Apr. 19, 2016

HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani


HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani

Chairman, Al Faisal Holding


HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani is one of Qatar’s leading entrepreneurs. He has played a significant role in the development of Qatar’s economy and its infrastructure. Over a career spanning more than 45 years, he has launched a succession of new ventures and attracted foreign investment to several sectors of the economy. He began his career in 1964 by establishing a small company that traded in auto parts. The business gradually grew into a network of diverse commercial and industrial activities embracing more than 40 well-established and successful companies operating under Al Faisal Holding.

How would you describe the importance of education to the future growth of Qatar?

Qatar is transforming into a knowledge based economy, and it had set the road map to achieve this through the National Vision 2030. Education is a key element in the national strategy as it is an important factor in realizing this transformation. The education sector has made impressive strides during the last decade, attracting world class universities and schools to open in Qatar, offering top quality educational opportunities to the residents of Qatar and the neighboring countries. As a result, we now have Qatari graduates from these top universities who are well equipped to join the work force, use their knowledge to build the nation, and help it achieve its growth objectives.
I firmly believe that success and growth in life cannot happen without knowledge and faith. From my own experience, the formula for success is simple: have the conviction that knowledge can make change happen. Have patience, endurance, seize opportunities, and use your knowledge and experiences in life to realize your objectives. Without education, success is unattainable. In order to encourage those graduates to succeed and strive for a better, more developed business world in their home country, we have to accommodate their visions and aspirations by integrating their ideas into our businesses. By doing so, we inspire them to grab these opportunities we create so they continue in our footsteps, building Qatar's economy and further enhancing it through their education. With education comes growth, progress, and innovation, which is what we hope the future of Qatar will be; filled with prosperity and success.

How are Qatar's investments in education and strategy transforming the landscape of the Middle East as a whole becoming a hub for progressive thought?

The significant development of the education sector has a hugely positive influence on the progress of the economy as a whole. Growing and developing the economy locally creates an attractive hub for worldwide investors to invest, students to study, and people to work and build careers. This results in the transformation of the whole region and makes it a pivot for education, progress, and innovation. Qatar is investing heavily in research and development and also promotes and hosts key events in the country such as the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE). WISE has been one of the key players in developing progressive, enquiring mentalities within Qatar and in changing the way Qatar is viewed around the world. Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D) is another strong player in building education in the country, as well as participating in developing the community of the nation. The resulting level of international profile and exposure Qatar is achieving through these initiatives, as a hub for education and progressive thought and development, can only have a positive effect on the wider region.

How is Qatar's overall strategy for growth changing as it approaches the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the completion of the Qatar National Vision 2030?

Qatar had already announced its National Strategy 2030 prior to winning the World Cup. Winning the World Cup has helped to accelerate the progress. Once the Vision is delivered, a new long-term strategy will be announced, building on what we have all achieved. By 2030, Qatar will have a developed infrastructure, advanced healthcare, improved education system, and, of course, a more diversified economy geared toward innovative growth. The 2022 FIFA World Cup provides the motivation to achieve those goals sooner. Right now, this means we are focusing on building the fundamentals of a developed country by constructing commercial and residential properties, stadiums, healthcare centers, and developing all the necessities for hosting one of the biggest events in the world. After 2022, the further evolution of the country will begin.