Qatar’s billion-dollar vision
Written by Oryx
Qatar’s natural affinity with hospitality has woven its way through a host of 5-star facilities, pre-eminent cultural attractions, and the creative expression of its rich and vibrant history as the country continues to meteorically evolve into a leading destination for both leisure and business endeavours. Driven by multi-billion-dollar infrastructure investments, Qatar welcomes industry and tourists from around the globe.
Overseeing this is the Qatar Tourism Authority, which has through the National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030 laid out its own vision, in accordance with the Qatar National Vision 2030, for the Gulf State’s future…one of seemingly boundless potential.
Much of the National Vision’s focus is on driving sustainable economic, social, cultural, and environmental development. The Authority recognises the role of tourism as a driver of sustainable development, and has thus created a strategy, building on the sector’s recent growth in an effort to capitalise on Qatar’s considerable tourism potential.
“A flourishing tourism industry can serve as a key catalyst for socio-economic growth, whereby it not only contributes to expanding the economy, attracting investments, and creating jobs, but can also help enhance the nation’s brand on the international stage, encourage intercultural dialogue, and gradually shatter barriers between people around the world,” said Issa bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi, Chairman of Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA).
Fundamental to a successful tourism strategy is the utilisation of information from an array of sources. QTA sought the input and feedback of various ministries and other government agencies, private sector and civil society entities, and industry professionals. It also gathered valuable intelligence from international reports published by the United Nations, World Economic Forum, and other organisations, while best practices and lessons learnt from tourism strategies adopted by other countries were carefully scrutinised as well.
All of these inputs took into account the need to ensure that the type of tourism defined by the strategy will be in line with the society’s local traditions and social norms, helping to uphold and promote Qatari values and cultural heritage.
The foundations for a thriving industry are plentiful, with traditional souqs, awe-inspiring museums, and golden sand dunes overlooking pristine beaches; as well as world-class sports venues, luxury retail outlets, and outstanding exhibition and conference facilities.
Nonetheless, continuing to welcome outside interests is key to further developing Qatar’s tourism industry. As such, exemptions have been made to allow 100% foreign ownership in tourism-related projects, in addition to waiving the need for investors to partner with a local sponsor when investing in tourism.
The strategy will help diversify and expand the economy, not only through these foreign investment benefits but also by enhancing entrepreneurship and the private sector’s role in the economy. The ensuing improvements to infrastructure, transportation, and cultural and social events will enhance Qatar’s social and cultural offerings. And the preservation of Qatar’s natural resources and wildlife will further enhance tourists’ experiences.
“We will be working, in the years ahead, on positioning Qatar as an ideal family-friendly destination for business and leisure, enriched with our authentic cultural heritage, which will allow visitors to see first-hand what our country has to offer and the genuine experiences it provides,” emphasised Al Mohannadi.
With more than seven million visitors expected to visit Qatar each year by 2030, and the country hosting a series of world-class international events, including the FIFA World Cup in 2022, Qatar is firmly on its way to establishing itself as a premium destination and a world-class hub with deep cultural roots. Work has already begun: investments are being made and a new generation of young leaders, entrepreneurs, and visionaries are paving the way for the tourism sector. They are working to offer a compelling travel proposition to the world, and welcoming every visitor in a manner that reflects Qataris’ famous Arabian hospitality.
Furthering its goal of improving Qatar’s standing on the global tourism map, Qatar Tourism Authority has just launched Qatar Events Diary OnQatar, an online platform accompanied by a smartphone application that will serve as the most comprehensive source of information for all events and activities in Qatar.
The bilingual Arabic-English application is available to download on all iOS- and Android-enabled mobile devices.