IPA Qatar, FLYR Labs in pact to launch first artificial intelligence hub for the transportation sector in Middle East and GCC
02 February 2022
2 February 2022, Doha – Qatar: The Investment Promotion Agency Qatar (IPA Qatar) and FLYR Labs have embarked on a new partnership that aims to advance the technological transformation of the transportation sector through innovative Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digital solutions. The collaboration entails the establishment of a FLYR office in Doha, marking their first-ever permanent presence in the Middle East and GCC region, which will create dozens of jobs in Qatar across FLYR’s engineering and advisory organisations.
Complementing the economic diversification efforts in Qatar, the IPA Qatar-FLYR’s partnership focuses on unlocking the vast growth potential of the transportation sector by accelerating its digitisation and introducing innovative solutions. IPA Qatar will support the Los Angeles-based company to set up its business centre in Doha, through which it will be providing access to its ground-breaking data and AI-driven platform for airlines, travel, and the transportation industry. The centre will also act as a key component to FLYR’s support of potential partners across the region.
According to the terms of agreement, FLYR will assist Qatari transportation companies in addressing current challenges, increasing their business efficiency, and maximising their revenues by adopting digital solutions across key areas, such as forecasting, pricing, decision support, and big data technologies. In addition to supporting the company’s growth, the collaboration between the two organisations sets the framework for skills development programmes, which aim to nurture local talent in the AI and engineering fields and create new job opportunities.
The new partnership was announced during the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony, in the presence of Sheikh Ali Alwaleed Al-Thani, CEO, IPA Qatar, and Alex Mans, Founder and CEO, FLYR Labs.
Commenting on this occasion, Sheikh Ali Alwaleed Al-Thani, CEO, IPA Qatar, said: “This new collaboration takes IPA Qatar a step further in its endeavours to forge strategic partnerships with international businesses that contribute to Qatar’s economic diversification. We are also pleased to welcome FLYR Labs to Qatar and support their ambitious business expansion plans. Launching this first of its kind innovative solutions hub in Doha is an impetus for the further development of a world-class, digitised transportation industry in Qatar, and in the region at large.”
Alex Mans, Founder and CEO of FLYR Labs, said: “Our partnership with IPA Qatar will enable FLYR Labs to take advantage of its established presence in Qatar and support expansion into markets such as rail, cargo, public transport and shipping. As part of our partnership, we have agreed to invest our resources towards the recruitment and training of AI and engineering talent in Doha, boosting the city’s development in this sector and employment prospect for Qatari citizens."
Offering world-class logistics hub
Initiatives taken by Qatar to emerge as a global logistics hub are bearing fruit. Today, Qatar’s future-ready infrastructure, connectivity resources, business-friendly environment, and strategic geographic position, have transformed the country into an ideal hub for businesses seeking a stronger regional presence. Being home to the world’s leading international air cargo carrier, the world’s best airline, best airport and one of the largest green ports in the world, Qatar empowers investors’ long-term sustainable growth, enabling them to tap into lucrative opportunities.
Pursuing its mandate to nurture a diversified, technology-based economy, as outlined in Qatar National Vision 2030, many sectors have emerged as new drivers for business and FDI growth, such as logistics and transportation. Contributing 4% to the country’s GDP, logistics and transportation are amongst the most promising sectors in the country. The State’s significant investment in the sector is reflected by the size of the transportation market valued at around $7 billion pre-Covid, and the momentous journey of transformation that has managed to place Qatar as the region’s 2nd best country for efficient logistics services according to the World Bank’s logistics performance index. With the ongoing efforts to bolster its growth potential, combined with the burgeoning technology ecosystem and accelerated digital transformation, the transportation industry offers a plentitude of opportunities for businesses from across the world. To name a few, DHL, UPS and Uber are actively operating in Qatar, which has become a second home for their growing businesses in the region. The recent announcement of FLYR Labs’ plan to set up in Doha comes then as another significant addition to the vibrant Qatari market.