Qatar to Liberalize Hospitality Sector To Attract More Tourists

The tourism industry of Qatar is on a roll, ever since the nation hosted the FIFA World Cup in 2022. Qatar now plans to tweak laws governing hotels to make tourism more attractive.

By Sam
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Hotels will be liberal places in Qatar

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Qatar has announced plans to liberalize its hospitality industry to build on the record number of tourists thronging the nation since it hosted the FIFA World Cup two years ago. “We will try to liberate the hospitality sector and remove any obstacles,” Saad bin Ali Al Kharji, the chairman of Qatar Tourism, said in an interview in Dubai. “We have many restrictions on hotels regarding operating hours and licensing,” he said.

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Easier licencing and longer operating hours for hotels are in the offing

Record Numbers

Qatar's tourism industry has beaten predictions that the tourism industry will fall flat after the World Cup which was held here in 2022. Qatar had spent around $300 billion to host the world's largest sporting spectacle. Contrary to th naysayers, the country opened doors to four million visitors last year, a healthy growth of 39% over the World Cup year.

Qatar posted record tourist numbers in 2023

Even this year, tourism numbers have begun on a strong note.  Capital city Doha has clocked in a record 700,000 visitors in January, as it hosted the AFC Asian Cup soccer tournament, Al Kharji said. The capital city has around 40,000 hotel rooms, which recorded an occupancy rate of 75% in the first quarter, according to the authority.

There has been an increase in arrivals from the US and Europe

Of the total tourists, about 44% came from the neighbouring Gulf nations, he said, while arrivals from Europe, the US and Asia have also surged. 

Beyond Sports

The nation of about 2.5 million wields tremendous influence in the global sporting arena. In addition to hosting the Middle East’s first-ever FIFA World Cup, it owns a majority stake in Paris Saint-Germain — one of France’s top soccer clubs. It also has a permanent spot on the Formula 1 racing calendar under a 10-year deal that started in 2023. Doha will host the FIFA Arab Cup next year and the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2027.

Qatar wants to promote tourism outside sports as well

While the sporting events have helped draw thousands of fans, Al Kharji said Qatar is now aiming to lure families, medical tourists, and business travellers with a line-up of conferences and exhibitions.

Families and medical tourism will make Qatar a year long destination

The Qatar Economic Forum, Powered by Bloomberg, will bring leaders from politics and finance to the city this week.

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