Tourism & attraction
As your aircraft descends into Qatar, you are welcomed by a spectacular view of the capital city, Doha. The completely landscaped, crescent-shaped Corniche, the sparkling blue waters of the Arabian Gulf, and the sandy desert backdrop provide the first glimpse of what experiences await you. This sun-kissed country is filled with possibilities, desert escapades and shopping extravaganzas, natural attractions and water sports, state-of-the-art sporting facilities and historical museums, all combined with fine dining and luxurious accommodations. Welcome to the heart of the Arabian Gulf. Come and experience Qatar.
The capital of Qatar, Doha is situated halfway down the east coast of the peninsula. It is an important cultural and commercial centre and enjoys excellent communications with the outside world through its modern seaport, airport, and telephone links.
Explore the natural environment, take an exciting desert safari, relax at the many beaches and pool facilities, or enjoy your favourite sport. Golf courses, billiards and snookers tables, bowling alleys, tennis and squash facilities, ice skating rinks. Whatever your interest, there is something for everyone.
The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) was founded in 2005 to attract international financial institutions and multi-national corporations. Its vision is to be the financial centre of choice in the Middle East. By early March 2008, its Regulatory Authority had issued 75 licences to operate. The development of Islamic Banking in Qatar has been notable and Qatar has opened its first specialised Real Estate Bank.
Construction and real estate
The Construction and Real Estate sectors are growing rapidly. In 2006, the combined sectors witnessed 17.7% growth over 2005, contributing QR10,291 million to the overall GDP. At the same time, credit facilities extended by commercial banks to the land, housing and construction sector increased by a massive 65% during 2006 to reach QR15,745 million.
Among the largest real estate developments in the country is Qatari Diar's Lusail City, which will house about 200,000 residents on the coast just north of Doha's West Bay Lagoon area. A private sector development, known as ‘The Pearl- Qatar', is a 985 acre US$50 billion island development on reclaimed land 350 metres off the shores of West Bay Lagoon which will house around 40,000 residents in 13 districts. Work on numerous other commercial, residential and industrial developments is in progress, both inside and outside the capital. A causeway between Qatar and Bahrain, scheduled to open in 2011, will increase trade options between the two countries and revised proposals have also been submitted for a bridge linking Qatar and Abu Dhabi.
Qatar Tourism Authority was given the mission to develop Qatar into a leading world-class events destination for the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) sector, reputed for quality and excellence, and guiding the development of sustainable events and supporting infrastructure.
By combining exhibitions and tourism under the unique control of the same authority, it enables QTA to create a unique tourism strategy, offering a business oriented destination, combined with leisure activities.
Qatar is already a regional hub for conferences and exhibitions, with 95% of the visitors coming for business, whether as an individual traveler or to attend a conference, a meeting, or an exhibition, and is targeting a 20 % increase of number of visitors for the next five years.
As part of its five-year plan, Qatar is investing US$17 billion into tourism infrastructure, including the construction of luxury hotels, resorts and meeting facilities. To meet forecasted demand, hotel capacity will increase by 400 % to over 29,000 luxury rooms and apartments by 2012. Two new centres totaling a capacity of 95,000 square metres are scheduled to open. Qatar has worked hard to develop local talent in the MICE sector, with the induction of new hospitality training programmes at Stenden University and QMDI (Qatar MICE Development Institute).
Qatar offers a perfect environment for such business tourism combined with leisure, just a hop away from the European market, yet offering a very different experience, with Arabian traditions and all luxury facilities. Qatar is now seen as a one of the trendiest new destinations for upscale meeting organisers. Qatar is a quiet place, far from bustling mass-tourism, with all facilities and business opportunities at your fingertips.