Posted on November 12, 2017

In its drive to raise the scale of opportunities available to the diverse ecosystem of businesses operating in the local private sector, Qatar Development Bank (QDB) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Tawar Mall to generate a new wave of commercial opportunities available to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

This agreement sees both signatories jointly identifying and promoting promising local small-scale businesses by offering them kiosks and other outlets across the shopping mall at competitive renting rates.

In a ceremony attended by top-ranking officials of both parties, the MoU was signed between Chief Executive Officer (CEO), QDB, Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al-Khalifa and Chairman, Tawar Mall, Jassim Jabr Tawar Al-Kuwari. Also in attendance at Tawar Mall, the venue for the signing, were members of the larger business community, public guests and media personnel. The new agreement outlined the intended scope of cross-sectoral cooperation between the two partners, including QDB’s extension of assistance to Tawar Mall in identifying innovative small-scale local enterprises. For its part, Tawar Mall’s cooperation will offer specially-discounted rates to eligible local businesses to support their inclusion in the outlet facilities present at the “Old Souq” wing of mall.

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Speaking during the signing ceremony, CEO, QDB, Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al-Khalifa said: “We are delighted at the signing of this cooperative agreement with Tawar Mall as it falls in line with the July directives of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to raise the scales of nationwide cooperation and strengthen the economy in Qatar. The State of Qatar increasingly needs the support and talent of its own children to support its growth if it is to truly achieve sustainable progress. Partnerships between Qatari organizations – like QDB and Tawar Mall – are critical in supporting an independent, self-reliant economy.”

Commenting on the importance of Qatari partnerships, Chairman, Tawar Mall, Jassim Jabr Tawar Al-Kuwari said: “It is my privilege to announce the partnership of QDB and Tawar Mall. There is no doubt that this significant partnership will be a turning point for the local Qatari companies as we pledge complete support towards uplifting regional business. Tawar Mall is a modern shopping mall that will become the center of commercial life in the heart of Qatar in near future. I hope this cooperative step that we have taken will encourage other companies and investors to join us and provide the best of services for our guests.”

Notably, the opportunities offered by this agreement are available to MSMEs from wide range of different sectors, such as food and beverages, fashion, aromatics, jewelry and accessories as well as handicrafts. As an integral stipulation to the agreed scheme for MSME support, only those Qatari businesses that produce their merchandise locally will be eligible. To apply, interested businesses must submit their valid commercial registration licenses as well as project-specific business plans to QDB, clearly outlining their products and services. The submissions are to be inclusive of images of merchandise, packaging, presentation as well as pricing. 

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Businesses in the food and beverage sector must also present food safety and health certificates. A full list of requirements are accessible on Tawar Mall’s website. Prospective candidates may submit their applications via email at [email protected] until 10 November 2017. Based on the strengths of their entrepreneurial ideas and projects’ feasibility as well as competitiveness, the two signatories will shortlist qualifying MSMEs and contact them to discuss hosting options. In addition to raising the scale of opportunities for Qatari MSMEs, QDB and Tawar Mall’s joint cooperation is expected to add to the diversity of franchises and outlets at the popular shopping destination, hence giving mall visitors more value for their visit.

Old Souq – the indoor bazaar of the mall where qualifying MSMEs will be hosted – is an ambient fusion of primeval and contemporary Qatari civilization. Tawar Mall, one of Qatar's largest shopping malls, progressively aims to develop into a world-class shopping destination that provides a unique shopping experience, characterized by elegance and quality.

The agreement between QDB and Tawar Mall comes as the latest in a series of cross-sectoral MoUs signed by the development agency in recent days. Last month, QDB signed a similar agreement with Merraas Real Estate at Al Mirqab Mall to support MSMEs. That particular agreement saw the two partners agree on a scope whereby they would work closely to exchange professional expertise, experience and skills in the fields of organizational management as well as cooperate to offer office space and business venues for MSMEs within a larger framework for incubation support.