Cybersecurity to have major role in Qatar's digital transformation

10 May 2023 4 min. read
More news on

Investment in cybersecurity is expected to rise significantly in Qatar, with the overall Middle East cybersecurity market expected to grow by over 17% annually to reach around $45 billion by 2027. That is according to projections made in a study by EY-Parthenon in collaboration with Microsoft and Invest Qatar, a government agency that promotes investment in the country’s industries.

Within the scope of the massive building up of infrastructure in the run up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the country also worked to build up its digital ecosystems, investing heavily in order to use that foundation for further opportunities.

“Qatar has one of the fastest growing digital economies in the region and both public and private sector entities are investing in robust digital transformations to capitalize on this growth,” said Samay Mishra, partner at EY-Parthenon, a strategy consulting firm that is part of EY.

Cybersecurity to have major role in Qatar's digital transformation

“However, rapid digital growth creates risk requiring a strong focus on enhanced digital security measures. As such, Qatar has made robust efforts to develop and implement a comprehensive cybersecurity policy landscape. These efforts showcase the country’s commitment to innovative and sustainable solutions and will also encourage cross-industry collaboration and foreign investment opportunities,” Mishra continued.

Growing tech revenue meets growing young population

Since 2022, a number of tech sub-sectors have seen remarkable growth in Qatar. Among the sub-sectors, all of which have grown significantly in the past two years, the Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, and Blockchain have seen their market revenues more than double in that time.

In fact, the revenue for Blockchain in Qatar ballooned by more than seven times, with cryptocurrency and Web3 playing leading roles in the tech scene there.

Cybersecurity to have major role in Qatar's digital transformation

The growing young population in the country presents an opportunity for entrepreneurs and startups to provide the robust digital products and services that will be increasingly sought after. Qatar has a larger share of population between 20 and 39 than many other growing countries, including the United States, India, China, as well as the overall average in the GCC region.

Cybersecurity to have major role in Qatar's digital transformation

Spending on cybersecurity

Doha claims to have the most accelerated spending on cybersecurity in the Middle East, where their budget of $1.64 billion is expected to draw further involvement and talent from abroad. With a large number of skilled expat workers already living and working in the GCC countries, Qatar hopes to attract the required talent to elevate their cybersecurity sector to the best in the region.

“Qatar's robust digital infrastructure and thriving economy have created an attractive investment environment for businesses. Cybersecurity is a priority with the accelerated digital transformation to protect mission critical workloads and ensure business continuity and resilience,” said Lana Khalaf, general Manager at Microsoft Qatar.

Cybersecurity to have major role in Qatar's digital transformation

Middle East pushing to keep up with cybersecurity globally

Globally, too, cybersecurity spending is on the rise. That is because the world is becoming more digital and cybersecurity is now, more than ever, vital to keep information safe and shield data against growing online threats. As average people, companies, and governments alike use more digital devices and platforms, good cybersecurity helps prevent cyberattacks and helps protect privacy.

According to the study, the global cybersecurity market is projected to grow to around $376 billion by 2028. Though services currently dominate global cybersecurity spending, software and hardware are also certain to grow significantly in the coming years. Overall spending in the cybersecurity sector is expected to grow by a compounded annual growth rate of 9.5% in the period between 2021 and 2026.

As countries in the Middle East diversify their economies away from fossil fuels, the technology sector has emerged as an upcoming sector for investments, alongside the likes of tourism and financial services, among other sectors.