Tourism delegates explore Qatar’s natural treasures
September 29 2017 11:47 PM
A stunning sunset view on a dhow cruise to Qatar's Al Aliyah Island.
A stunning sunset view on a dhow cruise to Qatar's Al Aliyah Island. PICTURE: Nasar TK

Tourism delegates from various countries around the world had the opportunity to explore Qatar’s rich culture and heritage, natural treasures, and its eco-friendly practices in various tourism infrastructures in field trips organised by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA).

Tourism ministers, industry entrepreneurs and researchers, among other key actors in the sector, took part in celebrating the United Nation’s World Tourism Day in Doha on September 27.
During one of the field trips on Thursday, led by QTA officials and staff, toured the participants to Msheireb Downtown Doha, considered as the world’s first smart and sustainable downtown regeneration project.
The visit to this environmentally friendly and mixed-use development project showcased green and traditional Qatari architecture, and the history of the four century-old heritage houses (Msheireb museums) in Doha’s oldest district.
Delegates also toured Mohamed bin Jassim House, Khalifa International Stadium, and Katara – the Cultural Village before having a stroll at Souq Waqif (market).
The popular tourism destination in Doha, also one of the oldest souqs in the region, offers an array of traditional and authentic Qatari cuisine and spices, architecture, culture and hospitality.

A dhow tour provides an opportunity for visitors to explore Qatar's natural treasures.

QTA also took the delegates to the Doha Fire Station, a creative space that allows emerging talent from Qatar to practice, research and work as aspiring professional artists, who have the opportunity to take part in a nine-month Artist in Residence programme.
Part of the itinerary was a visit to multiple strategic landmarks in Doha that aims to meet the economic, environmental and socio-cultural needs for current and future generations. These included the iconic Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC), Qatar Science and Technology Park, and the Doha Golf Club.
The walls, roof, and windows of QNCC are built to integrate maximum insulation with the exterior construction to minimise energy usage. The intelligent design of the skylights allows for natural day lighting, reducing the energy consumption and providing a warmer ambience.
Delegates also enjoyed a tour on a traditional dhow going to the Al Aliyah Island, one of the most preserved islands of Qatar.
Al Aliyah Island is located in the northeast of Doha, 7km away from the capital. The island covers an area estimated at 2km. The southwestern part of the island is surrounded by mangroves with coral reefs at the northwest.
In addition to the flora of Al Aliyah, the island is home to several species of resident and migratory birds. It is one of the Qatari natural preserves, protected by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment.
The island is a great example of the country’s natural environment, untouched by humans. On a tour to the island, visitors can typically see different type of birds along the coast.
“The Next Chapter of Qatar’s National Tourism Strategy positions the country as a hub to discover - where cultural authenticity meets modernity, where the sand meets the sea, and where people of the world come together to experience unique offerings in culture, sports, business and family entertainment,” QTA’s chief tourism development officer Hassan al-Ibrahim said in a statement.

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