Qatar has chalked out a master plan for the development of tourism in the country, which is expected to become a major destination in three to five years, Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) chairman Ahmed Abdullah M al-Nuaimi said.
“The plan includes developing sites across the country to cater to business tourists who would like to combine leisure with their trip,” al-Nuaimi told Gulf Times.
“We are in the process of setting up the basic infrastructure necessary to support tourism and in three to five years we expect to see tangible results.”
The QTA chairman said Qatar was relatively a late entrant to the tourism sector and “by the time we started out, some other countries in the region had already established themselves as tourist destinations.”
He said Qatar had a long way to go and the authorities were determined to exert all efforts needed to make the country an outstanding destination for people who want to combine their business trip with leisure tourism.
Answering a question, al-Nuaimi said Qatar was not looking for leisure tourists as “mass tourism is not our focus”.
“Qatar Tourism Authority wants to develop tourist spots across the country and as Qatar is a peninsula, waterfront development has got enormous scope. We have world class marinas, some ready and more being built,” the tourism chief said.
He highlighted the Lusail and Pearl-Qatar developments as examples of the large-scale projects that Qatar could undertake and complete with élan.
“Doha has already become an attractive spot for tourists, particularly for the people from the region,” al-Nuaimi said, adding that one could find the growing number of vehicles with foreign registration on Qatar’s roads, particularly on the weekends.
“The Museum of Islamic Art, Souq Wakif, the malls and a string of decent clubs have become major attractions drawing visitors to Qatar,” he said. “Besides, business visitors are wooed to stay back for another 48 hours to explore Qatar and the campaign has been a success.”
According to al-Nuaimi, Doha will turn out to be a major MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) destination with the completion of the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) and the International Exhibition Centre, which are now being built.
The QNCC, an ambitious $1.2bn project developed by the Qatar Foundation, is scheduled to be ready by the second quarter of 2011.
QTA has also embarked on an aggressive marketing campaign, promoting Qatar both locally and internationally. Some 50 London cabs now wear Qatari colours and showcase Qatar’s landmarks to the visitors to the UK.
Follow us on our social media channels: