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Qatar’s Plan for Boosting Business Events

The Museum of Islamic Art greets boats as they enter the the Doha Port area in Doha, Qatar. Just outside the frame to the right it Doha’s smart city project, Msheireb.

In the year since Qatar participated in IMEX Frankfurt 2018, the country has made a pretty big transformation in terms of meetings offerings. The Qatar Tourism Authority has been replaced by the Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) and the new Qatar Business Events Corporation (QBEC) was introduced as a way to organize, manage, and operate events in the Arab state.

In November, QNTC launched its first global destination campaign, “Qatar, Qurated For You” (see video below), which centres on tailored, visitor-focused experiences as a way to reach 250 million specifically chosen travellers around the world. This year, QNTC is returning to IMEX Frankfurt, being held 21-23 May, to exhibit alongside 10 other industry partners like Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC) and the Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel as a way to continue promoting and growing business events in the foreign MICE market.

In the five-year period from 2012-2017 exhibitions in Qatar grew by a reported 36 percent. Last year, Qatar hosted 150 exhibitions and conferences, helping it join the ranks of the Top 100 City Destinations 2018 listed by Euromonitor. And six major events (expected to attract nearly 2,400 participants) are planned from now until 2022. One of the country’s draws is location since Qatar sits halfway between Europe and major African and Asian capitals, with one of the quickest-growing airlines in the world, Qatar Airways, flying to 150 destinations.

Qatar is also looking to cultivate even closer relationships with international association executives thanks to the recently signed Customised Research and Membership Support Agreement between QNTC and the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA.) “With our growing list of global partnerships, we have made strides in all tourism sectors, including business events. In addition to world-class hospitality, business visitors also benefit from authentic cultural experiences through our truly unique iconic landmarks such as the newly opened National Museum of Qatar,” Rashed Al Qurese, chief marketing officer of QNTC, told the Qatar National Tourism Council. “Last year, we joined the … ICCA as their globally recognised association relations partner (ARP). Since then, we have hosted numerous successful events together and at IMEX Frankfurt 2019, we plan to initiate yet another partnership that will take our engagement with [the] association community to a higher level.”

At IMEX Frankfurt, Qatar will play on the event’s theme of “imagination” by putting its expanding business event options and Qatar Financial Centre on prime display, highlighting the smart and sustainable cities of Lusail and Msheireb, as well as initiatives such as Education City, which are key components of the Qatar National Vision 2030.