Some 20 news hotels and hotel apartments are slated to open in Qatar this year, dramatically increasing the number of accommodation options in the country’s rapidly growing tourism sector, local officials say.
While no specific properties were mentioned, new hotels slated to open in Qatar this year include a Westin on Salwa Road as well as the Mondrian Doha in West Bay Lagoon. Meanwhile, the 317-room Melia Doha officially announced the opening of its property inside the Bin Samikh Tower in West Bay last week.
The Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) says the new facilities will collectively add 4,000 new guest rooms to the country’s existing stock of nearly 16,000 rooms.
That’s an expected spike of roughly 25 percent, or more than three times the rate at which visitor numbers are increasing.
It’s also a fraction of the approximately 80 new hotels and hotel apartments expected to open in the next five years as the country expands its hospitality offerings in advance of the surge of visitors expected during the 2022 World Cup.
While some experts have predicted a glut of unfilled hotel rooms immediately before and after the football tournament, others are forecasting that the hospitality industry will remain healthy in the short term.
Colliers International, a commercial real estate services firm, recently predicted that local hotel operators would recording single-digit percentage increases in revenue per room in 2015, with occupancy rates for Doha hotels hovering between 71 and 84 percent in 2015.
That would be an improvement on the sector’s performance in 2014, when occupancy rates averaged 71 percent, up from 61 percent a year earlier, according to QTA.
Visitors up 8.2%
Helping to fill those hotel rooms is a surge in the number of visitors from Asia. QTA statistics show a 20-percent increase in tourists from that region to 782,904 visitors.
That’s the second-largest geographic segment, behind Qatar’s neighboring Gulf countries. Visitors from elsewhere in the GCC increased 3 percent in 2014 to 1.12 million.
Overall visitors were up 8.2 percent to 2.83 million. That’s nearly double the number of tourists Qatar received in 2009, according to revised figures published by QTA that added more categories of visa holders to its visitor counts.
QTA launched an ambitious tourism strategy last year that included a goal of attracting between 6.7 million and 7.4 million tourists annually by 2030 by making Qatar a more attractive destination.
It call for focusing promotional and funding efforts on tourism products and services on several key areas including sports, education, authentic Qatari and Arab cultural experiences as well as the country’s “sun and beach” assets, among others.
In doing so, local authorities appear to be carving out a niche in the region that avoids competing head-to-head with other destinations such as Dubai, Bahrain and Oman.
In a recent interview with travel news and marketing platform Skift, QTA chairperson Issa bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi said Qatar’s local culture is one of its top tourism assets:
“Qatar is not about building high-rise buildings or competing with a focus on adventure tourism. Rather, we are providing a very authentic type of tourism. The museums, Souq Waqif, Katara, our castles, our heritages, the sand dunes and nature – they all give authentic experience to our visitors. It’s not about building a modern building or focusing on an urban development as an attraction, but rather to really offer an authentic experience to our visitors.
We believe that with Qatar being a small country that visitors can interact with the locals. This is very important factor for us, because we believe that we have a very hospitable population.”
According to recently released data by the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization, Qatar’s 2.61 million tourists in 2013 ranked in the middle of the GCC in terms of attracting tourists, behind Saudi Arabia (13.38 million) – which is home to many important religious sites – and Dubai (9.99 million), but ahead of Oman (1.55 million), Bahrain (1.07 million) and Kuwait (307,000).
Crunching other data in the same UN stats, it appears Qatar leads the way in encouraging its tourists to open their wallets while visiting.
The average spend per visitor to Qatar was US$1,324 – the highest among GCC countries.
2.83 million against Dubai’s 11.95 million for last year. Will Qatar ever become the Middle East’s destination of choice? Do we actually want it to be? Will growth stall during the Dubai EXPO 2020? Thoughts?
No, no, yes
And a big part of Dubais 12 million was western expats doing sanity weekends to Dubai from Qatar! A weekend in Dubai with it’s more civilised ways does wonders for doha depression…
No, no, yes.
” because we believe that we have a very hospitable population “……bahahahahaha….sure you are..so hospitable …kafala…your behaviour on the roads….your pure arrogance in every form…your treatment of labourers , maids etc….the list goes on…let’s get it straight, the majority of visitors are either western expat family visiting family in Qatar or Saudis hitting the alcohol…..no real tourism here….jeez you guys are so funny… Do you really believe you have a tourism industry?
just came across this picture of your ancestor after arriving in Australia soon to claim its his land.
Some of my ancestors consist of those on the ground, perhaps that’s why I find slavery in Qatar so offensive. And really Australia does not do this anymore but Qatar certainly does, just look at any building site. Your use of images from 200 years ago as basis of justification of your own in humane treatment of humans just illustrates how backward you really are..and so be it, but not to the detriment of the rights of human beings in your care..shame on you.
One that’s not 200 years ago more like 50 and two I’m not suprised being a lot of natives you made your salves were raped
You spoke my mind.
See my reply to your hero…geniuses.
Technically the forced labor schemes in Australia ended in 1970.
So they raped an ointment? With an ointment? Confused.
Rubbish that photo is around 150 years old or older, you people really reflect your Pisa rates. Go down to your local prison and ask the poor maids who have been imprisoned upon having children in your country what they think of rape By master…still goes on in Qatar, in a big big way. Again PISA genius the photo is at 200 years old, how could you even think it would be 50? Ohh perhaps because slavery is so normal to you.
I find slavery in Qatar offensive as well. “Really Australia does not do this any more”…would you like me to point you to some articles that say otherwise? Some as recent as 2014. Talking about asian migrant worker abuse and exploitation on farms and in the clothing industry in Australia? Im not saying Australia is the same as here, there is freedom in terms of unions, free press, ngos, and right to protest, but there are evil people and businesses everywhere! A country takes time to develop and change, I have hope Qatar will get there sooner rather than later.
The point is it is illegal in Australia…Qatar it is called kafala and legal.
Enforcement of the existing laws are more important for them right now. How about not getting paid on time or at all? How about the disgusting accommodation? Or the summer break between 12 and 3 but during the break is out in the shade? How about not being educated about how to report abuse or what their rights are? And I dont trust the agencies here or in their home countries that in lie to the workers and sometimes employers too.
I don’t know if there is really the intent to do away with the kafala system but I do imagine if that time is need to change the system.
Welcome to Doha
Guess the country desertcard
Egypt is huge $hithole.
But have culture and an inner self Qataris can only dream of since you can’t buy class or culture. Like the old saying “You can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig”.
No but egyptian sure will sell it.. And anything of value.. Coz they Egyptians and can’t help themselves
And for the right price you won’t have any problem finding an egyptian willing to kiss a pig with lipsticks … Literally
egyptian kissing a pig? pigs are insulted.
Why do you feel the need to insult all Egyptians, just to get back at desertCard?
Which culture? Your enslaved ancestors or belly dancing?
You show your ignorance when you say such things.
For one they are just poor Egyptians, not slaves duped into coming to their ultimate demise both physically and mentally. But you should be happy since the little ones pictured are Christians. Only better would be Jews right?
No forced child labor
No it’s the family business as it may be. They are not forced in any way. Not a great life but work. Look it up in the dictionary to find out what work means.
Said the egyptian expat whose living in the gulf … which is a dream come true for any egyptian including current and past presidents…
You say “they are just poor Egyptians” as if it is some sort of justification but how is it any different? Why are a lot of them poor in Egypt probably because of their government and being exploited by businesses (if they do have jobs). Laborers here are duped first in their homecountries by the agencies in terms of their salaries and the fees they have to pay before they even step into Qatar. There are a lot of problems and injustices that need to be fixed in Qatar, but almost every country has some kind of labor issues.
So these comments are in with the editors but if i make same generalizations on other nationalities my comment gets deleted
need some cheese and crackers?
الانجليز والاجانب عادي اسبونا لاكن لما احنا انعلق عنهم التعليقات تتمسح، بس جربوها.
Is this an extreme form of generalization? While I agree that there are locals who fits your description, but there are also locals who are total opposites. And when driving in the road, I can safely say that not all Qataris flout the traffic law, as I also see many expatriates flout these laws so easily.
At work, I can safely say that not all Qatari’s I’ve met are arrogant and mistreats other employees, but I’ve also seen expatriates that looked down on other nationalities, demeaning and verbally abusing staff or co-workers – and twice saw it from an individual from a nation that boasts of human rights and respect.
Let us not generalize, so other will not do the same to us and generalize us for what we are not…
Wait I forgot.. Ur the refired homicide vegan cop from Australia … Lol yes please do tell… Tell more about how our country is one racist hole
What happened to you that made you so bitter and hateful? I would think you would be educated enough to separate a government’s actions/laws from its people and not generalize a nation of people as one. I am not denying arrogance and superiority seem prevalent in a lot of public situations here, but some of your comments sound just as arrogant.
2 and a bit years of seeing the absolute abuse of humans by Qataris….that’s what happened
I don’t know what industry you worked in but I am sorry you didn’t get to see the other Qataris who are charitable, respectful and kind to workers we encounter.
I work for a Qatari Sheikh when I’m here, and he’s the best man I know, bar none.
If I had to choose one person of all the people I’ve met in my life as a representation of humanity, I’d choose him, without question.
I cannot and will not listen to people rile against Qatari’s so generally, and not defend him. What kind of coward would that make me?
I have doubts on the “very” hospitable and “can interact with the locals” statements. Based on experience, I have only encountered a few, a number of them are snobbish 🙂
perhaps if one wishes to interact more with locals then one should learn the language and wear the clothes. thats what i do when i visit another country anyway.
That may be the reason why people wearing thobes changes their clothes in the toilet before the plane lands in any Asian country. 🙂
Really the men do it 2? I thought it was just women. Seems easier 2 just not put on your thobe in the first place. Oh well live and learn
Interesting! So you would really make an effort to wear a kilt when you go to Scotland, a kimono in
Japan, a lungi in India or a sarong in Sri Lanka and even learn their languages??? :O
If I was going 2 live there for a more than a few weeks, I would make an effort 2 learn the language. I would dress the way locals do on a daily basis and love any opportunity to put on any of those clothes u mentioned. I just found out I’m going 2 be working in Malaysia for a year, so yes starting from today I’m going 2 have 2 do some research/ studying 🙂
I agree with your sentiment, and knowing a little Arabic is definitely helpful. But wearing a thobe? Come on…. Really? If a non-Qatari Arab wears one, everyone would see them as trying “to pass as a Qatari.” If an Asian wore one, he’d get smacked down for being “disrespectful.” If a white guy like me wore one, people would simply tell me it’s not Halloween yet. Just sayin.
I have friends from every single one of those nationalities/ ethnicities you mentioned who dresses in a thobe, no one got smacked down or told off. Most qatari reacted with shock and amazement really, “in a oh that’s so cool” sort of way.
Tell the management to ring the cops. This bar fight is out of control.
I think this is a positive story, plenty more bars to choose from which is always a good thing. Might bring the prices down if we see some real competition.
As for the locals most are pretty nice as is my experience and I have a number of Qatari friends. However if you are a tourists I wouldn’t expect to rock up and talk to one, it doesn’t work like that. You’ll get maybe a Palestinian, definitely millions of Keralities, (beware of their shops and the raising of prices as soon as a white face or thobe comes in) and lots of Filipinos serving you, but hey that is Middle East culutre now!
It’s Gulfie culture not ME. Does not work like this outside it.
For a true taste of ME culture head to Cairo where women can enjoy egyptian first hand .. Literally.. With their groping and squeezing and cat calling… Or get mugged… Or conned… And if ur real lucky wonder deep into Egypt and risk you and your family life by getting kidnapped or beheaded…. You can also take a pic with the at pyramids beyond the filth that is Cairo
Or come to Doha and get raped, stabbed and burned in the desert. The new catch phrase for Qatar Tourism Authority.
dude we have one case as tragic as it is, its still very rare for these things to happen in qatar. most countries have much hire homicide and rape than qatar does. agreed we should aim for zero but im still proud to say were one of the countries with the wolrds lowest crime rates
Why do Egyptians not use deodorant ? Honest question
There is no point, their garlic smell is much stronger.
But nevertheless that case only happened ONCE. And of course itl be a hot news because it is the only case that happened in centuries! Unlike other countries where murder,rape,robbery are so common that it is not worth reporting every single one of them. You can’t deny the fact that Qatar is the Safest country in the world.
And you can diss Cairo all you want but it’s one of the greatest cities on earth. Only trolls like you will say not. Doha is just a pretend Dubai without a heart or soul. Nice empty tall buildings. As usual style (lol) over substance.
Well it was, they did all their best work 5000 years ago…..
Lol seems like ur running short on insults… Yes we are fake and we are pretend and we have empty buildings… But we still are every Egyptian wet dream… Enjoy your filth of a city.. A city which peaked thousands of years ago and now has nothing more than cat sized rats and trash eating pigs on the street
You’ve obviously never been.
when did someone ever get beheaded in Cairo? Or Egypt for that matter.
sounds racist …
Qatar isn’t so bad, you know…. look at your own Country before getting down on Qatar..
UK… paedophile rings within the Government…
India…. safe for women? Would you feel safe letting your daughter go backpacking?
Anyone reading this from South Africa? Where were you 30 years ago? Where are you now?
Any Germans reading this?
USA… where do you even start? Apart from all the internal abuses, let’s be completely honest here, there’s no ‘War on Terror’. The USA is at war with Islam.
Of course, that’s not to generalise. Most British are decent, as are most Indians and… ok… probably some Americans too 🙂 Qatari’s might drive a little crazy sometimes, and there’s a lot of people down the Industrial Area getting a bad deal, but none of us come from perfect Utopian countries back home.
Unless your Swiss. Cuckoo Clocks, cheese with holes, Yodelling… the Swiss are 100% harmless, right? 🙂
Nope, they make you kill yourself by boredom.
Unfortunately you never get to read the category of visitor – Tourists? Businessmen? Workers? And they are absolutely correct about pre and post WC2022 – there will be lots of empty 5* hotel rooms. Having seen an independent review of GCC tourism I can confirm that the tourism prognosis is absolute junk.
Oh come on! These hotel will costs 1000QR per night! Seriously, Qatar needs to rethink about their general population, not the upper-class ones! Im starting to think that most people will be sleeping on the streets during the 2022 world cup if they don’t start reducing the prices.
Lets NOT FORGET the Russian HOOKERS …from Putin