Amid a growing set of attractions and a steady stream of events, Qatar is establishing its footing as a major international tourism hub.
Travellers from various European countries topped the list for cruise passengers stopping off in Qatar this season, which saw a 151% increase in numbers compared to the previous season, according to Qatar Tourism (QT).
The majority of cruise passengers came from Germany, accounting for 31%, followed by Italy with 10%, Russia with 6%, and the United Kingdom with 3%, all of which added to the 253,191 cruise visitors from December 2022 through to March 2023.
The surge in numbers is remarkable considering this year’s cruise season began two months later than usual due to Doha Port’s role in hosting floating hotels during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 tournament.
Out of the cruise visitors, 37,144 were turnaround passengers, representing a staggering 790% increase from the previous season’s 4,172 passengers. During the season, Qatar received 54 cruise ship calls, both transit and turnaround, marking a 59% increase from the previous year.
Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19, Qatar’s cruise industry has demonstrated impressive resilience and growth.
The sector has experienced a consistent increase in ship arrivals and passenger numbers and is poised for further expansion in the seasons ahead.
Qatar’s burgeoning cruise sector plays a significant role in the country’s strategic plan to meet its long-term tourism objectives. This has been demonstrated by the recent substantial renovation of Doha Port, which can now accommodate two mega ships simultaneously and up to 12,000 people per day.
The expanded capacity of Doha Port facilitated a 100% increase in mega ship arrivals, with 44 mega ships welcomed this season compared to 22 in the previous season. MSC World Europa brought in the highest number of passengers with 13 calls.
The next Qatar Cruise Season 2023/24 is set to commence on October 8.
Cruise passengers arriving in Qatar through Doha Port will be greeted in the newly constructed Grand Terminal equipped with state-of-the-art facilities.
Upon departure, they will find themselves in the Mina District, a one-stop destination offering a multitude of restaurants, retail outlets, and a captivating promenade that showcases the city’s striking skyline.