The continuing rapid development of the tourism infrastructure, in terms of both physical facilities and the quality and diversity of tourism services, is vital to achieving the goals of the QNTSS 2030 and ensuring that tourism plays its designated role in shaping Qatar’s economic and social future.
QNTC has primary responsibility for planning and coordinating development and for mobilizing the necessary investment and human resources to accomplish the task. It works to coordinate and integrate tourism-related projects into the broader $200 billion national investment plan for infrastructure development during the period up to 2030.
QNTC examines a wide spectrum of potential developments and projects to identify initiatives that will contribute to tourism through:
- Generating new/increased visitor traffic,
- Enhancing and diversifying Qatar’s tourism offering,
- Increasing visitor spend (including increasing revenue from existing facilities),
- Extending the average length of stay,
- Encouraging repeat visits,
- Mitigating the impact of seasonality,
- Influencing transit passengers to extend their stopovers and/or return to Qatar as tourists,
- Maximizing long-term tourism benefits from high profile events (e.g. World Cup 2022) and
- Supporting the creation of tourism products that retain visitors and increase the average length of stay of business travellers.
Current and planned developments affecting Qatar’s tourism infrastructure include:
Hotels & Accommodation:
- Progress is on track to increase hotel rooms from 22,000 to 40,000 by 2022 and 50,000+ by 2030.
- Focus on upmarket (5- and 4-star) properties will continue, but with greater diversity (e.g. eco-resorts, beach, desert, budget options).
Transport – International:
- State-of-the-art Hamad International Airport (opened 2014) has created capacity for Qatar’s growing role as aviation hub and the continued future expansion of Qatar Airways
- The opening of new Doha Port south of the capital will allow for development of a dedicated Cruise Terminal on the former city centre port site.
Transport – National:
- Doha Metro system (initial opening 2019) will be a major tourism asset, facilitating travel from the airport and throughout the city via four lines and 100 stations, as well as linking with the new Lusail Light Rail Transit system.
- Qatar Rail’s new national network, plus 900 km of multi-lane highways, will impact tourism nationwide, greatly improving access to all areas and opening up new and unexplored regions to visitors.
- Qatar’s existing portfolio of world class facilities (Museum of Islamic Art, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Katara Cultural Village etc.) will be greatly enhanced by the opening of the new Qatar National Museum, as well as the Orientalists’ Museum, 3-2-1 Olympic & Sports Museum and other projects in the pipeline
Historical & Heritage Sites:
- The authentic restoration of sites in recent years has created a number of potentially important new attractions of educational and tourist interest.
- Initiatives to capitalize on this potential include improving visitor access, parking, signage, promotion (e.g. via hotels) and information - including interactive facilities, displays etc. (Management of Al Zubarah UNESCO World Heritage Site is to be transferred from Qatar Museums to QNTC.)
Urban & Lifestyle Developments:
- Much of Doha’s on-going development is focused on building integrated, master-planned communities, such as the new Lusail City,
- These mixed-use developments are designed to incorporate a significant tourism component, including hotels, restaurants, marinas, shopping and other leisure amenities.
- Tourism will also benefit from completion of the Msheireb Downtown urban regeneration project in the heart of the capital.
- Qatar has a number of areas of outstanding natural beauty, including the ‘Inland Sea’ (Khor Al Adaid), desert dunes, unspoiled sandy beaches, mangrove lagoons, gypsum caves (Dahl Al Misfir), spectacular limestone rock formations etc.
- Realizing the full tourism potential of these significant assets will depend on improving visitor access in terms of roads, signage and amenities, while at the same time safeguarding the environment and often fragile eco-systems for future generations.
Activities & Entertainment:
- In parallel with expansion and diversification of accommodation supply and the physical tourism infrastructure, Qatar will cater to the needs of increased visitor numbers by enhancing the range of activity and entertainment options on offer.
- Projects at various stages of planning and/or under active consideration include the new Doha Zoo, theme parks and a range of new special interest tours, excursions, camel safaris and other such services.
- Qatar boasts a world class sporting infrastructure centred on the Aspire Zone sports complex and including stadiums, multi-purpose sports halls, Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Centre, Doha Golf Club, Losail International Circuit etc.
- Current developments to enhance this are focused on the stadium requirements for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. These will have modular elements, which will be reconfigured after the tournament to provide a lasting legacy beyond Qatar’s borders. Some 20 new stadiums will be created in emerging economies, leaving Qatar with stadium capacity in line with its domestic needs.
- The recent completion and opening of the new Doha Exhibition & Convention Centre, together with Qatar National Convention Centre, give Qatar an outstanding basis on which to expand its rapidly developing business events industry in future,
- QNTC has set up a dedicated Business Events team to work with the venues, event organizers and other stakeholders to capitalize on these facilities and build up Qatar’s role as a leading regional and international centre of excellence in the MICE sector.