Arab Tourism Capital’s key handed over to Akbar Al Baker in a ceremony officially recognising Doha as the Arab Tourism Capital for 2023.
Doha was given the title for 2023 by the Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism, which held its 25th session at the Arab League General Secretariat on December 13.
The Qatar Tourism Chairman said Doha has witnessed an unparalleled increase in tourism as a result of the region’s first-ever hosting of the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
The official announcement ceremony of ‘Doha, Arab Tourism Capital 2023’ on Saturday coincided with the Arab Tourism Day and was attended by Qatar’s Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani.
Al Baker expressed gratitude to the Arab Tourist Organisation for giving the title to Doha, recognising the serious efforts made by the nation to advance and grow its tourism industry.
The CEO said the world’s perspective of Qatar and the entire Arab world has transformed as a result of the FIFA World Cup’s successful hosting, reflecting the region’s genuine, positive identity and opening the way for a thriving tourism sector.
With Qatar Airways being named “Airline of the Year” by the international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax, for an unprecedented seven times, and Hamad International Airport being named “Best Airport in the World 2022” for the second consecutive year by the Skytrax Airport Awards, he noted that Qatar possesses all the necessary characteristics to be a global hub for tourism.
Al Baker also pointed to the Gulf nation’s investments in the infrastructure needed to host an influx of tourists, such as the Doha Metro, safe and reasonably priced taxis and other forms of transportation.
Prestigious hotels and tourist facilities that combine heritage with sophisticated and modern luxury, as well as various sites and attractions throughout the nation, are also among the infrastructure that have been heavily invested into by authorities in Qatar.
However, more is to be done, he said.
In order to realise Qatar National Strategy 2030 and maintain Doha’s status as the most popular tourist destination, the nation is planning to continue investing in this crucial sector, according to Al Baker.
Meanwhile, President of the Arab Tourism Organisation Bandar bin Fahd Al Fuhaid said Doha’s selection as the capital of Arab Tourism for this year is well-deserved, and described the city’s state-of-the-art amenities and infrastructure as a source of pride for all Arabs.
He also made note of the fact that the Arab world is becoming increasingly interested in the tourism industry, and said $320 billion worth of investments have been made. By 2030, 350 million tourists are expected to travel to the Arab region.
Separately, Qatar secured the top spot for this year’s Numbeo Crime Index for the safest country in the world, dominating the chart for the fifth year running. Qatar topped this index in the past five years with an interruption from Japan in 2018.
Qatar has made plans to increase its tourism sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) by 12% till the year 2030 as part of its strategy to solidify its position as a top international travel destination by luring six million visitors yearly.
The cruise season, which is expected to receive more than 100 visits and about 300,000 visitors, is one of the most well-known events of the new year, Qatar News Agency reported.
The Gulf nation has also rapidly developed its infrastructure, including cutting-edge highways, a metro system, universities, the Museum of Islamic Art, and the stunning National Museum of Qatar, making its city a popular travel destination.
Resonance Consultancy also made note of the astounding 100+ brand-new hotels that have opened in and around the city, including two Waldorf Astoria hotels in addition to the Fairmont and Raffles Doha, which are both housed inside the Katara Tower’s U-shape.
Separately, Doha and its tourist attractions have been amplified on the map as popular social media platforms have recognised its efforts.
While Paris has long reigned as the most romantic city in the world, according to Hollywood films, books and stories, the French city may now have competition, as Qatar has stepped in, according to popular online engagements.
A website listed the 23 most popular romantic destinations, according to the number of TikTok views on their associated hashtags, and used a seed list from Forbes.
Interestingly, Doha came in first as the most popular romantic destination on TikTok, as the lavish city boasted 7.4 billion views under the #Doha and #DohaLove hashtags.