Tourism industry in Qatar


Alex’s New Year resolution for 2020 includes taking a solo trip to a place she always wanted to go- Qatar. She has always admired the country for its ultramodern buildings and the incredible libraries, especially the Qatari Book House and the National Library. The Pearl-Qatar was something she dreamt of visiting since she was a little kid. Now the problem is, neither does she have any friends in Qatar nor any idea about what her trip is going to look like. So she decides to contact a tourism company to help her plan her trip, not only Alex but Qatar has been getting an increasing number of solo travellers as it is said to be a safe place for women. The only tip for the women would be to remember that it is a Muslim country, so you got to follow the no knees or shoulders in the public rule, besides that Qatar is relatively safe and everyone speaks English, so you always have a helping hand if you get lost or need some help.


Having said that, how big is the tourism sector in Qatar?


Tourism has been identified as the country’s leadership as one of five priority sectors integral to diversifying Qatar’s economy and to increase private sector participation. 80% of the world’s population is within 6-hour flight from Qatar and more than two-thirds can enter Qatar visa-free! This certainly attracts a large number of tourists for a hassle-free holiday experience. And Qatar government knows what its worth and takes it seriously enough to launch the Next Chapter of the Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030, a five-year plan that places an enhanced end-to-end visitor experience at the heart of tourism development.


“Tourism is one of the resilient sectors globally growing at a rate of 4%, creating 10% of world jobs and even more in ancillary sectors. Today, we celebrate World Tourism Day under a theme that truly resonates with our vision for tourism in Qatar: Tourism and Jobs: a better future for all” – Akbar al-Baker, secretary-general, Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) on World Tourism Day 2019.


How is Qatar presented as a Tourist destination?


1. According to a statement issued by Ooredoo, a Qatar based international telecommunications company, the contest under the theme of “Lens of Tourism” is being conducted with an aim to raise the country’s profile as a tourist destination. This contest requires the participant to submit a short video of 3 minutes that highlights Qatar’s touristic and historical sites and shows why Qatar should feature on must-visit lists for tourists. The cherry on top of the cake is the big cash prizes to be won.

2. According to local media reports, more than 20 major sports events will be hosted in Qatar in the next four-month time. These are most likely to attract every sports lover across the world! We all are aware of the FIFA World Cup 2020; similarly, Qatar Grand Prix 2020 will also be a happening event of the year.

3. Unlike other Middle Eastern states, Qatar is home to luxury, adventure and natural wonders, all at the same time! Qatar’s breathtaking natural wonders add to its beauty.


Investing in Qatar’s tourism sector is a good idea?

Because of the investors that setup companies in Qatar will have a rare competitive edge and will be among the first to start up in a fast-growing market. To ease and facilitate foreign investments, there is a dedicated Investment Promotions Unit which works to liaise between investors, local and international talent, including the government authorities.


Here are some numbers to substantiate how progressive the Tourism sector has been in Qatar:


1. Qatar welcomed 588,072 visitors in the first quarter of 2019 which 10% increase in the number of visitors compared to the same quarter in 2018.


2. Visitor arrivals from all other regions showed significant growth; Other Arab nationals were up 26%, GCC nationals were up 16%, European visitors were up 17%, nationals from the Americas were up 8%, and nationals from Other Asia, including Oceania, were up 1%.


3. Cruise visitor arrivals continued to show growth, in 2019. Doha Port hosted 24 ships with 62,145 passengers (up 104% from Q1 2018). This provided a great boost in visitor arrivals, particularly among German nationals (up 64% in Q1 2019 compared to Q1 2018).


4. In the month of March the arrivals peaked with over 200,000 visitors- the highest monthly arrivals since the beginning of the blockade. This could be due to the various events that occurred that month attracting international visitors. The events included opening of the National Museum of Qatar, the launch of the retail quarter of Katara Cultural Village, and the milestone 10th Anniversary edition of the Qatar International Food Festival.

What brings people to Qatar?


1. The visitor experience: Connectivity by Qatar Airways as the award-winning national carrier, travels to more than 150 destinations worldwide.


2. Visa-free entry to Qatar has to be definitely the main reason to bring people to Qatar, which allows 88 countries to enter Qatar visa-free and free of charge.


3. Cruise tourism brings 100 thousand visitors a year to Qatar and is expected to attract 500,000 cruise tourists by 2026.


4. Sports tourism: Qatar is the first in the Middle Eastern country to gain the rights to host the World Championships in Athletics (2019), World Corporate Games (2019), FIFA World Cup (2022) and FINA World Swimming Championships (2023).


5. Business Events: Qatar has given rise to hubs of knowledge across the country, including Education City and the Qatar Science and Technology Park.


6. Destination Weddings: Couples who love modern luxury to celebrate their marriage against the backdrop of beautiful beaches- Qatar is the place.


Qatar’s tourism sector is not only an attraction for tourists but also for investors as it provides a stable investment environment and its new incentives and forms of facilitation for foreign business owners. We, at BBMS, will be of great help in assisting for investments and also to be a part of the booming Tourism industry of Qatar. Call us at +974 40120333 or email us at info@bbms.qa for a no-obligation consultation.

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