companies or previous to that. We then match the relevance of those challenges to the clients we are advising. A candidates’ past experiences could include being part of a change management programme, or being an important agent or leader in managing change in different situations.” Helen Cooper, principal of Spencer Executive Search believes several challenges face the Middle East search business today: “A large part of the market(s) remains a bit sceptical of an intricate specialised consulting service that it does not truly understand.” “Large portions of businesses are still unable to discern the utility of retainer executive search versus conventional contingency recruitment. There is also the problem of contingency recruiters posturing as retained executive search consultants, further confusing client firms that are still trying to grasp the whole concept of executive search. “Furthermore, the information structure in Middle East market requires significant development. As a result, research in our region requires a considerable amount of time, which in turn reflects the length of time and costs required to complete a search and produce the desired results.” According to Omar Al Bishry, director of Human Resources and Talent Management Advisory at Inventure Middle East and North Africa, another attribute, which has become more greatly important, is the ability of the executive to be multi-cultured and to adjust to the local environment. He says adjusting means having the ability to be flexible and to react in a way that is appropriate for the culture at hand. And do not forget that the corporate environment in the Middle

East is unique; unlike Europe and even the US where most companies are comprised of around 30 to 40 nationalities; locals and expatriates, who operate on all levels. Therefore, Al Bishry says that executives have to be able to deal with different personalities and appreciate different cultures, as well as being effective in understanding and relating to local conditions. “Of course, we believe that core competencies, leadership skills and past experiences are necessary attributes for any candidates to succeed, but finally, the cornerstone of every executive position, in addition to cultural fit, no matter in the Middle East or elsewhere is leadership and people management skills. This includes the ability to develop people and establishing credibility immediately, or in a short period of time,” Al Bishry states. “Companies are now also seeking executives, who can be more visible internally, while at the same time being externally visible within the broader business community. “Previously management skills were more internally focused than externally. Change here is important for building a market-driven institution.” In conclusion, the new Middle East business order will require different talents and leadership skills, crème de la crème executives, as well as a marked shift in rewards and career progression. To firmly embed the operational and strategic changes presently taking place in organisations and to guarantee the long-term success of businesses post-crisis, there will also need to be an evolution in the way professionals adapt to and understand Middle Eastern culture.


ON THE PULSE

CULTURE CLASH The flow of Westerners falling foul from the Middle East’s cultural laws continues. However, for a region pursuing some of the most ambitious growth plans in history, a balance must be sought between cultural integration and the rule of law, if such plans are to become reality. Edward Jameson reports

A

Western male, resident in Dubai for 18 months, meets a female friend and four mutual friends in an American style diner for dinner. It is 2am and the restaurant, as is the case in the early hours of the

morning, is quiet, save for one or two people enjoying a late night snack. The man greets the woman, who is holidaying in the sun-lovers paradise, with a kiss on the cheek – as is usual in his culture. The pair have been drinking

- Ayman Najafi, the Dubai-based marketing consultant who faces a one month jail term and deportation. -

a mild amount of alcohol, but neither are causing any problems, and neither have any intention of doing so. They join their friends at their table, paying no attention to their fellow diners, order their food, and the night continues. From out of the blue the police arrive and arrest the pair. They are charged with committing a “crime against society” and with being in a public place after consuming alcohol, despite the fact that they are both under the drink-drive limit in the United Kingdom (UK) – from where both of them originate – which amounts to around two standard drinks. From here on in, the separate worlds, which the two inhabit – for they are not and never have been involved as a couple – begin to implode. They are charged with having kissed on the lips, although both claim it was a kiss on the cheek. Both are sentenced to a month in jail. They decide to appeal, and their UK passports are confiscated. For the woman, 26-year-old Charlotte Adams, the process is costly. She is unable to work in Dubai, yet the process will take a minimum of five months.


ON THE PULSE

The man, 25-year-old Ayman Najafi, is a successful marketing consultant with the Hay Group. Despite a brief redundancy when the credit crunch hit Dubai, he found a new position quickly, in which he excelled. But the potential conviction he now faces comes with a sting in the tail in the shape of deportation. Najafi, a man who speaks Arabic, who loves Dubai and the culture, and would never do anything to jeopardise his life in the city, may be turfed out of the country due to a cultural misunderstanding. The pair’s preliminary appeal was quashed, with their one-month prison sentence upheld on April 4. Najafi plans to appeal to the Dubai court of Cassation – the highest court in the land. The strain, however, appears to be taking its toll on Adams. She was last said to be ready to accept her onemonth prison sentence, so that she may return to the UK and be allowed to get on with her life.

then a high degree of societal and cultural friction will inevitably occur – with people such as Adams and Najafi cast as the unwitting victims. In 2008, two UK citizens, Michelle Palmer and Vince Acors were sentenced to three months in prison in Dubai after their arrest for the far more serious crime of sex in a public place. However the pair, who denied the allegations throughout, had their sentence suspended, so allowing them to fly home without having to spend time behind bars. “Because of the worldwide publicity, I feel that the Dubai authorities had no

real choice other than to find us guilty in this situation,” Acors said upon his return to the UK. Words that come of little comfort to Najafi or Adams. Their story has been plastered across the pages of publications from the UK’s biggest selling tabloid The Sun, to the New York Times and even the Wall Street Journal.

CAPITAL FLOW

Although the moral search for justice, both from the point of view of the state and the so-called perpetrators, is one underlying story here, the shifting scale of liberalisation and the accompanying

BENEATH THE SURFACE

The above story is an all too familiar tale across the Middle East of Westerners falling foul to prohibitive, but respectful morality laws originating from a deeply ingrained cultural history. Yet such frictions can only be expected to arise if a state chooses to open its doors to the world and in doing so, liberalises the laws governing its economy, yet has not reached a point in its development whereby the accompanying cultural and political liberalisation has occurred. “The Western façade [of Dubai] can lull the unsuspecting visitor into believing that it is also a liberal society,” says BBC Arab affairs analyst Magdi Abdelhadi. “That appears to be primarily why Western visitors have recently fallen foul of the law there. Scratch the modern surface and you discover a conservative Muslim culture, arguably far more so than many others in the Middle East.” Throughout the past decade rapid economic liberalisation has occurred in a number of Middle Eastern states, including Qatar, but many believe that the need to liberalise in a plethora of other areas permeates through modern society in the region, if economic growth is to be sustained. If cultural integration is not allowed to take place, 46

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- UK citizen Vince Acors had his prison sentence suspended in Dubai after being charged with a breach of decency laws. -


ON THE PULSE

frictions within the society in question is also brought to the fore. The modern Middle East is a land, which relies very heavily upon the flow of capital from outside of the region as one of two engines that drive its necessary economic diversification plans. The other being the aggressive reinvestment of hydrocarbon dollars into sectors such as real estate, financial services, healthcare and tourism. As a major aspect of its developmental plans, the region is pursuing some of the most ambitious population growth scenarios in the world. Such goals will only be achieved if the flow of businesses setting up in the Middle East continues – a point that was painfully brought into perspective by the financial crisis and the reversal of population flow from growth to decline – and the flow of businesses will only continue if those businesses can continue to attract staff to the region. Something that political and cultural prohibitions, backed by harsh jail terms and passport confiscation, will do nothing to facilitate.

THE THAI EXAMPLE

- Cultural integration may be necessary if Middle Eastern cities such as Doha are to fill the towers that constitute their burgeoning skylines. -

The East Asian economic boom, which peaked in the early ‘90s, gave rise to a mob of politically impatient Bangkok-based urban professionals, who demanded liberty and freedom from autocracy, with eventual, hardfought success. As a 17-year-old report in the New York Times memorably put it: “When a society reaches the point that people worry about fashions or fragrances, they are also likely to ponder democracy.” Two decades later, Dubai spearheaded the rapid economic development of the Gulf region, with Qatar following close behind in its wake. The relaxation of freehold property law combined with the establishment of commercial sectorspecific free zones, which opened the floodgates to a mass influx of foreign firms eager for their slice of new Arab wealth. What followed was not so much a boom; as an economic explosion, the likes of which had rarely been seen before. This fervour spread into the neighbouring city of Abu Dhabi, MAY 2010

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ON THE PULSE

- The restaurant where Najafi and Adams were arrested was located beneath the Jumeirah Beach Residence towers in Dubai – a popular area among Westerners. -

and a number of other Gulf states. But unlike Thailand in the ‘90s, where the booming economy saw a newly educated population demand political liberalisation, such a call in the Gulf has not materialised, and nor have the people taken to the streets to demand it. Why? Middle Eastern society is known for its appeasement of the state in return for perceived financial rewards for those in positions of authority within the private sector. The media shies away from attacking government policy and by extension law. The spark of reform must come from somewhere. The parameters in Bangkok were different. The battle for liberalisation and personal freedom was fought by Thai citizens, with a direct link to the nation that could be traced back for generations. In the Middle East, however, things are different. Society is constituted from an overwhelmingly international patchwork of people and cultures, living together under the year 48

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round sun. But living together under one occasionally prohibitive law.

RAMIFICATIONS

The mother who filed the complaint with the police against Najafi and Adams originally stated that she had seen the pair kiss, but later changed her version of the story, saying that only her child had witnessed the incident. Furthermore, she could not be contacted by the police or the courts as the case was heard, nor was she present at the hearing. Yet the charges remained. “They are feeling very shocked, it is a very bad situation, but it is what the judge decided so what can we do?” said the pair’s lawyer Khalaf Al Hosany. “I will advise them to appeal because there is always a chance. But it is their decision.” Nick Frost, an advisor to students at the University of Alberta, one of many Western higher education establishments that the Middle East would welcome students from, provides

the view from outside the region looking in: “While some of the rules in Dubai that must be followed serve to protect the safety of individuals, there are some laws that serve no purpose other than to drop an unnecessary punishment on the people involved,” he says. “If your culture determines that you should reprimand individuals for said acts, go ahead and hit them with a monetary fine. But, regardless of one’s cultural views, there is no conceivable way that either party, in good conscience, should have been given prison terms for their actions.” Whether or not Najafi and Adams’s prison sentences are eventually upheld remains to be seen. However, the potential ramifications of yet another pair falling foul of what Westerners would deem a harsh interpretation of the law will only damage the inflow of educated professionals that the Middle East, from Dubai to Qatar and beyond, will so rely on, if its growth ambitions are to be seriously pursued.


GREEN BUSINESS

WASTE NOT, WANT NOT

To understand the impact that future construction projects will have on the environment, people need to consider the potential waste at the end of the buildingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life. Sam Pickering asks: Can waste products from the construction industry be reduced and recycled? - Sam Pickering, managing director of Bluu Green. -

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GREEN BUSINESS

“The best way to approach and influence property developers to adopt more sustainable practices is to illustrate the benifits of doing so.” - Sam Pickering

T

here is increasing awareness in Qatar and the Middle East that developing a low carbon economy is essential, and that the construction industry needs to consider sustainability in all building processes. The routes to achieve greener buildings are numerous. However, any change to well-established construction techniques and designs can be met with resistance from the project team. The best way to approach and influence property developers to adopt more sustainable practices is to illustrate the benefits of doing so. This article hopes to show how beneficial it can be to make plans for the future waste products of a building at the very first stage in the design process. Making a building more sustainable is becoming an important issue from the very onset of the conceptual phase. Being familiar with the options to reduce a building’s carbon footprint will be on the design team’s agenda: renewable energy sources, water consumption, lighting systems, heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, as well as other ways of reducing a building’s effect on the environment. But, they must also consider what will happen at the end of a building’s life and allow for the waste materials produced when the building is eventually demolished after its service. At present, there are significant technical barriers to recovery and reuse of materials from deconstructed buildings. Generally, these barriers are caused by the current practices in construction and from the original design. Plans are drawn up with the final building being the end product and there is no consideration for what happens when it reaches the end of its life. Such a linear view within the built environment severely limits the end-of-life options of a building and places added pressure on the world’s natural resources. During planning it

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is, therefore, essential to focus on the efficient use of materials and minimisation of waste generated by a project. Indeed, it is good practice to take a cyclical analysis of a project on the drawing board, which ensures that the deconstruction of a building at the end of its life is taken into account. This closed loop process will, therefore, consider the deconstruction and construction of a project and is commonly termed ‘design for disassembly’. There are numerous examples of deconstruction projects that have overcome the issues of reusing and recycling of materials, which have been designed for disassembly. These examples allow current designers to improve the rates of future material and component recovery at the end-of-life of a building. Understanding the consequences of using certain building materials is an important factor that architects need to consider. As well as designing a building with the disassembly in mind, it becomes important to take into account the materials, which have a greater impact on the environment and that can be effectively reused or recycled. Therefore, it is recommended that a lifecycle assessment of materials, their future use if recycled, and effectiveness compared to alternatives is calculated. This process can provide the information to ensure that the environmental impact of materials used and systems implemented can be mitigated and minimised, in an informed manner. One important factor in deciding which materials to use, with disassembly in mind, is the time taken for these materials to regenerate or biodegrade. In general, it is easy to divide buildings into certain layers and between components with differing service life expectancies. One such summary looking at the average life of various materials concludes with the following as a


GREEN BUSINESS

typical lifespan for certain segments of the building: • Space plan; three to 10 years; • Services: five to 30 years; • Skin: 15 to 40 years; • Site: eternal. Understanding this and facilitating disassembly in such a manner will allow the building to develop over time in a sustainable and socially responsible manner. As we all know, there is a general mentality in today’s society of ‘use once and then dispose’. Materials are extracted from the natural environment, processed, manufactured, used and then disposed back into the natural environment, usually in a harmful manner. This approach is endemic within the built environment; in a typically linear rather than cyclical manner, which has now reached epic proportions in terms of impact on the global environment. However, if those considering the carbon footprint from the onset also consider the potential reuse of certain materials, there becomes a beneficial (and potentially profitable) cyclical model. If technical design considerations are fully considered, four different and scaled outcomes are possible: • The reuse of a whole building; • The production of a new building; • The production of new components; • The production of new materials. Ideally, the end state would be where all materials are recycled or reused. These outcomes would then allow recycling strategies to be considered and end-of-life scenarios as follows: • Building reuse or relocation; • Component reuse or relocation in a new building; • Material reuse in the manufacture of new components.

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GREEN BUSINESS

The recycling industry in Qatar has not yet been exploited, but it is commonplace within Europe and the United States (US); where on average 60 percent of materials associated with a demolition project are recycled. An example is the crushing of concrete for sub-base and also road-base. Within the United Kingdom (UK), the wide taxiways at London’s Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 – which were built to accommodated the massive airliners – used recycled concrete aggregate (RCA), with Amec estimating to have used 100,000 tonnes of RCA. In addition within Europe and the US, recycled concrete has been cleared in virtually all elements in the construction of roads. This provides a cheaper option for aggregate and also reduces the demand for precious virgin aggregates, which are not necessary. Understanding and considering the types of materials, and their life span is essential. It is also important to ensure that the quantity of building material consumed is reduced and subsequently the amount of construction, and demolition waste associated with a project. The benefits, for those who consider reducing the material consumption and scale of a project, are numerous. In addition to the obvious monetary advantages, it may also become an essential consideration to follow legislation, which takes into account the carbon footprint of each and every project. The benefits of considering disassembly at the design phase are significant. To do so, can lead to substantial savings, both in financial terms and on the impact to the environment. Many of the solutions that design out waste, both in the construction and the lifecycle, come at a negligible increase to the capital costs of a project and are based on a common sense approach. It is not a natural consideration to make when designing a new building and it has therefore been lost during the evolution of the construction industry. However, practices that involve ‘use once and dispose’ cannot be sustained in a world with finite resources. To make architects and developers consider the full lifecycle of a future building is essential, and governments need to play their part in insuring people take a responsible approach to the final waste of demolition.

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Now available for rental and exhibitions


ENTREPRENEUR

- All images courtesy of Tashkeel Comics. -

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ENTREPRENEUR

CREATIVE CURRENCY What usually comes out of a taxi ride with your sister to Harrods, London’s luxury department store, are a few retail items and maybe a box of expensive chocolates. But, if you were a modern creative entrepreneur like Doctor Naif Al Mutawa, CEO of Tashkeel Comics, you would invent the concept for a multimillion dollar comic book project that has taken the world by storm. David Poort explains the thought process, business approach and motivation behind Al Mutawa’s comic empire, The 99.

A

Kuwaiti national, Al Muwata completed his undergraduate studies triple majoring in clinical psychology, English literature and history before obtaining his PhD in clinical psychology from Long Island University in the United States (US). Al Muwata also holds a Masters in organisational psychology from Teacher’s College and an MBA from Columbia University. He started his company, Tashkeel, in the summer of 2006 as a launch pad for The 99, a comic book series of 99 superheroes that draw their virtues as a spin off from each of the 99 Islamic names of Allah. The thought process for The 99 was not based on an isolated incident. Al Mutawa drew from his many life experiences, including his service as a clinical psychologist at the Bellevue Hospital in New York where he took part in the ‘Survivors of Political Torture’ programme. “I heard one too many stories of people, who idolised their leaders only to end up being tortured by them,” he states. Then came September 11; an incident that Al Mutawa drew the number 99 from. “Nine times 11 is 99. This is a very important number in Islam. Also, if you look at the numbers nine and 11 and read it from right to left as Arabic letters instead of left to right as numbers, it resembles the word ‘Allah’,” Al Mutawa says. “When I noticed that, I wanted to do something related to it. When things go crazy in the West, they say it sounds like a job for Superman, but there was no Superman equivalent [in the Middle East] and that was what sparked the original idea for The 99.” However, things only manifested for Al Mutawa during a cab ride with his sister in London. She was pressing him to pick up writing children’s books again and he just wanted to avoid discussing the topic, so he explained that “[for him] to go back to that, it had to be something with the potential of Pokémon; otherwise, it just made no sense”. Al Muwata then remembered the fact that Pokémon was - Doctor Naif Al Mutawa, CEO of Tashkeel Comics. banned in some parts of the MAY 2010

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ENTREPRENEUR

Muslim world because of a fatwa (an Islamic religious ruling) that suggested the comic was promoting Buddhist thoughts. “My next thought was: My God, what’s happened to Islam? Who are these people that are making these decisions for my children?” Al Muwata informs. Al Mutawa then reverted to thinking about Allah and the fact that he has 99 attributes, he said that brought him full circle back to Pokémon. By the end of the cab ride, Al Mutawa had already pitched his idea to the first listener, his sister, who liked the concept. Al Mutawa took his idea out from the taxicab and into the conference rooms of his investors – starting with his business school classmates, who invested the first US$1 million (QR3.6 million) in the project. Soon enough, Al Mutawa had 60 investors, five financial institutions, a large retailing company and other venture capitals from the US, Mexico, China, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and almost 1000 employees working with him to make the concept a reality. Al Mutawa basically created the concept, wrote the business plan, did the financials and pitched it all to his investors. “I tell my investors that the only people crazier than me are them,” he says. From a financial standpoint, Al Mutawa was able to raise US$7 million (QR25.5 million) for his initial round of financing, US$15 million (QR54.4 million) for his second and is about to close his third round, in a month or two, which is also carrying strong financial support. Al Mutawa began the project by writing the stories and building the characters, while a team of designers created the artwork. Within a few months, the project had expanded too greatly for Al Mutawa to be writing alone. When asked if religious scholars directed his creative writers, Al Muwata answered: “No, I am the only one involved in that. I won’t even let my mother get involved. This is me; this is how I see the world.” Al Mutawa says he was well aware of the religious resistance that such a project could face, but being the entrepreneur that he is, he beat the critics to it. Al Mutawa’s second round of financing, included money from an Islamic bank, which has its finances approved by a sevenmember Sharia board. So when questioned about the comic’s interpretation of Islam, Al Mutawa can say he has the backing of the bank’s scholars. Al Mutawa believes that The 99 serve as ambassadors to the Western world, replacing negative connotations of Islam, with positive, tolerant and multi-cultural messages. To the Muslim world, The 99 sends out a cry of awareness, highlighting that the 56

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problem is not the religion, but rather the people, who are defining it for the Muslims. Originally published in Arabic and English, The 99 is now printed in eight languages, including Spanish, Hindi and Chinese. Additionally, it is the first-ever intellectual property product from the region to go global. The 99 has also been adapted to a 26-episode television series that is setting the bar for international television animation. Tashkeel has signed up with a major US broadcaster to air The 99 into 100 million US homes, which will begin this October. Furthermore, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman will be working with The 99 ‘cape-to-shoulder’ in the near future to commemorate US President Barrack Obama’s outreach to the Muslim world. Tashkeel also launched The 99 Theme Park in Kuwait last year, and he says there are plans for something similar in Oman. The future of The 99 looks promising. Major Hollywood companies, wanting to discuss the possibility of taking The 99 to the big screen, have also approached Tashkeel. When asked about his success, Al Mutawa acknowledges that Tashkeel is doing “very well”. “When I started my own business, I wanted something that had social motivation. “This is who I am. Tashkeel is a for-profit and for-prophet company, in both spellings of the word.”


BUSINESS VIEW – REAL ESTATE

edd brookes SPRINGTIME IN THE CITY Edd Brookes reports I love springtime. It is a wonderful time of year when nature renews itself in all its glory and breathes new life into the natural environment. In Qatar this is no less evident with the flora, fauna and, of course, the birds – those of you who are permanent residents and those who are just on a visit visa, and are passing through. For those of you wondering if this is a property column or a wildlife report…stay with me.

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rom my casual observations, I think the sensible ones are those that hang around the various outdoor restaurants at the InterContinental’s beach – it is hard to resist throwing them a few crumbs of nourishment. Interestingly, Qatar actually has 211 species of birds, five introduced by humans, 11 rare and two, which are globally threatened. Just as the natural world is renewing itself, the global markets also seem to be slowly settling back down and most of us believe that while this year will be by no means easy, 2011 presents a good reason to be positive. So, with these thoughts of renewal, I am still disappointed that there remain numerous ‘glass half empty’ rather than ‘half full’ comments making the rounds. In fact, only last week, I was reading an article in a local publication that carried the rather shocking headline that the first quarter of 2010 had witnessed the continuation of the ‘property crash’. Not the sort of statement we like to hear, just as the natural environment is renewing itself. The word crash is so overused... and is so last year.


BUSINESS VIEW – REAL ESTATE

The word ‘crash’ has a number of meanings, the obvious one being a collision involving a moving vehicle. Well that does not seem to be a good noun to describe the local real estate market. A close second that springs to mind is a loud noise, such as that made by thunder or by something breaking violently into pieces. Again, definitely not relevant. The third is one of the dreads of 21st century life – a sudden complete failure of a computer system, device, or program, usually with an accompanying loss of data. While I agree it is frustrating, it is not a useful term for describing the state of the local real estate market. The final definition that came to mind was a financial collapse or failure of something such as a stock market, involving a massive drop in stock prices, or the collapse of a property prices. As far as I see it, this is no more relevant locally than the above. The market in Qatar is remarkably robust and while there has been a reduction in rental pricing, both for commercial and for residential properties, to me this is simply a readjustment – certainly not a ‘crash’. Why? For a number of reasons, and it is these factors that are actually allowing the property market to renew itself along with nature.

Why readjustment and not crash

Firstly, for those ‘half empty’ readers, who need some persuading, rents in all sectors increased by up to 155

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percent between 2005 and the first quarter of 2008. Commercial office rents have risen from an average QR130 per square metre (sqm) to more than QR330. In 2006, no matter what type of residential property you were looking for, there was little distinction in location and even facilities. A two-bedroom apartment seemed to cost pretty much the same whether it was in West Bay or Al Saad. Villas were similar in that there seemed little distinction between Al Waab and the area surrounding the airport. These inflation-provoking rises were simply unsustainable and unaffordable – in any market. What has happened, mainly as a result of the increased supply, is that there is now a clear distinction in pricing from a brand new, grade-A office in West Bay and one with a poor parking ratio in Grand Hamad Street. There is a distinctive (and I appreciate it is over used) flight to quality. The better-specked and located properties are clearly branded above their older contemporaries. While it is a fact that prices have certainly experienced a downward readjustment during the past 12 months, I maintain that this was inevitable anyway, and, would have happened without the catalyst of the global crisis. The Government of Qatar has taken some wise measures to assist the maturing of the property market. Not only by introducing a number of temporary rent control measures to protect both business and individual tenants from unscrupulous landlords, but also improve transparency.


BUSINESS VIEW – REAL ESTATE

The requirement to register tenancy agreements and the formation of a rental committee shows how serious such matters are taken. Once some government bodies had it mandated that they could pay only a certain level of rent (QR150 sqm), naturally private companies saw this as an almost benchmark and wondered why on earth they should be paying sky-high rents, if the government was refusing to do so – almost a trickledown effect. Partially through Qatar Central Bank, which has ring fenced property debt at book values, local banks still have the capacity to lend on real estate projects – no mean feat with new buildings and projects seemingly announced on a daily bases, and yet their property lending ceilings are remarkably conservatively fixed to cash deposits. And then of course there are the important economic fundamentals such as the rising population. An almost doubling of population as experienced during the past five years, the fact that in Qatar alone more than 340,000 residents are economically able to obtain a mortgage if they so wanted (and there are only 12,500 residential apartments, townhouses and villas on the Pearl), the shifting in the socio-economic groups as some of the large infrastructure projects near completion, so more economically active groups replace the hard working labourers. Finally, there is of course the fact that in the Middle East, Qatar really does shine – increasing its ranking in terms of global competitiveness as a business location, a

head of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, offering a highly attractive tax structure. However, to attract world class companies – and from the property side – the number of firms looking to relocate from Dubai to Doha from our books, translates into a requirement totally 120,000 sqm, you have to have a certain gravity of office space and quality residential accommodation. The absorption graph is by no means a straight line – it has many peaks and troughs as the market moves towards maturity, however, you have to have the accommodation to attract the tenants. Few companies will lease off-plan during construction – a result of various inevitable delays in either construction or providing the capacity to the utilities and so the stock needs to be available completed.

Property crash…certainly not; readjustment…yes

Yields have hardened during the past six months and the market is certainly regaining strength. Those purchasers holding off in the hope that the re-adjustment will see prices reducing further, need to act now. Delaying such decisions will prove a false economy as rental and capital values strengthen. So, while it is late for making any more resolutions this year, a positive outlook is something we can all manage – and do not forget to throw a few crumbs to our feathered friends the next time you dine al fresco.

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SPECIAL REPORT

Qatar: Capitalising on Property Power

- Daniel Moore, OBG, Qatar. -

Qatarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s real estate sector is on course to post a strong performance this year, having had by its own standards a slow 2009, though by any other measure the industry rode out the global economic downturn with ease. Daniel Moore investigates


SPECIAL REPORT

Q

atar’s gross domestic product (GDP) has been projected to expand at a rate of 16 percent this year, one of the highest anywhere in the world. Coming on top of nine percent growth in 2009, according to figures recently released by the central bank, it is easy to see why there is a sense of optimism surrounding the country’s economy. There are estimates that the Qatari real estate sector will grow by around seven percent in 2010, mainly as a result of existing and new developments. Though this rate of growth is below the projected GDP expansion, it will still represent a solid performance in a sector that has experienced steep downturns across the region. A recent study conducted by market research firm Dun and Bradstreet, indicated that business sentiment in Qatar was on the rise, with the improved mood likely to have an impact on the property market. Significantly, more than one-third of all respondents to Dun and Bradstreet’s Business Optimism Index survey – released in mid-April – said they expected borrowing conditions to improve in 2010, with 32 percent saying they were considering expanding their operations. Overall, the study showed an across-the-board improvement in confidence for sales volumes, prices, employment levels and new orders for the second quarter, all of which bode well for the real estate sector. According to Michel Gebrael, the project manager of Project Qatar 2010, real estate is set to rebound from any fall in activity it experienced over the past two years. “Qatar’s construction and property sectors have been performing exceptionally well within the downturn, thanks to a stable economy and a good tourism and housing base,” he said in an interview with local press on April 10. “This year promises even more productivity as industry sets its sights on post-crisis business.” The government is due some of the credit for this sound performance. Along with the associated construction industry, Qatar’s real estate sector benefitted greatly from the government’s measured interventions in the marketplace, through its moves to prop up the banking sector by purchasing large stakes in banks’ property portfolios and roll out a stepped-up programme of infrastructure developments. The first measure saw billions of dollars pumped into the country’s banking system, restoring confidence in the sector and encouraging the finance industry to maintain loan activity to the private sector. The second measure, involving investments in transport, tourism, industry and social infrastructure projects at an unprecedented level, will vastly increase Qatar’s appeal as a business and residential destination, thus boosting the real estate sector’s prospects. Yousif Rashid Al Khater, the CEO of Qatar’s real estate developer Barwa Group, believes that

having one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, combined with the strong state commitment to ramping up infrastructure spending, means that Qatar’s property market will go from strength-to-strength. “Strong demand has been fuelled by consecutive years of high economic and population growth, with Qatar’s real estate sector expected to fare better than many of its regional counterparts,” he told an investment conference at the end of March. “Qatar’s tremendous real estate and whole-economy growth year-on-year has occurred alongside the expansion of foreign investments.” In another move that could herald a jump in activity in the residential segment, in February the government lifted a ban on price rises in the rental segment. With the prospect of better returns, investors may be drawn back into the residential market, either buying existing properties as a long-term investment project or looking at new projects that are coming off the drawing board. However, the rental freeze is still in place for retail and other commercial properties, with the government hoping that by maintaining the ban until February 2011, more businesses will take advantage of capped rent costs to either open their doors or expand existing operations. While there may be an increase in demand for new sales properties for use as rentals, there could be some delay to this knock-on effect. A report issued in early April by property firm Century 21 Qatar, pointed to an uptick in real estate demand across most asset classes, though an increase in supply of residential properties has seen rental costs fall for apartments, a trend the company expects to continue into the middle of the year. It may still take some time before a balance of supply and demand in the real estate market is achieved, but this should come sooner rather than later, especially as the government’s long-term programme of attracting investments will see private spending rise and banks further ease lending restrictions. With confidence climbing and capital on hand, Qatar’s real estate sector can look forward to even better returns in the latter half of this year.

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LEGAL INSIGHT

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LEGAL INSIGHT

(see later in the article); (c) A more advantageous realisation of the company’s assets than under a winding up; (d) Any other purpose, which the administrator reasonably believes to be in the interests of creditors; or (e) Where the administrator is appointed by a secured creditor – the enforcement of the security. Under Article 6, a company may be placed under administration: (a) By an administration order of the QFC Tribunal; (b) By a secured creditor; or (c) By the company or its directors.

ORDER OF QFC TRIBUNAL

Under Article 9, shareholders or the directors, one or more creditors, the QFC Authority may apply to the QFC Tribunal for an administration order. The QFC Tribunal may make an administration order if it: (a) Is satisfied that a company is or is likely to become unable to pay its debts; and (b) Considers that the making of an order would be likely to achieve one or more of the purposes of administration. In the event that a company has commenced liquidation, an administration order cannot be made. To accompany an application for an administration order, a ‘witness statement’ must be prepared and filed by the applicant party or parties (Article 10). In addition, an independent report on the company affairs may also be prepared and accompany the witness statement (Article 11). Complete applications must be filed with the tribunal, with a sufficient number of copies for sealing and service to interested parties (Article 14).

APPOINTMENT BY SECURED CREDITORs

Under Article 20, an administrator appointed by a secured creditor has a duty to act in good faith and to take proper care to act in the best interests of all the company’s creditors, while seeking repayment of debts owed to the (appointing) secured creditor. On appointment, the administrator must file a notice of appointment with the tribunal (Article 21). Penalties apply if a person makes

a statement in a declaration, which is false and which the person does not reasonably believe the statement to be true (Article 21(6)). A notice of appointment must be filed with the tribunal.

APPOINTMENT BY a COMPANY OR DIRECTORS

Shareholders of a company may appoint an administrator by passing an ordinary resolution, or by the directors of the company (Article 23). The appointment process involves two steps, the first being the giving a ‘Notice of Intention to Appoint’ followed with the ‘Notice of Appointment’. Notice of intention to appoint This notice must be given to secured creditors and the proposed administrator at least two business days before notice of appointment is given (Article 24). The notice of intention must be filed with the tribunal, along with a declaration made not more than five business days before filing, by the person(s) appointing the administrator: (a) That the company is or is likely to become unable to pay its debts; and (b) That the company is not in liquidation. In addition, the notice must be accompanied by either a copy of the shareholders’ resolution, or by a record of the directors’ decision (as applicable).

After filing, the tribunal may, in order to preserve the company’s business and assets, appoint a provisional administrator on such terms as it see fits. NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT Under Article 25, at least three copies of a notice of appointment must be filed with, and sealed by, the tribunal. The notice of appointment must identify the administrator and be accompanied by a statement by the administrator: (a) That the administrator consents to the appointment; and (b) That in the administrator’s opinion, one or more of the purposes of administration is likely to be achieved.

EFFECT OF APPLICATION AND APPOINTMENT

Articles 26 and 27 constitute ‘stand still’ provisions as they broadly provide that from the time, the process to appoint an administrator commences. Once in administration, every company document must contain the administrator’s name and a statement, which states that the company is being managed by the administrator (Article 28).

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LEGAL INSIGHT

summons a meeting of the company’s creditors under certain circumstances.

ASCERTAINMENT AND INVESTIGATION OF a COMPANY’S AFFAIRS

GENERAL POWERS OF ADMINISTRATOR Under Article 31, the administrator: (a) Shall do all such things as may be necessary for the proper management of the affairs, business and property of the company; (b) Has the powers set out in Schedule 1; (c) Has the power to appoint or remove any director of the company; (d) May apply to the tribunal for directions in relation to any particular matter arising from the administration; and (e) Is deemed to act in full as the company’s agent. GENERAL DUTIES OF ADMINISTRATOR Under Article 33, the administrator: (a) Takes into the administrator’s custody or control, all property which the company is, or appears to be, entitled; (b) Unless the administrator is appointed by a secured creditor, manages the affairs of the company; (c) Unless the administrator is appointed by a secured creditor,

The administrator has certain notification requirements under Article 37. Article 38 allows the administrator to require certain persons connected with the company (including present and past officers and employees of the company) to prepare and provide statements relating to the affairs of the company.

CONDUCT OF ADMINISTRATION

ADMINISTRATOR’S PROPOSALS Under Article 39, within two months of appointment (or longer if the tribunal allows) the administration must provide a statement of proposals to the chief risk officer (CRO), creditors and shareholders. ROLE OF TRIBUNAL To protect the interests of creditors and members during the company’s administration, Article 44 sets out a procedure by which the QFC Authority, a creditor or a member of the company may apply to the tribunal for an order on certain grounds, unless a secured creditor appointed the administrator.

DURATION AND EXTENSION OF ADMINISTRATION Broadly, an administrator is authorised to act for the period of two years from the date of appointment, subject to an extension approved by the tribunal (Article 48). ADMINISTRATION TO LIQUIDATION OR DISSOLUTION Article 49 provides that an administrator may convene a meeting of the company’s creditors to propose a creditors’ voluntary wind up of the company if the administrator considers: (a) That the total amount, which each secured creditor is likely to receive, has been paid or otherwise set aside; and (b) That a distribution will be made to unsecured creditors. If the winding up is approved, the administration is effectively brought to an end and the administrator is required to notify the CRO. Alternatively, under Article 50, if the administrator considers that the company has effectively no assets to distribute and dissolution would not be adverse to creditors’ interests, then the administrator may notify the CRO and seek dissolution of the company.

COMPANY ARRANGEMENTS

Article 51 provides that the administrator may make a proposal to the company’s creditors for a composition in satisfaction of its debts (Arrangement). Under Article 54, if the company’s creditors approve an Arrangement (by a majority of creditors with claims in excess of 75 percent in value), the Arrangement takes effect and binds every person (as if they are party to it) provided: (a) The administrator had taken all reasonable steps to notify affected persons; and (b) The person was entitled to vote at the meeting.

Note: This article is of a general nature only and is not legal advice and, therefore, should not be relied upon as such. Any person or entity requiring legal advice should consult a lawyer and obtain advice specific to their individual circumstances. For any information in respect of legal issues, please contact Eric Ho at: eric.ho@clydeco.com.qa or David Salt at: david.salt@clydeco.com.qa 64

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BUSINESS KNOW-HOW

IS THE PAY AT THE TOP ENOUGH IN THE GULF? By Wassim Karkabi


BUSINESS KNOW-HOW

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The lack of long-term reward structures in the region is a major contributor to the ease of executive mobility in and around the region.â&#x20AC;? - Wassim Karkabi

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s compensation packages of senior executives in the West have thoroughly matured in the past decade, the salary structure for top executives working in the Middle East still appears to be relatively immature in comparrison. According to an Executive Compensation Survey, conducted by Stanton Chase International among 30 senior executives working within multinational organisations in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, most executive compensation packages do not include long-term rewards, such as stock options or elaborate pension plans. The absence of such structure in the region continues to make it easier for executives to move between employers in a more flexible manner, and hence makes it more difficult to sustain long-term strategy implementation for organisations. It also means that engaging and attracting candidates into these top jobs from the West to the Middle East, becomes more difficult and costly on employers in the region, who would need to resort to paying out large signing bonuses. This is also referred to as a golden handshake package, which can be exercised six to 12 months after joining. It is designed to pay the candidate for any loss of long-term rewards that would be a factor of a pre-mature move. Additionally, a golden boot is usually built into such engagement tactics to ensure a lavish payout to candidates that are let go, either at the end of their service or prematurely. Long-term rewards have always been one of the major pillars in executive compensation, which contributes directly to a longer tenure of senior executives. Therefore, the lack of long-term reward structures in the region is a major contributor to the ease of executive mobility in and around the region.

Respondent Information & Demographics

The survey also uncovered interesting information as to where senior management and executive talent resides, how executives in the regional leading roles are compensated, and what individual countries can do to enhance the level of, and attract, senior talent to their country.

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The executives, who participated in the survey, filled the top-level roles in the region and held job titles such as regional general manager, managing director, vice president, or chief executive officer. The vast majority of respondents were males above the age of 45 and reported to management based outside of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. All respondents held the profit and loss responsibility for the MENA region and had a complete management structure below them comprising country managers, regional functional executives, as well as senior regional executives in support functions, who reported to them directly. On average they spend around 65 percent of their time travelling across the region, with the vast majority of them based in the United Arab Emirates and a selected few based in Saudi Arabia or Egypt. The large majority of respondents were married with children.

Actual Compensation

The basic salary was reported in five brackets: 9.4 percent reported basic salary earnings between US$150,000 and US$200,000 (QR546,000 and QR728,000), while 16.3 percent earned between US$201,000 and US$250,000 (QR732,000 and QR910,000), 43.2 percent earned between US$251,000 and US$300,000 (QR914,000 and QR1.092 million), 17.4 percent earned between US$301,000 and US$350,000 (QR1.096 million and QR1.275 million) and almost 14 percent reported earnings above US$350,000 per year. The vast majority of respondents said they received additional allowances for housing, transport and annual leave travel expenses. Housing allowances varied between US$41,000 and US$96,000 annually (QR149,000 and QR350,000), where the vast majority received housing allowances between US$54,800 and US$68,500 annually (QR200,000 and QR249,000). Respondents also confirmed they received a car allowance between US$1100 and US$2200 (QR4000 and QR8000), at the most upper level. All respondents claimed to receive a minimum of four tickets annually, or the cost thereof, to cover personal travel


BUSINESS KNOW-HOW

for the purpose of leave, as well as an education benefit for dependents, which varied in kind, but largely covered the schooling of up to three children until the age of 18, fully paid. The major adjustment in compensation appears to be in short-term rewards, such as bonuses and variable income. The majority of organisations have now changed what used to be lavish bonus schemes. In order to take advantage of such schemes, bonuses were based singularly on an individualâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s performance against a combination of organisational, as well as personal performance targets, where an individualâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s behaviour and key performance indicators were coupled with growth and profitability targets for the overall organisation. The adjustment in compensation packages has come about as a direct result of the economic crisis. The majority of bonus payouts varied between a minimum of three months to a maximum of six months, with only 15 percent of bonus payouts extending beyond six months. Months are always calculated on basis of the basic salary. All executives claimed to receive additional benefits in the form of allowances or services, which included: 1) company Blackberry, expensed (90 percent), 2) personal laptop (85 percent), 3) health or country club membership (100 percent), 4) golf club membership (40 percent), 5) business class travel on leave (65 percent), 6) business class travel on business trips (90 percent).

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SPEAK EASY

Media Matters Everybody has a story to tell, but it is how you tell it and who you tell it to that really counts. Rachel Morris, Media and Client Services director for Hill and Knowlton Qatar, explains the art and the added benefits of good media relations.

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hat if somebody held a press conferenceâ&#x20AC;Śand nobody came? Did it really happen? Or if a company launched a product, a cutting-edge piece of technology that had the potential to save lives and change the world, but nobody ran the press release? These are completely plausible, rather than existential, scenarios. As Qatar becomes a bigger player on the regional and international stage, there is an increasing imperative for companies operating locally to communicate to a broader audience. If you need any proof of the international fascination with Qatar, you need only look at Project Qatar held at the Doha Exhibition Centre last month. More than 1000 companies from 36 countries, comprising global

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conglomerates through to backyard operations, came to Qatar to tout their business. The international media is becoming increasingly fixated with Qatar. The great survivor off the back of the financial ructions during the past 18 months, Qatar has emerged as a player to watch and media organisations are taking the scene here extremely seriously â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Reuters, Bloomberg, Zawya Dow Jones and the BBC have all established a fulltime bureau or correspondents here in recent months. And you can expect more attention in the future. What does this mean to the average business operating in Qatar? It means the opportunities for engaging the media and telling stories are greater than ever. And I am not just talking


SPEAK EASY

about shutting your eyes, pressing send on a press release and hoping for the best. Rather a proper media strategy with a defined goal and a targeted campaign of engagement. Many people use the terms “public relations” and “media relations” interchangeably, as if they are the same thing. This is not an entirely accurate assumption. Media relations are the relationships that a company, individual or organisation develops with journalists, bloggers and media outlets. Public relations can be used to build relationships with employees, potential and current customers, investors and of course, the public. Think of media relations as an integral part of public relations. The key to an effective media relations strategy involves identifying your audience, finding out what they are interested in and more importantly what media they read (online and offline), listen to or watch. That is, “know thy audience”. Understanding who you want to communicate with, or talk to is vital to the success of any strategy. You may want to talk to the general consumer public, or you may want to narrow your audience down to say, technology fans or even government decision makers. For example, an announcement about a new product, such as the latest model of a car would attract a different interested audience than say, a new line of cosmetics available in Qatar for the first time. Or in another case, a medical breakthrough originating in Qatar could have regional and international significance,

both within the general public and the scientific world. This changes the type of audience you want to engage. The conduit to these audiences is, of course, the media. It has the potential to broadcast your message. As companies and organisations in Qatar step-up to challenge others on the world stage, talking to a broader audience is important. Which brings me to the second key to a successful campaign – know what you want to say. This may seem blindingly obvious, but you would be surprised how this proves to be a stumbling block for many. Working journalists tell horror stories of being invited to press conferences or receiving press releases, about well, nothing. There is a simple and foolproof test. If you want to speak to the media, ask yourself first “would I want to read/see/ hear that story? Would I be interested in that?” If the answer is no, or even “hmmm…maybe…perhaps”, then you have your decision. A separate, but related issue is, do not feel the need to ‘over share’ with the media. Expecting every announcement to be considered ‘newsworthy’ is like the boy who cried wolf. Eventually when you have an announcement of a considerable magnitude, the media and your audience are past the point of engagement. Good media relations, both locally and regionally, are becoming an increasingly essential part of the business toolkit. There are many great and even small stories to be told in this city. Do not be afraid to tell yours.

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BEHIND THE WHEEL

LEAN AND

GREEN With the cost of fuel being relatively low in Qatar, some may find it surprising to learn that Qatar is at the forefront when it comes to the employment of green fuels. When one ponders this further, Qatar, being one of the largest fuel producers in the world, has a large impact on the market and therefore the environment. Tim Stevens investigates


BEHIND THE WHEEL

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ue to the diversity and affordability of petrol is charged from a source of electricity and this propels the car available in Qatar, the impact of green fuel options until the power source runs out. has not yet filtered down from the fuel pumps into Depending on the source of the electricity, this solution the cars on the state’s roads. may not be such a green option as power generation is a In the private sector, diesel cars arrived, but never really process that can be harmful to the environment. In terms took hold. In the industrial sector, diesel fuel is prevalent, of the carbon footprint, it is debateable as to whether the however, some argue that petrol is much more harmful to the footprint is high or low as it depends on the source of environment than diesel fuel is. electricity; fuel cell or batter powered. Notwithstanding the debate of petrol versus diesel, fuel Nearly all of the major car manufacturers now have an technology innovation and advances in vehicle design and electric car in their fleet, but the batteries required to run the manufacture, have led to a globally modern fleet of vehicles, car are expensive and heavy, making the car correspondingly which ultimately comprise greater fuel efficiency. more expensive. Where Qatar has scored a big ‘green first’ is in the field However, much technology goes in to this type of of aviation. Last October, a Qatar Airways aircraft (Airbus propulsion and research and development (R&D) continues; A340-600) completed the world’s first commercial passenger 2009 saw the first class in the Tourist Trophy (TT) races held flight powered by fuel derived from natural gas. in the Isle of Mann for electric bikes, which proved to be very So, what is so special about fuel produced from natural gas? successful. Such R&D will eventually find its way in to use in Well, Shell developed and produced the 50/50 blend of domestic vehicles. synthetic gas to liquids (GTL) kerosene and conventional oilA fuel cell is scientifically described as “an electrochemical based kerosene fuel. The fuel, as an alternative to conventional cell that converts a source of fuel into an electric current”, oil-based kerosene, burns with lower sulphur dioxide, which which then drives the car. One would be correct to deduce basically means fewer emissions are produced as compared that this is a very complex process – best left to scientists to what is emitted when – with the effect on cars being running pure conventional oilthat the fuel cells, which use based kerosene. A major benefit hydrogen as the fuel source “Research activities of using this fuel source is that emitting only water, are much on alternative and aircraft engines require no better for the environment than modifications to run this fuel, environmentally friendly fuels carbon monoxide. making it attractive to aviation So, why are there not more like GTL will establish QSTP companies worldwide. of these vehicles on the roads? With Qatar set to be the The answer is, of course, as a leading international hub largest producer of GTL, the the cost. The fuel cell uses very for the application of new application of such fuel sources expensive materials, which will surely grow in line with the makes mass use in vehicles platform technologies.” state’s output. prohibitive. The fuel cell can Qatar Airways has set itself be run on other fuels, with - Doctor Eulian Roberts the ambitious target to run its varying different effects, but it entire fleet on the synthetic fuel. is still the cost of the cell that The realisation of this new fuel technology was a huge prohibits its widespread use. forward for the industry, which was a result of more than years The Times Online quotes: “Hydrogen fuel cells are not of scientific work carried out by a consortium consisting of expected to be widely available before 2050 due to the cost Airbus, Qatar Airways, Qatar Petroleum, Qatar Science and of platinum”. Technology Park (QSTP), Rolls-Royce, Shell and WOQOD. The hybrid car is one that uses two sources of propulsion, Much of this work is being undertaken at Doha’s QSTP and usually a normal petrol/diesel combustion engine, with a Doctor Eulian Roberts, managing director of QSTP states: bank of batteries, charged by the ‘other’ engine, which are “The commitment of Qatar Airways and the consortium used at times when the internal combustion engine would partners to ensure that new aviation fuel technology is prove the worst option. The hybrid has gained a following effectively applied is a great example of the kind of research worldwide, but again, the cost is prohibitive. Having said being pioneered at QSTP through its partners. Research this, the hybrid remains the most realistic alternative to the activities on alternative and environmentally friendly fuels internal combustion engine. like GTL will establish QSTP as a leading international hub So, what now? An Oxford university study found that for the application of new platform technologies.” the most effective way to decrease fuel consumption was “This is a great example of an effective multi-partner to drastically reduce the size and weight of vehicles; the collaborative research and development programme, which answer is not rocket science then. is already producing successful outcomes”. The petrol engine has now become far more efficient, However, aviation accounts for just two percent of the with manufacturers waging war on the consumption rates, global carbon emissions, with vehicles being the worst culprits. and as we are all aware, what happens in racing technology There are many ‘new’ alternative ways to power domestic will eventually be applied to the domestic vehicle. vehicles, with the top three being electric, fuel cell and a With this in mind, Formula One’s new ruling where the combination of electric and another source of propulsion vehicle cannot add additional fuel during the race will force (the hybrid). teams to look, very seriously, at fuel consumption – all bodes An electric vehicle is self-explanatory; when not in use, it well for tomorrow’s cars. MAY 2010

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SECTION

SPECIAL ADVERTISEMENT

According to recent data published by Business Intelligence Middle East, the regional information communication technology (ICT) sector showcases some of the highest potential growth rates in the world, with the Qatari market alone expected to grow by more than 10 percent per annum until 2013. However, until now the Qatari ICT sector has not had a showpiece event where it could demonstrate its evolution and future potential. This oversight will change forever in May as more than 130 leading technology, telecommunications and home electronics companies take part in the inaugural International Exhibition for Technology and Communications (ITECH 2010) at the Doha Exhibition Centre from May 13 to 16. Created and organised by Qatar Expo Event Management, ITECH 2010 is Qatar’s first technology show, which is expecting around 30,000 trade, corporate and public participants looking to embrace the latest business and consumer technologies. “After years of healthy oil revenues, both the public and private sectors are committed to the expansion of Qatar’s ICT

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infrastructure,” explained Karim Zarka, CEO of Qatar Expo Event Management. “Smart cities, which use multiple technologies, advanced e-government and education initiatives – worth billions of dollars, aided by strong demand for mobile telephony products and services – are driving Qatar’s ICT revolution and will be represented at ITECH,” said Zarka. As Qatar’s pre-eminent ICT industry event, ITECH 2010 will see global brands, multinational corporations and technology leaders converging on Doha to offer more than 4000 products over a four-day period. “We are looking at ITECH 2010 as the perfect opportunity to launch into another year of fantastic growth in Qatar. We will be exhibiting our latest products, which illustrate the latest in communication technology and value for money,” said Daniel Horan, director of the Consumer Business Unit for Vodafone Qatar. ITECH 2010 will demonstrate that Qatar boasts one of the fastest growing IT markets in the world. At the forefront of ITECH, there will be an impressive display of state-ofthe-art technology for smart building systems including the latest developments in access control, parking management and guidance systems, building management systems, temperature systems,

interactive room management systems and interactive television. The cutting-edge technology trends that are expected to attract business and consumer buyers to ITECH 2010, include advancements in 3D technology, mobile DTV, tablets, netbooks, applications, connected televisions and embedded Internet technologies. “ITECH 2010 is the only place to experience the breadth of innovation in Qatar’s business and consumer technology markets,” said Zarka. “No other show or event promises this much exposure and ability to brand build.” At ITECH 2010, visitors will relish the chance to see and experience the latest home entertainment and mobile Internet products, offering consumers an opportunity to experience future-ready products and take a peek at the next generation digital devices. Top-of-the-line electronic brands on display and on sale at ITECH 2010, include LG,

Nokia, Samsung, Indesit, Ariston, Brother, Olympus, Kenwood, GE and JBL. ITECH 2010 is the latest innovative exhibition concept from Qatar’s largest private sector event management company, Qatar Expo. The driving force behind the country’s first major lifestyle, wedding and furniture exhibitions, and organiser of the fifth Finance and Investment in Qatar Forum, which was recently held in Paris – Qatar Expo spent a long time researching Qatar’s technology industry before announcing ITECH. “Qatar Expo is a total events solutions company. We work hard to create unique and innovative exhibitions, and conferences of the highest quality,” said Zarka. “We have seen the Qatari ICT sector advance rapidly in the past five years and we now feel that it is the right time to launch ITECH as a regional technology event based in Qatar,” Zarka added.

The International Exhibition for Technology and Communications 2010 T: (+974) 465 0211 Fax (+974) 467 4506 E: itech@qatar-expo.com W: www.qatar-expo.com


SECTION

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INDUSTRY FOCUS – INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

INFO TASTIC’ TECHNOLOGY

Although the hydrocarbon sector remains the key driver of Qatar’s economic growth, the country is making tremendous strides in technology development. As the population and economy of Qatar grow at unprecedented rates, the demand for information and communication technology (ICT) services and solutions has also increased substantially. David Poort investigates the past, present and future of Qatar’s ICT sector.

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t was not that long ago when most Qatari ministries were using old-fashioned typewriters to process their files in a slow and bureaucratic governmental system. But, ICT services in Qatar have come a long way in the past decade and the future of the sector looks promising. Nowadays you can open your laptop at one of the public parks along Doha’s Corniche, connect to the free public wireless network and login to Hukoomi, the online portal of the Qatari government. Hukoomi allows people to renew their residency, smart card and health card, and check traffic fines online. If a service is not yet automated, people can find all the forms online.

Growth across the board

Qatar may not have the largest ICT market in the Gulf, but early this year it appeared better positioned than some other markets in the region to benefit from economic recovery. As the non-hydrocarbon sector’s share in Qatar’s gross domestic product (GDP) may hit 50 percent by 2020, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the opportunities for ICT companies are improving across the board. From hardware to software and from IT services to telecommunication, all segments of the ICT market have shown substantial growth in recent years and are

likely to keep growing in the years to come. “With all of these investments, the growth rate for the ICT sector is expected to reach 10 percent in the next three years”,


INDUSTRY FOCUS – INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Business Monitor International (BMI) states in its anual Qatar Information Technology Report. Around US$15 billion (QR54 billion) is expected to be spent on ICT infrastructure in the country by 2012. This includes US$3.5 billion (QR12.7 billion) on IT infrastructure and US$11.4 billion (QR41.5 billion) on telecommunication infrastructure, according to BMI. The Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQatar) has been actively supporting the ICT sector, placing it at the centre of Qatar’s efforts to position itself as an important player in the world economy. IctQatar also partnered with the Supreme Education Council recently, to roll out ICT infrastructure and programmes in the nation’s schools. “IctQatar’s mission is to create an advanced knowledge society through ICT infrastructure and skills development, deliver e-services and establish a regulatory environment that promotes growth and benefits citizens, businesses and the government,” said Doctor Hessa Al Jaber, secretary-general of ictQatar.

The goods

The Qatari computer hardware market for 2010, including PCs, notebooks and accessories, is estimated to hit US$205 million (QR746 million), according to BMI. There were some concerns that businesses had cut back spending because of economic uncertainty, however, the Qatari computer hardware market is projected to grow at a rate of nine percent between 2010 and 2014. Software and services sectors have also been reporting strong performances. The latest figures from BMI value Qatar’s software market at US$71 million (QR258 million) in 2010, up from US$64 million (QR233 million) in 2009. Software spending is expected to grow to at a rate of 10 percent throughout the coming five years. One striking development is the rise of Indian IT-service giants in the Gulf. Early this year, Tata Communications launched a cooperative agreement with Qatar’s national phone operator Qtel to provide a range of business network services. Meanwhile, Satyam has been operating in Qatar for about one year

and hopes to grow its regional outsourcing businesses by 100 percent anually during the next few years. The IT-service market is forecast to be the fastest growing segment of the Qatari IT market between 2010 and 2013, outperforming the hardware and software sectors. Indeed, it has steadily increased for the last 10 years. With IT-service spending estimated by BMI to grow to US$157 million (QR571 million) by 2013, the next period promises to see more opportunities in sectors such as financial services, healthcare, education and communications.

E-readiness

In the recent years, the ICT players in the Gulf Coorporation Council (GCC) region have been on an expansion spree following measures from several Middle Eastern countries to allow additional service-providers to operate within the region. Especially in Qatar, companies have invested heavily in broadband infrastructure. The high proportion of youth in Qatar’s demographics is further driving Internet use. “Broadband is an important area of opportunity that will help transform the delivery of services and content for consumers, and corporate clients. Our investment has delivered advanced technology such as 3G broadband, WiMax (broadband wireless access) and ADSL to homes, enabling the development of solutions tailored specifically to Qatar”, said CEO Nasser Marafih of Qtel. Qatar moved up four places to 32nd in the United Nation’s most recent e-readiness survey, mostly due to government initiatives and expension into broadband penetration. The United Arab Emirates and Qatar lead the way in the Gulf, as they were the only countries in the region to break into the top 35 most connected economies globally. According to consulting firm Arthur D Little, Qatar has the lowest broadband prices in the GCC, set at 10 to 23 percent lower than the average in the other Gulf countries. MAY 2010

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INDUSTRY FOCUS – INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Telecommunication

Qtel is now present in 17 countries, a dramatic expansion for a company that was a one-country operator in 2005. With an aggressive growth strategy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Qtel continues to explore new territories. According to Qtel, more than 73 percent of its revenue is now coming from outside of Qatar. The company is aiming to be one of the top 20 telecommunication firms in the world by 2020. In 2008, mobile subscribers in Qatar grew from 34 percent to more than two million, pushing the penetration rate to 143 percent from 126 percent in 2007. With Vodafone setting up operations in Qatar, the competition in the sector is likely to bring down the rates of telephone services in the near future. “Competition will deliver a diversified infrastructure and help ensure the highest standards of service for customers”, said Marafih. 76

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While Qatar has developed significantly over the past decade, the prognosis is that the peninsula has not yet reached its full potential. The Qatari government has set ambitious ICT targets for both businesses and individuals. This will provide ICT companies in Qatar with plenty of work in the years to come. With an ambitious strategy to establish Qatar as a leader in the field of technology, the future looks promising for Qatar’s ICT sector.


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SETTING THE TREND

IN THE CLOUD

These days, most businesses operate in that virtual space between the screens of powerful handheld devices and constantly connected boardrooms. Although businesses have changed where they carry out their activities, the need for powerful applications to empower these enterprises still exists. Bulky servers, expensive technical support, and inaccessible information no longer have a place amid successful ventures that strive to compete with larger operations.

Feature


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IN THE CLOUD http://www.alameh.com issam@alameh.com

As a self-confessed cloud computing evangelist, Issam Alameh is changing the way people do business in the Gulf region. by Eddie Deeb

“That is exactly why a greater number of smart businesses are taking their operations to the cloud,” says Issam Alameh, as he frantically rushes to plug himself into another meeting with a regional client looking to take its product worldwide. Alameh has spent his entire life working on ways to make technologies serve people in smarter and more accessible ways. From governments to businesses of all kinds and sizes, Alameh is a firm believer in the ability of smart solutions to take projects to the next level. With this in mind, he is a perfect match for his latest manifestation: cloud computing evangelist.

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“I have seen how businesses that moved to the cloud have lifted such a huge weight off their shoulders – giving them the room to do the things they want to do most, which is make their business successful,” adds Issam from his buzzing office in Doha. In our quest to stay up-to-date with the latest business trends, we recently sat down with Alameh to probe more into his obsession with the cloud and to find out why he thinks any business not following suit will be grounded by the burdens of archaic IT delivery models.

What exactly is the cloud?

Alameh: In cloud computing, applications, information and resources are all stored on the Internet. The idea behind this

is that it alleviates businesses from the rigorous hassle of establishing expensive and tiresome infrastructures locally in which to deliver their services in an effective, and sustainable manner. Instead, their entire operation can be safely stored, administered, and customised to their needs remotely, and at a fraction of the cost. More and more, successful businesses are moving to the cloud to create additional space right here on the ground for them to succeed. We are seeing a real shift in the way companies operate. Big businesses are cutting millions of dollars in IT budgets, while smaller businesses are gaining access to services, which were previously exclusive to larger operations. The cloud is a true encapsulation of the power of the Internet to change the ways we conduct business.

How did you first run into the cloud?

Alameh: Just like how anyone else would see a cloud, by looking cloudward. I was really disenfranchised by the way businesses set up IT services within their organisations. I was dismayed

to see established businesses spending the majority of their time upgrading servers and purchasing expensive software licences, and even more disturbed to see great business ideas falling victim to astronomical IT budgets before they even got off the ground. I was having nightmares about spending countless hours on setting up data management, customer relations, and asset tracking systems in ways that were compatible with each other, and customised to the business needs of my clients. I wished for a solution that would combine all the applications that we needed, customise them, and store them remotely in the hands of someone, whose core business was the maintenance of these networks. That way they would be safe, reliable, and most importantly accessible at the click of a mouse. When I ran into some great cloud computing solutions, I immediately started thinking of ways to implement them here in the Middle East.

Why should businesses move to the cloud?

Alameh: It gives big businesses the chance to grow at a


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faster rate, and the chance for smaller businesses to compete with the bigger ones. It is safer, more reliable, and definitely more accessible. Businesses can focus on their core speciality, without having to allocate so much of their resources to building an effective IT infrastructure. In the cloud, solutions are customisable to the greatest of detail, and they combine as many applications as you need on a seamless platform. Businesses no longer need to hire overqualified staff to run their networks. With cloud computing solutions, all the expertise is included. Staff members can maintain, customise, and expand the cloud with minimal training. Once your business is in the cloud, the sky is the limit.

How reachable is the cloud?

Alameh: As long as you have the vision, the cloud can make dreams come true. By placing your IT needs in the hands of creative and reliable experts, you will empower your business with the tools it needs to compete in a global economy. You can access information, services, and resources from anywhere, at anytime. You no longer need an army of technicians to keep your business afloat. It sounds too good to be true, but just like a real cloud, these kind of solutions set the standard for the height that one can achieve. With an effective assessment, a strong vision, and the desire to compete, clouds are now within your reach.

What are your dream cloud scenarios?

Alameh: I really would love to see businesses that were unable to break into the world of big competition, have a say in the market. Good business ideas should never die because of the size of a server. I want to also show big businesses a newer way of conducting business and help them understand the benefits of shifting to this new world. In the cloud, the strength of your enterprise is determined by the quality of your services and not by the size of your IT department. As a self confessed cloud computing evangelist, I want to be part of a powerful movement that is reshaping the way we conduct business and help businesses move cloudward.

“We are seeing a real shift in the way companies operate. Big businesses are cutting millions of dollars in IT budgets, while smaller businesses are gaining access to services that were previously exclusive to larger operations. The cloud is a true encapsulation of the power of the Internet to change the ways we conduct business.” Issam Alameh

Tel: +974 SUCCESS (7822377) Mob: +974 5514260 Commercial Bank Plaza, 14th floor, Doha http://www.alameh.com issam@alameh.com

Because a cloud does not fit into a box One of the strengths embedded in the cloud is the ability to customise solutions to a great extent. One of the major trends being seen in the field of cloud computing is collaboration between developers and solution providers to customise the cloud to the client’s needs. Doha-based Alameh Networks and AppShark are some of the collaborations that have emerged from the growing market. AppShark is a software services provider based in Hyderabad, India. They specialise in outsourced software application and product development using agile development methodologies. Their key focus and expertise is in scalable and high availability web, as well as collaborative and client-server application development. AppShark Software info@appshark.com

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SCAN ME


how-to guide


how-to guide

HOW-TO DEVELOP LEADERSHIP By Rob McKelvie Leadership is the ability to inspire and direct people successfully in various activities. Successful management of major corporations and large non-profit organisations often depends on great leadership. People know leaders when they encounter them. But what is leadership? And how does one become a leader? Review the steps below required to develop leadership qualities and to be successful in managing other people.

THINGS YOU WILL NEED: • Patience • Time • Commitment

Step 1 Learn what leadership is. There are a number of competing theories of leadership, but leadership traits are centred around drive, character, intelligence and self-confidence. Of these, character (honesty, integrity and moral virtue) is the most critical. People can actually work on and improve all four critical traits; despite the belief of many that intelligence is a genetic trait. Youth especially can be shaped by learning and adult example. Step 2 Cultivate intellectual qualities, which leadership requires. Youth especially need intellectual stimulation (not pressure) to develop intellectual curiosity and keen intelligence, which leaders need to be successful. The core skills that make up intelligence and intellectual curiosity include verbal abilities, math literacy (numeracy), a passion for reading and learning, and emotional intelligence. As parents, teachers, coaches and mentors, people need to learn how to motivate the behaviours that produce these qualities and to be positive role models for others.

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Step 3 Cultivate the motivation to achieve. Both adults and youth need praise for things done well and constructive criticism for tasks done poorly. They both need to learn how to behave well and work toward excellence whether in a group or alone. Patient coaching is required over a long period of time until people, especially youth, internalise standards of excellence and productive behaviour – this is the foundation of leadership. We need to teach young employees (and many senior staff) how to do tasks well and how to cooperate with others. Over time, achievement will be less dependent on external rewards and should become internally motivated. Step 4 Develop character. People need to help others develop good character, not only because it will make them happy, but because it is the most powerful characteristic of successful leadership. A leader is only credible to the extent that he or she is honest, objective and trustworthy. Help others develop character by teaching and modelling what the ancient Greeks called the moral virtues, which are excellences of human character. Teach others about behaviour that is just, temperate, courageous and prudent. Great leaders display these qualities. Who wants to follow someone who is unjust, intemperate, cowardly, rash, or imprudent? Step 5 Develop self-confidence. Help develop self-confidence in others by encouraging them to undertake tasks and jobs for which they are well prepared and are likely to be successful. Leadership and self-confidence are based on many experiences of success in managing projects or leading others well. Help others to succeed in these ways to develop self-confidence.


how-to guide

How to Develop Leadership Qualities in Others By Dave Ward Leadership qualities are the most valuable commodity any organisation has. If it has great leaders, it will have a great organisation. Leadership development then is crucial to the success of a business, organisation and community. Great leaders know that their own leadership qualities are not enough to carry the day. Success requires all hands on deck working as a team. Follow these steps to help develop leadership qualities in those around you.

Step 5 There is no greater way to promote leadership development than one-on-one mentoring. Leaders cannot be shrink wrapped and mass-produced. A large group can learn many leadership concepts and principles at once. However, the application of leadership concepts requires wisdom, and person-by-person guidance. Give promising leaders your time, your energy, your encouragement and your honesty. It will pay off.

Step 1 A culture of leadership development values management qualities and desires to help the entire community improve its leadership. Leadership development has to be woven into every aspect of an organisationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life for it to be a culture of development and growth. Step 2 Rewards for results are most often present in the business world, understandably, but one result is often overlooked... personal growth. Reward leadership development efforts and lessons learned by taking risks. If you punish risks, you limit success and stunt leadership development. Step 3 If you preach leadership development as an attempt to create a culture, but expect people to always learn on their own dime you are fighting an uphill battle. Give people paid time for leadership skills. Step 4 Put leadership development on your personal and organisational calendars. Schedule a regular meeting for growth and development in leadership qualities. Have leadership skills seminars put on by an expert in the area. Bring in guest speakers to outline key leadership concepts. Every few years pay a leadership consultant to analyse the leadership culture.

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how-to guide

How to Test Leadership Qualities By Mika Lo Effective leadership can mean the difference between goal achievement and mission failure. Although a variety of proven leadership styles exist, it still can be difficult to choose a leadership style that best suits your individual capabilities and mission requirements. Failing to hone your management skills can lead to team discord and questions regarding your job proficiency. Test your leadership qualities against established standards to ensure you are on a productive path. Step 1 Identify your leadership philosophy and goals to establish a baseline for analysis. This streamlines the assessment process by placing the focus on specific performance areas. Use company guidelines and experience to formulate competency standards. This will give you better perspective when testing your leadership qualities. Step 2 Step up to lead during stressful situations. While â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;goodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; leaders can manage effectively during normal operations, the best leaders are able to handle stressful situations without folding. For example, examining how well you can motivate team members when deadlines are tight is an effective way to test your leadership abilities. Step 3 Examine performance results against desired outcomes. Realise that ideas that seem valuable on paper might not translate into mission success. Solicit feedback from supervisors, subordinates and peers, who took part in specific tasks. Inquire about your overall leadership effectiveness, including rating your performance against prior outcomes. Step 4 Evaluate the skills, attitudes and performance of your subordinates to assess your ability to provide company directives. This also helps you assess if co-workers respect your authority and if you are able to tailor your teaching methods to fit different learning styles.

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Step 5 Compare your leadership qualities with those of successful leaders. Even though management styles vary, certain skills and attitudes are common to good leaders. These skills include patience, adaptability and vision. Seeing how you stack up in critical areas such as employee development and time management also can help you evaluate your effectiveness.


TECH TOOLS

Like a Pro The MacBook Pro line has just received its annual makeover. Apple’s engineering department has revamped the line to include a more powerful next-generation graphics card as well as superior battery life. The highly popular 13-inch MacBook Pro now comes with a spanking new Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics processor, which is capable of performing up to 80 percent faster in terms of graphics compared to its predecessor, while achieving a whopping 10-hour battery life with its integrated battery. As for the new 15 and 17 models, users will find Intel’s Core i5 and i7 processors installed alongside Apple’s new automatic graphics switching technology. This enables users to toggle seamlessly between powerful Nvidia GeForce GT 330M and energy efficient Intel HD graphics processors. Regardless of the model, all are powered by the Mac OS X Snow Leopard operating system and accompanied by iLife – Apple’s innovative suite of applications for managing photos – making movies and creating and learning to play music. www.apple.com

Plug and Print The HP LaserJet Pro printer-line now features ‘plug and print’ technology, which enables customers to begin printing in just two minutes from any computer without the need to go through an installation process. This new process is called HP Smart Install. After hooking up the printer via USB, a built-in driver performs the installation process to get you printing in no time at all. According to HP, the LaserJet Pro printer series is the most energy-efficient range of laser printers on the planet. The HP auto-on and auto-off technology is able to intelligently sense activity and turns the printer off when it is not in use. Research has shown that such technology enables HP’s new printer series to save up to 72 percent on energy costs versus its predecessor. Prices start from US$129 (QR470) and increase depending on the series, as well as the printer type selected. The HP LaserJet Pro M1100/1200 MFP series is expected to be available globally this month. www.hp.com

Light and Easy The Doxie is not a scanner that is meant to sit around in an office all day long. This scanner is designed to be carried with you, wherever you go on your business trips ensuring that all relevant documents, which need to be digitised can be done so in the blink of an eye and right on the spot. The Doxie scanner boasts a lightweight, portable design, which has been built for scanning anywhere. It is an USB powered device that has great software as well – it allows you to scan paper directly to PCs, Macs, and web applications like Google Docs, Evernote, Acrobat and Flickr. Doxie will scan documents in full colour at up to 600 dots per inch. It is very easy to use – all you need to do is press the Doxie ‘heart button’ and it will start scanning automatically. The Doxie portable scanner will set you back US$129 (QR470). www.getdoxie.com

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LIFE & STYLE

This month TheEDGE takes a look at the most sought after products to hit the market, helping you make the most of your time abroad while staying in touch with home.

Futuristic design meets cutting-edge technology With its iconic monolithic design, the new Sony Bravia aims to redefine the living room as the centre of home entertainment. Currently, still in its conceptual stage, this new range of televisions (TV) offers Wi-Fi connectivity and Sony’s Bravia Internet video, opening up a whole new world of entertainment possibilities, which are not yet readily available through today’s TVs. Combined with an intuitive user interface on the Monolith Home Entertainment product range, Sony is facilitating easier access to additional content. Home entertainment is now moving into a new dimension, with the introduction of full high definition 3D. The advanced new 3D picture technology will be available in the Middle East starting this summer. It is not yet clear when the Sony Bravia Monolithic Design will be in stores, or how much it will cost. www.sony.com

Getting a grip on your iPad Riding on the success of Apple’s iPad, Belkin introduces 10 cases to its line-up for the new tablet computer adding design, comfort and protection for your iPad while you are on the go. The iPad unlocks the opportunity for ‘always-connected’ people, allowing them to read books, play games, watch movies, send emails, listen to music, browse the Internet and much more. Belkin’s assortment of sleeves and cases protect, and give instant access to the iPad, making it comfortable to use in your hand, on your lap, or at a desk or table. The cases come in different colours, fabric and style, at a price range of US$40 to US$60 (QR145 to QR218). Most of the new styles of cases and sleeves will be made available in the Middle East throughout the summer. www.belkin.com

Smart Socialite Meet the new Nokia C5, a smartphone optimised for social networking and sharing. The compact device includes access to a range of mobile services, such as free navigation and easy access to the Internet. Accessing social networking sites, such as Facebook and MySpace is fast and easy, while instant messaging and email accounts are available through Nokia Messaging. The C5 is loaded with a 3.2 megapixel camera, a two-gigabyte memory card, which comes in-box with a high-speed data connection for uploading photos and videos to various online communities. It offers free walk-and-drive navigation, including location sharing with Facebook friends. The Nokia C5 is expected to begin shipping in select markets during this quarter and will hit the shelves with an estimated retail price of US$182 (QR662). www.nokia.com 86

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LIFE & STYLE

Where eagles dare Always had a burning desire to fly? Paragliding is probably the easiest and safest way to fulfil that dream, safer than its extreme sports image would have people think. Of all the so-called extreme sports, paragliding has perhaps the widest range of participants, and the good news is, paragliding is possible right here in Qatar. Of course paragliding, being both an adventure sport and a form of aviation, has a degree of risk. It has been said that paragliding is as safe, or as dangerous, as the pilot makes it. The statistics for horseback riding and paragliding make for an interesting comparison. More people die from being thrown off a horse than crashing a paraglider. Most people think of paragliding as a mountain sport, but thanks to modern-day equipment, a small slope and the right weather conditions are enough to allow for lift-off. The dunes of Ash Shaqra’, just south of Umm Sa’id, offer just that. This is where Qatar Paragliding offers courses for all levels, in addition to tandem flights for those, who just want to feel the rush of flying high above the Qatari desert. Each tandem flight begins with a flight simulation, where the instructor explains the basics of aerodynamics and thermal flight. All buckled up and strapped in, the instructor then clips their passenger to their chest to prepare for a launch cycle. The next step is to get the ‘wing’ flying overhead before leaving the ground. This is done with the instructor running together with the passenger across a small dune. With only a few steps downhill, the tandem is lifted gently off the ground. Average tandem flights last from 15 to 30 minutes and

costs QR500. A paragliding beginner course prepares future pilots for unsupervised and safe flying. Qatar Paragliding offers a flexible and personalised 10-hour training programme spread over five days, after which most people are ready for their maiden solo flight. On the first day of the course, future pilots learn the basics of aerodynamics and get an introduction to the equipment and safety instructions. The future pilot also learns to control the wing on the ground after pulling it overhead, a little like flying a large kite. On the second day, the instructor takes the student on a tandem flight for ‘in-flight’ instructions and an introduction to micrometeorology. Day three and four focus on theory, and practice for take-off and landing on a flat dune. The final day begins with a tandem flight from the top of the training dune, and later, if the candidate is confidant enough, an inaugural solo flight. After a successful flight the new pilot will receive an internationally recognised paragliding licence. The price of the five-day course is QR4000 per person, including equipment. For more information: Qatar Paragliding is located in Ash Shaqra’ area, south of Umm Sa’id. Phone: +974 3474176 Or visit: www.wix.com/ovidiustaicu/qatarparagliding

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WALK IN THE FOOTPRINTS OF PHARAOHS Whether you seek a trip back in time to visit the Pharaohs or long to immerse yourself in a melting pot for culture, Egypt offers it all. Kelly Lewis reports

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LIFE & STYLE

E

gypt, in northeastern Africa, is bordered by Israel and the Gaza Strip to the northeast, by Jordan and Saudi Arabia to the east (across the Red Sea), by Sudan to the south and by Libya to the west – it is a country that finds itself well positioned as a central hub for culture and ancient traditions. Egypt, perhaps best known as the home of the ancient Egyptian civilisation, plays host to an alluring array of temples, hieroglyphs, mummies, and most notably its grand pyramids. However, less well-known is Egypt’s medieval heritage, courtesy of Coptic Christianity and Islam – ancient churches, monasteries and mosques punctuate the Egyptian landscape. Egypt engrosses the imagination of Western tourists like few other countries and remains one of the most popular tourist destinations on the global trekking map. The best time to visit Egypt is generally between October through to the end of May as the climate can turn harsh in the summer months due to its all-encompassing desert landscape, an extension of the great Sahara Desert, which bands North Africa. Save for the thin strip of watered land along the Nile River, very little could survive there. Just as the ancient Greek philosopher Herodotus stated: “Egypt is the gift of the Nile”.

Frequently, visitors are pleasingly surprised to discover that Egypt’s legendary pyramids are merely the tip of the country’s archaeological iceberg. Pharaonic nations, ancient Greeks, Romans, Christians and Arab dynasties have all played their part in fashioning Egypt’s eclectic juxtaposition of architectural monuments. Cairo is a chaotic city, which has sprouted into a modern day metropolis, but still holds firm in its medieval roots – unchanged since the founding days of Islam. Upriver, Luxor, the site of ancient Thebes, is lined with warrens of opulent burial chambers and boasts some of the most formidable monuments in all antiquity. Travel further south and you will find yourself in the city of Aswan, even more geometrically imposing temples write a testament to the power of archaic gods and omnipotent pharaohs. This marks the spot where the great Nile River journey is best explored by ancient sail, on a felucca (Egyptian sailing boat) at the hands of the prevailing currents and winds. Heading out west, Egypt’s sprawling ocean of sand stretches for miles deep

into the Sahara, oases, few and far between, create a dappling of green islands swimming in the desert sands. Hive-like, medieval fortresses cower out here, interspersed with lively springs and haunting rock formations. Meanwhile, the alluring waters of the Red Sea, brilliantly awash with coral, are surrounded by an aquatic flurry of underwater life. Deep into the deserts of Sinai’s interior, travellers can climb the mount where God is said to have had words with Moses, before taking a load-off in halcyon bliss at the coastal Dahab’s backpacker Shangri-La. Though Egypt is considered one of the more politically stable countries in the region, modern-day Egypt is not without strife. Thirty years of authoritarian rule, an erratic economy and rising living costs fan the flames of social unrest. Still, visitors making the trek will find as much ancient history as they will modern hospitality. Just as Egypt has a long and colourful history, so too are the limitless travel destinations within the country itself – the more you look, the more there is to discover about the land that once was graced by the Pharaohs.

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EVENTS & CONFERENCES

MAY 13 11 – 16 17 Itech Qatar International Exhibition Centre, Doha, Qatar The inaugural Itech event is set to be a must attend trade show for professionals working in the information technology sector. The event will be an eminent platform for computer hardware and software companies, networking companies, general technologies, Internet, gaming, mobility, home entertainment solutions and digital entertainment solutions. www.qatar-expo.com

MAY 24 – 26

ris es Expo Small and Me dium Enterp Exhibition Centre, Dubai International Convention and Dubai, UAE o provides the perfect Small and Medium Enterprises Exp enterprises from around platform for small and medium develop lasting business and the globe to interact, learn ness opportunities. In busi new ore expl relationships, and to rested in doing business short, it brings together people inte with sellers and starters with each other – it connects buy ups with investors. www.smeexpo.com

MAY 24 – 26

M id d le Ea st Bahrain Intern Petrotech ational Exhibiti on Centre, Man The Middle East Petrotec ama, Bahrain h series has role in the played a sign development ificant and transfer hydrocarbon technology in of downstrea the Middle E m feature an ex ast. Petrotec tensive exhibi h will tion of hard coupled wit ware and se h a compr rvices ehensive te programme, chnical conf which ensure erence s a valuable gas and petr exchange of ochemical fie refining, ld knowledg operating an e among man d supplying aging, companies. www.mepetro tech.com

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MAY 24 – 26

it Wor ld Summ id d le East M d il bu n Gree Dhabi, UAE an d Expo ition Centre, Abu hib Ex al ion at together the rn te Abu Dhabi In it will bring m m Su d ld or ild W y makers an The Greenbu leaders, polic ry d st an du e in tic t ac os are best pr world’s forem , gn scuss and sh si di de , e te bl ba na de on sustai experts to ng ki in th lly e na iv io ternat ogress the most pr vironment. In d the built en the debate an ge n ga en tio uc ill tr w cons mentators m co d an le projects es ofi on high pr g regarded figur in aw dr l, ve ture strategy ghest le at the very hi ld, to shape fu or w e th nd ou ar and policy from n. io ct re di d an om ildmiddleeast.c www.greenbu

MAY 25 – 28 Arab International Industrial Forum Qatar International Exhibition Centre, Doha, Qatar The Arab International Industrial Forum will provide a platform for the industrial goods sector to showcase various products and services. The annual event offers opportunities for viewing the latest techniques to hit the market and for comparing items, which are necessary for doing the job. www.iktissad.com

MAY 30 – 31 Global Redesign Summit Sheraton Doha Resort & Conference Centre, Doha, Qatar The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Redesign Summit will focus on proposals for improved international cooperation. Since the financial crisis began, the WEF has provided a platform through its Global Redesign Initiative for business, political and civil society leaders to examine gaps in international cooperation and develop proposals to overcome some of these shortcomings. The key event will be a moment of transition from incubation of these ideas in forum meetings to when the proposals that win support may be picked up and carried forward to governments, businesses and others that are willing to become their champions. www.weforum.org


CONSTRUCTION EVENTS & CONFERENCES & TENDERS SECTION

Qatar Projects Update Bridge Tower Piling company Dutch Foundation, has begun groundwork preparations for the US$190 million (QR691 million) Bridge Tower project – featuring two towers, one office tower and one hotel tower – located in Doha’s West Bay area. The two towers, designed by the Architectural Consulting Group, are both 45 floors high, with two basement levels and a three-level podium. Arabtec Construction was awarded the main construction contract in January. The works will include structural, civil, electro-mechanical and external works. The project is estimated for completion in the last quarter of 2012.

Barwa Financial District Bouygues Construction is preparing the ground for the construction of Barwa Financial District in Doha. The project includes nine, 18 to 52 storey office towers, a five-star hotel, a shopping centre, a mosque as well as parking facilities and utilities. The Financial District project is said to be aimed at attracting regional and international financial companies seeking specialised infrastructure. The site comprises 71,600 square metres of land and is situated along Majlis Al Taawon Street, with secondary roads surrounding the perimeter allowing access to it from multiple sides. The project duration is three-and-a-half years. MAY 2010

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SECTION CONSTRUCTION & TENDERS

Qatar North Highway – Phase 2 Tekfen Construction and Installation has initiated the second phase of construction on Qatar North Highway. The highway will connect the northern coast – where the largest global gas reserves are located – to the other parts of Qatar. The US$600 million (QR2.2 billion), fourlane highway has a total length of 96 kilometres. Dar Al Handasa Consultants is the main consultant. Construction started in October 2007 and was originally expected to have been completed in March 2010. Al Shaqab Equestrian Academy Leighton Contracting Qatar is putting the finishing touches on its construction of Qatar’s Al Shaqab Equestrian Academy. The world-class academy will include an equine breeding facility, an equine hospital, an Olympic standard indoor arena with adjoining outdoor arena, a clubhouse and stables for members’ horses, state-of-the-art stables including separate facilities for different categories of Arabian horses such as breeding and show horses; endurance horses; dressage horses; and show jumping horses, staff accommodation, entertainment facilities, a museum and all associated infrastructure works. Construction is in progress and expected to be completed by the end of this month. 92

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construction & tenders

Consultancy Services

Consultancy Services

Desktop Computers

Description: Post-contract professional site and supervision consultancy services for construction of (8 Nos.) new schools and (2 Nos.) new kindergartens for a public works authority. Closing Date: May 14 Client: Public Works Authority â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Ashghal Phone: +974 495 0000 Fax: +974 495 0999 Email: info@ashghal.com Website: www.ashghal.com Tender No: PWA/GTC/002/10-11 Bid Bond: QR250,000 Tender documents can be obtained from: Contracts and Engineering Business Affairs Section, Public Works Authority Doha, Qatar.

Description: Post-contract professional, general and site supervision and, quantity surveying consultancy services for the development of roads for a public works authority. Closing Date: May 14 Client: Public Works Authority â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Ashghal Phone: +974 495 0749 Fax: +974 495 0077 Email: info@ashghal.com Website: www.ashghal.com Tender No: PWA/GTC/005/10-11 Bid Bond: QR300,000 Tender documents can be obtained from: Contracts and Engineering Business Affairs Section, Public Works Authority Doha, Qatar.

Description: Supply of desktop computers on call-off basis for a petroleum company. Closing Date: May 16 Client: Qatar Petroleum Phone: +974 440 2000 Fax: +974 483 1125 Email: marketing@qp.com.qa Website: www.qp.com.qa Tender No: GTC/GT10MT0033 Bid Bond: QR200,000 Tender documents can be obtained from: Materials Department, Navigation Plaza Building (C Ring Road), ground floor, room 30.

Printing Items Description: Supply of printing items for an electricity and water corporation Closing Date: May 12 Client: Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa) Phone: +974 484 5111 Fax: +974 484 5191 Email: aalnajjar@kahramaa.com.qa Website: www.km.com.qa Tender No: LTC 403/20109 Bid Bond: QR45,000 Tender documents can be obtained from: Materials Department, Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation Dafna, Qatar.

QATAR TENDERS

MAY 2010

93


CONSTRUCTION & TENDERS

Peripheral Roads Construction Project

Monitoring System Upgrade Project

Workboat-based Construction Services

Description: Construction of peripheral roads for a public works authority. Closing Date: June 8 Client: Public Works Authority â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Ashghal Phone: +974 495 0000 Fax: +974 495 0999 Email: info@ashghal.com Website: www.ashghal.com Tender No: PWA/GTC/001/10-11 Bid Bond: QR15 million Tender documents can be obtained from: Contracts and Engineering Business Affairs Section, Public Works Authority Doha, Qatar.

Description: Engineering, procurement, installation and commissioning contract to upgrade the monitoring system for a petroleum company. Closing Date: May 16 Client: Qatar Petroleum Phone: +974 440 2000 Fax: +974 483 1125 Email: marketing@qp.com.qa Website: www.qp.com.qa Tender No: GT10103800 Bid Bond: QR200,000 Tender documents can be obtained from: Materials Department, Navigation Plaza Building (C Ring Road), ground floor, room 30.

Description: Provision of workboat-based construction services, including crews for offshore fields to a petroleum company. Closing Date: May 16 Client: Qatar Petroleum Phone: +974 440 2000 Fax: +974 483 1125 Email: marketing@qp.com.qa Website: www.qp.com.qa Tender No: GT10103700 Bid Bond: QR6.5 million Tender documents can be obtained from: Materials Department, Navigation Plaza Building (C Ring Road), ground floor, room 30.

Hydrocarbon Processing, Storage & Distribution

Turnaround Maintenance Works Project

Refrigeration Equipment Maintenance

Description: Engineering, procurement, installation and commissioning of (2 Nos.) oxygen analysing system and (11 Nos.) moisture analyser sampling systems for a petroleum company. Closing Date: May 16 Client: Qatar Petroleum Phone: +974 440 2000 Fax: +974 483 1125 Email: marketing@qp.com.qa Website: www.qp.com.qa Tender No: LT10103300 Bid Bond: QR30,000 Tender documents can be obtained from: Contracts Department â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Operations Division, Qatar Petroleum Royal Plaza, G Wing, fourth floor, room G13, Doha, Qatar.

Description: Carrying out turnaround maintenance works within the fields comprising Train A and B for a petroleum company. Closing Date: May 16 Client: Qatar Petroleum Phone: +974 440 2000 Fax: +974 483 1125 Email: marketing@qp.com.qa Website: www.qp.com.qa Tender No: LT10103200 Bid Bond: QR200,000 Tender documents can be obtained from: Materials Department, Navigation Plaza Building (C Ring Road), ground floor, room 30.

Description: Carrying out maintenance works of heating, ventilation and airconditioning (HVAC) and refrigeration equipment for a petroleum company. Closing Date: May 19 Client: Qatar Petroleum Phone: +974 440 2000 Fax: +974 483 1125 Email: marketing@qp.com.qa Website: www.qp.com.qa Tender No: GT10104100 Bid Bond: QR160,000 Tender documents can be obtained from: Materials Department, Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation Dafna, Qatar.

QATAR TENDERS

94

MAY 2010


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MAY 2010

95


SUBSCRIPTION

SUBSCRIPTION FORM 2010 TheEDGE is Qatarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new monthly business magazine. TheEDGE incorporates a mix of industry news and analysis, in depth features, special interviews with key business decision makers, economic insight and market activity reports, and tips for how you can improve your day-to-day business operations. TheEDGE will not be available on the news stands, but will be delivered straight to the door of the targeted business community. To ensure you keep up-to-date, with what is happening in Qatarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s business landscape, fill in the subscription form (below) to receive TheEDGE on a monthly basis. Subscription is FREE (in Qatar). Forms are to be addressed to the Subscriptions Department at: TheEDGE Subscriptions Department Firefly Communications 11th Floor, Jaidah Tower PO Box 11596 Doha, Qatar

Last Name : First Name: Address: Company: Designation: P.O.Box: Area Code: City: Country: Tel: E-mail: Date and Signature: 96

MAY 2010


The Edge - May 2010 (Issue 10)  

The Edge is a business magazine targeting ambitious professionals operating within Qatar’s multi-sector business landscape. The Edge is read...

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