Qatar reports strong quarter in tourism sector

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The number of tourists who visited Qatar during the third quarter of 2011 increased considerably compared with the same period in 2010, according to a report from the Qatar Tourism Authority.

The report, published in November, stated that hotel occupancy during this past summer increased 4% compared with the same period in 2010. Hotels of all grades recorded significant gains, with revenue for four- and five-star hotels increasing by about 161 million riyals ($44 million) during the summer months.

Visitors from Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries increased 24% during the summer as the total number of Gulf tourists rose from 178,245 in 2010 to 221,793 in 2011.

Omran al-Hajiri, marketing director for a Qatari tourism company, said there are several reasons why the number of tourists increased, including Qatar's winning bid to host the 2022 World Cup, which put Qatar on the map of favourite destinations among international tourists.

"The availability of an international airline at the level of Qatar Airways, which reaches 100 destinations worldwide, in addition to regional developments, contributed to the surge of tourists to Qatar, especially from Arabian Gulf countries," al-Hajiri said.

"We have a noticeable presence of Saudi tourists, which is mainly a result of the situation in Bahrain, which used to be the favourite destination for Saudis," he said. "There are unfavourable conditions in many Arab countries, which compels many to look for alternative destinations."

Ali Shaker, an economic analyst, said Qatar has relied on "conference tourism" for several years to bolster the industry.

"About 74 regional and international conferences are held in Doha each year, making it the number one capital city for conference tourism. There are also specialised exhibitions that play a big role in stimulating the tourism sector," Shaker said.

Many Gulf tourists make the trip for the Hiya Abaya Exhibition, an event organised by the Qatar Tourism Authority every year in late November.

"The exhibition draws many designers from different countries in the region. It also reported a large turnout in its first edition last year, which encouraged the authority to expand participation for the second edition that ended a few days ago," said Lahdan al-Muhannadi, director of the exhibitions division for the Qatar Tourism Authority.

The tourism authority announced it would be holding the exhibition four times a year.

Abdulaziz Abdullah al-Shamari, a Saudi national, told Al-Shorfa that "Qatar is an attractive destination for us because of the variety of activities it offers nonstop".

"Two months ago, I attended the Tribeca Doha Film Festival, and I returned to attend a weekly singing event in Souq Waqif. I honestly enjoy my time a lot in Qatar, especially in this beautiful souq."

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    قاسم رحيم

    2012-1-5

    The Arab region has witnessed many circumstances and revolutions that have led to the deterioration of tourism. This is due to the lack of security and stability in many Arab countries. That is why many tourists, whether they are Arabs or foreign ones, have started to visit the more stable countries, such as Qatar, which has witnessed a state of security and stability. This has helped the development of the Qatari tourist sector. In fact, Qatar has achieved significant success in many fields and sectors. Besides, Qatar has succeeded in improving its tourism, thanks to its interest in the tourist infrastructure and sector. This is in addition to establishing modern airports in order to facilitate the tourists’ movement. Thus, Qatar has paid a great deal of attention to tourism, through achieving a significant improvement and development in this field and in many other fields. That’s why we admire this wonderful experience.

  • فاروق غانم

    2012-1-5

    Today, Qatar is among the most important countries in terms of tourism. This has positively affected the Qatari economy. In fact, there are many reasons behind the development of tourism in Qatar. In recent years, Qatar has started to follow many directions that can serve the country’s interest. In fact, this has contributed to the development of the tourist sector. And this has attracted many tourists from the Arab and Gulf countries. Thus, Qatar has become a tourist destination, even for the world countries. And this has been achieved thanks to the huge reconstruction projects. Besides, Qatar has hosted many conferences and exhibitions that have attracted many delegates from different countries of the world. This has helped Qatar to reach a stage of reconstruction and beauty in infrastructure, hotels and tourist places. That’s why many tourists have been encouraged to visit Qatar for the sake of tourism. Besides, Qatar has organized many sports tournaments and events, thanks to its big, modern sport infrastructure. This has improved the sector of tourism, because many athletes and sports teams from the different countries of the world have come to Qatar to participate in every sports event taking place in this country.

  • شريف هاني

    2012-1-2

    It is important to follow the rest of the Arab countries that have worked on serving people instead of oppressing and harming them. In the current time, the Arab nation has witnessed many dangerous things. In fact, the Arab people have been deprived of many services because the dictatorial and oppressive governments have not worked on achieving their comfort. Besides, these governments have neglected people’s rights, because they have been preoccupied with their personal interests. In fact, it is important to achieve the country’s stability, peace, security and comfort. Besides, the Arab people must enjoy all the services, as is the case in Qatar, thanks to its honest, fair and loyal ruler. Thus, we hope that the rest of the Arab countries will witness the same stability, security, comfort and happiness, God willing.

  • خليل جودي

    2012-1-2

    The State of Qatar has witnessed a significant recovery in tourism, thanks to its work on attracting and accommodating many activities and developments. Thus, the country has witnessed the coming of many tourists. Besides, many citizens and workers have enjoyed many services. Thus, the sector of tourism has witnessed a great recovery. Also, sporting activities have started to increase. Thus, this will benefit the State of Qatar in terms of the economy and in terms of attracting tourists. In fact, sports and particularly soccer have a lot of fans and followers. Thus, it is a source of money. That’s why the State of Qatar has started to plan and to make more efforts to be among the developed countries. Besides, it has taken a great interest in the Qatari citizen, who must enjoy freedom, comfort, stability, peace and security. In fact, the Qatari government has taken interest in these important aspects. This is order to achieve quick development and improvement in terms of services, tourism and economy. Thus, Qatar is among the developed countries that have tried to achieve the best. That’s why we wish all the best for all the Arab countries. I hope that the rest of the Arab countries that have been exposed to significant instability, insecurity and deterioration will witness security, stability, peace and comfort. Besides, the Arab governments must provide all the citizens’ requirements, because they have gone through a tragic situation.