The presence of leading and ultra-luxury hotels in Qatar, as well as various opulent tourism offerings, makes the country a top luxury and leisure destination in the region, Raffles and Fairmont Hotels Doha managing director Christian Hirt has said.
“I think if we look at the offerings here, the hotel and restaurant offerings, combined with the cultural offerings, with these wonderful museums that we have here for example – it is definitely targeting the affluent traveller, he said. “Our hotels are a great testament to that."

A career spanning four continents

An accomplished hospitality professional, Christian Hirt has a 26-year career spanning four continents and iconic, luxury hotels.
Housed within Lusail’s iconic Katara Towers, the two hotels opened just before the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar and now provide an opportunity for guests to explore their first winter staycation deals valid until the start of Ramadan.
Working across the business, leisure and MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) segments, he has overseen major property and positioning overhauls, including the conceptualisation of restaurant themes.
In 2013, Hirt started a three-year stint as general manager of the five-star Swissotel Sydney in Australia, again heading up a property refurbishment and repositioning and development of a new restaurant concept.
In 2016, he went to Turkiye for six years as general manager of the ultra-luxurious Raffles Hotel Istanbul and was responsible for the hotel’s pre-opening, positioning and commercial success of its 185 rooms and suites, 67 residences, nine meeting rooms, two restaurants, patisserie, shops and extensive Raffles Spa.
Hirt expanded sales outreach into GCC feeder markets and emerging markets across the Americas, Russia and the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States).

Besides the world-renowned museums, Hirt said the different leisure facilities that have been established in Qatar recently, such as Al Maha Island and water parks, will attract more regional and international visitors.
He added that Qatar’s successful hosting of an amazing tournament such as the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 proved that it can hold major sporting competitions.
“We have shown the world that we can do world-class mega events here in Qatar, and I see this as a starting point for us to develop further and to welcome lots of visitors here to the destination,” he said.
“We see that there is a great calendar of events for this year, with a really great lineup,” Hirt said, citing the return of the Doha Jewellery & Watches Exhibition this month, the Qatar Formula 1 Grand Prix in October, the Geneva International Motor Show Qatar in October, the AFC Asian Cup, and Expo 2023, among others.
The scheduled events lined up in Doha this year, he noted, will further promote the destination and drive more visitors to Qatar.
Hirt said that they have been working closely with Qatar Tourism, Qatar Museums and other partners and institutions in the country to promote the destination, providing curated experiences for visitors.
“The support that we're receiving here from Qatar Tourism and a lot of other institutions is absolutely incredible and shows a great commitment from everyone to achieve Qatar National Vision of 2030,” he said.
About the two hotels, Hirt said Raffles and Fairmont are a new landmark in Qatar: both distinct and have the same vision, which is “to deliver the ultimate in luxury, in guest service, and in bespoke experiences”.
“However, each of the two brands will do this in their individual way,” he added.
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