How to navigate Qatar’s Information and Communication Strategy - Part 2
Ahmed’s ambitions on setting up his travel business was compelling and he continued his research on MoTC and how ICT strategy could help him in his endeavour. His research revealed a lot of interesting aspects of Qatar and its rules. Since travel agencies are in a way related to e-commerce, one should have certain knowledge regarding e-Commerce law.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications has increased the pace of ICT adoption among all sectors of the society with the help of a transparent and robust online system for all government operations, as well as the public. i-Gov has been a major source of improvement for access to information, and it has made it more convenient for companies and individuals like Ahmed to be able to interact with government agencies. More than 1.4 million transactions have already been made with the help of the website ‘Hukoomi,’ the government’s online portal.
In order to increase government connectivity and transparency in operation, the Ministry of Transport and Communication is in the process of introducing a National Government Network — a backbone feature of ICT that will successfully connect all government entities to one another with the help of a single network connection.
eLaw can be expanded as Electronic Commerce and Transactions Law. It was implemented with a view to encouraging businesses and government entities to make more of their transactions online.
It has turned out to be the first electronic commerce law in the Arab region that includes consumer protection provisions. MoTC considered input from all relevant government entities and businesses while framing the law, thereby aligning its policies with best practices derived from the United Nations, the European Union, and other countries and organizations in order to ensure consistency.
eLaw has put forth protocols for electronic documents, digital signatures, and payment authentication by making online communications and financial transactions enforceable by law. Along with MoTC’s regulatory mandate, this law expands the protections that are offered to travel agencies and consumers.
Travel agencies need to have an online presence, and this is one of the reasons why domain names are important.
Qatar Domain Names
The Internet Corporation has approved MoTC’s authority to assign domain names in the year 2010 for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). MoTC now also intends to adopt a ccTLD (country code top-level domain) and second-tier domain name registration model.
The major factor that is expected of this system is to lead to reduced prices and offer better quality services to end-users by providing them options for creating and managing their own websites.
Another latest development is the introduction of a new domain naming system in the Arabic language. Internet domains with an Arabic equivalent of “.qatar” can register once implemented. It was one of the first countries to have applied for a non-Latin domain-naming system.
Businesses and individuals will highly benefit from this as Qatar domain names will prove to be a valuable asset for them in distinguishing themselves in the globalization era and giving them the Qatar identity.
In addition to i-Gov and Hukoomi, the National Information and Communication Technology strategy include a series of various online initiatives that help to promote a critical role of ICT in society. Following are some of the initiatives that have been undertaken:
Digital Qatar: This is a blog for technology enthusiasts with content in English, as well as Arabic languages.
e-Learning: This portal offers three thousand free online courses. The beneficiaries are government employees, ICT professionals, and unemployed individuals in various fields, such as business, information technology (IT), human resources, and marketing.
e-Education: This is a joint venture with the Supreme Education Council introduced with a view of building its efforts to empower educators with the necessary skills, knowledge, and resources that facilitate 21st-century learning.
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