Qatar to invest $17bn in tourism facilities
Doha, October 14, 2012
Qatar is investing $17 billion into tourism infrastructure as part of its five-year plan and it hopes for a 20 per cent growth in the sector in five years, a senior official said.
The infrastructure will cover construction of luxury hotels, resorts and meeting facilities, said Abdulla Malalla Al-Bader, director of tourism at Qatar Tourism Authority.
Inuagurating a two-day 6th Annual Middle East Hospitality Expansion Congress 2012 in Doha, Al bader said: "To meet forecasted demand, hotel capacity will increase by 400 per cent to over 29,000 luxury rooms and apartments by 2012.
“As our mission at the Qatar Tourism Authority is to promote and support the country as a quality tourism destination for business, education, leisure, culture and sport, we see hotel expansion as the cornerstone for the future,” he said.
The GCC hospitality market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 8.1 per cent to a total of $38 billion by 2016.
While Saudi Arabia is expected to remain the largest GCC market in terms of revenue, Qatar shows much promise to become one of the fastest growing markets.
Driven by its preparations for the World Cup and its $57 billion National Vision 2030 plans, hotel occupancy rates in Qatar are expected to average around 67 per cent to 73 per cent between 2012 and 2016, research reports said.
Organised by leading French business information company naseba, the two-day congress convened 150 leading hoteliers and specifiers involved in existing or upcoming projects in the Middle East all seeking innovative ideas and solutions for projects.
Amine Moukarzel, president of Golden Tulip Mena, gave an overview of the tourism and hospitality industry outlook in the Middle East.
The highlights of day one of the congress included expert keynote presentations, panel discussions, pre-arranged meetings, an executive exhibition pavilion and strategic networking functions. It also featured companies such as Al Reyami and O W Hospitality who presented their products and solutions to the attending buyers.
Mohammed Saleem, general manager at naseba, said: “This congress is bringing together some of the most respected hospitality corporations in the region. With the on-going National Vision 2030 and the Fifa World Cup 2020, emerging projects and markets in the Mena region hold great potential; this is why our event format incorporates maximum networking opportunities and pre-arranged one-to-one meetings in a business-focused environment to establish lucrative business relationships.”