Shop Qatar, the country’s biggest shopping festival, has been attracting more domestic, regional and international visitors due to the new visa facilitation measures, a Qatar Tourism Authority official (QTA) has said.
“It is looking great, we are seeing more people here, from Kuwait and Oman, and other international visitors due to the new visa policies,” noted Alshaima al-Shaikh, head of tourism events and festival organisation section at QTA.
“We are seeing a great response,” she told reporters at a press briefing on Shop Qatar yesterday at Mondrian Doha, announcing the various activities for the annual event’s Bollywood Week.
Indian nationals are among those who are eligible for Qatar’s visa-free entry from 80 countries, which the country implemented last year.
Al-Shaikh also cited efforts of QTA’s representative offices in different countries in promoting the country as a business and leisure destination to entice more tourists globally.
Qatar’s free transit visa also attracts many passengers who want to enter and experience the country’s various tourism offerings.
The increase in visitors was also evident in the number of vouchers entered for the first five days of the festival this year.
QTA registered 25,000 vouchers compared to the 21,000 during Shop Qatar’s first five days last year.
Fifteen winners won various cash prizes and two BMW cars in the first week.
“The target is to top last year and it is looking very good so far,” al-Shaikh stressed.
The next raffle draw will take place on January 18 at Hyatt Plaza Shopping Mall while the third one is scheduled on January 25 at Tawar Mall.
The final draw will be held on February 8 at Doha Festival City at the closing ceremony of the festival, which will feature a special performance by Lebanese singer Ramy Ayach.
According to QTA, shoppers still have a chance to win by purchasing or dining at any of the festival’s 13 participating malls across Qatar.
For every QR 200 spent at any of the participating retailers or restaurants, shoppers can enter one of the three remaining raffle draws.
Shop Qatar’s second week (January 14-20), themed as the “Bollywood Week,” brings a special line-up of entertainment shows and activities, highlighting the Indian subcontinent’s vibrant culture and arts.
Renowned Bollywood star Kareena Kapoor will take the centre stage at the Bollywood Fashion Show at Mondrian Doha from 7pm on Wednesday.
The fashion show will also showcase an array of sarees and lehenga dresses by renowned Bollywood designers, including Pallavi Jaipur, Vikram Phandis, Ankita Chaudhry and Archana Kochar.
The Bollywood Week will also witness a concert by renowned musician Sonu Nigam on January 19 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre.