Qatar’s global appeal is soaring to greater heights as the country is highly sought out as “a destination of choice” for events and expansion plans of various international organisations, Qatar Tourism’s top official has said.
“Today, Qatar is one of the Middle East’s largest and fastest growing economies and one of the world’s rising tourism destinations,” said Qatar Tourism chairman Saad bin Ali al-Kharji in his keynote speech at the Qatar Investment Conference 2023 organised by The Business Year under the theme ‘Qatar National Vision & Beyond’.
Al-Kharji emphasised that Qatar’s tourism landscape underwent a profound change over the past few decades.
“Although Qatar has witnessed an incredible transformation in tourism, it has done so while holding onto its roots, heritage, and culture. What arises then is a one-of-a-kind destination where visitors can experience authentic Middle Eastern history and hospitality while taking modern architectural models and contemporary experience in wellness, retail, dining, and more,” he pointed out.
Al-Kharji emphasised that the 2022 FIFA World Cup “strongly demonstrated” Qatar’s ability to host multi-billion dollar large-scale events amplified by public and private sector collaboration and coordination.
He also said Qatar Tourism is strengthening global partnerships, leading significant delegations at important regional and international travel events, and investing in frontline tourism professionals through its service excellence academy and other programmes.
“Qatar tourism also invests in creating new travel routes through the launch of charter flights in hand-to-hand trade markets and has overseen the creation and growth of cruise tourism,” he said.
Al-Kharji added: “New hotels and attractions continue to open in Qatar, and we have been able to invite and host a diverse range of events, from sporting championships to conferences in medicine, agriculture, technology, and more.”
The ‘Qatar Investment Conference 2023: Qatar National Vision & Beyond’ also witnessed a panel discussion titled ‘Qatar's Remarkable Journey: A Vision for Tourism and Infrastructure Development’ featuring industry experts Rahul Potdar, director, Portfolio Management Development, Qatari Diar; Khaled al-Suwaidi, director of projects, Katara Hospitality; and Khalid al-Jassim, senior business development officer, Qetaifan Projects,
It was followed by the discussion of ‘Qatar Financial Sector Reshaping Technological Trends in the GCC’ by Ahmed al-Munayes, managing director - Qatar, Tap Payments; David Cook, CEO, Sharq Insurance; and Sami Zaitoon, managing partner, Moore Qatar.
Another panel comprising Khalid Mohamed al-Kubaisi, CEO, malomatia; Francisco Marmolejo, president of higher education, Qatar Foundation; and Santiago Bañales, managing director, Iberdrola Innovation Middle East, tackled the topic ‘Innovation for Sustainable Progress: Creating Qatar's Next Business Landscape’.
Speeches were also delivered by Sheikh Mansoor bin Khalifa al-Thani, chairman, MBK Holding, and Sheikh Ahmed bin Khalid al-Thani, assistant governor, Financial Instruments and Payment Systems, Qatar Central Bank.
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