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Tourism Industry In Qatar Undergoes Rapid Development

Qatar’s tourism sector is undergoing rapid development with milestone achievements in various sectors. The country’s tourism industry is a promising market for investors and businesses. It has witnessed 11 percent growth during January to August 31 this year compared to the same period in 2018, said Akbar Al Baker, Secretary-General of Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) and Group Chief Executive, Qatar Airways.

“Together with our partners from both public and private sectors, we have been constantly working on implementing policies to develop the tourism ecosystem that helps create new business sustainable growth and job opportunities. With a stable growth that has reached 11% as of August 2019, Qatar’s tourism sector has proven to be a promising market for investors and businesses,” said Al Baker.

Qatar was recently ranked on top in the Middle East and number eight globally in Business Environment by the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2019.

The country’s national carrier, Qatar Airways has inaugurated five new destinations linking Hamad International Airport (HIA) to the world. Qatar Airways’ new routes include Izmir, Turkey, and Rabat, Morocco, which were launched in May; with Davao, the Philippines, Malta and Lisbon, Portugal, joining the network later in June.

With the expansion of the route network, HIA looks forward to welcoming a rising number of travellers aboard Qatar’s state-of-the-art facility to experience a unique passenger journey into the world of the arts, culture and hospitality.

HIA also reported serving a total of 9.38 million passengers in the second quarter of 2019, making it the busiest second quarter the airport has seen.

HIA has achieved second place in the prestigious 2019 Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards. First receiving this award in 2017, HIA continues to position itself as a leading global aviation hub, with redefined airport experiences for travellers from around the world.

Badr Mohammed Al Meer, Chief Operating Officer at HIA, said:  “We are very proud to be recognised by our loyal passengers for the seamless airport experience offered by HIA. To be named the World’s Second-Best Airport is a great achievement and testament to HIA’s high international standards. While this is a great recognition, we never rest on our achievements, and constantly evolve to deliver a true unique experience for our passengers.”

HIA’s unique shopping and dining offering spread across 40,000 square meters of combined retail, food and beverage options are also continuously expanding.

The hospitality sector also expanding with the increasing number of hotels coming up in Qatar.

Katara Hospitality, the country’s flagship hospitality company, continues to expand its portfolio of iconic hotels to invest and acquire in key sought after international markets, while also maintaining is strong position as market leaders in the hospitality industry in Qatar. It has gone a long way from 362 keys in 1970 to 7,896 in 2019.

The rapid development Katara Hospitality is witnessing is also reflected in the number of jobs its provides. Since 2011 Katara Hospitality witnessed 400 percent increase in employees. It has a total of 6,499 employees, of which 2,680 are in Qatar.

Looking forward, the company is now focusing on its next strategic target of expanding its portfolio of iconic hotels to 60 properties by 2026 after surpassing its previous target by two years. In Qatar, the company has shaped the hospitality landscape for over four decades and today is part of the national infrastructure that grows alongside the country’s development.

Katara Hospitality is also leading spectacular new projects that will redefine the design and presentation of luxury hospitality in the country. One of the organisation’s most significant projects that is currently underway is Katara Towers in Lusail Marina District, a luxury hospitality complex which is an architectural translation of Qatar’s country seal. Hosting a five-star ultra-luxury hotel and branded apartments, Katara Towers features twin arched towers that rise gracefully from the podium level and represent the crossed swords of the country’s seal. With its incredible design complemented by landscaped gardens and palm trees, the hospitality complex is set to become the hospitality icon of the 21st Century. Other properties coming up soon are Al Messila Resort &

Spa and Salwa Beach Resort, which will both add to the list of must-visit for visitors and tourists.
Cruise tourism is also a promising sub-sector of the country’s tourism industry with positive developments it has seen recently.

Doha Port welcomed a record number of passengers in the 2018-19 season. Doha Port received 144,707 passengers and crew on 44 ships during the season. The rise in the number of tourists was a result of mainline cruise vessels expressing their interest in Doha and deploying bigger cruise vessels to Doha.

Qatar is targeting cruise passengers to boost its tourism and Doha Port is aiming to attract half a million cruise passengers by 2022.

The country is also poised to see huge leap in business events and sports tourism hosting high-calibre international events such as the ongoing 17th IAAF World Championships and the much anticipated FIFA World Cup 2022.

Some 137 events were organised in 2018, which included international conferences, exhibitions and other business related events.

The annual events and festivals such as Qatar International Food Festival, Hospitality Qatar, Shop Qatar, and Summer in Qatar has seen successes and expansion in their recent editions attracting many visitors.

With QNTC’s visionary leadership, clear roadmap and ambitious projects along with partnership with various stakeholders, the country’s tourism industry is expected to further expand, create more jobs and further contribute to the country’s economy.

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