Chipping Away

Qatar makes chips play amid Gulf push into AI

The Qatar Investment Authority plans to be an anchor investor in Ardian Semiconductor, a fund set up by French private equity firm Ardian

Qatar's Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani speaks at the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha on May 14. (Photo: Getty Images)

Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani opened the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha this morning with the message that the country is continuing its economic diversification efforts driven by its sovereign wealth fund, Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).

QIA, which has over a half trillion dollars in assets under management, has made the U.S. its main market but it is eyeing emerging markets like Central Asia and Africa, he said, and the fund is accelerating investments in technology. 

His remarks at the Bloomberg-hosted forum follow an announcement from the QIA last night that it plans to be an anchor investor in Ardian Semiconductor, a fund set up by French private equity firm Ardian to invest in the semiconductor industry across Europe. 

No deal terms were disclosed but the move comes as Gulf sovereigns are jockeying for key pieces of what is powering the AI revolution, including chips, data centers and intellectual property.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund launched the $100 billion AI investment firm Alat in February and Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala followed up a month later as a founding partner of MGX, a deep tech-focused fund aiming for $100 billion in assets under management. 

The three-day conference will feature Jenny Johnson, President & CEO of Franklin Templeton (who addressed the Abu Dhabi Global Healthcare Week yesterday), and Ken Griffin, Founder and CEO of Citadel.

Also joining panels in Qatar’s capital will be Darren Woods, Chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil; Noor Sweid, Founder and Managing Partner of UAE-based Global Ventures; Rick Gerson, Co-Founder and Chair of Alpha Wave; and Gerry Cardinale, Founder, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Redbird Capital Partners.

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