March / April 2019
Edition 36

Interview to Mr. JOSE VICENTE

CEO OF Doha Exhibition Convention Center

Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of Spain to Qatar

Dear Chairman, if you agree I would like to split the interview into two parts, the first one focusing on your capacity as CEO of the DECC, the second one on your capacity as Chairman the Chamber of Commerce of Spain to Qatar.
First of all, I would like to include some personal information about yourself. I believe it could be very interesting for the readers to get to know a little bit more about you.
1. Where are you in Spain?

Born in Madrid, my mother’s family is from there. But I have studied and lived most of my life in Zaragoza. My father’s family is from this town. So I consider myself from both places.

2. Could you please tell us a little bit about your academic and professional background?

I have a bachelor of Laws (LL.B) from the University of Zaragoza (Spain) and a Master’s degree
(Diplôme de l’Université de troisième cycle) in European Laws and Finances from the University of Nancy (France). Also a PDG Postgraduate Degree on Business Administration from IESE Business Scholl University of Navarra (Spain).

3. Is it your first time posted in the Middle East? How many years have you been in Qatar?

My professional background started as analyst for foreign trade in the Official Chamber of Commerce of Spain in Casablanca (Morocco) in the late 80’s. I came back to Spain in 1990 as the GM of the Spanish Manufacturers Association of construction equipment. My task was to support the internationalization and exports ‘promotion of their members worldwide through marketing campaigns, participation in exhibitions and organizing common dealer networks.
From September 2002, I was nominated CEO of the Zaragoza Exhibition Center.
After 13 years of experience developing new exhibitions and events I had the great opportunity to move to Qatar as CEO of the new DECC, Doha Exhibition Convention Center in 2015.

4. How is it for a Spaniard to live in Qatar?

Answering your question, I find out that life for expats in general and Spaniards in particular is pleasant here. Qatar is a safety and modern country very appropriate for families.
From the beginning my family and I have enjoyed living in Doha.


1. How the Exhibition Industry is doing in Qatar? In the region?

The exhibition sector in Qatar is increasing year after year. Some of the most important international organizers have started to organize meetings with us. Meetings and conferences are also being developed in this market.

2. Could you please give us a brief overview about DECC and its main activities.

DECC is operated and managed by a joint venture between FIRA BARCELONA and ELAN GROUP. With 30.000 sq. m. of indoor exhibition space and 18 fully equipped meeting rooms is one of the leading exhibition venues of the region. Our main purpose is “to connect Cultures, People and Commerce”
We organize more than 30 exhibitions and events every year providing a wide range of first class services to organizers, exhibitors and visitors

3. Could you please tell us relevant projects that DECC is now developing? What are DECC’S expectations for the near future?

Regarding the relevant projects been developed we are working with new international organizers in order to attract them to our important market. There is still room for creating new commercial events and our main expectation is to become the new hub for our industry in the future.

4. Which are your main attractive for your clients?

DECC is a state-of-the-Art Building.
Our free column modular space offers the best venue to organize any kind of event, from exhibitions, conferences, meetings to concerts, weddings and any kind of live events.
Located in the middle of West Bay nowhere else in Qatar will you find a more central and easily accessible venue, just 20 minutes’ drive from the airport, with nowadays more than 15 hotels with a capacity of over 5.400 rooms within walking distance.
The venue is accessible through a car parking with capacity for 2.800 vehicles and services by a non-stop taxi bay as well as metro station.
The DECC offers a combination of luxury and convenience.

5. From where and how many visitors does DECC receive every year?

The total amount of events since the opening of the venue in November 2015 has been more than 90. More than 12.000 exhibitors and 1.500.000 visitors have visited our venue for the first three years of operations.
These figures confirm the positive tendency of our activity and industry

As Chairman of the imminent Official Chamber of Commerce of Spain in Qatar.

1. Which are going to be the main changes for the Institution?

There are minor changes for the Institution. When we decided to register the Spanish Business Council to Qatar under the Qatar Financial Center (QFC) regulations we already submitted a quite complete By Laws.
We had to adapt them to the Spanish Law as we wanted to be recognized as Official Chamber of Commerce by the competent Ministry
QFC has approved those changes and we have achieved all the requests.
The main commercial change is that we are now members of the Federation of Spanish Chambers of Commerce abroad (41 in total) and we are now included in the global network that also included 86 local Chambers of Commerce in Spain.
This give us more visibility and bigger scope of business. From the legal point of view we have acquired the character of consultative and collaborative entity within the Spanish Public Administration.

2.For the Members? It is going to be a platform just for Spanish Corporations or Individuals?

From the beginning our Institution has been a platform willing to improve commercial, economic, cultural, and educational and all kind of relations between Spain and Qatar playing an important role in the expansion of the bilateral relationship.
It is open not only for Spanish Corporations or individuals based in Qatar or Spain but also to Qatari Companies willing to encourage Business and investment between Spain and Qatar.

3. Is it going to have an impact on your relations with Qatar Institutions?

Nowadays, we are increasing our relationship with all Qatar Institution and the entrepreneurial community.
Being an official Spanish entity will surely offers more possibilities with the local Institutions and Companies.

4. Which are the main sectors of Spanish investment in Qatar?

Qatar is an important and mature market in some sectors.
Doing business here has its own rules and ways. It is a competitive market that needs research and a serious analyze to find out the opportunities.
We are here in order to guide the new companies with our network.

5. Having worked two years as chairman of the SBCQ would your priorities change for 2019

During these two years as Chairman of the SBCQ, my main objectives and the ones of the Members of the Board have been to professionalize more and more the SBCQ:
  • Establishing the entity under the QFC regulations and developing new Bylaws.
  • Appointing and Auditor of the financial statements.
  • Increasing the number of activities
  • Preparing the changes to become an Official Chamber of Commerce of Spain
We have been recognized by The QATAR FINANCIAL CENTER as the Best Non-Profit organization in Qatar last year award that confirms the right decisions taken by all of us.

For the future I would like to develop more services to our actual portfolio, increase the number of Members and to continue of being one of the most efficient business and networking platforms of the existing foreign Chambers of Commerce and Business Councils.

Back 2 Business Event, Winter Edition

On March the 6th 2019 Back 2 Business Winter Edition took place at the Westin Doha Hotel & Spa. It is one of the most important business networking events in Doha and it has been taking place for 15 years.

The event was supported by the Chamber of Commerce of Spain to Qatar, the Italian Chamber of Commerce, AHK German Industry and Commerce Office, the Turkish Businessmen Association, the American Chamber of commerce, QBBF, QBA and other international business associations based in Qatar.
This time Qatar Free Zones Authority was the strategic partner.
“Over the last few years, Qatar has witnessed impressive economic growth and continues to offer investment opportunities with unsurpassed global connectivity,” said Lim Meng Hui, Chief Executive Officer of the Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZA).

“QFZA is proud to be the strategic partner for this year’s Back 2 Business networking event which allows Qatar to connect with the international business community and introduce the Free Zones as an ideal business location offering world-class business infrastructure with plug and play facilities, 100 percent foreign ownership with full capital repatriation, full tax exemption for 20 years, readily available skilled foreign workforce, progressive visa and regulatory regimes and excellent partnership opportunities with Qatari businesses.
Around 200 persons attended the event all of them identified with a sticker of their sector.

Fiscal Aspects of the SPANISH Community in QATAR

On Thursday, April the 11th, 2019, a seminar was held to discuss all the fiscal aspects that affect the Spanish community resident in Qatar.
80 people met for more than 4 hours, to attend the presentation of Mr. Miguel Angel Mayo at Doha Exhibition Convention Center.
Mr. Miguel Ángel Mayo is developing his professional activity within the Tax Agency in the Regional Inspection Unit of Catalonia, currently assigned to the Department of International Taxation, in collaboration with the tax authorities of the European Union countries.
The first part the of the presentation was more theoretical dealing with the elements of the agreement between the Kingdom of Spain and the State of Qatar for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income, its main notions, the exact determination of residence. The Taxation of the different incomes. The income tax of non-residents, the Income obtained in Spain by non-residents, the Taxation and different models to present.
After the break, we moved to a more practical part where different assumptions and practical cases were studied. Mr. Miguel Angel, also reviewed the situation of the expatriate when returning to Spain, the main errors that commit the taxpayers and finally one of the most expected parts of the events, the questions of the audience.

Jobs of the Future’Artificial Intelligence: The Next Trend in Marketing and Communications

On March the 11th at Marriott Marquis City Center, Professor Mr. Andrea Longaretti, director of admissions for specialized masters and blended-executive MBAs at IE gave a Master Class. The meeting room was completely full.

He explained the role of the artificial Intelligence devices, as voice assistants and smart speakers, in business strategies and personal lives. He actually showed the audience how today is already possible to have voice assistant making daily appointments on behalf of oneself.

On the other hand the class dealt with clustering and interpreting of consumer data paired with profile information and demographics. This artificial intelligence is all based on data mining.

The event conclude with a discussion on the future of this technology, and the limits and boundaries of data study. Sometimes, people do not seem to know that they have consent on this data mining, common type of in seeks to learn what the user is interested in to present appropriate information.

March and April Get Together

On March the 13th at La vista 55, at Intercontinental Doha The City Hotel, the Chamber of Commerce of Spain to Qatar and the French Chamber of Commerce to Qatar met with the purpose to get both communities more interconnected.

On April the 3rd 2019, the event took place at EL FARO Restaurant at Marsa Malaz Kempinski Hotel. It was the perfect way to celebrate that the Hotel has just joined the Chamber as official Members.

In the Chamber we do believe that if you want a really successful business, then you need to have a great source of relevant connections in your network that you can call on when you need them.
Networking provides you with a great source of connections, and really opens the door to talk to highly influential people that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to easily talk to or find.

Official Chambers of Commerce of Spain Abroad Meeting

On March the 26th and 27th 2019, The Official Chambers of Commerce of Spain abroad have met in Madrid to coordinate their activity and to deepen the mechanisms of collaboration among them and with the Chamber of Commerce of Spain and the Secretariat of State of Trade.

This event takes place every two years, having been the first time that the Chamber of Commerce of Spain to Qatar has attended. In fact the official status was granted to the Association in February 2019.

At the opening of the conference, the Secretary General of the Chamber of Spain, Adolfo Díaz-Ambrona, said that the objective of this meeting is "to strengthen the coordination of the network of Chambers and to share the advantages of their respective partner systems and the good practices of its activity ". On the opening day of March 26, Mr. Enrique Fanjul, Deputy Director General of Strategy for Internationalization of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism highlighted the clear interest of Spanish companies to promote the Chambers of Commerce Abroad and to belong to them. He also highlighted the dynamism of the network of the Chambers Abroad, having created six new Chambers in 2 years.
General Director of the Chamber, Ms. Inmaculada Riero reviewed the strategy of the Institution for 2019-2020 emphasized the role of the Chambers abroad in the strengthening of economic ties, and bilateral relations between Spain and the country where the Chamber is established.

During the journeys, General Assemblies for FECECA (Federation that groups the Official Chambers of Spain in America) and FEDECOM (Federation that groups the Official Chambers of Spain in Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania) took place. Mr. Eduardo Barrachina, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Spain to United Kingdom was elected President for FEDECOM.

The event took place during two days, the closure was made by the Trade Secretary of State for Trade Ms Xiena Mendez, who reiterated her support for the Chambers system and the public-private collaboration. The President of the Chamber of Commerce of Spain Mr. Luis Bonnet also took part at the closing ceremony.

Marsa Malaz Kempinski

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ONSITE Trading and Services

Rigging at Doha Jewellery & Watch Exhibition 2019
ONSITE carried out the rigging for the main exhibitors in the DJWE 2019 that took place in the DECC in February. Al Far dan, Ali Bin Ali, Cartier, Art and Gems, Rolex, Van Cleef and Arpels had their stands installed with ONSITE’s rigging structures
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Logistics at Doha Jewellery & Watch Exhibition 2019
All logistic services for DJWE including temporary customs clearance of jewels, custody, handling, warehousing and traffic management of vehicles loading and offloading at the venue were also organized by ONSITE.

On time deliveries to the exhibitor’s stands, dealing with Customs office, loading and offloading operations and management of all vehicles was handled by our company providing an integrated solution for clients.

Press Release, Chamber of Commerce of Spain to QATAR’s Tribute to MR. VALERO RIVERA AND MR. FELIX SANCHEZ

On April the 24th, 2019 the Official Chamber of Commerce of Spain to Qatar paid a tribute recognizing the excellent work of Qatar National coaches: Mr. Valero Rivera and Mr. Félix Sánchez, reflected in successes that have contributed to the promotion of Spain and Qatar worldwide.

The event took place at St Regis Hotel, Gordon Ramsey Restaurant counting with the assistance of Her Excellency Ambassador of Spain to Qatar Belén Alfaro and sponsored by Sacyr, Licuas, Sek International School and Encircle Business Solutions.

Before the tribute ceremony, Her Excellency Belén Alfaro introduced the speakers, Mr. Kamel Badawy, Business Development & Intelligence Director form Aspire who talked about Qatar SportsTech, the first acceleration program of its kind in Qatar that aims to attract the most promising SportsTech startups from the world and help them grow their product and business. Mr. Nizar Bakhat, delegate of the LIGA Global Network in Qatar who talked about La Liga and its presence in Qatar and Mr. Xavi Pedrero, Founder of Pádel Qatar who explained the beginning, challenges of introduction of a news sport such as Padel In the county and how it is now a successful business in the Peninsula.

Aftewards, Mr. Jose Vicente Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce took the floor to explain the reasons why the Chamber wanted to give this recognition to the honorees. He explained:

“The important merit of the conquest of a silver medal in the world championship for Qatar and a gold one at the Asian Championships in 2016 for the handball national team and for football conquering the gold medal at the Asian Championship in 2019; has made them, Spanish nationals, Valero Rivera and Felix Sanchez to sign the most brilliant pages in the history of such sports in Qatar.”

Referring to Mr. Rivera, he reminded that with an unrivaled record of 75 titles, at European and National level having led the Barcelona handball team to be the European team with most titles in competitions, with a total of seventeen: 6 European Cups, 5 Cups, 5 European Super Cups and one EHF Cup.
As a national coach Mr. Valero has won 3 medals (gold, silver and bronze) in the World Championships and one gold in the Asian Championship.

All of this, made Mr. Rivera he by far the most successful handball coach in history.

Regarding Mr. Sanchez, Chairman reminded that he is the one everybody talks about. He is the man who has brought Qatar's national football team through the academy over the past decade and guided every step of the team to the victory. He is the one laying the foundations for producing teams that can compete at international level and win.

Qatar National teams of Soccer and Handball have transmitted to the world, and especially to young people, a renewed enthusiasm for sports. Both Valero and Felix are the living example of how far they can carry the desire to encourage: work, team spirit and commitment to the values ​​of sport.
According to him, “the figure of a coach is paramount since it is the person who provides the unique opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life. Felix and Valero have both changed the lives of many of the players under their tutelage but not only their lives, Felix and Valero have made the difference for two countries Spain and Qatar.”

Both, Valero and Felix are extremely inspiring and because of them, Qatar and Spain are inspiring as well.

The Chamber represents the commitment to a long-term investment in Qatar’s future development with Spain as a strong and valued partner. As well in other sectors Spain adds great value in the Sports Industry. In the sports sector, Spain is a benchmark both at the business level and at the professional level with

Labor Reform in QATAR, Achievements and Next Steps:

On April the 10th 2019, the Chamber of Commerce of Spain to Qatar, Swiss, Philippines, Dutch and Portuguese Business Councils have organized at St Regis Hotel a session led by the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs (ADLSA) and by the International Labor Organization (ILO) Project Office in Qatar. During this interactive roundtable, speakers, Mr. Houtan Homayounpour (Head of ILO Porject) and Mr. Mohammed Hassan Al Obaidly (Undersecretary for Labor Affairs) presented the recent and upcoming labor reforms
The Ministry official mentioned that together with the ILO they are working on improving the working environment in Qatar.\

They have already started giving freedom to the workers to move and the exit visa is being waived, they are easing workers to move from one employer to another, they have introduced laws to pay workers through bank account. Speakers have informed that Qatar has recently set up visa centers in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The centers are meant to facilitate contract procedures.

Among the upcoming reforms they have mentioned the Approaching of Joint Committees within the companies, the Removal of the Exit Permits for absolutely all the workers, since until today there is a percentage of workers to whom it is still apply, there is also a minimum wage to be discuss and there is an aim to constitute a Worker’s Fund with the objective to pay the worker when the employing company goes bankrupt.

Reforms are looking to have a free labor market. When in place Qatar would be the first country in the region to abolish KAFALA system.

After the presentation the attendance enjoyed the dinner
Summary ILO Event1

MICE is nice

Participating in industry events is playing a strong part in positioning DECC and promoting Qatar as a leading MICE Destination. In January, DECC's CEO, attended the UFI Global CEO Summit in London, which gathered key people from the events industry from around the world.

Luxury loves DECC

The 16th edition of the Doha Jewellery & Watches Exhibition proved popular and organisers announced that more than 27,000 visits were received over the six days.
This year’s exhibition, was the largest in terms of participation, with more than 500 brands from over 10 countries covering an area of 29,000 square metres.

Beauty meets art at DECC

Shop Qatar’s Design District featured the unique District's Parisian-inspired étoile (star) layout of six Avenues (Art – Tailors – Fashion – Design– Lifestyle – Beauty) brought a colourful showcase of local and international pop-up shops, cafes, fashion shows, workshops, masterclasses as well as engaging design dialogue all under one roof. The event showcased the latest spring/summer collections from world-renowned designers in more than 20 fashion shows!

Education City Golf Club

Education City Golf Club is a landmark project for Qatar and the world of golf, offering a revolutionary and holistic approach to growing the game of golf.
A world-class golf course development offering:
  • 33 holes
  • 18 hole championship golf course
  • 6 hole championship golf course
  • 9 hole par 3 golf course
  • TrackMan Range
  • State of the art Centre of Excellence (educational centre)
  • Gymnasium
    - Extensive short game practice facilities
  • Clubhouse
    - One restaurant and two cafes
    - Indoor practice facilities and golf simulator
Scale and promote your business with us. Choose from a range of activities and create a memorable corporate events from icebreakers to team challenges. From the Non golfer to advanced golfers. We cover:
  • Corporate Events and Branding, Product Launch Opportunities
  • Team Building
    - Employee networking and relationships
    - Customers Days
    - Media Days
  • Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) Sponsorships
  • Tournament Sponsorship Packages
  • Corporate Membership
  • Individual or Group Golf Lessons
Team Building
Contact us:
David White, S&M Director,
Gordana Popovic Vincic, S&M Executive, mobile: 55249693

FMM and HMC partnered for the Blood Donation Campaign

In its commitment to serve and support the local community, Facilities Management & Maintenance Company LLC (FMM) partnered with Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Blood Bank Unit for the blood donation campaign.

Held at its employee housing premises, FMM continues to educate and spread awareness among its staff on the importance and benefits of donating blood. As part of the Company’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, the campaign was held with the objective of adding to the national blood reserves.

Dr. Jawdat Ubaidah Al-Jubori, FMM’s Doctor, said: “We have a total number of 66 donors and we have yielded of 44 bags of blood. Our employees showed great enthusiasm to donate blood and all employees who came forward became a hero to someone in need of blood.”

In addition to helping the blood bank increase its supply of blood and blood components, FMM believes that such campaigns also help to promote a culture of voluntary blood donation in the society.
FMM and HMC extends their sincerest thanks to all the blood donors and to all the teams who have helped in organizing this event.

Marsa Malaz Kempinski, the Peal - Doha 5*

This unforgettable journey of opulence, luxury, impeccable and traditional hospitality, culinary indulgence and relaxation, complemented by a remarkable European flair, is reshaping the concept of luxury in Qatar; all of it 281 luxurious rooms - including 69 suites, two Presidential suites and two Royal suites, provide the latest technology, along with personalized service from our butlers, catering to your every need 24 hours a day.
Located on its own secluded island and surrounded by the azure blue waters of the Arabian Gulf, Marsa Malaz Kempinski offers many dining and entertainment options, a private beach, a luxurious spa, a range of exciting water sports and fitness and leisure facilities, just steps away from Porto Arabia and Medina Centrale districts of The Pearl-Qatar.

HOTEL FACILITIES ••• 12 restaurants & lounge bars • complimentary Internet wi-fi • 3 pools • private beach • Spa by Clarins • Fitness & Leisure facilities

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Tel +974 4035 5555
ONSITE Trading and Services is a company specialised in Logistics and Technical Event management of Tradeshows, Sports, Live and Corporate events in Doha (Qatar).
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Doha Exhibition and Convention Center
We carry out the services of International Forwarding (Air/Sea/Land), Customs Clearance, Warehousing and Distribution of goods, Moving of household goods and personal effects, Event Marshalling, Event Rigging, Installation of Structures, Spotlights and Audio-Visual installations.

ONSITE is the official contractor for Logistics, Rigging and Audiovisuals at the DECC - Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre, providing services for exhibitors, organizers and third clients for all events taking place in the venue and in the rest of Qatar
Contact information:
José Travassos
Rigging and AV Manager
(+974) 5541 8596 /

Mohamad Dib
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Spanish Business Council April 2019 Newsletter

Quantum launches 10 International Women’s Day CSR Initiatives
SBC - Quantum - International Women's Day Photo
Quantum Global Solutions was recently voted one of Qatar’s Top 50 SME’s of 2018 and making a positive contribution within the global communities in which the company lives and works is something Quantum takes very seriously. As an equal-opportunities organisation, Quantum is also fully committed to encouraging and enabling women to develop their careers in the construction industry.
‘’Quantum’s international women are represented in our organisation from graduate to Executive Leadership Team level. To celebrate International Women’s Day and as part of our Q’munity CSR programme, Quantum asked its ‘international women’ to propose a charity that would support ‘international women’ in the countries where we are based,’’ said Peter Murphy, Quantum Managing Director. ‘’As an SME we had originally planned to support one charity but following an overwhelming response, and after researching the exceptional organisations proposed and their valuable humanitarian work, we reviewed our plan and have committed to supporting all ten proposed women and children charities across the Middle East, Europe and Asia throughout 2019,’’ Peter continued.

Speaking on one of the UK charities selected, Carolyn Elson said, ‘During my son’s illness some years ago, the Make a Wish Foundation, took him to Rangers Football Club, his favourite team, to meet the players and visit the trophy room. They also paid for us to go to Disney world in Florida – it truly made all his chemotherapy float away during that time and made him feel ‘normal’. It was amazing to see the faces of the children, including my son, getting these treats during their arduous medical treatments.’’
SBCQ General Secretary
Elvira Pradas
Mobile: +974 6603 2370
Email: |
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