QL Exclusive: An interview with the Qatari entrepreneur Faisal Bin Khalid Al-Otaibi
Thirty-two year old, Faisal Bin Khalid Al-Otaibi is the owner of the One-Zero-One event management company in Qatar.
Speaking about One-Zero-One, Faisal said, “We’ve organized many big events in the country, such as Attend & Win event at Mall of Qatar where we had about 9000 people in the audience. This is in addition to several other large-scale events.”
Faisal is also the founder of Najah Qatari, a youth initiative aimed at promoting the success stories of young entrepreneurs in Qatar. This is a yearly event, which was launched in 2017.
“The whole idea of this festival is to highlight the stories of successful people to the public, and to listen to their personal stories and to see their improvements step by step,” Faisal said.
“Additionally, the event allows us to know more people and to facilitate networking for upcoming businesses, especially small businesses, which in turn helps their growth,” he added.
Over the years, Najah Qatari has gained tremendous popularity and is now considered as one of the top three annual festivals in Qatar.
“Najah Qatari started literally from zero, but since we started until now, we found a lot of support from the government of Qatar,” Faisal mentioned.
The event has seen the attendance of high-profile guests and dignitaries. Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser participated in the Najah Arab Forum at the Najah Qatari Festival in its third edition.
Additionally, Qatar’s former Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani also took part in one of the editions where he honored the participants in one of the forums.
Several Arab scientists and intellectuals, such as Dr Khaled Al Ali, consultant, and former CEO at NASA and a member of the Jury of Stars of Science in Qatar also attended the event.
“A lot of influencers I wished to meet have been a part of this event. Najah Qatari allowed me to see, meet and talk to them in person. This was a dream to me, and it happened,” Faisal commented.
Najah Qatari has been going strong since 2017. It is sponsored by many government institutions and notable organizations.
“I owe Aspire Foundation a lot, and without them, Najah Qatari would not be able to succeed like this. Especially that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Aspire Foundation, Mohamed bin Khalifa Al Suwaidi, as he supported us from day one,” Faisal said.
Each festival of Najah Qatari, includes a lot of forums in different fields and hosts a lot of successful and inspirational people in Qatar, who have excelled, each in his/her own field.
Faisal was supported and inspired by his cousin Ali Abdullah Almutawa and his friend Khalid Jassim.
“I started this when I was 28 years old, and I was not an expert in this filed, but I found my cousin supporting me and helping me to start and implement my idea,” Faisal recalled.
“Also, the journalist Khalid Jassim, supported me since the beginning of my baby-steps in this festival,” he added.
This year, the festival was canceled not only because of COVID-19 but also because there is a lot of improvement in the works.
So, at the end of this year, we will hear about a new and bigger edition of Najah Qatari.
Faisal’s next year's plan is to have a big project, not only a festival. So he has been working on something major that would include all the Arab countries not only Qatar.
Najah Qatari is not only a festival but also an initiative that allows the youth to volunteer and support their society.
“In the first year of Najah Qatari, a lot of people with special needs participated as volunteers with us, and in the second year we opened the doors for donations to help the debtors, and every year we do something like this,” Faisal explained.
Faisal mentioned that any business needs hard work at the start. “The beginning is never easy,” he said.
“In the first two years of Najah Qatari, we faced many criticisms, and a lot of people did not like what we are doing. So, we decided to gather all the criticism and work on it,” he mentioned.
“Then we posted all the criticism and the negative comments from twitter on a big wall to show them that we took it under consideration,” Faisal added.
Faisal advises all entrepreneurs to choose the right team when starting off because the team will be the real support to the business.
“I advise everyone to choose their team and their inner circles carefully in business. I remember how I wanted to give up many times but because of my team I had the power to move forward and to stay strong,” he concluded.
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