How Qatar’s Free Zones are Expanding Trade, Tech and Diplomacy in the Middle East
Join H.E. Ahmad AlSayed, Minister of State & Chairman - Qatar Free Zone Authority

His Excellency Ahmad AlSayed

Minister of State & Chairman, Qatar Free Zone Auth

Hamad Al Ibrahim (moderator)

Assistant Policy Researcher, RAND

November 10, 2020 10:00 AM    Webinar

Add to Calendar 11/10/2020 10:00 AM 11/10/2020 12:00 PM America/Los_Angeles Webinar: How Qatar’s Free Zones are Expanding Trade, Tech and Diplomacy in the Middle East see details at: : , , Los Angeles World Affairs Council false MM/DD/YYYY


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Join us on November 10th as we host His Excellency Ahmad AlSayed, Minister of State and Chairman of the Free Zones, Qatar. The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Hamad Al Ibrahim, Assistant Policy Researcher at RAND with focus on Qatar.

H.E. Ahmad AlSayed and Dr. Hamad Al Ibrahim will focus on Qatar’s current economic landscape, addressing the impact of the global shutdown, plans for future growth, and some of the major geo-political shifts in the region. The conversation will also look at what Qatar is doing to draw in more foreign direct investment with the Qatar Free Zone Authority, and what major international companies are either currently established, or looking to establish themselves in the region, and how that’s been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with discussing Qatar’s domestic economic development and international economic partners, the program will focus on the importance of the Qatar-U.S. alliance and how the two countries can continue to strengthen their cooperation in the future.  

Speaker Bios

As chief executive of the Qatar Investment Authority, Ahmad Al Sayed oversaw all operations of the Arab nation’s large sovereign wealth fund, including its diversified investment portfolio operated through Qatar Holding LLC. In December 2014, Al Sayed stepped down from the role, which was taken up by Qatari royal Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohamed bin Saud al-Thani. Founded in 2006 as the fund’s global investment arm, Qatar Holding has acquired equity stakes in banks, prominent real estate and a number of luxury brands, including Tiffany. Prior to his appointment as chief executive of the investment authority in July 2013, Al Sayed served as chairman and managing director of Qatar Holding for over five years. He spearheaded the fund’s luxury investments and oversaw the $2 billion acquisition of luxury department store Harrods in 2010 and the acquisition of a one percent stake in LVMH, making it the sixth largest shareholder in the luxury goods group. 


Hamad Al Ibrahim is a policy researcher at RAND and a Ph.D. candidate at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Prior to joining Pardee RAND, he was the executive vice president for Research and Development at Qatar Foundation. A passionate advocate for a knowledge-based economy, Al Ibrahim created a unified, evidence-based R&D policy at the national level while at the foundation. Using his experience in managing data sets and building systems to help planning and evaluating organizations, but also his experience as a surgeon, he approached R&D from a multidisciplinary perspective, involving the stakeholders in critical decision making. He created new funding mechanisms promoting public-private consortiums and incentivized local, private industry to get involved in co-funding research and partnering with academia. As chairman of Qatar Science and Technology Park, Al Ibrahim broadened the financial support mechanisms for startups in Qatar and directly introduced Qatar's business environment to U.S. startups. He used the uncertainties related to the creation of new startups in Qatar as windows of opportunity to diversify the economy and strengthen Qatar's path toward a sustainable economy.