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Qatar taps into MICE market and hosts major international events

Qatar taps into MICE market and hosts major international events

Qatar is positioning itself as a leading event destination for the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) sector, with the recent development of two major exhibition centres and ongoing enhancements in the Katara cultural village that will host a raft of international events, such as the World Travel Awards taking place next week in Doha.

Still on a high from winning the rights to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar has pledged billions of dollars in tourism infrastructure development over the next ten years as it prepares to welcome an estimated 400,000 visitors for the 2022 soccer World Cup.

More than 140 major projects are currently underway in Qatar as the country focuses its investments on its transportation infrastructure. Billions have been spent upgrading the extensive road networks connecting the country to the rest of the Middle East. In addition, the $25 billion, 2,200 km Qatar National Rail Scheme will link to the six-state GCC Railway network, worth $30 billion, from 2017.

Additional new developments underway to help lure visitors to the destination include the recent opening of The Qatar National Convention Centre which has already played host to major forums. In addition The Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre is expected to open this year.

Qatar National Convention Centre

Qatar, which was recently named the Middle East’s Leading Business Destination, already boasts existing exhibition space of 15,000 sq m, and with the addition of these two new convention and exhibition centres, more than 95,000 sq m, is being added, making Qatar a leading destination for international business and conferences and attracting further visitors to Qatar.

In addition to the new conference facilities, the Katara Amphitheatre recently opened its doors in the cultural village and has been welcoming guests from all over the world, as it prepares for international shows and musicals.

Qatar, which hosts conferences and world-scale exhibitions throughout the year, staged over 130 conferences and exhibitions last year, on topics such as oil and gas, finance, real-estate development, medicine.  Doha also hosts a wide range of mainstream diplomatic and cultural conferences, such as the United Nations meeting.

Ahmed Abdullah Al-Nuaimi, Chairman, Qatar Tourism Authority comments: “We have been developing so much infrastructure to continue the momentum (of winning the hosting rights of the World Cup) over the next ten or eleven years.  We are building a huge convention centres, we are bidding for huge events coming to Doha.”

Qatar is planning to bid for a number of major events such as the 2020 Olympics and the 2017 World Athletic Championships.

“Qatar National Convention Centre just opened and next year the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre we will be opening”, explains Ahmed. “Those will give us a push to host huge events up to 10,000 people at the same time. We are aiming to host several of those a year which will keep hotels busy with demand.”

Qatar National Convention Centre

In 2012 Qatar, which has been nominated in the categories of World’s Leading Tourist Board and World’s Leading Business Destination, has already been named the host destination for a number of global events which will ensure the destination remains in the spotlight during the build up to the FIFA World Cup. BTN has compiled a list of top events that will be taking place in the leading business destination in 2012.

Doha Trade Fair 2012
The Doha Trade Fair is now underway, attracting over 9,000 visitors all eager to check out the latest products on display Also known as Qatar’s biggest shopping Carnival of the year, this week, The Doha Exhibitions Centre’s main hall has been packed with visitors, shopping lovers and souvenir collectors looking for special treasures at the Doha Trade Fair.

World Travel Awards Grand Final 2012
Next week, the world renowned World Travel Awards Grand Final Ceremony will take place in Qatar’s cultural village, Katara. Leading lights from every sector of the world travel and tourism industry will descend upon Doha to find out who will triumph at this year’s grand final. Awards will be presented in categories ranging from World’s Leading Destination, to World’s Leading Hotel and World’s Leading Airline.

Ahmed Al Darwish, Vice President Sales & Marketing, Qatar Tourism Authority collects an award for the Middle East’s Leading Business Destination at the World Travel Awards Middle East Gala Ceremony in 2011

Doha Food Festival 2012
From February 8 – 11, The best chefs in the country will gather for the third version of Doha food festival 2011, which is organized by Qatar Tourism Authority under the logo of “taste & fun”. This will be an ideal opportunity for them to showcase the culinary delights that Qatar has to offer.

International Exhibition for Pool & Spa 2012
From October 7 – 11, the International Exhibition for Pool & Spa will show case QPS 2012 new and existing companies & operators, looking for best deals in the domain with an extensive range of equipment, accessories, Materials, Architects Landscaping and Decorations.

The 7th International Hotel, Restaurant and Food (Diyafa) Exhibition for Qatar
From October 16 – 18, the sole hospitality trade show will take place in Qatar that is exclusively catered to showcasing everything that falls under the hospitality umbrella in the country.

Diyafa prides itself on demonstrating the best and latest of what is happening in the hospitality Industry, both locally and on an international scale. Strategically set in one of the world’s fastest moving and most sturdy economies.

Doha Exhibition Transport and Rail 2012
Rail is also becoming more important as QTA looks to develop infrastructure in Qatar to ensure its guests are able to get around with ease. From 16 - 18 October 2012 The Doha Exhibition Transport and Rail will bring together rail leaders to address the challenges and opportunities in building the region’s rail network.

UN Climate Change Conference 2012
The State of Qatar and the Republic of Korea have agreed to closely cooperate to make the next major UN Climate Change Conference at the end of 2012 a success.

The 2012 UN Climate Change Conference – officially entitled the 18th Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC, plus the 8th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP 18/CMP 8) - will take place in Qatar from November 26th to December 7th 2012. The Republic of Korea will host a ministerial meeting to prepare for COP 18/CMP 8.

The State of Qatar and the Republic of Korea will make joint efforts to globally promote and implement the green growth agenda at and in the run-up to the conference.

To see the BTN interview with Ahmed Abdullah Al-Nuaimi click here