The Doha Port, at the heart of the capital city, was also home to numerous fans visiting Qatar for the World Cup.
Some 200,000 visitors are expected to arrive in Qatar onboard more than 50 cruise ships during the current cruise season, the Gulf state’s tourism authority said on Sunday.
Ending in April, the tourism season will see hundreds of thousands of tourists stop at the newly-renovated Doha Port, a new tourist hotspot that welcomed thousands during the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Maryam Saoud, Head of Tourism Product Support at Qatar Tourism, noted the cruise sector’s “tremendous” growth, describing it as “an important pillar” to the country’s tourism strategy.
The Doha Port, at the heart of the capital city, was served as a home to fans visiting Qatar for the major tournament, during which the cruise season spiked with the presence of the MSC World Europa, MSC Opera and MSC Poesia.
“We are ready to welcome thousands of new travellers who are guaranteed a distinct tourism experience in Qatar through the different tourism products on offer and in collaboration with our strategic partners,” Saoud said, as quoted by state news agency (QNA).
Since the tournament, Qatar has emerged as a key tourist destination for people from all over the world, a factor that has also heavily contributed to the economy. In November alone, during the first days of the World Cup, Qatar welcomed more than 600,000 visitors.
“Qatar continues to strengthen its position as a leading tourism destination in the region, in line with the goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030[…]after further expanding and dredging the navigational channel and port docks to reach deeper depth, we are now able to receive mega cruise vessels,” Hamad Ali Al Ansari, Manager of Public Relations and Communications at Mwani Qatar, said.
Quoted by QNA, Al Ansari added that Doha Port “is being developed to become one of the main tourist attractions in the region.”
Last month, Mwani Qatar announced that 58 cruise ships will dock at Doha Port during the upcoming season, with the French ship Le Bougainville making its first appearance in the Gulf state at the time.
Six cruise ships will make their first calls to the Gulf country.