Qatar’s retail sector, particularly in the luxury segment, has experienced a significant upswing fueled by the country's thriving tourism industry, it is learnt. From the final quarter of 2023 to February of this year, demand for luxury items and experiences has surged, drawing visitors from neighbouring GCC countries, as well as from other regions.
Employees of luxury retail establishments at major malls and shopping centres across Doha reported a huge increase in their sales, attributing the trend to the influx of tourists seeking high-end products and curated experiences.
A supervisor of a jewellery and watch shop at a prominent mall disclosed that many customers, many from neighbouring GCC nations such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain, are particularly interested in Arab-inspired pieces and designs.
She noted a substantial rise in their sales during the hosting of the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE), held at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre in February. “We exceeded our targets this year during the same period last year. There was a big footfall at our shop, and as expected, we received a lot of new and returning clients here and from different countries, including Europeans and Asians,” she added.
Echoing this statement, another supervisor from a luxury retail outlet highlighted how various events hosted by Qatar, such as the DJWE, the AFC Asian Cup 2024, and the Expo 2023 Doha, spurred spending on jewellery and high-end watches. He noted that the influx of football players and enthusiasts, including visitors from Korea and Japan, among other participating countries, contributed remarkably to the surge in sales, with a preference for gold bracelets, necklaces, and precious stones.
Expressing optimism about the future of tourism in Qatar, he underlined the potential for continued growth, attracting visitors from diverse regions. This upward trend, he added, is expected to have a ripple effect, benefiting multiple sectors, especially retail and hospitality. Further proving the surge in luxury retail sales, an employee from a luxury apparel boutique cited the exceptional performance during the AFC Asian Cup, followed by sustained gains from events like the DJWE, Web Summit, Qatar International Food Festival, World Aquatics Championship Doha, and WTA/ATP tours, among others.
The employee highlighted Qatar’s rising popularity as both a tourism and shopping destination, noting the positive impact of various sporting and cultural events hosted throughout January and February.