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Qatar financial centre

The Gulf state of Qatar has a long-term strategy to develop and diversify its economy.

AMBITION

As a central part of this strategy, Qatar decided to create a new financial centre in its capital, Doha.

ACTION

In 2005 Wolff Olins formed an integrated team with a PR and an advertising agency to develop a brand and marketing program for the financial centre. Our part of the work was to develop a brand strategy and identity.

A key part of this was to explain what Qatar was about, as many of the foreign institutions whom the centre wished to target had big misconceptions about the country. To bring the brand to life we designed many of the tools which the PR and advertising agency then used, such as the QFC’s websites, brochures and communication templates.

The Government of Qatar has always stressed that its financial centre is complementary to others centres in the Gulf, not competitive with them. But the ambition is bold: our vision is for the QFC to be the financial centre of choice in the Middle East.

IMPACT

The early results are good: the Qatari Minister of Economy and Commerce said in 2007: ‘Within the space of just two years the QFC has reached a stage of maturity that many of the world’s more established centers took years or even decades to achieve.’

The QFC witnessed a dramatic 82% increase in income at the end of its first fully operational year. In 2008 the QFC achieved the landmark of authorizing the application of its 100th firm. The QFC’s income has grown at an average rate of 42% per year, reaching $2.3 million in 2008.

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