Double-decker treat for tourists
March 20 2013 11:03 PM
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The double-decker tourist bus to be launched by Doha Bus Company.
The double-decker tourist bus to be launched by Doha Bus Company.


QNA/Doha

Doha Bus Company, a private Qatari firm, is launching a double-decker tourist bus to serve visitors and tourists.
The company’s director general Mohamed Jumaa told reporters at the Friends of Environment Centre (FEC) that the company will officially launch these buses on April 7-15.
It will be put into operation for the first time next Saturday to carry the students participating in the Kite Festival organised by the Flower Each Spring due to open in Al Khor.  
Mohamed Jumaa told reporters that the first batch of these buses comprises three vehicles and a total of seven buses will be acquired by the end of August. Each bus will have 68 seats on the first deck and 28 on the second one.
He added that these buses will run on special routes.
The cost of each ticket will be $50, he said.
“Such a service will encourage tourists to visit our country,” Jumaa told reporters.
Tourism in Qatar has been on the rise in recent years. According to 2012 figures released by the Qatar Tourism Authority, the number of GCC visitors to Qatar grew 13% last year compared to 2011.   
There were also 10% more visitors from the rest of the world in 2012 than in the previous year.  
Earlier this month, Mowasalat launched its first bus that was fully assembled in Qatar by the company’s technicians. Mowasalat Company is a world-recognised brand in the public transport industry.
The technical team at the Karwa Services Unit (KSU) assembled the 41-seat “Made in Qatar” coach from a complete set of imported spare parts.
This is the first of a series of prototypes being developed by Mowasalat as part of its plans to enter bus assembling and manufacturing industry in a big way.
The company is working on a project to establish a large-scale facility in Oman to assemble buses for the Arab and GCC markets.
“This marks a major achievement for us in terms of technology transfer. We will develop more bus models locally as we prepare to establish our assembling and manufacturing unit in Oman,” Jassim Saif al-Sulaiti, Mowasalat’s chairman and Managing Director, said in a press conference held here recently.
“We will develop two or three new models every year but we have no plans to assemble buses locally on a large scale,” he added.
He said that the proposed facility in Oman once ready will assemble 2,000 buses every year to meet the requirements of the local and GCC markets.
“We are in the final phase of preparations to establish the facility. We have also plans to enter bus manufacturing industry in a later phase,” said al-Sulaiti.
Elaborating he said the locally assembled buses are more cost-effective compared to the imported ones.
The first “Made in Qatar” bus has joined the fleet of Mowasalat buses that are available for private hire.
Assembled from Complete Knockdown (CKD) units, the bus offers the same comfort, safety features, stylish looks and versatile body of the imported Karwa buses.
The bus is designed to meet various requirements such as transportation of schoolchildren and company staff, feeder services and for tour and travel.
The bus took shape in-house, with strict inspection and quality checks during assembly, ensuring stability.
The CKD-assembled bus passed test conditions successfully and was rolled out as a new in-house- built coach bus in December last year.
When it comes to tourism competitiveness in the Middle East and North Africa region, Qatar is in good shape, according to a new World Economic Forum index on travel.
The country is ranked second in the region behind the UAE and 41st overall out of 140 countries, the 2013 Travel and Competitiveness Report states.

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