Qatar’s successful hosting of major international sporting events during 2019 highlights the country’s readiness to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, leading hoteliers have told Gulf Times.

“Qatar has by far the best infrastructure set-up in the world and with three years to go, will be by far well ahead of any nation in the world,” Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel general manager Belal al-Kadry said.

“In addition, by 2022 Qatar will have the world’s best: state-of-the-art stadiums, diverse mix of hotels, wide range of entertainment, beaches, tourist programmes and attractions, comprehensive transportation, shopping malls and retail outlets in the world, food and beverage, and culinary offering,” he explained.

Al-Kadry noted that Qatar will be the only (ever to date) county to host a World Cup where all the stadiums will be housed within one city.

“Such ‘Blue Ocean’ approach by the country will give every international visitor to experience a World Cup like no other and will be talked about by generations to come as the best ever in the history of the World Cup,” he said.

Qatar successfully hosted the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships (September 27 to October 6), ANOC World Beach Games (October 12 to 16), 24th Arabian Gulf Cup (November 26 to December 8), and the FIFA Club World Cup (December 11 to 21), displaying a high level of efficiency and the ability to secure major sporting events.

About hotels’ contribution to making sporting events memorable and successful, al-Kadry suggested creating on-ground activation where all hotels have the same collaborative efforts in entertainment, products and service offering.

Apart from linking transportation between airport to hotels to sporting venues and tourist sites, as well as shopping malls, he said creating on ground sporting hubs in all hotels by offering merchandise, player ball signings, public relations activations with certain teams or players, children’s activities, celebrity player and chef cook, among others, would create a positive impact on the success of each event.

W Doha general manager Wassim Daaje shared the same view saying that they saw Qatar’s tremendous progress not only in the hospitality sector but also in infrastructure, including the launch of stadiums, new roads, the Doha Metro, and other projects as it gears to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

“We are so proud of Qatar’s great achievements and believe that the world is set to witness one of the greatest World Cups in 2022 and we are excited to welcome Qatar’s guests and ‘wow’ them with our unique and innovative W Doha experience,” he said.

“Our contributions to the prestigious sporting events extend beyond our hotel walls, as we have successfully provided catering services to some of the biggest events including the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup and the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup,” Daaje noted.

He added that W Doha sets a benchmark in the industry with its bold and innovative approach to hospitality and “we are very proud of our ongoing commitment to Qatar’s growing sports industry and its position as a leading sports destination in the region and the world.”

For Ritz-Carlton, Doha Sales and Marketing director Georges Akar, the outcome of the recently-held FIFA Club World Cup 2019 “is great in terms of marketing, international exposure, and hotel revenue.”

“Qatar has enjoyed unprecedented global recognition in sport in recent years and continues to advance through targeted efforts aimed at creating a safer, healthier and more peaceful society,” he said.

Akar noted that the country invests heavily through the Qatar Olympic Committee and its partner clubs, sports federations, Aspire Zone Foundation, and other strategic allies to build recreation facilities and develop athletes, host international competitions, and raise awareness of the benefits of sport and physical activity.

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