The Qatar government’s gradual lifting of the Covid-19 restrictions, as well as its continuous vaccine rollout, is contributing to a significant increase in economic activity in the country, especially in the retail and tourism sectors, Qatar-Indonesia Business Council president Farhan al-Sheikh al-Sayed has said.
“There is a positive vibe in the business community, the traffic flow has incredibly increased, and many people have started visiting the malls and shopping centres to shop and dine, with precautionary measures in place,” he told Gulf Times.
Al-Sayed said “such positive developments” also signal a strong recovery in the tourism industry, particularly within the Gulf region, as the season for travel normally begins in June – after the end of every school year.
He noted that more people will be visiting their loved ones, relatives, friends, and business associates with the easing of Covid-19 travel restrictions between GCC countries.
Visit Qatar, the official social media tourism account of the Qatar National Tourism Council, announced that the country “is now open for vaccinated GCC citizens and residents.”
According to the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), “GCC citizens, their families, and their household workers are allowed to enter the State of Qatar at any time, provided they follow the travel and return policy.
“Fully vaccinated GCC citizens who received any of the Covid-19 vaccines recognised in Qatar with at least 14 days since the last dose and present an official vaccination card or certificate are exempted from quarantine,” MoPH noted.
A detailed quarantine exemption criteria for individuals vaccinated against Covid-19 in GCC countries is posted on MoPH’s website.
Al-Sayed, who is also president of the International Walking Football Federation (IWFF) of Asia and Qatar, said that many families, whether locals or expatriates who have been vaccinated, are planning for summer holidays.
“You can see the confidence to travel as most of them have taken the two vaccine doses,” he said, adding that reducing or lifting quarantine requirements has encourage many to book their trips.
“There will be a lot of travel and at the same time I expect a lot of traffic from neighbouring countries to Qatar and that is great news for local businesses, including restaurants and hotels, and the hospitality sector in general,” al-Sayed said.
He stressed that the easing of quarantine restrictions in Qatar and a number of countries in Europe and other regions for fully vaccinated people will spur more tourism activities.
Al-Sayed also made a farewell visit to South Korean ambassador Kim Chang-mo who is leaving today (June 2) for his next mission as ambassador to Algeria. They were joined by Serbian ambassador Jasminko Pozderac.
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