Why CSR is important for Qatar

by  — 1 September 2015

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the voluntary commitment an organisation undertakes which is above and beyond legislative requirements. It is important for organisations to position themselves as leaders in society, writes Fahad Zainal, who recommends that organisations implement CSR initiatives by making them inalienable from its structural framework.

By working alongside local communities, non-profits and other socially focused businesses, organisations are given the opportunity to make a worthwhile difference, one that will have a positive impact on their community in the long term.

The Qatar Financial Centre’s (QFC) current CSR focus is on three areas: youth, community, and education and training. It also supports the Qatar National Vision (QNV) 2030, which under the pillar of human development outlines Qatar’s plans to develop its economy and society by building on human capital and resources. Through its initiatives, the QFC aims to contribute to the growth of Qatar’s economy, by providing youth with the necessary tools to enter and prosper in the non-hydrocarbon sector.

Steps have already been taken towards achieving these objectives through the Kawader and Injaz Qatar programmes. Along with forging a strategic partnership with Injaz, and through educating and training youth in Qatar, and by giving them an insight into the private sector, the QFC will help establish leaders of tomorrow in the region.

The people of Qatar are of the upmost importance when devising a CSR strategy. As a result of opening up a dialogue with the community, local companies are able to keep up-to-date with the needs and concerns of the local populace, and see where they have resources that can plug a gap or otherwise meaningfully contribute to the greater good.

Before conducting any CSR activities, it is important to ensure the initiative meets a number of different requirements. Does the activity address a significant social problem? Who are the main beneficiaries of the activity? How does this activity reflect on the organisation? Is this activity designed to be sustainable? Does this activity align with the organisation’s objectives, purpose and values?

CSR is not only an important part of increasing a firm’s competitive edge; it also raises brand awareness and helps build relations between the community and employees. Furthermore, to move forward in business, organisations have to think ahead to what will affect them in the future, taking into account changes in society, government legislation, environment and the economy, and they have to recognise that they have a role in reacting to these changes and acting, not just in terms of economic issues, but more diverse societal issues as well. 


Fahad Zainal is the chief administrative officer of Qatar Financial Centre Authority.  

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