To cite this publication: Alan S. Weber, “Web-Based Learning in Qatar and the GCC States,” CIRS Occasional Paper no. 5 (Doha, Qatar: Center for International and Regional Studies, 2010).
This contribution surveys the historical development and current state of e-learning in Qatar and the GCC states, including the educational, political, social, and financial factors that led to the adoption and development of current systems and initiatives. Although significant challenges have arisen in the use of e-learning technologies, such as general computer literacy, interoperability and cross-platform issues associated with the flood of learning objects on the market, the lack of Arabic language learning objects, and Internet bandwidth and reliability, e-learning is poised to usher in considerable educational changes in the learning populations of the Gulf region. In the face of declining hydrocarbon reserves in some Gulf nations, this paper analyzes the ways in which e-learning initiatives have been designed to help create the post-oil knowledge economies, which Gulf rulers hope will propel GCC countries into the top tier of technologically advanced societies in the world.