Qatar Tourism (QT) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Mowasalat (Karwa) to create an improved tourism experience for visitors arriving in the country on cruise ships.
The MoU was signed by QT chairman HE Saad bin Ali al-Kharji and Mowasalat Company (Karwa) CEO Fahad Saad al-Qahtani, a statement said Wednesday.
Key areas of collaboration include maintaining open and transparent lines of communication, improving cost effectiveness and offering any necessary support to ensure a successful cruise season.
To further facilitate this collaboration, QT will provide Mowasalat with tourism statistics and advance notice of cruise ship arrival schedules, enabling efficient planning of transportation services.
In a press statement, al-Kharji said: “Cruise tourism is a strategic pillar that contributes to Qatar’s national tourism strategy and elevates Qatar’s position on the global tourism map. Qatar Tourism works continuously with its key stakeholders to ensure a holistic, memorable experience for its guests in Qatar.
“Effective transportation services are a crucial element that shape the visitor experience and we are confident that our partnership with Mowasalat will contribute to a successful new cruise season.”
For his part, al-Qahtani said: “We recognise that transportation influences the competitiveness of a destination for tourists. Qatar’s tour operators sell their services, tours and excursions in a large international marketplace and it is of significant importance for the development of the tourism industry in Qatar to provide seamless, comfortable and safe transportation for visitors.
“As we enter into another framework agreement with Qatar Tourism, we reaffirm our commitment to deliver the utmost in service excellence. From impeccable quality to stringent safety measures, the cleanliness and maintenance of our vehicles, and our dedicated, trained staff.”
Qatar's cruise sector witnessed a notable increase in the number of international visitors over the years. Scheduled to run until April 2024, the current cruise season is expected to host 81 cruise calls and approximately 350,000 passengers, doubling the number of cruise visitors from last season.
In October 2023, Qatar welcomed 4,525 cruise passengers, a surge attributed to the country’s varied attractions and events, including Winter Wonderland, F1 Qatar Grand Prix, and Expo 2023 Doha.
Cruise ships such as Norwegian Dawn and Le Bougainville will be making their debut in Qatar this season, with both ships operating as full homeporting vessels embarking from Doha. Additionally, several other ships will continue to offer partial turnaround services from Doha, including Mein Schiff 2, MSC Virtuosa and the Italian cruise Costa Toscana. Qatar is expected to welcome eight cruise calls in November 2023.
HE Saad bin Ali al-Kharji
Qatar is expected to welcome eight cruise calls in November 2023.