The Global Wellness Summit (GWS), the leading conference for the $4.4 trillion business of wellness, today announced the host sponsor and co-chairs for its 17th annual event that will take place in Doha, Qatar, from 6 - 9 November. Qatar, one of the smallest but mightiest Middle Eastern countries, where cultural authenticity meets hyper-modernity—and the sea meets the desert—is a powerful location for the conference. With its Qatar National Vision 2030, the country is at a pivotal time in its history, with an extraordinary mission and investment plan to become a global leader in sustainability, health and wellness, tourism, sports and culture. With its recent successful hosting of the FIFA World Cup, $220 billion was spent radically reimagining its infrastructure, with 150 new hotels and resorts, and new smart, sustainable cities, museums, public beaches and green space, subway systems and sports complexes.
Today, executives from the GWS and Msheireb Properties held a press event in Doha, introducing Qatari media to what hosting the world’s most prestigious conference on the business of wellness will mean for the country.
The 2023 host sponsor, Msheireb Properties, is a subsidiary of Qatar Foundation for Education, Sciences and Community Development and Qatar's leading sustainable property developer, supporting the goals of Qatar’s 2030 Vision and Qatar Foundation’s objectives. Its mission is to change how people think about urban living and improve their overall quality of life through innovations that encourage social interaction, respect for culture, and greater care for the environment. Its signature project, Msheireb Downtown Doha, is one of the smartest, most sustainable city districts. It employs a new approach to urban planning by combining traditional methods and modern technology to preserve Qatar's environment and cultural identity. All buildings are either Gold or Platinum LEED-certified.
The company also developed Zulal Wellness Resort, the Middle East’s first full-immersion wellbeing resort, which offers unique services and treatments based upon Islamic healing principles and using indigenous ingredients. Just an hour from Doha on a private coastal location, GWS delegates can experience Zulal pre- or post-conference.
“We are honored to host the 2023 Global Wellness Summit in Qatar at our smart and sustainable city Msheireb Downtown Doha,” said Eng. Ali Al Kuwari, Msheireb Properties’ CEO. “This 17th Summit is of great significance as it aims to positively impact the wellness of our people and communities and highlight Qatar’s leading position in the future of global health and wellness.”
Each year, the Summit brings together high-profile global executives from health and wellness companies, doctors, investors, academics and technologists to immerse the hundreds of invite-only delegates (from 40+ nations) in three days of keynotes and panels on what’s ahead for the business of wellness. The co-chairs that will shape this year’s agenda are:
Eng Ali Al Kuwari is the CEO of Msheireb Properties, where he will lead the development and implementation of the strategic and operational plans of Msheireb Properties and Msheireb Downtown Doha (MDD), to enhance its position as a leading tourist and business destination for work and living. With 18 years of experience, Al Kuwari is one of the prominent Qatari talents and the leading engineer of Msheireb Downtown Doha since its inception. He also led the execution and operations of major facilities at MDD, including Mandarin Oriental, Al-Wadi Hotel M Gallery and Park Hyatt, and Zulal Wellness Resort. During the recent World Cup FIFA Qatar 2022, he supervised the relevant event operations in MDD. He holds a Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering from the University of Miami and an Executive MBA from HEC Paris in Qatar.
Cathy Chon is the founder and managing director of CatchOn – A Finn Partners Company, one of Asia’s leading brand communication consultancies in hospitality, travel, wellness, food and design, with offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai. She is also a GWS Advisory Board member. A marketing communications expert, Chon has a long track record in transforming, building and creating brands, and is renowned for her keen insights into the Asian consumer and emerging trends. Chon was included in Tatler Asia’s “Most Influential List 2021." She is widely published and quoted in major publications and is a sought-after speaker at international conferences.
“It’s an honor to co-chair this year’s Summit in Qatar at such a transformative time in the country’s history. In a relatively short time, Qatar has become a formidable tourism destination and an exciting cultural hub underpinned by a deep commitment to sustainable development,” said Chon. “The annual Global Wellness Summit brings these varied industries and sectors together to address the critical issues of our time.”
Qatar has a unique landscape, with its 350-mile-long coastline of beaches and vast Khor Al Udeid Desert—and coastal Doha is known for its spectacular ultramodern architecture inspired by ancient Islamic design. It has the highest GDP per capita—and is the safest country—in the world. With its long-term focus on sustainable development and tourism, it has undergone a profound recent reimagining, with a flurry of major infrastructure, hospitality and cultural projects—–whether the impressive Education City, home to satellite campuses of famous international universities, or M7, a centre for innovation in design, fashion and tech; or new museums, such as the high-tech Olympic and Sports Museum.
Wellness and medicine are at the heart of the country’s development vision—from the new, state-of-the-art The View Hospital, a satellite of the famous Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, to so many new world-class spa resorts (such as the new Mandarin Oriental, the brand’s first property in the Middle East), to Zulal Wellness Resort, a natural healing wellness destination. Attracting more major sporting events is also key to the country’s tourism plan and global brand. PwC recently reported that Qatar is “well-positioned” in the sporting event management. Following the World Cup, more mega events are ahead (from the 2023 AFC Asian Cup to the 2030 Asian Games) and the country is also expected to bid on the 2036 Olympics. New intersections between wellness and sports will be a topic at the 2023 GWS. Already one of the fastest-growing hospitality markets, Qatar aims to become one of the world’s leading tourism destinations, attracting six million visitors by 2030. As global travel analyst Skift recently summarized: “Qatar is, more so than many other tourism stories today, a fascinating mix of vision, ambition and taste.”
Registration for the 2023 Summit is now open. Interested participants may apply here.
The Global Wellness Summit is an organization that brings together leaders and visionaries to positively shape the future of the $4.4 trillion global wellness economy. In addition to an annual conference, held at a different location around the globe, GWS also hosts regular virtual gatherings, including Wellness Master Classes and collaborative Wellness Sector Spotlights. Each year, it holds an in-person Wellness Real Estate & Communities Symposium. The organization’s annual Global Wellness Trends Report offers expert-based predictions on the future of wellness that are oft-quoted in the media. The 17th annual GWS will be held in Qatar from 6 - 9 November, 2023.
Source and cover image credit: Press Release
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