20June 2023

Qatar Hosts the First Meeting of the Temporary Working Group to Study Data Flow and Peering between the GCC States


The State of Qatar, represented by the Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA), is hosting the first meeting of the Temporary Working Group to Study Data Flow and Peering between the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) states, which is held at Waldorf Astoria Lusail Hotel from 20-21 June 2023.

The meeting is attended by representatives from the State of Qatar, as well as delegates from the Secretariat General of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Member States of the GCC. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss issues related to peering and data flow mechanism among the GCC states. Also, it proposes mechanisms and means that can facilitate an increase in data flow between the regional countries and enhance the interconnection and networks’ reliability between them.

The meeting's agenda encompasses several key items, including a briefing on the decision of the GCC Telecommunications Legislation and Regulatory Committee, an overview of the existing status of data flow and peering in the GCC states, followed by discussions on the significant related obstacles and challenges. Additionally, Qatar will present its proposal and recommendations on this subject. Towards the conclusion of the meeting, the date and place for the next meeting will be determined.

Sheikh Hamad bin Ahmed Al-Thani, Head of the Temporary Working Group to Study Data Flow and Peering between the GCC states said: “We look forward to a fruitful meeting, in which we seize this opportunity to strengthen our collaboration towards fostering innovation and driving technological development and economic growth. Studying issues related to data flow and peering serves as a cornerstone for telecom and Internet Service Providers to recognize the strengths to enhance them as well as identify existing shortcomings to avoid them. This paves the way to transforming the region into a regional center for international data and an investment-attracting hub. Such developments are expected to have a positive impact on the economies of the GCC countries, aligning with their strategic visions of adopting a knowledge-based economy and promoting diversification away from oil,”

Eng. Khaloud Karbon, Head of the Qatari team for the Temporary Working Group said: “We are pleased to host the first meeting of the Temporary Working Group, which establishes an opportunity to meet with the Member States to exchange perspectives and experiences and explore potential avenues for collaboration in the field of data flow and peering. That contributes to achieving one of the objectives of the Qatar National Vision 2030; create a balance between an oil-based and a knowledge-based economy, helping diversify the country’s economy and guaranteeing a stable and sustainable business environment,”

The Temporary Working Group was formed based on a proposal submitted by the State of Qatar in February 2023, during the 27th Meeting of the GCC Ministerial Committee for Posts and Telecommunications. This proposal received approval from the Secretariat General of the Gulf Cooperation Council.