Qatar’s transformation into a self-reliant and self-sufficient nation in the past three years has improved the local market, allowing it to offer more tourism-related and shopping opportunities to local and international clientele, a prominent business leader has said.
“Qatar has become a very unique destination for a lot of people; the government has added so many things in terms of dining experience, hotels, malls, theme parks, and other amenities that cater to the tourism and retail industry,” said Dr Mohamed Althaf, director of LuLu Hypermarket Group in Qatar.
Now that the Gulf crisis is over, Althaf said visitors from former siege countries “will be met by with a variety of shopping opportunities and touristic destinations. Qatar has also introduced a lot of products, “which are not available in many countries now,” he continued.
“Qatar has diversified its sourcing avenues; instead of one or two countries, there is now a wide variety of goods available already here in the country, so I think the local market is very attractive now for visitors, especially from its regional neighbours.”
Althaf also pointed out that Qatar is an ideal family entertainment destination, citing the opening of several public parks. In terms of business tourism, Althaf noted that Msheireb, Lusail, and The Pearl are among the attractive business districts to visit owing to their world-class facilities and amenities.
“All these developments will definitely have a cascading effect on a lot of sectors, indirectly benefiting the local economy. Many retail outlets are also looking at expanding their footprint because of increased demand.
“The government has handled the Covid-19 pandemic very well, which is why many people know they are safe when they visit Qatar. Once more people abroad start travelling, there are many places to explore here when they visit the country,” Althaf emphasised.
He also commended the growth of local entrepreneurial ventures in the country, citing Qatari businesses in the food and beverage (F&B) sector. According to Althaf, the pandemic helped usher in new and innovative companies offering different types of cuisine.
“Since the pandemic, a lot of these micro businesses have been thriving, especially in the F&B sector. You will find that many people are becoming far more experimental in terms of cuisine. And there are a lot of other things happening in the industry, such as the increasing popularity of food carts and drive-thru restaurants.
“Many food entrepreneurs are now improvising different Qatari cuisines, making them far more functional. I think all these developments happening in different sectors will be greatly rewarded,” Althaf added.
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