The Business Year

Sheikha Alanoud Bint Hamad Al-Thani Deputy CEO & Chief of Business Officer, Qatar Financial Centre (QFC)

QATAR - Economy

Sheikha Alanoud Bint Hamad Al-Thani

Deputy CEO & Chief of Business Officer, Qatar Financial Centre (QFC)

Bio

Sheikha Alanoud Bint Hamad Al-Thani is the Deputy CEO & Chief Business Officer of QFC. Prior to joining QFC, she served as the Qatar country representative & director for Silatech, a Qatar-based social initiative that connects young people to employment opportunities across the Arab region. Out of her deep belief in the need to support Arab youth empowerment, Alanoud greatly expanded Silatech’s operations within Qatar, helping connect thousands of young people to private sector opportunities and supporting economic development across the MENA region. She is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum, Young Arab Achiever, and the His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani Education Excellence Award. She was recently honored as a 2021 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

QFC’s vision is to transform Doha into a leading global financial and commercial hub through attracting FDI and developing a sustainable local economy.
How is QFC working to convert the international exposure from the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar into an interest in investing in Qatar?

Sheikha Alanoud Bint Hamad Al-Thani: QFC is a leading onshore business and financial center that is being used as a gateway of choice by FIFA, specialty sports, and other foreign investors when investing in and out of Qatar. We have already attracted 25 sporting companies onto our platform, covering sub-sectors such as advisory and consulting, media, event management, and technology from markets including the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and North and South America, with a plan to grow this number. Their success and positive experiences within the QFC business ecosystem, wherein they can interact with over 1,100 firms, approach their own courts, and benefit from minimal local taxes, is a testament of our continuous success that we are proud to highlight. To meet our targets, we will continue to present our value proposition and engage with businesses from different markets worldwide. We will also continue facilitating the commercialization of sports-related services, reinforcing Qatar’s plans to become a regional hub for sporting events well beyond 2022.

What is your vision on the role of women in Qatar’s society and economy, and how can women further contribute to the realization of the Qatar National Vision 2030?

Sheikha Alanoud Bint Hamad Al-Thani: I am proud to be one of the many high-achieving Qatari females who were able to seize opportunities and contribute to the success of others. Women have unique and indispensable roles in the growth of businesses and developing economies and societies. Qatar has been making great strides in closing the gender gap and fostering a culture of equal opportunity and female empowerment. Today, more women in Qatar go to university than men, and they are increasingly represented well in masters and PhD programs. Qatar National Vision 2030 envisages a country with knowledgeable human resources with prospects to reach their full potential, where men and women have equal opportunities to succeed. It also aims to establish a sustainable economy, and to get there, we need the active participation of women in society and the business field.

You have been appointed as one of the Young Global Leaders (YGL) by the World Economic Forum. What does this recognition mean for you and Qatar?

Sheikha Alanoud Bint Hamad Al-Thani: I am humbled by this important recognition and the opportunity to represent Qatar as one of this year’s Young Global Leaders. I am also proud to join the other Young Global Leaders from different countries. This recognition means a lot to me and Qatar, which invests heavily in the education of the younger generation to nurture their talents and prepare them for leadership roles so they can continue driving the country’s remarkable growth. I am passionate about sustainable socio-economic development in the MENA region and see great benefits in being a part of the YGL network with a shared vision and passion for a better tomorrow. I believe in the power of global networks and hope to build personal and institutional links via this important community to enable me to make a real difference beyond the corporate results and personal growth metrics. From my position in QFC, supported by the YGL’s diverse community, I aim to identify, promote, and enable fintech and other innovations that have a visible impact on inclusive growth in our region.

You were recently appointed Deputy CEO of QFC. What are your plans to keep positioning QFC as a leading onshore business and financial center?

Sheikha Alanoud Bint Hamad Al-Thani: My new position will allow me to execute bold plans for the expansion of the QFC platform. We have been fortunate, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, to have grown robustly in size. When many struggled to keep their doors open, we grew in size by hundreds of firms attracting a wide assortment of specialty companies and financial institutions. As Deputy CEO, I look forward to improving our platform’s proposition and attracting many more quality firms that will contribute economically to Qatar.

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