Qatar Museums (QM) is highlighting the country’s heritage sites, cultural traditions and experiences, and other tourism destinations outside Doha to mark World Tourism Day (WTD) 2020.

The 40th anniversary of this annual event, celebrated every September 27 since 1980, comes as the tourism industry faces what is described as “the biggest challenge in its history” due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation.

“The theme of this year’s World Tourism Day, ‘Tourism and Rural Development’, gives us a unique opportunity to showcase the many sights and experiences that Qatar has to offer outside of Doha,” QM said in an email to Culture Pass members yesterday.

“Some of our country’s most storied heritage sites, cultural traditions and natural wonders lie outside the city boundaries, and only by visiting these sites can visitors come to truly understand our country,” QM noted.

According to QM, the country is now embracing the ‘new normal’ as various events and other activities resume under phase 4 of the gradual lifting of Covid-19 restrictions while it prepares to welcome foreign visitors again.

QM noted that visitors can try the new Al Majles Resort at Sealine Beach, which offers a healthy dose of adventure, along with breathtaking views of the Inland Sea, and thrill-seeking activities such as quadbikes, beach buggies and camel rides.

The Northern Qetaifan Islands project, developed by Katara Hospitality, which occupies an area of 1.3mn sq m off the coast near Lusail, includes a water amusement park, seven beaches, and a luxury hotel managed by Rixos, in addition to residential complexes and other amenities.

Visitors will also enjoy the many attractions and activities at Al-Wakrah seaside district, ranging from water sports to heritage sites. The five-star Souq Al Wakrah Hotel by Tivoli consists of former heritage houses and offers a unique yet traditional hospitality experience.

“One of the newest additions to Qatar’s hospitality offerings, Salwa Beach Resort by Hilton is located 84km from Doha and sprawls across 3.5km of picturesque private beaches. It features a marina and yacht club, a themed water park and dive centre, cinemas, a shopping mall, a 2,800sq m spa and health club, an Arabian village, and much more,” QM said.

Zulal Wellness Resort from Msheireb Properties, in collaboration with international wellness brand, Chiva-Som International Health Resort, is another unique destination in the Middle East which will open soon.

Located in Khasooma, north of Doha, and spread across 280,000sq m, QM said the full-immersion wellness resort features two centres for health and wellbeing and caters to both adults and families.

Another one-of-its-kind destination includes Al Messila Wellness Resort & Spa, which is owned by Katara Hospitality and part of Marriott International’s Luxury Collection ensemble of hotels. It is the first 5-star wellness retreat in Qatar for ladies only.

Al Messila, a three-storey palace-styled resort with 152 rooms, suites and premium villas with private pools, features 26 treatment rooms and the most comprehensive hydro-thermal facilities in the country.

QM stressed that it continues to “further the country’s diverse tourism offerings and experiences by providing spaces for respite, education and inspiration” as the Qatar prepares to welcome millions of visitors for the FIFA World Cup 2022.

“We are also taking steps to diversify and innovate our digital offerings, working with our partners to bring unique and immersive cultural experiences to the community that go beyond the walls of our museums,” QM said.

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