Hotels in Doha are expected to benefit from the government’s latest decision to grant citizens of 80 countries visa-free entry, a move that Katara Hospitality is fully supporting.
“With the recent policies of granting visa on arrival to 80 nationalities, people are finding it simpler to visit Qatar. This is a huge advantage for our business and to the Qatari economy in general,” Katara Hospitality CEO Hamad Abdulla al-Mulla told Gulf Times.
He said such initiative will further attract more tourists from these countries to visit and experience Qatar's exceptional hospitality and rich cultural heritage.
Citing the country’s various tourism offerings, the official noted that plans to open the National Museum of Qatar by the end of 2018 will also further entice foreign visitors to experience Qatar’s national treasures.
The desert rose-inspired project, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, is one of the most significant cultural projects in Qatar and also among the most ambitious museum projects of its kind anywhere in the world.
Qatar’s Ministry of Interior, Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), and Qatar Airways (QA) announced the new visa-free entry initiative this week. The 80 countries include the UK, the US, Seychelles, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, India, and South Africa.
Al-Mulla also lauded the policy initiated by the Qatar government to expand the e-visa services to citizens of 242 countries, describing it as a good step to activate tourism and attract more foreign visitors.
“We are certain that QTA is consistently planning to increase tourism opportunities, and its contributions to the wider national economy,” he said.
Upon activation of this policy, the CEO noted that their hotels witnessed a surge in demand, and expects this to grow in the coming months.
As the hospitality investment arm of Qatar, he explained that they are involved in various official diplomacy visits to developing countries to explore investment opportunities and strengthen bilateral ties with these countries.
“Any initiative that drives tourists to Qatar benefits our economy and therefore the hospitality industry,” he stressed.
Katara Hospitality works closely with QTA to increase the country’s attractiveness as a tourist destination through supporting citywide events and co-exhibiting in leading international exhibitions to promote the destination.
Al-Mulla pointed out that Qatar’s hospitality sector is one of the country’s most dynamic and competitive industries as new concepts are continuously being developed to meet increasing guest demands.
The company is now developing nine properties, which are scheduled to open between 2017 and 2020 in Qatar and abroad.
“In Qatar, we are focused on the construction of our award-winning Katara Towers development in Lusail Marina District, which is set to be a major attraction for residents and visitors given its architectural significance and unrivalled mix of hotels, residential and leisure facilities,” al-Mulla said.
“We are also scheduled to open two hotels under Murwab Hotel Group in next two years.”