The continued and rapid evolution of ICT in Qatar requires policies and programs that encourage and facilitate growth through transparency and fairness. It also requires a state-of-the art communications infrastructure that enables businesses and individuals to easily implement and utilize new technologies as well as sophisticated security measures to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
Part of the strategy adopted by the Ministry of Transport and Communications is guaranteeing the installation of a national, affordable, high-speed broadband network. Further to this, it plans to develop an innovative and entrepreneurial market and increase the quantity of content on the Internet, including Arabic, newly digitized and other local material. A major goal is to increase the literacy of all members of society.
There are 11 different programs that exist under these spheres of action, comprising 56 actual projects that will be implemented over the next five years.
Growth, Transparency and Competition
Qatar’s economy has reaped the rewards of these efforts, with broadband connectivity among businesses increasing by 20 percentage points since 2008. And the country is ranked in the top third of countries for “ease of doing business,” based on the World Bank’s index.
An effective market driver of ICT usage and adoption has been government. Qatar ranks fourth worldwide with regard to the government usage of ICT, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report 2014. Through the enhanced sophistication and growth of many government services, especially Hukoomi, Qatar’s national e-government portal, MoTC has worked to foster a technology-friendly environment for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
By creating a robust and transparent online system for government operations and the public, MoTC has set a swift pace for ICT adoption across all sectors of society. i-Gov has improved access to information and made it more convenient for individuals and businesses to interact with government agencies
The role of Qatar Official e-Government Portal, Hukoomi, is to make government information and services more efficient and effective in order to be accessible to all citizens, residents, visitors and businesses. It also aims at raising awareness on the public programs, events, news and government initiatives, in line with the objectives defined by Qatar e-Government 2020 Strategy.
Through cooperation with the government entities and public service providers, Hukoomi portal allows users to access information and services online, easily and quickly. The portal provides a number of important e-services, as well as official documents, service application forms, and general information.
The Electronic Commerce and Transactions Law (e-Law) was enacted to encourage businesses and government entities to migrate more of their transactions online. The law makes online communications and financial transactions legally enforceable, establishing protocols for digital signatures, electronic documents, and authentication of payment. By enacting this law, the protections offered to business and consumers are greatly expanded, along with MoTC’s regulatory mandate.
It is the first electronic commerce law in the Arab region to include consumer protection provisions. In drafting the law, MoTC sought input from relevant government entities and businesses, and aligned its policies with international best practices from the United Nations, the European Union, and other countries and organizations to ensure consistency.
The law is concerned with regulating all commercial transactions conducted through electronic communications, clarifying their controls and the consequences of violations, to protect both the merchant and the consumer. It also establishes protocols for electronic signature, electronic documents and payment documentation. With the entry into force of this law, the methods of protection granted to companies and individuals are greatly expanded.
This law comes along the lines of the laws of the European Union, the United Nations and international trends related to electronic commerce and electronic signature, and the provisions of this law do not apply to documents and documents related to family and personal status issues, documents and documents related to in-kind dispositions contained in real estate, documents and documents that must be authenticated, and commercial papers that can be To trade in accordance with the provisions of the Trade Law.
In an initiative carried out by the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the e-Commerce trademark "Thiqa" was launched. Theqa is a government-owned, not-for-profit trustmark program, with the primary objective of inspiring trust and credibility in Qatar’s eCommerce ecosystem, empowering consumers and businesses to rapidly and safely grow the local eCommerce market.
A Theqa trustmark certifies that a website is genuine. It reassures consumers that it has been approved by MOTC to sell goods and services online, building trust, instilling confidence, and encouraging preference for local e-Commerce sites.
Theqa’s primary objective is to support and stimulate Qatar’s e-Commerce sector, where there is significant opportunity to grow domestic sales in online retail.
Our goal is to engage with online vendors as partners, providing support and education in areas that are critical to success, and to accelerate their adoption of eCommerce in line with government and international standards.
By identifying and certifying credible e-Merchants, Theqa will reassure Qatar’s online customers that they can shop domestically with trust and confidence, and take pride in Qatar’s best-in-class e-Commerce marketplace.
Qatar Domain Names
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved MoTC’s authority to assign domain names in 2010. MoTC is also in the process of adopting a ccTLD (country codetop-level domain) and second-tier domain name registration model.
This system is expected to lead to reduced prices and better quality services for end users by giving them options for creating and managing their own websites.
Digital Qatar: A blog for technology enthusiasts available in English and Arabic
Qatar Digital Government Training Program: Portal offering 3,000 free online courses to government employees, ICT professionals and the unemployed in a variety of fields including business, information technology, human resources, and marketing. QDG Training Program created to boost the government ICT professional capacity to serve the Digital transformation of Qatar's government.
TASMU Program: The Smart Qatar (TASMU) Program is the digital response launched by the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) as part of the Qatar National Vision 2030 development plan. It was inaugurated by the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, during Qatar’s Information and Communication Technology Exhibition and Conference (QITCOM) in 2017.
TASMU harnesses advanced technology and innovation to drive sustainable economic diversification and improve the quality of life for Qatar’s citizens, residents, and visitors. Striving to build a smart Qatar, TASMU advances creative smart solutions and applications across five priority sectors—Transport, Healthcare, Logistics, Environment, and Sports—to address key national challenges and support the country’s decision makers, innovators, researchers, entrepreneurs, and businesses.
The Smart Qatar (TASMU) Program adopts a national strategy that puts the citizen at the center of its focus, as the main contributor to building the smart future of the State of Qatar through the development and implementation of smart solutions and applications that provide an incubating and comprehensive environment to enable innovation and technological development and allow individuals to access all sectors in various aspects life. A five-year roadmap has been developed for policies and standards aimed at supporting this vision, which serves as the regulatory framework on which the pillars of protecting confidentiality, integrity and availability of information are based. The roadmap covers common regulatory policies developed in the areas of security, data, environmental operation, e-commerce and transactions, user experience, and societal impact. The Tasmu program supports the needs of citizens and residents of Qatar, by streamlining processes and providing an appropriate and safe environment that encourages innovation and supports relevant expertise.