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May 11, 2015

Middle East: Mega Developments Spotlight Qatar

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Vying for global recognition as a tourism powerhouse, Qatar’s current slew of developments, valued at US$8.48 billion, are on track to transform the country's landscape with a series of state-of-the-art attractions and major investment in tourism infrastructure.

During the coming years, Qatar will welcome five museums, 57 hotels and resorts, 22 shopping venues, 21 sport facilities, 11 theme parks, six convention centres and a state-of-the-art theatre to its leisure portfolio.

High-profile projects in the pipeline include Doha Festival City, Doha Convention Centre, Rayyan Mall (Mall of Qatar), Doha Zoo, Lusail Museum, Katara Towers (Lusail Marina) and the FIFA World Cup football stadiums, which will host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

On the hospitality front, Al Rayyan Hospitality’s new Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara is winning fans since its debut in January. The luxurious 32-acre resort features Maldives-style over-water villas, numerous restaurants, a spa, wellness centre, multiple pools, a dive center and wave pool. Now, Al Rayyan Hospitality is developing more resorts including the Salwa Beach Resort set on over four kilometers of prime coastline in southwest Qatar. Featuring a 362-room Hilton Hotel that offers sweeping views of Arabian Gulf, the property includes two beachfront villages of family villas, a large destination waterpark, a marina with yacht club, dive centre, cinemas and shopping mall, health club and spa plus fourteen restaurants.

In central Doha, the Al Messila Resort & VIP Spa, set within 33 acres will have a 122 room hotel, 30 luxury villas and with the largest and most exclusive ladies’ spa and wellness center in the region.

In 2014, Qatar’s visitor numbers soared to 2.8 million, marking an increase of 8.2 percent on the previous year. Of this total, 40 percent came from within the GCC, 28 percent from Asia and Oceania and 15 percent from the European market, according to figures supplied by Qatar Tourism Authority.

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