Inaugural Web Summit Qatar To Draw Over 12,000 Attendees


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Victor Bolorunduro | The Peninsula

Doha, Qatar: The inaugural edition of the Web Summit Qatar, the first of its kind in the Middle East, has generated huge interest from across the world, with record-breaking numbers in all aspects, the organisers have said.

Speaking at a pre-event press conference yesterday, Chairman of the Web Summit Qatar 2024 Organising Committee, Sheikh Jassim bin Mansour bin Jabor Al Thani, noted that the event is officially sold out.

“Our initial projection was 7,500 attendees, but we have recorded in excess of 12,000 at the moment, and we are still counting. This is a reflection of the great interest people have in the summit across the globe, and this is a huge number considering that this is the first edition of the event,” he noted.

He said Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, will be speaking on Qatar's growing tech ecosystem and how technological developments can be used for the benefit of all humanity across the globe at the summit's Centre Stage. Several notable speakers and industry leaders, including Emmy-winning comedian Trevor Noah, WPP CEO Mark Read, Whoop CEO Will Ahmed, astronaut and Deep Space Initiative founder Sara Sabry, Replit co-founder and CEO Amjad Masad will also be featured at the four-day summit, which will be held from February 26 to 29 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center.

The event is attracting the largest and most diverse cohort of startups to ever gather in the region, with more than 1,000 startups from 80 countries, who will connect with over 500 investors and partners hailing from countries such as Qatar, the US, Egypt, Brazil, Italy, Nigeria, the UK, India, and beyond.

According to CEO of Web Summit Katherine Maher, the startups and partnerships programmes of the summit sold out about four weeks prior to the event.

Maher said,“Of those startups, 50% or around 500 will be attending from the broader Middle East."

She added:“10% are attending from Qatar, 30% are women-founded startups, and 10% are what we consider impact startups, that is, startups with a focus on improving the world and the lives of those around us, and about one-fifth or 20% of those startups are coming from Africa. We're incredibly excited about this participation.” Maher said that the participating startups will have the chance to take part in the Pitch Competition, which is one of the highlights of Web Summit.

“The Pitch Competition provides an opportunity for top early-stage startups from around the globe to compete on stage. Entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to present their ideas to investors and industry leaders, while also gaining valuable insights and knowledge,” she noted.

The Web Summit CEO added that the startups will be able to host a booth where they can showcase all of their activities for potential clients and investors to see or take part in meetings and attend mentorship sessions.

Featured prominently at the summit is the Women in Tech programme which recognises the incredible opportunity that technology affords women to participate in the economy and in society and to address very real needs across commercial, economic, and social interests.

“We're very much committed to the Women in Tech programme as a way of addressing and improving gender ratios and participation in all of our events. Our Women in Tech programme this year is incredibly well attended. We have strong participation from across Qatar, the Middle East, and internationally. In fact, that programme, where we offer incentives for tickets for female participants in technology, is completely sold out,” Maher said.

The Doha event joins the company's global roster alongside flagship event Web Summit, which draws 71,000 attendees to Lisbon each November; North America's fastest-growing tech event, Collision, in Toronto; and Web Summit Rio, which will take place in 2024 for the second time.

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