ABU DHABI, UAE – Qatar is set to issue a new tourism law this month aimed at giving Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) more teeth to establish infrastructure ahead of the 2022 Football World Cup scheduled to be held in Doha, a top-ranking QTA official told Gulf News.
“The law will give us more powers to hold events and give permission to build new hotels,” said QTA’s Director of Tourism, Abdullah Mallala Al Badr on the sidelines of a recent event in the capital to promote Qatar as a tourism destination within the GCC.
He said Qatar Development Bank will finance tourism-related projects of Qatari and non-Qatari investors.
QTA plans to grow Qatar’s tourism industry by 20 per cent in the next five years. During May, it held road shows in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, namely Al Khobar, besides Riyadh, Kuwait, Muscat, Abu Dhabi and Dubai to endorse Qatar as the ideal destination for Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha.
QTA is projecting Qatar as an ideal place for meetings, sports, culture, leisure and education.
“Qatar has everything a high-end traveller needs — stunning hotels, cultural icons and many leisure activities,” Al Badr said. “In 2011, we received 845,000 visitors from the GCC. The first quarter this year, saw tourist arrivals from the GCC jump 22 per cent, year-on-year,” he added.
Al Badr said the government of Qatar has made significant investments to develop Qatar’s tourism infrastructure over a five-year period, including the construction of new hotels, resorts and other tourism facilities. “Plans are being put in place to build world-class stadiums for the 2022 Football World Cup,” he added.
“Qatar is preparing for a robust economic future, and tourism will play a key role in creating a diverse and sustainable economy. This rapid development in Qatar’s tourism industry and infrastructure will only solidify Qatar’s position as an upcoming business destination in the Middle East. Conducting this roadshow across the GCC was very important because we want as much interaction with all the Arab neighbouring countries and for them to come and visit Qatar, especially during the two auspicious Islamic holidays,” Al Badr said.