Qatar's tourism drive is in full swing

Published March 9th, 2016 - 02:02 GMT
Hilton Salwa Beach Resort & Villas Hilton will include a water park, marina, dive center, cinemas, pools, health club, spa and retail space. (Hill International)
Hilton Salwa Beach Resort & Villas Hilton will include a water park, marina, dive center, cinemas, pools, health club, spa and retail space. (Hill International)

Qatar is at the forefront of a regional tourism investment drive with more than 65 hotel schemes under way or planned in the state, as it seeks to build room capacity in advance of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

According to the latest data from the regional online projects tracking service, MeeD Projects, the projects are worth a total investment of more than $7 billion.

Among these include new properties run by brands such as JW Marriott, Hilton, Waldorf Astoria, Langham, Ibis, Mandarin Oriental, Holiday Inn and Centara. In total, the number of rooms in the construction pipeline is over 10,000.

As part of its commitment to hosting the World Cup, Qatar said it would aim to build an additional 40,000 rooms for the hundreds of thousands of fans expected to watch matches in the state as well as the 32 teams playing in the competition. These rooms would be contained within 240 different hotels ranging between two and five stars, including a cruise ship at Al-Wakrah with 6,000 rooms. These new rooms would substantially add to the existing 44,000 rooms Qatar had when it bid for the rights to host the World Cup in 2010.

“Hotel building and tourism development in general in Qatar is going through unprecedented growth, as developers and operators prepare for the World Cup and the state’s National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030,” said Ed James, director of content and analysis at MeeD Projects. “The pressure of the event’s hard stop deadline has resulted in a frenzy of building activity as investors seek to capitalise on the thousands of visitors expected to attend the competition to support their teams.”

Qatar’s 2030 tourism strategy, under the auspices of the Qatar Tourism Authority, is aimed at building on the World Cup investment to attract more than 7 million tourists a year to the state by 2030, up from 1.2 million in 2012. At the same time, tourism spend is set to increase from $1.4 billion to $11 billion by 2030 when the sector is expected to account for about 5 per cent of Qatar’s GDP.

“Qatar’s tourism strategy embraces a much longer term approach than just preparing for the World Cup”, said James. “Its objective is to create a stable and diversified market with more than 125,000 jobs. While the current raft of hotel projects are clearly aimed at the World Cup market in the short term, in the long run the investments are aimed at transforming the state into a regional tourism hub supported by world-class transport infrastructure, cultural attractions and the temperate winter climate.”

The top 20 Qatar hotels under construction

  • First Qatar Real Estate - Panorama Hilton Residences
  • Daphne Hotels Company - JW Mariott Hotel Tower
  • RSG - Lusail Development: Langham Place
  • Private Developer - Curio Hotel (Mall of Qatar)
  • PEO - Al Messila Hotel and VVIP Spa Resort
  • Al Rabban Holding - Fraser Suites
  • PEO - Hilton Salwa Beach Resort Hotel
  • Private Developer - Samrya 44 Hotel Apartments (Diplomatic St. Doha)
  • Private Developer - Al Seeliya Tower
  • Trans Orient Hotels - Holiday Inn Doha The Business Park
  • Al Bandary Group - Centara Hotel
  • Hala Group Enterprises - Five Star Hotel & Serviced Apartments
  • Msheireb Properties – Msheireb Downtown Doha: Phase 1B: Mandarin Oriental Hotel
  • Al Thuraya Real Estate Investment - Al Thuraya Tower
  • Al Jassim Group - Hotel Majlis Grand Mercure
  • Private Developer - Waldorf Astoria (Buzwair Tower)
  • Damac Properties - Burj Damac Marina (Lusail)
  • Domopan Qatar - Shaza Hotel
  • Al Hamla - Mondrian Hotel (Falcon Tower)
  • Al Faisal Holding - Sinyar Tower

Ed James will be releasing more insight into the Qatar projects strategy at the Qatar Projects Conference, which is taking place from March 15 to 16, where he will be chairing the event and welcoming keynote speakers including Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani, minister of economy and commerce and Ali Ahmed Al-Kuwari, Qatar National Bank (QNB), group chief executive officer.

Copyright 2019 Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group

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