Qatar Foundation

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Qatar Foundation
Qatar Foundation logo.png
Qatar Foundation logo
Formation1995 (1995)
Typenon-profit organization
HeadquartersAl-Rayyan, Doha, Qatar
LocationDoha, Qatar
Key peopleSheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Founder; Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson
WebsiteQatar Foundation
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Qatar Foundation
Qatar Foundation logo.png
Qatar Foundation logo
Formation1995 (1995)
Typenon-profit organization
HeadquartersAl-Rayyan, Doha, Qatar
LocationDoha, Qatar
Key peopleSheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Founder; Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson
WebsiteQatar Foundation

Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (Arabic: مؤسسة قطر‎) is a semi-private chartered, non-profit organization in Qatar, founded in 1995 by Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Father Emir (the current Emir is His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani), and his second wife Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned. In addition to private funding it is government-supported and in some parts government-funded.[1] Qatar Foundation is chaired by Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, and it has spearheaded Qatar's drive to make itself a leader in education, science, community development and the arts in the region and beyond.[2] It describes its aim as being to "support Qatar on its journey from a carbon economy to a knowledge economy by unlocking human potential".[3] The logo of the foundation is the sidar tree, a symbol in connection with the islamic Sidrat al-Muntaha and the evergreen tree Ziziphus spina-christi native in Qatar.[4]

The organization focuses on education, science and research, and community development. It has brought a number of international universities to Qatar to help develop an education sector in which young people can develop the attitudes and skills required for a knowledge economy that is not based on revenues from energy resources. Its main science and research agenda is to build up Qatari innovation and technology capacity through research that results in technologies that can be successfully commercialized for the benefit of the economy. One of Qatar's aims is to become a commercially successful research and development (R&D) hub that attracts the best and brightest.[5] The community development programs aim to help foster a progressive society in Qatar, while also enhancing the cultural landscape, protecting Qatar's heritage, and addressing immediate social needs in the community.[6] The Foundation has played a key role in Qatar's transformation into a political, economic and cultural powerhouse in the region, despite its small size.

The Foundation is trying to equip Qataris with the skills, education and qualifications to be competitive in the global economy, challenging perceptions of a population spoiled by its natural gas wealth.[7] Joint venture partnerships in the areas of design, information and communication technologies, telecommunications, policy studies, and event management also contribute to fulfilling the objectives of Qatar Foundation. Qatari firms have begun to make a name for themselves internationally in the computer software industry, on the back of Qatar Foundation's encouragement of research and development. As Qatari firms have begun to invest in R&D as a result of the Foundation's efforts, Pragmatech, a subsidiary of United Development Company (not part of QF), has established a reputation for its text processing, document summarizing and referencing software.[8]


In primary and secondary education, Qatar Foundation has several initiatives, including:

In higher education, Qatar Foundation established branch campuses of eight international universities at the main campus just outside Doha:

These centers sit alongside the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies which began its first graduate classes in the 2007-2008 academic year. An international center for Islamic thinking and dialogue, it aims to produce scholars who are grounded in Islamic faith, practice and civilization. It offers masters degrees in Islamic finance, contemporary Islamic studies and Islamic public policy.

Roughly half of these universities' students are Qatari, and around 90 different nationalities in total are represented by the students, faculty and staff at the Foundation campus.

The Foundation has managed to make a significant impact within its first decade or so in operation. Scholars at the centers such as Weill Cornell Medical College have made contributions to studies on genetics and AIDS, and the peer-reviewed periodical Academic Medicine published a study on Weill Cornell Medical College’s Medical Ethics and Humanities course for premedical students.[9] The course, first offered in 2003, is designed to prepare students for the medical school curriculum, and the report pointed to challenges such as cross-cultural tensions that could emerge when introducing themes from Western medical ethics and humanities into an Islamic context like Qatar. "The authors outline the response to this challenge and strategies to broaden student inquiry without engaging in indoctrination," it said.[10]

As part of the Foundation's efforts in education, it sponsors the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), a global forum that brings together education professionals, opinion leaders and decision-makers from all over the world to discuss educational issues. The summit has been held in Doha since 2009:

Keynote speakers at annual convocation ceremonies, where graduates from various Foundation centers are honoured together, have included in recent years Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales (2013).

Science and research[edit]

Qatar Foundation's main aim in this field is to help build Qatar's innovation and technology capacity by developing and commercializing solutions in key sciences. It is also developing a research strategy built on complementing Qatar-based research efforts with expertise from abroad, to build networks that provide home-grown solutions for Qatar and the region.

A research division was established at Qatar Foundation in 2007 to manage developing a scientific community in Qatar. It has hosted several international conferences in the fields of biotechnology, nanotechnology, and stem cell research.

Qatar Foundation's science and research projects include:

applied computing research relevant to the needs of Qatar, the wider Arab region and the world.

Other science and research initiatives include:

In June 2011 Qatar Foundation hosted the seventh World Conference of Science Journalists, which had been scheduled to be held in Cairo but was moved to Doha as a result of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution.[12] In 2012 the 18th United Nations Climate Change Conference (or 'Conference of the Parties', or more commonly 'COP18') was held at Qatar National Convention Centre (part of QF). It will launch the inaugural World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) at the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha on 10-11 December 2013.

Community development[edit]

Qatar Foundation's community development initiatives fall into three categories:

Progressive society:

Cultural life:

Community needs:

Joint ventures[edit]

Qatar says it needs certain specialized skills for developing its economy, as outlined in Qatar National Vision 2030, so the Foundation has set up a number of commercial joint ventures with global partners. Profits generated are shared by both parties, with Qatar Foundation's share being ploughed back into its core nonprofit activities.


On 10 December 2010 FC Barcelona announced it had agreed a (shirt) sponsorship deal worth up to €170 million with Qatar Sports Investments to place Qatar Foundation's name on the front of the team's shirts, ending Barcelona's tradition of not accepting payment for sponsors displayed on its jersey. The deal included a clause allowing a switch in sponsor after the first two seasons, so Qatar Airways took over as the main sponsor in July 2013.[14][15]

In October 2011 the Wikimedia Foundation announced a plan to work with the Qatar Foundation to support the growth of the Arabic Wikipedia.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2010 Human Rights Report: Qatar". 2011-04-08. Retrieved 2012-09-19. 
  2. ^ "Qatar and its emir: He'll do it his way". The Economist. 27 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "About Qatar Foundation | Qatar Foundation - Unlocking human potential". Retrieved 2012-09-19. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "See". 
  6. ^ "See Foundation web page:". 
  7. ^ "Affluent Qataris Seek What Money Cannot Buy". The New York Times. 13 May 2010. 
  8. ^ "From oil to business tourism". Le Monde Diplomatique. 11 November 2011. 
  9. ^ "Genetic Disorders Among Arab Populations". Teebi, Ahmad. Springer, 2010. 
  10. ^ "The Globalization of Education in Medical Ethics and Humanities: Evolving Pedagogy at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar". del Pozo, Pablo Rodríguez, and Fins, Joseph. Academic Medicine, February 2005 - Volume 80 - Issue 2 - pp 135-140. 
  11. ^ Qatar Foundation Establishes $500,000 WISE Prize for Education.
  12. ^ "WCSJ2011 moves to Doha, Qatar - June 27 to 29, 2011 | World Conference of Science Journalists 2011". 2012-09-15. Retrieved 2012-09-19. 
  13. ^ "Doha ... memories of the past and a vision for the future". Gulf Times. 2010-01-14. Retrieved 2012-09-19. 
  14. ^ "Record agreement with Qatar |". 2011-07-01. Retrieved 2012-09-19. 
  15. ^ "Barcelona agree record shirt deal". BBC News. 10 December 2010. 
  16. ^ "Wikimedia Foundation to Launch Arabic catalyst". The Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 

External links[edit]