Qatar, a key global tourist destination
February 02 2018 12:03 AM
Souq Waqif is a traditional market and one of the most important tourist attractions in Doha.


Qatar is one of the fastest growing countries in the field of tourism.
This has been helped by the remarkable development and the establishment of tourism facilities and the giant urban development.
Tourism in Qatar is divided into several categories – cultural, historical, religious and maritime.
The most prominent Qatari tourist attraction is Mathaf: the Arab Museum of Modern Art, which is one of the new museums, revealing the technical inventory of contemporary Arabs in an attractive and distinctive way.
lThe museum contains many fine works of art and textiles that reflect the historical periods of the Arab and Muslim world.
Hence, the museum has gained a distinguished position both internally and externally, and has become an important tourist destination for many visitors from around the world.
lAqua Park Qatar is a beautiful water park built over 50,000 square metres and contains many exciting water sports.
It is considered one of the most beautiful places where families can spend enjoyable time.
lDoha Corniche is another beautiful destination that gives the city a special character, especially as it contains many distinctive and attractive landmarks as well as many government departments and institutions.
From Doha Corniche, it is possible to take boats to Banana Island, which is a great tourist destination with its hotels and restaurants and entertainment places suitable for families and other different age groups.
lSouq Waqif is a traditional market and one of the most important tourist attractions in Doha, combining heritage and originality with modern urban life. It is the most famous tourist and heritage destination for visitors and citizens. Souq Waqif is famous for selling heritage items and souvenirs, and concerts are also held there. It has many local, Arab, and international restaurants.
lKatara is a cultural district that aims to promote the cultural movement in Qatar and support creative energies through its various facilities and buildings. It is a meeting place for all intellectuals and artists and a centre for promoting cultural awareness through festivals, exhibitions, symposiums, concerts and all forms of artistic expression.
lQatar Ports Management Company, the exclusive operator of commercial and tourist ports in Qatar, announced on October  26 the launch of the cruise season for 2017-18 in Qatar in conjunction with the arrival of the tourist vessel Seabourn Anchor to Doha port, carrying more than 500 tourists of different nationalities.
It is scheduled that this season will witness until April 2018 the arrival of 21 cruise ships to Doha port, including five cruise ships to visit the shores of Qatar for the first time as part of tours in the Arab Gulf.
Worldwide, tourism has become a strategy that governments and countries adopt in order to advance their economy as one of the main sources of income.
Tourism is the world’s third-largest source of income, accounting for 10% of the world’s gross domestic product, according to United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, who called for deepening co-operation among all world countries to ensure sustainable growth of the sector.
UNWTO predicted that Spain would replace the United States as the second largest tourism destination in the world, while France managed to maintain the first place.
Pololikashvili said Spain was able to attract 82 million tourists in 2017.
Meanwhile, UNWTO Director of the Tourism Market Trends Programme, John Kester, said that all indicators show that France will keep the top spot that enjoyed in 2017, which was a good year for the tourism industry as the number of tourists worldwide grew by 7% compared to 2016.
Speaking during a press conference, the UNWTO secretary-general said that the number of tourists in the Middle East region increased by 5% in 2017 compared to the previous year, while the number grew by 8% in Europe, 6% in Asia and the Pacific and 3% in the Americas.
The number of arrivals to the Middle East stood at 58mn tourists in 2017, while the number in Europe amounted to 671mn, 324mn in Asia and the Pacific, 207mn in the Americas and 62mn in Africa.
Tourism has many advantages as it provides job opportunities that would not exist without tourism.
It also brings new investments to countries, which helps in providing funds that finance large investments such as hotels and huge festivals that tourists come from around the world for.
Hence, countries are always keen on hosting cultural and sports festivals.
On the other hand, tourism plays a major role in improving the overall health and mood of the human being.
Travel helps in steering away from the pressures of daily life and forgetting about problems.
It also increases communication among people around the world as tourists exchange cultures, customs and traditions.
In the last few years, the Middle East has witnessed positive growth thanks to the development of most tourist destinations, especially in the Gulf region, where tourism, investment and infrastructure receive great attention.
Some of the world’s top tourist destinations are New York’s Times Square, the National Park in Washington, Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Trafalgar Square in London, Disneyland in California, Niagara Falls in Canada, Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Tokyo Disneyland in Japan, Notre Dame Cathedral in France, the Great Wall of China, the Statue of Liberty in New York, Taj Mahal in India and Petra in Jordan.
The world’s most visited cities include Madrid, Paris, London, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, New York, Bangkok, Istanbul and Shanghai.
Tourism helps people to experience new and different things that may not be available in their countries.
There are many different types of tourism, including medical tourism that seeks to move the health facilities in countries, and educational tourism, which provides new jobs for teachers.

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