Recent updates to the country’s Covid-19 travel and return policy will help attract more visitors in the lead-up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, further boosting Qatar’s tourism sector, industry experts have said.
“This is a very timely move by the authorities to tell the world that Qatar has taken the utmost precautions to ensure the virus is kept under control. Opening up the country is extremely important as we are just two months away from the historic 2022 FIFA World Cup,” Tawfeeq Travel Group CEO Rehan Ali Syed told Gulf Times.
With several pre-FIFA activities lined up in the remaining weeks before the prestigious event, he said the number of visitors, along with friends and families, who want to explore the country before watching the games is expected to rise.
Syed noted that some people from ‘Red-listed’ countries resisted coming earlier due to quarantine protocols but are now welcome to be part of the celebrations.
He lauded the efforts of the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) for its consistent monitoring and working round the clock to ensure the safety of citizens and residents, as well as visitors, from any health hazards.
Part of MoPH’s policy updates, which took into effect on September 4, includes removing the list of countries subject to Covid-19 ‘Red Health Measures’ and quarantine requirements for all travellers arriving from abroad. However, people who test positive for Covid-19 are required to undergo isolation and quarantine based on the procedures followed in Qatar.
Outing Qatar founder and managing director Mosaad Moustafa Eleiwa shared a similar view, saying that the latest MoPH policy updates will help entice many visitors to come to Qatar this year and beyond, positively impacting local tourism and other sectors.
With the ease of implementation of such measures, he said Outing Qatar and its partners are planning to provide a unique VIP experience to guests, especially those from neighbouring GCC countries.
“We are experiencing a significant increase in our bookings compared to the previous months. Further, our helicopter tours are almost fully booked until the end of September,” he said.
The company offers curated and luxury experiences (sea, sky and land) to discover Qatar’s beauty through car rentals, yacht charters, dunes adventures and helicopter tours.
According to Eleiwa, the number of stopover tourists who plan to experience authentic Qatari and Arab hospitality, in addition to visiting museums, cultural centres and stadiums, is also expected to increase with the new MoPH policy updates.
“Globally, all the current indicators show that we are moving from what is called the new normal to our normal life since the end of 2019. Leisure and business travel are almost back,” he said.
While countries have been lifting travel restrictions and tourism is slowly restarting in many parts of the world, Eleiwa underlined the importance of co-ordinated health protocols that protect travellers, workers and communities.
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