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Breaking Travel News explores: Qatar prepares for action-packed 2024

Breaking Travel News explores: Qatar prepares for action-packed 2024

Sports will play a big part in the calendar for Qatar this year, as the AFC Asian Cup 2023 kicks-off this week in Doha.

But way from the football pitches of the capital there is plenty on offer, whatever your interests

Indeed, Qatar Tourism has recently launched a full year calendar for 2024, showcasing more than 80 unique events for the year.

From works of art only ever exclusively displayed at New York’s the Met, to the world’s largest technology conference brought to the region for the very first time, Qatar is set to see an exquisite line up of cultural events, sporting championships, thought-provoking summits, e-mobility panels, and much more in 2024.

Take a look at the full Qatar Calendar here.

Commenting on the diversity of events, chief marketing and promotion officer at Qatar Tourism, Abdulaziz Ali Al-Mawlawi, said: “Qatar Tourism is delighted to announce an ensemble of over 80 events scheduled throughout 2024 in Qatar’s calendar.

“With Qatar quickly rising as a globally recognised destination, we take great pride in accommodating visitors from around the world and showcasing our rich Qatari culture and heritage. We wish everyone a prosperous and exciting year ahead and look forward to hosting events that cater to everyone’s interests.”

Here Breaking Travel News rounds up some of the biggest events featured in the 2024 calendar.

His excellency, Saad bin Ali Al Kharji, chairman of Qatar Tourism, has masterminded the events calendar for 2024

The 18th AFC Asian Cup will be hosted from January 12 to February 10 this year, in six stadiums, with 24 national football teams competing with one another.

The AFC Asian Cup attests to Qatar’s ongoing sporting legacy as one of the largest sporting events of the year.

The tournament is set to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors during its month-long run, with attractions surrounding the stadiums for visitors to enjoy, complementing the matches.

Event such as the festival of football are why the destination was recognised as the World’s Leading Sports Tourism Destination by voters at the prestigious World Travel Awards last year.

The region’s first international horticultural exhibition, Doha Expo runs to March 28, 2024, bringing visitors a platform to engage with local and international agricultural organisations.

The theme, ‘Green Desert, Better Environment,’ has presenters emphasising solutions to a more sustainable and technological agricultural landscape.

Visitors can enjoy several other events at the Expo as well, such as immersing themselves in virtual reality, participating in innovative workshops and exploring the botanic garden.

Kicking off the new year will be Shop Qatar, which runs until January 27, with incredible discounts in stores, raffle draws, and entertainment spread out in malls.

There are a total of 13 malls participating which visitors can explore, with hundreds of shops featuring different offers and entertainment.

In its eighth edition, Shop Qatar 2024 will see prizes including four luxury cars, exciting giveaways distributed by hosts during interactive contests, and cash prizes of varying amounts.

Celebrating 20 years of luxury and opulence, the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition 2024 will see special celebratory elements including exclusive designer collaborations and the finest jewellery reveals.

For the past two decades, DJWE has brought together leading local, regional and international brands under one roof in a display of exquisite craftmanship and design.

Taking place over February 5 to 11, 2024, DJWE will be held at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre.

The biggest culinary celebration in Qatar, the Qatar International Food Festival 2024 is returning on February 7, 2024, and will run to February 17, with a diverse selection of food and beverages.

At this festival, visitors will have ample opportunity to enjoy sharing their own cultures and understanding others’ through gastronomy.
Find out more here.

The world’s largest technology conference, Web Summit, will be hosted in Qatar from February 26 to 29, 2024, marking it as the first time ever being hosted in the Middle East and North Africa region.

The conference will continue to be hosted by Qatar over the next five editions.

Web Summit Qatar will create new opportunities for thousands of international investors and industry leaders to connect, network and create a future that is driven by innovation.

Deepening its sporting legacy and leveraging its investments in state-of-the-art facilities, Qatar presents several sporting events in 2024, ground, aquatic and aerial.

The World Aquatics Championships Doha 2024 is taking place from February 2 to 18 at Aspire Dome, Old Doha Port, and Hamad Aquatic Centre.

This tournament will be hosting 2,600 top athletes, from over 190 countries, for 75 medal events, with an opportunity for athletes to qualify for Olympic Games Paris 2024.

Sports include swimming (open water and artistic), diving and high diving, and water polo. Visitors can witness top-class aquatic performances from athletes from all over the world.

Take a look here for more information.

The renowned Ooredoo Doha Marathon 2024 is returning on February 16 with five different distances and timings to sign up for.

The event also promotes accessibility, with people of different abilities welcomed to compete in selected categories and up to 21 kilometres.

Proceeds from the marathon will be distributed to local Qatar charities, meaning participants can support multiple humanitarian causes simply by running.

The Katara International Arabian Horse Festival will run from January 24 to February 4 and will showcase different purebred horses in competition with each other.

Held under the patronage of Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the Amir of Qatar, this event aims to celebrate Qatar’s culture and heritage.

Alongside watching the competition, visitors can indulge in an array of activities from painting and sculpture art, to witnessing parades and light shows.

The Qatar International Rally will be returning in 2024 from February 1 to 3, with 13-time defending champion from Qatar, Nasser Al Attiyah participating once again.

This tournament will be a great opportunity for motorsport fans to witness the sturdiness and thrill of competitive rallying.

Emphasising the national bird of Qatar, the Marmi Festival returns until January 27 this year, to exhibit falconry in Sealine.

The event provides a platform for falcon hunters to honour the Bedouin tradition of falcon hunting.

The Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix 2024 is scheduled towards the end of the year, from November 29 to December 1, 2024, at the Lusail International Circuit.

The Formula 1 extends a festive atmosphere throughout the country with high-profile performances and events lined up alongside the thrilling races.

In addition to the Web Summit, Qatar will continue marking its position as a convenor of global thought leaders and a creator of forward-looking dialogue by hosting the Autonomous e-Mobility Forum for the first time and bringing back the Qatar Economic Forum. 

The Ministry of Transport will be hosting the Autonomous e-Mobility Forum from April 30 to May 2, 2024, which is an event that is first of its kind.

This event aims to serve as a platform to highlight the implementation of and recommendations for driverless e-Mobility, from a technological and policy-planning perspective. The event will welcome representatives across government, media, industry, and academia. 

The fourth annual Qatar Economic Forum, in partnership with Bloomberg, will be held from May 14 to 16, 2024.

The forum will bring international leaders, businessmen, academics, and entrepreneurs together to present and discuss on aspects pertinent to the global economy.

Later in the year, the World MICE Awards

The event serves to celebrate and reward excellence in the MICE industry through an annual awards programme.

Qatar’s museums not only house striking collections, but their very creation and external façade are works of art, conceptualised by renowned artists such as the National Museum of Qatar by Jean Nouvel and the Museum of Islamic Art by IM PEI.

In 2024, visitors will step into exclusive exhibitions held in Qatar and the region for the very first time.

Qatar Museums Gallery is hosting ‘Dan Flavin | Donald Judd: Doha’ until February 24, 2024. The event is organised by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Qatar Museums, allowing visitors to enjoy the most influential figures of minimalistic art.

Museum of Islamic Art is running the ‘Welcome to Isfahan’ exhibition to January 30.

This exhibit features a collection to reflect the region of Isfahan, Iran, from the era of the Safavid Empire.

Visitors will find themselves transported to historic times to appreciate the craftsmanship and workings of one of the most important empires in Islamic history.

Further, the ‘Shattered’ exhibition is also running at the Museum of Islamic Art until May 7, 2024, depicting works by the Turkish artist, Feleksan Onar, on the recent earthquakes in Southeast Turkey and Northern Syria.

Visitors will not just be able to educate themselves on the events, but also be able to feel the heightened emotions of the victims of these natural disasters.

Mathaf is displaying several exhibitions until March 5 to satiate one’s curiosity of arts and culture.

Some of these include, ‘Mehdi Moutashar: Introspection as Resistance’, ‘Distilled Lessons: Abstraction in Arab Modernism’, ‘Cities Under Quarantine: The Mailbox Project’, and ‘De/Constructed Meanings’.

With Ramadan starting mid-March, Qatar will have plenty of festivities planned to allow families to spend time with their loved ones during the Holy Month.

Restaurants and cafés are set to operate with late timings, with exclusive suhoor and iftar packages, to enhance the fasting experience.

During Eid, Qatar is known to celebrate with beautiful displays of fireworks, lighting, retail offers and family-friendly entertainment.

In the new year, Qatar is set to welcome residents and visitors from across the globe to experience its cultural festivities, thrilling sports tournaments, exclusive art exhibitions and more.

Qatar Tourism extend its warm welcome to tourists and residents alike to delve into the rich and diverse touristic landscape of Qatar. 

In terms of music, Qatar Concerts 2024 is set to be an exhilarating celebration of music, culture and entertainment.

Join fans for an unforgettable experience, where world-class talent and vibrant performances take centre stage.

First up are Swedish House Mafia, heading to Hotel Park Doha on January 19th, with the Backstreet Boys also in town later in the year.

More Information

His Excellency, chairman of Qatar Tourism, Saad bin Ali Al Kharji, spoke to Breaking Travel News at World Travel Market in London

Philip Dickinson, Leading International Markets and MICE, Qatar Tourism, tells Breaking Travel News about the year ahead

Qatar Tourism has a mission to establish Qatar as a place where cultural authenticity meets modernity, one where people of the world come together to experience unique offerings in culture, sports, business and family entertainment.

Find out more on the official website at website or take a look at the latest event listings here.