Qatar offers a vibrant calendar of festivals and tourism events beyond the ongoing FIFA World Cup, aimed at attracting visitors from different parts of the world, according to Qatar Tourism (QT).
"The return of the Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix in October will serve as one of the highlights for 2023, QT chief operating officer Berthold Trenkel said at a press briefing Sunday.
Following the success of its launch in Qatar, the renowned international event will take place in the country for 10 years starting in 2023.
Qatar will also host the Geneva International Motor Show in 2023 for the first time during the same period next year, he said.
“It will be even more amazing because it is not happening in Switzerland but only in Qatar,” Trenkel pointed out. “Then, we have the AFC Asian Cup 2023 and Expo 2023.”
Qatar hosted more than 600 sporting events in the last 10 years, and many of these will continue beyond 2022, including the WTA Qatar Ladies Open and Qatar ExxonMobil (tennis), Commercial Bank Golf Masters (golf), and Grand Prix of Qatar (motorcycling).
Qatar will also host the 2030 Asian Games.
“The FIFA World Cup is a great springboard to get us underway for this goal of 2030,” Trenkel said, citing the QT’s six demand spaces: active holidays; relax and rejuvenate; sun, sea and sand; culture enthusiasts; luxury city breaks; and romantic getaways.
He said that nationals from more than 95 countries can enter the country visa-free/visa-on-arrival, which makes it easy to travel to Qatar.
The 96-hour stopover will also see its return after the World Cup.
Currently, Trenkel noted that from about 31,000 room keys, the number grew to 45,000 with numerous hotels and resorts opening days and weeks prior to the major football tournament.
Qatar offers more than 500km of coastline, plenty of beaches, including the beach near Stadium 974 and three recently opened public beaches at West Bay, in addition to the Inland sea and several hotels and beach resorts outside Doha.
Besides stadiums, Trenkel urged football fans to explore Qatar’s hidden gems, including the Al Zubarah Unesco World Heritage Site, Souq Waqif, Msheireb Downtown Doha, The Pearl-Qatar, the National Museum of Qatar, the Museum of Islamic Art, and the recently opened 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museums.
According to the QT, visitors can also see the Arabian Oryx, kayak through mangroves, or spot Whale Sharks, the largest fish in the world which gathers in large numbers of Qatar’s coast, on a dedicated tour.
The impressive “Inland Sea” or Khor Al Adaid, a Unesco-recognised site, lies to the south of Doha, and is one of the few places in the world where the sea blend into the desert.