Microsoft goes to Park

Microsoft is expanding its operations in the Middle East with the opening of an office in Qatar’s new Science and Technology Park. The Park has been opened under the sponsorship of HH Sheikha Mozah, the chairperson of the Qatar Foundation.

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By  Peter Branton Published  July 15, 2003

Microsoft is expanding its operations in the Middle East with the opening of an office in Qatar’s new Science and Technology Park. The Park has been opened under the sponsorship of HH Sheikha Mozah, the chairperson of the Qatar Foundation.

“Microsoft is strongly committed to the growth of the ICT industry in the whole Middle East region, and our announcement today regarding our new office in Qatar shows how keen we are to fulfill our commitment,” said Mohammed Kateeb, managing director of Microsoft Middle East. “We believe our efforts will positively contribute to the growth of the ICT industry in Qatar, and contribute to the growth of the Middle East economy as a whole.”

The Science and Technology Park is a major project aimed at boosting research and IT development efforts in Qatar. HH Sheikha Mozah has indicated a strong belief that IT adoption, research work and education efforts will drive growth in Qatar.

Qatar has also been keen to promote itself to IT companies by cracking down on intellectual property rights violations. Recent raids have been held both on software pirates and companies using pirated software.

“Aiming at becoming technologically advanced, the government also keenly supports IPR and ensures the use of licensed software,” said Mohammed Hammoudi, business development manager for Microsoft in Qatar. “We are strongly encouraged to increase our commitment and investment in Qatar, and we look forward to working closely with the Qatar leadership, the government and the different business sectors in Qatar on new initiatives targeted at skills transfer and technology adoption, with a shared vision of successfully growing the ICT industry in Qatar, and the Qatar economy as a whole.”

According to industry body the Business Software Alliance, piracy rates in Qatar have fallen in the past eight years from 91% to 76%, making it still one of the highest countries in the Middle East for software piracy.

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