Mohammed bin Abdulwahab Mosque

Qatar has won the bid to host the International Conference on Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Regional Development (ICEIRD) in October 2018. The rights to host the field’s leading conference was secured through a joint bid between Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and Qatar University (QU) which was presented in Thessaloniki, Greece.

ICEIRD is a three-day conference organised by the University of Sheffield’s International Faculty bringing together academics, university technology managers, entrepreneurs, policy-makers and businesses to foster and promote innovation-led growth. The conference offers a platform for academics, university technology managers, entrepreneurs, policy-makers and businesses interested in the theory and practice of university-industry links as well as innovation, entrepreneurship, and regional development.

First held in 2007, ICEIRD has been taking place annually for the past 10 years in Europe; for its second decade, it will rotate worldwide and be hosted in a different region every year. The 2018 edition will be the first edition to be hosted in the Middle East.

Owing to the country’s state-of-the-art facilities and tourism assets, Qatar has a strong track-record in successfully hosting large-scale international conferences and events. Between 2014 and 2016, Qatar hosted a total of 56 events affiliated with the International Congress and Convention Association.

Ahmed Al Obaidli, Director of Exhibitions at QTA commented saying, “ICEIRD is a perfect match for Qatar as it is a regional hub where academics, innovators and entrepreneurs can continue to learn and share knowledge within and outside the walls of a conference hall.” He added, “The hosting of this event comes as part of our continuous efforts to work with local partners to attract international events and boost business events tourism’s contribution to the national economy.”

Over 250 conference delegates are expected to visit Doha in October next year to attend the conference for which Qatar University will be ‘local host’.

Professor Panayiotis Ketikidis, Founder of ICEIRD, said, “Taking the 11th ICEIRD beyond Europe is a step towards to satisfying global demand for the wealth of knowledge that the conference has produced through its wide network over the past decade. We are highly honoured that the ICEIRD 2018 will be hosted by the University of Qatar and are confident that being hosted in a true regional innovation hub will further expand the conference’s network.” He added, “We hope that through ICEIRD 2018, new ideas will be unveiled and strong sustainable partnerships are built.”

Qatar Tourism expands international efforts to further establish the destination’s relevance for congress organizers – recent steps include a waiver of visa for 80 international countries.


Meet the team of QTA at ibtm Barcelona at Stand J60 and set up an appointment or contact Johanna Fischer of tmf dialogue marketing Germany (, +49 9002 111).