The popularity of French brands in Qatar rests in the richness of two cultures that “perfectly blends” to create memorable experiences, Alwadi Hotel Doha general manager Dominic Arel has said.
“There are a lot of things coming from the French sense of hospitality, and when combined with the Qatar heritage, it pleases many people,” he told Gulf Times.
Arel cited the continuously growing interest of Qataris, as well as expatriates, in French brands, including the "first-ever" 5 star- French boutique hotel in the country – MGallery’s Alwadi Doha, located in Msheireb Downtown Doha (MDD).
As part of the MGallery collection, the brand new five-star boutique hotel “tells a unique story” and excellently combines modern design with local history and heritage – a growing demand from a large number of travellers.
“The interest we got for the property is quite unique, already we like to say that we are the talk of the city since its opening,” Arel said.
Dominic Arel. PICTURE: Ram Chand
Alwadi Hotel Doha has 213 rooms and suites, each with thoughtful amenities, inspiring patterns and a vibrant colour scheme to bring a touch of heritage to its contemporary design.
“I believe that everybody will clearly understand and agree with me that we have, from a French brand, the knowhow and this is going to be translated in the way we welcome our guests,” Arel said. Gastronomy, is going to be a key element for this property with the restaurants and bars, having this French flair and Art de Recevoir is going to be a key differentiator.”
Apart from having direct connection to Souq Waqif, the property is located just 15 minutes from Hamad International Airport and 10 minutes from West Bay, meeting the needs of both business and leisure travellers.
Looking at the city’s history, Arel said the hotel is part of the Msheireb Downtown Doha project, which works hard “to bring back centrally everything to the heart of Doha.”
“In terms of design, this property is unique in the way that it respects the heritage, the heart of the history of Doha. Msheireb in Arabic means the source of water, that is where everything started, back in those days where Qataris come here to get water,” he noted.
“And having this integrated in the overall outcome of the property is unique, and will very much please Qataris, we already saw a lot of interest from the locals, but as well from the expat community and the corporate entities because of the way the design was done and our sense of welcoming,” Arel added.
He also lauded MDD – a sustainable regeneration project – for its efforts to help protect and preserve the environment, in terms of energy saving and respect to the planet.
“We are very happy to be associated with such a great visionary project,” Arel stressed.
He added that they also took part in the Gout de/Good France recently, a few days after the launch of the property. More than 5,000 restaurants in five continents, including over 12 in Qatar, participated in the annual event to celebrate French cuisine.
The gastronomy event was organised by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs in over 150 countries, and the renowned Chef Alain Ducasse, underscoring the art of living “a la francaise” (the French way of life). It also aims to promote French products and France as a tourism destination globally.
“It was a key for us to showcase our offerings and the response was terrific and very positive,” Arel said. “It was nice moment for the community to discover the property through culinary aspects, something that was very well received.”