Qatar is certainly not resting on its laurels. After hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup—with one of the best ever finals soccer fans have ever seen—this Middle Eastern destination is diving into 2023 with new attractions and openings.
The FIFA World Cup, says Berthold Trenkel, COO for Qatar Tourism, was an “opportunity for a global showcase [of the destination] like no other. Qatar is a diverse destination, with something to offer every type of traveler and budget. The traditional and bustling Souq Waqif is a must-see, as are the spectacular desert dunes and the inspiring museums and art galleries, not to mention the world-class yoga, golf and tennis facilities, the huge range of restaurants—with cuisines ranging from local and traditional fare to modern and international—the beautiful beaches, the adrenalin-pumping water sports and the awe-inspiring architecture.”
New Qatar Hotels to Get on Your Radar
Trenkel adds, too, that there’s an ever-expanding selection of premium spas and five-star hotels. For example, there’s the newly opened The St. Regis Marsa Arabia Island, The Pearl-Qatar with 193 suites and panoramic views of the Pearl-Qatar Island as well as a swoon-worthy culinary feast at the world-renowned onsite restaurants; the soon-to-open, 238 Art Deco-inspired -room and -suite; the all-inclusive Rixos Gulf Hotel Doha luxury beach resort; and the 59-room and -suite Chedi Katara Hotel & Resort, located at Katara Cultural Village. The latter is surrounded by lavish gardens, designed with an elegant blend of Mughal and Ottoman aesthetic, features 32 chalets and villas, a beach club, an infinity pool, a separate independent pool, fire pit seating and dining areas. These among an array of others, including properties flying the Raffles, Le Meridien, Andaz and Rosewood flags.
Trenkel notes that these openings will help the destination achieve its goal of welcoming “more than six million international visitors by 2030, with the U.S. market a key source market to contribute towards this goal.”
In fact, he adds, “we have appointed a new international markets team, which covers 20 key markets, including the U.S. This aims to enhance our communication with U.S. travelers, tour operators and travel agencies to ensure the experience of coming to Qatar is memorable.”
Where to Go for a Culinary Feast
For new dining experiences, the newly opened Al Maha Island is home to Zuma, the temporary branch of the renowned high-end Japanese dining concept, co-founded and created by Rainer Becker in London (set to host guests until March 2023) as well as famed Carbone, Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick’s Italian-American restaurant and TATEL Doha, serving Spanish haute cuisine. Over at the fabulously chic Place Vendome, Qatar’s largest mall, your clients will find the cult LA brand, Dave’s Hot Chicken, famed for its hand-breaded hot and spicy chicken tenders and sliders as well as a new eatery by celebrity Turkish chef CZN Burak (it’s only his second branch outside of Turkey).
Beach Clubs that Sizzle
For recommendations your clients will be talking about for ages, recommend the upscale B12 Beach Club Doha, home to Doha’s largest floating water park and ideal for those looking for a day-to-night experience, with resident DJs. For funky vibes, there’s the DOHASANDS Beach Club, with 1,000 sun loungers, funky-colored food kiosks and DJs. And who can resist SUSHISAMBA Doha, the brand’s first beach club, housed inside the new Waldorf Astoria Lusail in Qatar’s Entertainment City, or the Makani Beach Club, offering a taste of Capri with its collaboration with Aurora Capri, the oldest restaurant on the Italian island, renowned for its registered brand Pizza all’Acqua.
Opening this April is the Lusail Winter Wonderland, featuring the country’s tallest Ferris wheel at 150 ft. and the region’s first outdoor ice-skating rink. And for the world’s tallest water slide construction, head on over to Meryal Water Park, with its 278-ft. Icon Tower. The waterpark area will feature 36 waterslides, with 12 waterslides on the Icon Tower alone.
For more information on Qatar, go to visitqatar.com.
We had the opportunity to visit Qatar pre-FIFA World Cup and our exploration of Doha and its outskirts had us mesmerized. Check out all the fun we had right here.