The Lusail Boulevard was among the most popular spots in Qatar for the World Cup, with thousands fans visiting on a daily basis.
Residents across Qatar have suggested ways to attract more visitors and tourists to the recently opened Lusail Boulevard following a post-World Cup dip in foot traffic.
Social media users flocked to engage with a report published by Doha News last week that detailed concerns over a lack of attention to the once-bustling area and offering suggestions to increase the number of visitors.
“Qatar has many multinational residents, we can capitalise it for many cultural performances and showcasing,” one social media user said on Instagram.
However, such event should be more diverse in an attempt to avoid “repetitiveness”, another user added.
“If you only target a specific type of customer and every other location in Doha targets the same type of customer, some people have all the choices and don’t visit a place regularly while others have no choices and can’t go anywhere, therefore they feel Doha is boring with nothing to do,” they noted.
The Lusail Boulevard, a main road that stretches from the four iconic Lusail skyscrapers and is lined with futuristic-styled buildings, was among the most popular spots in Qatar for the World Cup, with thousands fans visiting on a daily basis.
The Boulevard brought together football fans from around the world, uniting cultures alongside daily traditional performances at the previously-pedestrianised area.
Seeking to incorporate more cultural elements, one social media user suggested holding art walks during weekends for visitors to enjoy art
“Cafes would serve the visitors, possibly offering a discount on art walk nights for coffee or cake. Galleries should feature/promote both local and expatriate artists to maximise attendance,” they said.
Qatar’s art scene has been thriving over the years, with street art sprouting up across the country. Spearheaded by Qatar Museums, notable public artwork have been installed in key areas, turning Qatar into an open air museum.
Echoing similar interests, another user suggested filling Lusail Boulevard with public art and sculptures as they are likely to attract art enthusiasts keen on snapping the pieces.
“Anything can become art: manhole covers, benches, fire hydrants, utility boxes. Make it an open call competition,” they added, also suggesting art workshops and an Arabic language institute for foreigners.
Located just a stone’s throw away from the golden Lusail Stadium, its vibrant flags, endless stream of cafes, family-friendly atmosphere as well as daily street performances made it a hotspot for many during the World Cup.
However, with the area now stripped of all remnants of the tournament, the Boulevard has seen a massive drop in visitors – going from tens of thousands to just around 5,000, as per claims made to Doha News by workers at restaurants and cafes that line the main road.
“The only solution is getting the prices down. Not everyone in Qatar is able to pay 40 QAR for a cup of coffee or cappuccino. Target families with festival and leisure activities otherwise most of the businesses there will be closed one year from now,” one person warned.
As is stands, Boulevard has not opened shopping options and there are no malls present along the strip.
One person said such a move could provide an incentive for residents around Qatar to flock to the Boulevard for shopping purposes, drawing comparisons with popular malls around the country.
“Start some pocket friendly shops and outlets there and things will start changing,” they noted.
‘More lax entry’
Several residents said Qatar should adopt more lax entry restrictions to allow visitors from around the world to enter the Gulf state without a heavy list of requirements for some nationals. Notably,
“The country has to attract more people from outside Qatar. The almost 3 million locals/ residents won’t fill all the new restaurants/ cafes/ hotels that opened during the World Cup even if activations/ events are being held to boost the business,” one Doha News reader said.
“We need the country to open up to new tourists, new business and new investors. After that you will see all the shops/ restaurants & hotels filled automatically,” they added.