Despite being a new player in the congress market, Qatar and its capital Doha impress by smart and well-composed strategies to win business for their newly built 2 centres: the Qatar National Convention Centre and the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center.

Coming back from a famtrip organized by the Qatar Tourism Authority with support of tmf dialogue, my views are backed by many positive comments of the participating congress planners from Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Belgium and UK. We all agreed that it is truly amazing what is happening there!

Qataris are in general very aware of their original culture and wish to protect it. Together with the fact that the country cannot solely rely on its hydrocarbons resources, but needs to provide a healthy future to the population, this combination of tradition with visions and development make an exciting mixture.

In close co-operation with the Qatar Foundation (QF) and the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), the strategic approach of the Qatar Tourist Authority (QTA) is logic, clever and taking into account the visions of the Foundation, which is to “lead the human, social and economic development of Qatar through education and research – making Qatar a nation that can be a vanguard for productive change in the region and a role model for the broader international community.”

How does this affect the development of congress business? As an example, the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Authority is a fully onshore global business and financial centre located in Doha, providing legal and business platform for firms to capitalize on regional opportunities. It was established in 2005 and extended the permitted activities in the country in 2013. It allows a 100 % foreign ownership to most white-collar industries and also supports newly built local chapters of global associations. That is exactly the point: with many international universities and research projects already established in the destination possible local hosts are there and building new local chapters of intl. associations is made easy – inviting congresses to take place in Qatar is a logical next step and a start at the roots of the food chain. The famtrip was therefore aimed at connecting the carefully chosen guests with local institutions and persons in a networking session which was received as getting to know the right contacts at an early stage of planning a destination and as a very helpful gesture from the side of hosts.

I met many key persons during the famtrip and I think this is a destination with much potential and which has style and character in what you find there to help a congress being successful. To develop and support local knowledge is a key strategic element for the authorities and it is worthwhile to explore further!
2030 Vision
“Qatar National Vision 2030 was published in July 2008. It outlines how Qatar will use the vast revenues from its substantial hydrocarbon resources to transform itself into a modern knowledge-based economy.
The people of Qatar are key to achieving this aim, and the plan places developing human resources as the main priority for the next 15 years.
National Vision 2030 gave QF (Qatar Foundation) an exciting mandate. It is to be the ‘engine’ driving the development of Qatar’s people, with the headline aim of ‘Unlocking Human Potential’.”

Johanna Fischer