Six figures leading the development of Qatar’s telecoms sector: Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud al-Thani; Richard Daly; Hessa Sultan al-Jaber; Mohamed Ali al-Mannai; Hassan Jassim al-Sayed; and Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Khalifa
Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud al-Thani
Position: Chairman, Qatar Telecom (QTel)
Biography: Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud al-Thani has been chairman of Qtel since 2000. The role has ministerial status. Sheikh Abdullah has led Qtel through a period of rapid growth since the launch of its expansion strategy in 2005, which has transformed the company from a domestic operator to a group with presence in 17 countries. The acquisition of Kuwait’s Wataniya in 2007, the biggest telecoms deal in the region at the time, resulted in Sheikh Abdullah becoming chairman of Wataniya as well. He is also president commissioner of Indosat in Indonesia, in which Qtel has a 65 per cent stake. He has held various high-profile positions in Qatar, including chief of the Royal Court from 2000 to 2005. Sheikh Abdullah has a background in the military and aviation sectors, and studied at the Senior Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, in the US.
Contact: Tel (+974) 4 440 0400
Position: Chief executive officer (CEO), Vodafone Qatar
Biography: Richard Daly has worked with Vodafone since 2000, starting at the company’s UK retail operations. More recently, he has taken on international roles for the mobile operator, as CEO of Vodafone Egypt from 2007 to 2009, CEO of Vodafone Partner Markets until September 2011, and CEO of Vodafone Qatar since October 2011. Daly joined the Qatar operation amid a wider restructuring of the senior management team that also resulted in the appointment of a new chief financial officer and chief marketing officer. Vodafone Qatar received the second public mobile network licence in Qatar in 2008, and the network became operational on 1 March 2009, presenting the first challenge to incumbent operator Qtel. Prior to joining Vodafone, Daly held positions with several UK retailers including department stores BHS and Marks & Spencer.
Contact: Tel (+974) 7 700 7111
Hessa Sultan al-Jaber
Position: Secretary-general, Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQatar)
Biography: Hessa Sultan al-Jaber has led ictQatar since its establishment in 2004, pushing though major changes in the country, including the liberalisation of the telecoms sector and the modernisation of its information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure. Before taking the helm at ictQatar, she was a member of the Qatari government’s Strategic ICT Committee helping to shape the national strategy for the sector, and was an IT adviser for Qtel. Al-Jaber was formerly chairwoman of the computer sciences department at Qatar University. She currently sits on several boards including the Qatar Foundation National Research Forum. Al-Jaber has a degree in engineering from Kuwait University and a master’s and a doctorate degree in computer science from George Washington University in the US.
Contact: Tel (+974) 4 499 5333
Mohamed Ali al-Mannai
Position: CEO, Qatar National Broadband Network (QNBN)
Biography: As CEO of QNBN, Mohamed Ali al-Mannai is responsible for overseeing Qatar’s plans to provide the country with high-speed broadband access to the internet. This in line with Doha’s ICT Strategy 2015 document, which aims to foster economic development by modernising technology infrastructure. QNBN will focus on building the network infrastructure, which will be available for telecoms companies to use and to sell services to consumers and businesses. Al-Mannai has more than 13 years of experience in the telecoms sector, including being involved with network planning, deployment and optimisation with Qtel, where he was senior director for network design and rollout. He was also involved in the network planning and operations for the 2006 Asian Games, held in Doha. Al-Mannai has a degree in physics and electronics from the American University in Cairo.
Contact: Tel (+974) 4 404 1404
Hassan Jassim al-Sayed
Position: Assistant secretary-general, ictQatar
Biography: Hassan Jassim al-Sayed leads the Government Informational Management Office (GIMO), and Qatar’s e-government initiative, known as i-Gov. His role involves putting all Qatari government agencies onto a linked communications platform to improve data-sharing across the country. He is also responsible for boosting security under the Critical Information Infrastructure Protection programme, which aims to ensure government data is not vulnerable to outside interference or hacking. Prior to joining ictQatar, Al-Sayed was deputy executive director at GIMO and was on the programme steering committee for the i-Gov plan. He has more than 14 years of experience in the ICT sector, focused on strategic planning and delivering large projects. Al-Sayed has a degree in computer science from the University of Essex in the UK. He also sits on the board of QNBN.
Contact: Tel (+974) 4 499 5333
Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Khalifa
Position: Minister of State for Interior Affairs
Biography: Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Khalifa’s primary responsibilities are focused on internal security. But in April, Qatar’s interior ministry became the first body in the region to use fourth-generation mobile networks, known as long-term evolution technology, for security purposes. Although the Qatari government plans to use the technology solely for security purposes, it is an important first step in the deployment of the next generation of mobile networks in Qatar. The Interior Ministry was also involved in network preparation for the 2006 Asian Games in Doha and will again be involved in preparing Qatar’s technology sector for the 2022 football World Cup. Sheikh Abdullah has a degree in police science from Durham Military College in the UK, and a degree in legislation from Beirut Arab University.
Contact: Tel (+974) 4 433 0000
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