In a recent development, Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) announced an agreement with TUI Cruises.
As part of the agreement, the German cruise line will be including Qatar in its itineraries for the 2017-2018 season, bringing seven cruise ships with up to 17,500 visitors to the country.
The agreement puts Qatar on track to achieve its target of 250,000 visitors on board cruise ships in 2019. Qatar Ports Management Company (Mwani Qatar) has confirmed the berthing schedule for the cruise ships.
QTA is working closely with Mwani Qatar to expand various elements of the country’s cruise industry, in particular, Doha Port, which will be undergoing redevelopment to transform it into a full-time cruise terminal and tourist attraction.
“Cruise tourism in Qatar provides huge opportunities for growth of the country’s overall tourism industry and is central to the realisation of the Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030,” said QTA chief tourism development officer Hassan Al Ibrahim.
He further added Qatar is set to receive between 35 to 40 ships in the upcoming 2016-2017 cruise season, bringing in an expected 55,000 passengers. TUI Cruises has planned for Mein Schiff 5 ship to dock in Qatar. The ship has 15 decks and has a capacity to carry up to 2,506 passengers on two persons per cabin basis.
The Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030 (QNTSS) identifies the cruise industry as a focus area in coming years, with the outlook of Qatar to become an emerging cruise destination exceptionally bright. The GCC is among the top three cruise destinations worldwide during the winter months, offering tremendous opportunity for Qatar’s tourism sector and overall economy.