Qatar’s hosting of major sporting events makes it a hugely attractive global tourism destination, renowned ex-footballer Andrea Pirlo said.

“I find Qatar to be very interesting for international tourists because of sports events (that it hosts) such as the Formula 1 and Moto GP” he told Gulf Times in his recent visit to Doha.

Pirlo said Qatar has become an engrossing destination for a lot of people who want to visit and explore its unique and curated touristic offerings, in addition to knowing the country better.

One of the attractions in Qatar he likes most is the Souq Waqif – a key tourism landmark that lures a huge number of local and international visitors.

Pirlo said his visit to Doha involved sightseeing and going to places that he likes: “I always like to go to Souq Waqif because it is very characteristic of this region, and I like to go in the night because it is crowded, I love to see the people going there, so it is really very nice to see this culture.”

He added that Qatar has also become his favourite family destination, saying it is one of the safest countries for visitors, alongside a welcoming environment.

“I find people here to be very friendly, always welcoming the tourists with open arms, and I’m sure that they (tourists) will love Qatar and will feel like home,” Pirlo said.

He describes the country’s transformation as stunning since his first visit in 2003 with the Italian team. He also cited the country’s unparalleled hospitality and hopes to visit the country more often in the future.

“Qatar means a lot to me, it is special... I find it much more different from the year when I visited Qatar for the first time,” he stressed.

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