Developers of the soon-to-be-launched online yellow pages for businesses here hope that the business directory will offer an opportunity for e-marketing to boom and bring about a change in business thinking in Qatar.
The Enterprise Development team of the Supreme Council of Information, Communication and Technology Qatar (ictQatar) said the online directory will help businesses in Qatar to market their products and services regionally and globally.
“The Qatar Business Directory will be like an electronic mall where you can see the websites of all companies, so the idea is that customers and businesses can take a virtual tour through the portal and navigate shops on the web,” said Eyas Orabi, project manager of ictQATAR’s Enterprise Development.
The online directory, set to be launched in April this year, was introduced before some 150 participants, mostly from the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), attending the Second Business Connect Seminar at the Ritz-Carlton Doha on Sunday.
Discussions during the seminar dwelt mostly on e-marketing or marketing of products or services over the Internet, which experts who served as panelists pointed out was the inevitable trend in the global business world, especially in the more technologically-advanced countries.
What makes the electronic directory a real come-on to SMEs is that they can create and enhance their websites under one portal, according to Orabi.
“With no single, unified business directory available in Qatar so far, and no consolidated solution for businesses here, the directory will meet the information needs and fulfill the marketing ambitions of businesses and customers alike”, Orabi said.
IctQATAR said interactivity, instant access and ease of use makes the directory distinctive since all businesses in Qatar can upload a vast amount of information via the directory, including their location, services and contact details.
Information from the business directory would be available anywhere to anyone since it would be accessible through mobile phones, Personal Digital Assistants and the more popular Blackberry phones.
The online business directory will be marketed regionally and globally, serving the dual purpose of tapping foreign investors who would like to explore opportunities in Qatar as well as catering to local companies who want to promote themselves outside Qatar.
IctQATAR will be offering more features in the directory, particularly collaborative tools like chat, voice, text and videos as well as features that allow customers and businesses to sell and buy using index commercials online.
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