(Text of my P-5 speech delivered at Doha Toastmasters on 21st January 2012)
For Steve Jobs, success was all about getting it right in terms of designs, colors and functions. Had he seen the topiary plants, florescent flowers and manicured lawns of Doha, he would have instantly fallen in love with this city!
Toastmaster of the day, fellow toastmasters and guests – Good evening
This is a great time to be in Doha! Crisp weather, clear blue skies, sprawling green lawns and a beautiful Corniche. All this add to the beauty of this neat, clean and well maintained city.
The city is as much functional as it is beautiful. Very much like Apple products! Broad and smooth roads are like touch screen experience of iPads. Malls, Cinemas, and Restaurants entertain us like iPods. West Bay towers are magnificent and also efficient like McBook-Pros and communication is as easy and smooth as iPhones.
Ambition played a big part in the life of Steve Jobs. His ambition to bring out great products made him reach amazing heights. On several occasions he set goals which were seen as impossible and then……… he achieved them!
Similarly, Doha is a city with ambition. “Expect Amazing” was Qatar’s slogan for its successful bid for 2022 FIFA World Cup. This success was earlier seen as impossible!
True to this slogan, a lot of amazing things are getting ready. There would be twelve world class stadiums in and around Doha. Nine of them will be totally new. The important part is that these stadia will employ an interesting cooling technology. This technology is capable of reducing temperatures, within the stadium, by up to 20 degrees Celsius. That’s really amazing!!! There will be water taxies to ferry spectators. And there will be many more such amazing things!
Passion for excellence was the corner stone for the success of Steve Jobs. Doha too has such a passion for excellence. Whether it is hosting international sporting events and film events, building beautiful townships or supporting cultural and educational initiatives, this passion is very much in evidence.
The biggest achievement of Steve Jobs was to make us feel that we are holding future in our hands! Doha too, often, makes us feel that we are living in a futuristic city. Look at things we have, such as district cooling, which is yet to catch up even in the developed world, state of the art ‘Katara Village’ or functional and friendly ‘Barwa Village’. And some of the leading Universities, and a great Qatar Airways. There are many more things to come! Such as state of the art New Doha International Airport, metro, great roads and sea port. Futuristic townships are coming up in Lusail and Mshreib. The proposed expenditure outlay for all these initiatives is also huge, upwards of USD 50 billion.
What makes Doha a great place is its people and governance. People here, have a kind of belongingness. I recently met an expatriate friend from Kuwait who was visiting Doha. His observation was that expatriates in Doha are really in love with Doha. Doha is, perhaps, one of the most desirable places to live, in this part of the world!
Doha and Qatar have come in for a lot of praise from institutions such as IMF and UN, for stellar achievements. And also for contributions towards world peace and stability. GDP growth, in real terms, is 19% when many developed nations are struggling to show positive growth! Per capita GDP is the highest in the world!
Much like Steve Jobs, who was often described as a true visionary, Doha too has a vision. That is, to provide a high standard of living to all of its people for generations to come. Qatar National Vision 2030 has four pillars which are (1) Human Development, (2) Social Development, (3) Economic Development and (4) Environmental Development.
Doha is the show-piece of vibrant Qatari economy. Doha is poised to reach greater heights based on economic prosperity and consequent improvement in quality of life. Ambition, Passion, Vision and Future – Doha has it all!!!!
So friends, I am sure; you all will agree that Steve Jobs would have been pretty impressed had he visited Doha even once!