6, April 2021, Doha – Qatar The Ministry of Transport and Communications and Microsoft today hosted a virtual event to celebrate one year of cloud transformation milestones. This comes as a result of the strategic partnership that the State of Qatar, represented by MOTC, concluded with Microsoft to establish Microsoft cloud regions in Qatar to serve as a national platform for cloud computing services for Qatar and the world.
The event was led by Minister of Transport and Communications HE Jassim Saif Ahmed Al-Sulaiti and Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Doha Ambassador Greta C. Holtz. The event was also attended by several senior officials representing government entities.
In his keynote speech, HE the Minister said that Qatar led by its wise leadership is looking forward to leadership in all fields thanks to being richly endowed with material and human resources that qualify it to the level of advanced countries.
“We are determined to invest in cloud computing for Qatar to become a regional hub for ICT and a destination for international investors in the field. Slightly more than a year ago, we concluded a strategic partnership with Microsoft to establish a regional center in Qatar for Microsoft Azure Cloud,” he said.
Having such datacenters in Qatar, he added, encourages the local companies to benefit from such an investment and to begin introducing new services and jobs that can support the market and boost the technological production in Qatar and, therefore, increase the GDP through that sector, and achieve the nation’s vision for building a knowledge-based economy.
In her remarks, Acting Assistant Undersecretary of Government Information Technology, MOTC, Ms. Mashael Ali Al-Hammadi, said that the fast-paced advancement in the field of IT and the growing desire for processes automation are prompting people to look for e-services before they think of physically visiting a government office to do their transaction manually, something which created a major motivation for them to adopt the ‘cloud comes first’ principle so they did not wait until construction works were finalized, but directly went ahead and started working with the government entities interested in moving to the cloud. Now at least 56 government and semi-government entities and public sector businesses have established their new services and are migrating their existing ones to the cloud.
“In the one year anniversary of the announcement of Azure Qatar, we recognize the progress and achievements of organizations who utilized Azure Qatar and the Microsoft Global Cloud to accelerate digital transformation, drive business continuity and resiliency, navigating successfully through these unprecedented times to respond and recover from the challenges of the pandemic, to reimagine the future and innovate in the new normal. This wouldn’t be possible without the strong and lasting partnership with the Ministry of Transport and Communications. Our ongoing partnership with the Ministry of Transport and Communications reflects the extent of our firm commitment to advance the country’s sustainable development strategy and Qatar Vision 2030,” said Lana Khalaf, Country Manager of Microsoft Qatar.
On the sidelines of the event, several entities have been recognized and honoured for overcoming the current challenges brought about by Covid-19 and for being able to keep pace with the new normal, using Microsoft cloud technologies. The recognition is based on special evaluation criteria relating to innovation, cost optimization and crisis response.
Winning entities in the five categories are:
Crisis Response: Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Education and Higher Education and the health sector represented by Ministry of Public Health, Hamad Medical Corporation and Primary Health Care Corporation;
Industry Innovation: AL Jazeera;
Business Continuity: Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs;
Born on Cloud: Qatar Free Zones Authority;
Cost Optimization: MOTC