The government of Qatar is preparing to issue a new tourism law as part of its preparations for hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The new tourism law is designed to enable the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) to develop the country’s tourism infrastructure so that it can cope with the demands that the influx of visitors for the competition will put on it. Take a look at the FIFA world cup guide.
The QTA is aiming for a 20 percent increase in tourism to Qatar in the next five years, assisted by the development of new hotels and infrastructure. Currently, most visitors to Qatar come from other Gulf Coast countries, with tourist numbers from the region growing by 22 percent year-on-year in the first three months of 2012, to 845,000. Recent road shows in Al Khobar, Riyadh, Kuwait, Muscat and Abu Dhabi and Dubai were intended to promote Qatar as an ideal destination.
QTA’s director of tourism, Abdullah Mallala Al Badr, said, ‘Qatar has everything a high-end traveller needs, stunning hotels, cultural icons and many leisure activities. In 2011, we received 845,000 visitors from the GCC. The first quarter this year, saw tourist arrivals from the GCC jump 22 percent, year-on-year.’
Qatar was considered a controversial venue to host the 2022 World Cup, having little heritage where the sport of football is concerned and an exceptionally hot climate that many commentators doubted was conducive to playing top-level matches. Questions were also raised over the Muslim country’s attitude to alcohol, the consumption of which is synonymous with supporting football in many parts of the world, and how visiting female supporters would be tolerated.