Orange Sports Forum organised a trade mission to Qatar in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Dutch Embassy in Doha, accompanied by 17 sport-related companies and organisations. The successful mission took place from 25 to 28 March 2019 and was led by Mr. André Driessen (Director International Enterprises, Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
On the first day of the trade mission, the embassy organised a B2B event and a pitch session at the Aspire Zone Hotel. Dutch companies were given the opportunity to pitch and introduce themselves in front of 75 guests from various sports related parties from Qatar. Among them, Aspire Zone, Qatar Football Association, Qatar SportsTech, Qatar Sports Investments. In addition, Wesley Sneijder was also present to support the Dutch companies and learn more about the participating organisations. The meeting ended with a network lunch, this offered the companies an excellent opportunity to provide a further introduction and to follow up some contacts.
In the afternoon the group visited the “Khalifa Stadium”, the first of eight World Cup stadiums that have been fully completed. The visit included a tour through the stadium and gave a good impression of Qatar's ambitions.
On Monday evening a network reception took place at the residence of the Dutch Ambassador, H.E. Mrs. Bahia Tahzib-Lie. During this reception the delegation met Dutch expats and relevant sports stakeholders in Qatar. An excellent way to expand the network in Qatar. The delegation signed a multi-year cooperation between 15 Dutch companies and the Dutch Government (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Dutch Embassy in Doha). With this cooperation, we aim to build long-lasting relationships in Qatar and position the consortium into the Qatari sports market, to create fruitful cooperation’s in the field of sport, innovation and vitality.
FIFA World Cup 2022
On the second day, the delegation visited the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy. The committee is responsible for stadiums, infrastructure and legacy of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. Very impressive plans and infrastructure developments were presented.
These plans are implemented throughout the area in and around Doha, focussing on sustainability and the reuse of stadiums. Qatar also wants to become a leading sports nation, both on stage and beyond. In addition, Qatar is creating fan zones for the FIFA World Cup. During the visit various tenders were presented and explained how Dutch companies can participate in a tender.
The delegation was then received at Qatar University. Thanks to the previous contacts during the pitch sessions on Monday, the delegation immediately had the opportunity to follow up several points of interest with Qatar University. They were well prepared and very interested in various Dutch companies and organisations.
Furthermore, a meeting with the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) was scheduled. Qatar Financial Centre supports foreign companies to set up a business in Qatar and also with doing business in Qatar. They are basically a “one-stop-shop” for foreign companies. Sport is one of the main focus areas of QFC and therefore it was a very useful meeting to eventually be able to do business in Qatar.
Top-level sports facilities
On day 3, the delegation visited the impressive sports facilities at Aspire Zone. After a substantive meeting, the delegation got a tour inside the facilities. These first-class features - such as covered stadiums, programs for young athletes, research facilities and education - make a significant contribution to Qatar's ambition to develop top-level sports facilities.
Following their visit to Aspire Zone, the consortium paid a visit to Doha Festival City, the soon to be opened Angry Birds Park and Virtuocity.
Virtuocity is an impressive eSports Arena created in Doha Festival City. It includes a stage, a grandstand where all kinds of games can be played and large LED screens where fans can watch the eSports competitions.
Supporting Qatari start-ups
The Qatar Development Bank was visited on the last day of the official program. The bank is developing the Sport Accelerator, a place where start-ups receive funding and are also offered support to further develop their company.
The day was continued with a visit to the Qatar Chamber of Commerce. Led by the Dutch ambassador in Doha, the companies were given the opportunity to pitch their company briefly to the guests and representatives from the Qatar Chamber of Commerce.
In conclusion, this mission was very interesting and fruitful. There appears to be a lot of interest in Dutch products, services and knowledge related to sports and vitality and there are plenty of opportunities to successfully follow-up this mission during our multi-year cooperation with Qatar.
Read our mission booklet for more information about the participating companies.